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Occupational/Physical Therapy

Related Services in the Educational Setting

Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy in the educational system are provided only when it can be documented that the student needs or requires the services to benefit from his/her speech education program.
The focus of therapies provided in the educational environment are different from those provided in a hospital, clinical or rehabilitative setting.
Most students who receive related services through the school system have a lifelong chronic condition for which there is no known cure.  Therefore, the services are provided only to help the student access educational services and benefit from his educational program.  In the school, educational goals hold a primary position while related services may be undertaken only to support the educational goals.  Related service providers assist the student to improve his/her skills so that he/she can function better in the educational program.
The program provided by related services personnel must be collaborative and focus on functional skills and adaptations that promote the attainment of educational objectives.


Prior to the provision of occupational or physical therapy, a referral or a prescription from a licensed physician is required following an evaluation in which the student meets the qualifications for services.  The IEP committee may agree the service is needed, however, provision is contingent upon the medical referral.