Occupational and physical therapy services are provided to identified students in the Cooperative schools. Josh Carlson is the physical therapist. Carol Pepper and Tawnya Heer are the occupational therapists.
What is School-Based Occupational/Physical Therapy?
An Occupational or Physical Therapist is a trained health care professional that uses purposeful goal directed activities and task analysis to enable children with a disability to benefit from their individualized education programs (IEP) or individualized family services plan (IFSP). Federal law mandates that occupational therapy (OT) and physical therapy (PT) in the school system be educationally relevant. In the school setting OT and PT is a “related service” to special education. Occupational and Physical Therapists in the school setting look at certain skills issues which may interfere with a child’s educational performance such as mobility, ambulation, and access to the environment, hand function, oral motor function, visual motor and perceptual skills, sensory awareness/processing, self-care, and pre-vocational tasks. These areas can be addressed through a variety of intervention strategies, which may include direct therapy with the child, consultation with the teacher, modification of the environment, provision of adaptive equipment, and staff training. The amount of therapy for each student is determined through the Individual Education Program process in consultation with educators, specialists and therapists.
Indirect physical therapy services may be provided by a physical therapy liaison who becomes involved with the implementation and intervention procedures.