What are some of the most common related services used in schools?
Page 7: Physical Therapy Services
Physical therapy as a related service is designed to help students with disabilities to improve their functional skills in a variety of school settings, including the classroom, gym, and playground. Students who might benefit from school-based physical therapy services may have disabilities such as cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, or developmental delay that affect their movement or posture. Students who might benefit from PT services may experience difficulty:
- Walking or balancing
- Maintaining a good seated position at their desks
- Carrying materials (e.g., books, lunch tray)
- Opening a locker
- Maintaining energy for full participation in activities
- Navigating the school environment (e.g., using canes, a walker, or a wheelchair)
- Managing the playground or gym equipment
- Transferring (e.g., from a walker to a toilet, from a desk seat to a standing position)
- Getting from one place to another during allotted transition times
- Participating in routine physical education activities
Nore is a second-grade student in a general education classroom who has cerebral palsy. His IEP goals are:
- Maintaining his balance in the school environment
- Navigating the school environment independently
Watch the videos below to see how Donna Schlappi, Nore’s PT, works with him to achieve these goals.
In the first video, she first helps Nore practice his walking balance by carrying a tray with objects on it. In this way, she hopes to help Nore learn to carry a tray with food in the lunchroom (time: 2:47).
In the next video, watch as Nore works on his balance during a regular P.E. class with the ongoing support and encouragement of his PT (time: 0:23).
the PT's Corner
Listen as Marcia Kaminker describes physical therapy in the school environment.
Marcia K. Kaminker, PT, DPT, MS, PCS
Department of Student Services
South Brunswick School District
South Brunswick, NJ
Determining the need for services (time: 1:23)
Working in the natural environment (time: 1:19)
Working on a team (time: 0:43)