The East Valley SELPA employs a physical therapist to provide services directly to eligible students with disabilities in its member districts. School-based physical therapy is governed by federal and state laws and is a related service for students with an identified disability who have an individualized education program (IEP) and receive other special education services. Prior to providing physical therapy services, an assessment is conducted by a licensed physical therapist to determine the need for services.
Physical Therapists in the school setting, focus on the student’s ability to physically access the school environment in terms of mobility, balance and muscle coordination. Furthermore, Physical Therapists, address needs related to adaptive equipment, assistive technology, and educational staff training. It is provided to children who need therapy to function and participate in the educational setting. Therefore, if the IEP team has exhausted the strategies, activities, or resources available and believe that physical therapy is necessary for the student to benefit from his/her educational program, a referral should be made.