Occupational/Physical Therapy

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Occupational/Physical Therapy Services

We meet the needs of all children with whom we work through effective learning experiences and meaningful partnerships with families and the community.

What is Occupational Therapy/Physical Therapy in Schools?

  • OT and PT help children and young adults with disabilities from birth.
  • School-based OT/PT is governed by federal and state laws and is a related service to special education.
  • It is limited to and provided only if the child needs therapy to function in the educational setting.
  • Therapy in school does not necessarily focus on the child's underlying medical problem but works towards increased independence and motor skills as needed to function in the school environment.
  • If the child has a problem that would normally be treated with private OT/PT to improve motor function, but the problem does not interfere with his or her ability to learn in the classroom, school-based therapy is not indicated.
  • The goal of therapy is to facilitate functional independence as early as possible to allow the student to participate in his education in a more typical manner.


What is the Referral Process in the Lakota Local School District?

If you feel that your child is having difficulty accessing the curriculum and that OT and /or PT might address that difficulty, contact your teacher who will initiate a referral to the school's intervention assistance team (IAT).

After the initial IAT meeting, the occupational therapist/physical therapist may be contacted to suggest intervention strategies. If these strategies are not successful, additional strategies may be suggested or an evaluation may be indicated.

If your child is already receiving special education, the need for an OT and/or PT screening/evaluation is determined by the IEP team. Contacting your teacher, school psychologist, or assistant principal is the first step.

What Constitutes OT/PT Services?

OT/Pt is driven by the student's needs and desired educational outcomes and not by their medical diagnosis. Depending on the level of service determined by the IEP, therapy may include any or all of the following forms of therapeutic intervention.

On Behalf Time 

  • Performing equipment adaptations in the school environment (i.e. adjusting desk, adapting lockers, etc.)
  • Communication with parent/caregiver
  • Record review
  • Report writing
  • Ordering/maintaining equipment
  • Obtaining/developing materials (i.e. individualized home program, visual schedules)


  • Sharing/monitoring specific programs and intervention strategies carried out by teachers/parents/team members
  • Recommending equipment, accommodations or adaptations
  • Contacting the student's physician, private therapist or other community resources
  • Collaboration with team members


  • Working directly with the student individually and/or in small groups
  • Preferably working with the student in the classroom to support academic objectives within the naturally occurring context


How is the Decision Made to Discontinue Therapy?

Many factors are taken into account when considering a change in the level of therapeutic intervention or discontinuation of a student from OT/PT services:

  • Modifications/adaptations for the student to access the school environment and/or educational tasks were made and are effective.
  • Student can perform school tasks without therapeutic intervention.
  • Strategies can be implemented successfully by educational staff.
  • Student has learned appropriate strategies to compensate for deficits.
  • Therapy is no longer affecting change in the student's level of function or rate of skill acquisition.


Summer OT Packet

The following are some ideas, worksheets, and suggestions for the summer break. You can use this as a guide to have a variety of fine motor, visual perception, and even sensory activities to do with your child during the summer months. Below is a list of web sites that are full of ideas, and worth checking out.