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What are rehab physical therapies within the school system?

What are rehab therapy's within the school system?

Thank you comment icon I'm sorry could you be more specific? I'm not sure what you're asking? chloe watkins

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Caroline’s Answer

Hi Chloe!

In a school setting you’ll find OT, PT, SLP, and sometimes ABA therapists.

PT’s role in a school system is to help a child with functional mobility, balance, endurance and coordination, depending on the school posture and ball skills.

There are speciality school for children with disabilities and the therapists in those school may used adaptive equipment such as standards, walker/power wheelchairs and speciality ambulating equipment to assist with mobility.

A lot of school are receptive to volunteers and therapist are generally excited to share what they do with students.
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Emma’s Answer

Hi Beth,

Rehabilitation physical therapies within the school system, also known as school-based physical therapy, are specialized services designed to assist students with disabilities or special needs in achieving their educational goals and participating fully in the school environment. These services are provided by licensed physical therapists and are a vital component of the broader framework of special education services in schools.

School-based physical therapists conduct assessments and evaluations to determine students' physical abilities and limitations, working in collaboration with other members of the school's special education team. Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) are developed for students identified as needing physical therapy services, outlining their unique needs and goals. Physical therapists then provide direct services to these students, focusing on improving mobility, strength, balance, coordination, and functional skills necessary for educational activities. They also engage in consultation and collaboration with teachers and school staff to integrate strategies and accommodations that promote students' physical well-being and participation in the educational environment. Additionally, they involve families in the planning process, provide training to parents or guardians, and contribute to transition planning for older students, ensuring a smooth transition from school to post-school life.

Overall, school-based physical therapy plays a crucial role in supporting students with physical disabilities, enhancing their access to educational opportunities, and enabling them to actively engage in school life in a manner tailored to their specific needs and goals.
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Beth’s Answer

Physical therapy in the schools is designed to help children with special needs be able to physically learn and function in a school setting. School therapists may see their clients once a week or once a month depending on their needs.
You might work on balance strategy to prevent falls, custom chairs or wheelchairs for desk work, walking to get from class to music. There is a lot of working with the special Ed teacher and paraprofessional to teach them ways to help the student. There is also a lot of paperwork. You have to create an individual education plan for each student and meet with parents and teachers to discuss it, ordering equipment takes a lot of documentation as to why this is better than that.
PT’s are active in the pre k program and up to the high school level. You work the same hours as school with holidays and summers off. Many school therapists also have a side gig at a hospital or clinic for summer work, or extra hours.
If you want to work with special needs children and plan on a family of your own, school therapies are a good fit!
Good luck in your decisions.

Beth recommends the following next steps:

Visit APTA . Org for school and professional information
Ask to shadow a therapist for a day.
Keep up your grades, PT school is very competitive.
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