School Based Physical Therapy

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School Based Physical Therapy

As a school-based physical therapy provider, We have witnessed firsthand the transformative power of therapy in the lives of students with disabilities. School-based physical therapy goes beyond simply addressing physical limitations; it is a comprehensive approach that focuses on improving mobility and functional abilities, enabling students to fully participate in their educational experience. Collaboration between educators and therapists is key in providing the best possible support for these students. By working together, we can create individualized intervention plans that address their unique challenges and promote their overall development.

What is School-based Physical Therapy (PT)?

School-based Physical Therapy (PT) refers to the provision of physical therapy services within the school setting. These school-based occupational services are specifically tailored to meet the individual needs of students, with the primary goal of enhancing their participation in educational activities.

PT Services

School-based PT offers a range of services aimed at supporting students in their physical development and overall well-being. PT professionals work closely with students, teachers, and parents to assess and address any physical limitations or challenges that may impact a student’s ability to fully engage in school activities.


Some key aspects of PT services in schools include:


  • Evaluation: Physical therapists conduct comprehensive evaluations to determine a student’s specific needs and develop personalized treatment plans.
  • Interventions: Based on evaluation results, therapists implement interventions that may include exercises, therapeutic activities, assistive devices, and adaptive equipment.
  • Collaboration: School physical therapists work with other members of the educational team to ensure seamless integration of therapy into the student’s daily routine. PT professionals work together with school staff to provide comprehensive care for students.
  • Education: They also provide education and guidance to teachers and staff regarding strategies for promoting physical development and accommodating individual needs.

Enhancing Participation in Educational Activities

The main objective of school-based physical therapy is to enhance a student’s participation in various educational activities in schools. By implementing therapy interventions to address physical limitations or impairments, therapists assist students in overcoming barriers that may impede their full engagement in academic tasks, sports, playtime, and social interactions.

Through targeted interventions, school-based occupational therapists empower students by enabling them to actively participate in classroom activities, recess games, sports teams, and other extracurricular pursuits. This not only supports their physical development but also boosts their confidence and overall well-being.

What are the Benefits of School-based Therapy?

kids and therapy

Enhanced Access to the Educational Environment

School-based therapy, including physical therapists in schools (PT in schools), ensures that students have equal access to the educational environment. By addressing any physical limitations or disabilities they may have, therapy enables children to navigate their school environment more effectively. It may involve modifications to classrooms or equipment as well as teaching strategies tailored to individual needs. Through these interventions, students can fully engage with their education without feeling hindered by any physical challenges they may face.

Improved Motor Skills and Physical Function

School-based physical therapy can greatly improve motor skills and physical function in students. By working with a skilled therapist, children can develop better coordination, balance, strength, and endurance. This allows them to participate more fully in physical activities both inside and outside of school. Whether it’s playing sports, climbing stairs, or even just sitting upright in class, improved motor skills can make a significant difference in a student’s daily life.

Increased Participation in School Activities

One of the major benefits of school-based therapy is that it helps students become more engaged and involved in various school activities. With improved motor skills and physical function, children are better equipped to participate actively in classroom tasks, playground games, and extracurricular activities. They no longer feel left out or limited by their physical abilities but instead gain confidence to join their peers in different educational experiences.

What do physical therapists do in schools?

Physical therapists play a crucial role in schools, helping students improve their motor skills and functional abilities. Here’s a breakdown of what they do:

Developing personalized treatment plans

Based on the assessment results, physical therapists develop individualized treatment plans for students. These plans include exercises and activities that target specific areas of improvement. The goal is to help students enhance their mobility, independence, and overall well-being.

Assessing students' motor skills and functional abilities

Physical therapists evaluate students to determine their specific needs. They assess their motor skills, such as balance, coordination, strength, and flexibility. By understanding each student’s abilities and challenges, physical therapists can create personalized treatment plans.

Collaborating with teachers, parents, and other professionals

Physical therapists collaborate with teachers to incorporate school-based PT goals into the classroom setting. They collaborate with educators to ensure that strategies are implemented consistently throughout the day. Physical therapists communicate regularly with parents to provide updates on progress and offer guidance for continued support at home.


