Schools provide occupational therapy when a child with a disability requires this related service to assist the child to benefit from special education. Occupational therapists use purposeful activity to facilitate a child's active participation in self-maintenance; academic and vocational pursuits and play or leisure activities that occur in school environments. Using direct and indirect services, as well as assistive technology and environmental modifications, school occupational therapists collaborate with parents, teachers and other educational staff to help implement a child's special education program.
Physical therapy is a related service provided to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education. School physical therapy focuses on a child's ability to move as independently as possible in the school environment. The school physical therapist evaluates the child's ability to move throughout the school and to participate in classroom activities. The decision of whether a child with a disability qualifies for school physical therapy is made by a team. This team determines whether the child has a disability, has a need for special education, and requires related services such as physical therapy. Physical therapy interventions are designed to enable the student to travel throughout the school environment; participate in classroom activities; maintain and change positions in the classroom; as well as manage stairs, restrooms, and the cafeteria.