Physical therapy in the school setting is provided to support students with deficits in gross motor development and/or breath support so that they are able to access their education. It involves the evaluation and treatment of children who have limitations in their functional mobility which limits their ability to participate in the school environment. Physical therapy is a related service available for students with special education eligibility determined by the IEP team.
CASE Physical Therapists (PTs) target specific skills in their work with students. Some of the skills include: positioning, use of adaptive equipment, propelling a wheelchair, walking, and stair climbing. Working closely with school teams as well as families, CASE therapists develop and apply evidence-based interventions specific to the needs of each student. These include, but are not limited to: therapeutic exercise, neuromuscular education, gait training, assistive device use, cardiopulmonary interventions, as well as student and staff training and professional development. CASE PTs use and maintain adapted equipment as part of their ongoing interventions including: standers, gait devices, adapted seating systems, and positioning equipment.
CASE PTs also work with school personnel to provide accommodations and modifications for students. They collaborate with all members of the students’ IEP team and serve as a resource to link students to needed equipment and services outside of the school district. In addition, CASE therapists provide on-site training on equipment and safety to school staff and provide additional individualized coaching to classroom personnel.
Physical Therapy Physician’s Referral Form (English and Spanish)
OT & PT Combined Physician’s Referral Form (English and Spanish)
Intro Letter Template for the Above (English and Spanish)
Equipment Lending Agreement
Illinois Physical Therapy Association
American Physical Therapy Association
Ages & Stages (healthychildren.org)