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School Based Occupational Therapy & Physical Therapy

IDEA and OT/PT Role

IDEA legislation has presented great opportunities and challenges for Occupational Therapists and Physical Therapists working in school systems.  Our identity as a Related Special Education Service obliges us to provide support that is educationally relevant, or is “required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education.”  This implies that we work as a member of a team, we must follow due process, and our services must be aimed at helping children learn and perform school tasks. 

OT/PT Best Practice

School therapists continue to shape and define “best practice” by confronting many current and varied concepts such as least restrictive environment, client-centered services, function-based intervention related to occupational roles, episodic care, evidence-based practice; and opportunities for involvement with 504 plans, response to intervention, or pre-referral activities.  Constraints include shrinking budgetary resources, increasing workloads, hefty documentation/accountability responsibilities, and ever evolving legal and legislative influences.

To assist occupational therapists and physical therapists working in Minnesota schools, the MN Low Incidence Projects provides resources that include:  regional professional networks/staff development opportunities, an OT/PT practitioners List Serv, and the revised 2014 version of Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy in Educational Settings: A Manual for MN Practitioners - Third Edition (2014).

In addition, other resources pertaining to the implementation of ICD-10 coding for Third Party Billing of IEP/IFSP driven Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy services, can be found on the Resources page. 

Contact Information

Lois Lillie – OTR/L, Statewide Specialist for School-Based Occupational Therapy & Physical Therapy

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