Occupational and physical therapy includes improving, developing, or restoring functions impaired or lost through illness, injury, or deprivation, improving the ability to perform tasks for independent functioning, and preventing further impairment or loss of such function. Educational-based occupational and physical therapies focus on the educational setting of the student and address any needs that the student has in order to benefit form his or her special education services. These therapies are not clinical in nature and thus the focus of the therapy is not on the individual child, but on how the child is able to function within the school environment.
In the Southeast Texas Cooperative for Special Services, eligibility for occupational and physical therapy is based on an evaluation conducted by a certified occupational or physical therapist. The evaluation process begins with a consultation. If services are indicated, the therapist works with the classroom teacher to develop goals and objectives to address specified needs and then becomes one of the implementers of the child's individualized educational program. As such, occupational and physical therapy services are generally provided in the regular or special education classroom in order to best support the child with the educational environment.
Note: If physical therapy is indicated, a physician's referral for services is required prior to begining services.