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43 South Main Street

Montgomery, PA  17752

(570) 547-0480

fax (570) 547-0498

What is school-based physical therapy?

School based P.T. is provided as a related service under IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act), and is intended to address physical deficits and challenges that impede a student’s ability to access their educational environment in a manner similar to their peers

After a student’s needs have been identified and addressed within an IEP (Individual Education Program) or 504 agreement, our physical therapists work closely with the student, their parents and other members of the multi-disciplinary team to address those specific needs and maximize their overall function and participation at school.  Services provided by our school based therapists might include:

  • Activities to develop or improve strength and control of muscles responsible for movement, postural control, balance, and coordination. 
  • Activities to address sensory processing difficulties.
  • Activities to promote increased independence with functional mobility.
  • Implementation of adaptive or supportive equipment or activity modifications to improve participation and function across the school day.
  • Collaboration with outside agencies to address adaptive equipment needs (wheelchair, walker, stander, gait trainer, AFOs, etc.)
  • Ongoing reassessment of each student’s needs and accomplishments

In addition to therapeutic services performed directly with students, our physical therapists spend significant time “educating the educators” in order to help them form better understanding how to help their students succeed.  Information provided to educators and staff often includes:

  • Explanation of a student’s impairments and challenges, and how they will likely carry over and manifest in the educational setting.
  • Instruction in therapeutic activities that, when followed-through daily in the classroom, are likely to increase a student’s success. 
  • Explanation of and instruction in use of assistive devices, adaptive equipment and adaptive seating or positioning strategies that can increase student independence.
  • Suggestions for adaptations to activities in classroom or at other times across the school day (e.g. Phys. Ed. class, navigation of the cafeteria, etc.)
  • Instruction in safe techniques and body mechanics as they relate to dependent transfers or physical assistance provided to students.
  • Information regarding large body movements and sensory input as they generally relate to physical and cognitive development. 

It is important to understand that a child's motor deficits must limit or interfere with their access to and function within their educational environment in order for them to qualify for school-based P.T. services.  For children with mild challenges, or who have minimal to no difficulty accessing their educational environment, school is not the most appropriate setting for physical therapy.  If you would like additional information or clarification about this, you are welcome to contact us; your local school district or applicable Local Education Agency should also be able to provide you with specific information about this. 

contracted services

Our therapists are experienced within the realm of birth to 3 year old Early Intervention, preschool Early Intervention, as well as school-age physical therapy services.  If you are a representative of a school district or other LEA who is looking for information regarding contracted physical therapy services, please visit our School District Information page

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