What is the role of a school-based physical therapist on an IEP team?

Physical therapists play a crucial role in schools, helping students improve their motor skills and functional abilities. Here’s a breakdown of what they do:

Contributing expertise to develop Individualized Education Programs (IEPs)

School-based physical therapists play a crucial role in the development of Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) for students. They bring their expertise and knowledge to the table, ensuring that the needs of each student are met effectively. By collaborating with other members of the IEP team, such as teachers, parents, and administrators, they contribute valuable insights into designing appropriate educational plans.

Determining appropriate goals and accommodations

One of the key responsibilities of school-based physical therapists is to help determine appropriate goals and accommodations for students with special needs. They assess each student’s abilities and limitations, taking into consideration their physical health and mobility challenges. Based on this assessment, they work closely with the IEP team to establish realistic goals that align with the student’s capabilities while promoting growth and development.

Determining appropriate goals and accommodations

Another essential aspect of a school-based physical therapist’s role is ensuring that therapy services align with educational objectives. They collaborate closely with teachers and other professionals involved in a student’s education to integrate therapy seamlessly into their daily routine. This integration helps maximize learning opportunities while addressing any barriers or challenges that may impede a student’s progress.


By working collaboratively within an IEP team, school-based physical therapists bring their specialized knowledge to create individualized plans that support students’ overall well-being and academic success.

A Typical Day for a School-based Physical Therapist

Assessing Students' Motor Skills and Functional Limitations

A school-based physical therapist’s day begins with assessing students’ motor skills and functional limitations. This involves observing how well they move, balance, and coordinate their bodies. By conducting these assessments, therapists can identify areas where students may need support to improve their physical abilities.

Providing Direct Intervention Through Therapeutic Exercises and Activities

Once the assessments are complete, school-based physical therapists provide direct therapy interventions to students through therapeutic exercises and activities. They create personalized treatment plans tailored to each student’s needs. These plans often include exercises that target specific muscle groups, balance training, coordination activities, and mobility exercises.

Collaborating with Teachers to Integrate Therapy into Classroom Routines

Collaboration is key for school-based physical therapists. School physical therapists work closely with teachers to integrate therapy into classroom routines. By doing so, therapy becomes a seamless part of the school environment rather than a separate activity. Therapists collaborate with teachers to incorporate movement breaks into lessons or adapt classroom activities to promote physical development.


Eligibility and Laws for School-Based PT

To receive school-based physical therapy (PT) services, students must meet specific criteria. Federal laws, such as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), protect the rights of students with disabilities and ensure they receive necessary accommodations to support their learning.

Students must meet specific criteria to qualify for school-based PT services.

Eligibility for school-based PT is determined through a comprehensive evaluation process. This evaluation assesses the student’s physical abilities and how they impact their educational performance. The evaluation may include assessments by a licensed physical therapist who specializes in working with children.

Federal laws, such as IDEA, protect the rights of students with disabilities.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a federal law that ensures students with disabilities have access to a free appropriate public education (FAPE). IDEA mandates that schools provide specialized services, including PT, to eligible students to address their unique needs.

IDEA also emphasizes collaboration between parents/guardians, educators, and related service providers like physical therapists. This collaborative approach aims to create an inclusive educational environment that maximizes each student’s potential.

Schools must provide necessary accommodations to support student learning.

Under IDEA, schools are responsible for providing reasonable accommodations and modifications to support students’ access to education. These accommodations may include adaptive equipment or assistive technology devices that enable students with physical disabilities to participate fully in classroom activities.


Schools should also ensure accessibility within their facilities by providing ramps or elevators for wheelchair users and accessible restrooms. Teachers and staff should receive training on inclusive practices and strategies for supporting students with physical disabilities.

Advancement Opportunities for School-Based Therapists

School-based physical therapists have ample opportunities for growth and advancement in their careers. Let’s explore some of these exciting possibilities:

Leadership Roles and Specialization

Therapists working in educational settings can aspire to take on leadership roles within their school districts or even at the state level. By demonstrating expertise, dedication, and a passion for improving therapy services, therapists can become valuable assets to their schools. They may have the chance to lead teams of physical therapists in schools, collaborate with school staff, and advocate for special education services. PT in schools is an important aspect of providing comprehensive care to students. Specializing in specific areas such as pediatric rehabilitation or assistive technology can open doors to unique career paths.

