Our Physical Therapists and Physical Therapy Assistants provide physical therapy services to a wide range of students within our agency programs, as well as students 3 to 21 years old in member and non-member school districts throughout the southeast region of New Hampshire. Physical therapists are licensed through the New Hampshire Office of Licensed Allied Health Professionals and follow the rules and regulations in the New Hampshire Physical Therapy Practice Act.
When working in the school/educational setting, physical therapists are considered “related service providers” and apply their skills to students identified with an educational disability as outlined in IDEA. Students receive physical therapy services through the school system if a movement problem or medical condition interferes with their ability to meet educational goals. If no educational disability is present, then the school is not responsible for providing PT (i.e. Student can still learn despite casted broken arm). As part of the special education team, a physical therapist provides many services including:
Participate in development and decision making process when developing an IEP or 504 (Individualized Education Plan)
Evaluation of gross motor and functional mobility skills using a variety of standardized and competency based assessments.
Direct intervention to develop and practice postural and motor control, safety and mobility.
Consultation to the educational team regarding the implementation and use of adaptive equipment to promote appropriate positioning and safe mobility.
Staff training regarding safe transfers, positioning, and use of child's equipment (stander, wheelchair, etc.).
Ongoing consultation/training of rehabilitative assistants regarding carrying over PT goals throughout the school day.
Assessment of school environments for safety and accessibility with recommendations made to promote independence and full participation.
Make appropriate referrals to community medical and recreational services.
In-service education to staff as needed including the educational impact of a child's specific diagnosis or medical condition, the purpose of positioning and mobility devices, child specific fire evacuation procedures and strategies to promote gross motor development.
We work with families, educational teams and the medical community so that we can provide our students with effective and appropriate interventions to promote full participation within the school environment.
Parent or Teacher raises concern
Referral meeting is requested
A meeting is held within 10 days of the request
An educational team that includes the parents hold a plan and permission meeting to discuss whether testing is needed to gain more understanding of how the child is functioning within the academic setting
Any evaluations that were decided on need to be completed within 60 days
Evaluation summary meeting is held to review all findings
IEP or 504 developed or community based resources identified
Treatment of student and continued progress monitoring of identified goals
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