Continuing Education

Continuing education is crucial for school-based therapists to stay up-to-date with the latest research and advancements in their field. By pursuing additional training courses, attending conferences, or obtaining advanced certifications, therapists can expand their knowledge base and enhance their skills. This ongoing learning process enables them to provide better therapy services and offer the best possible educational benefit to students.

Research Involvement

Active participation in research projects allows school-based therapists to contribute to advancements in the field of occupational therapy. By collaborating with researchers or conducting studies themselves, therapists can gather evidence-based data that supports the effectiveness of therapy interventions in educational settings. Sharing these findings not only benefits other professionals but also helps shape policies and practices related to special education.

Book appointment Today

Take charge of your journey with lymphedema by empowering yourself through knowledge and proactive decision-making. With the right information and guidance from qualified specialists, you can effectively manage this condition and improve your quality of life. Book an appointment with Rehabmates today!

Our Location

Visit our clinic on South Academy St. in Ahoskie, North Carolina. Our staff will welcome you with open arms in the first step of your journey to relief and wellness.

Service Hours

We are open from 8am in the morning to 5pm in the afternoon from Monday to Thursday. On Fridays, we close at noon time, 12pm, instead. We are unfortunately closed on the weekends.

About Us

RehabMates is a dedicated physical rehabilitation center offering comprehensive care with a specialized focus on pediatric populations and Lymphedema conditions across all age groups.

Meet Our Staff of Our Physical Therapy Clinic

Meet the dedicated expert PT who form the heart of Rehabmates. Our certified pediatric therapists bring a wealth of expertise and a passion for healing to every session. With specialized training and a commitment to ongoing education, our team ensures that your child receives the highest standard of care.

Adrian Mosqueda, PT, CKTP, CLT

Lead Physical Therapist Specialist

Casey Hoggard, PTA

Pediatric Homehealth Specialist

Robin Winslow, PTA, CLT

Physical Therapist Assistant

Julia Mangum, SLP

Speech Therapist

Our Client Says

At our physical therapy clinic, we take great pride in the good work we do and the positive outcomes we achieve for our patients. We have numerous success stories that highlight the effectiveness of our treatments.

Karen TeranKaren Teran
21:06 24 Oct 23
Very nice man ,very knowledgeable
Ellen HarrisEllen Harris
15:02 22 Sep 23
They did an awesome job and they are very kind and friendly and patience.
Angela RoweAngela Rowe
00:09 14 Sep 23
The Staff members at RehabMates are very professional and are truly concerned about the wellbeing of their patients. Adrian is also so patient. I recommend this facility without hesitation.
Juaniqa MoodyJuaniqa Moody
17:16 13 Sep 23
The physical therapy has helped my daughter tremendously! She has come a long ways! The equipment is perfect for my daughter to work with, let alone other children as well! Physical therapist knows exactly how to work with my daughter!
Regina DavisRegina Davis
16:33 13 Sep 23
Ros SessRos Sess
23:44 13 Dec 22
Adrian tries to help in any way he can. My mother attends PT here, they've even made it affordable for us to pay out of pocket for 2 sessions weekly. My mother says Casey takes time to really work on her problem areas ans listening attentively. Thanks for all you guys do for my mother.

We are In-Network with Most Insurance Plans

Insurance plans vary widely in terms of coverage and benefits. Each plan may have different rules and requirements. It’s essential to familiarize yourself with the details of your specific plan to ensure you receive the maximum benefits available.

When seeking treatment at a physical therapy clinic, it’s crucial to understand which insurance plans are accepted. Before your first visit, make sure you have your insurance card handy. This small piece of plastic holds valuable information about your coverage and can help streamline the billing process.

Don’t see your plan listed? This is not a complete list and plans are constantly changing. Please contact us. We make every effort to verify your insurance benefits before your first visit with us.