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Special Education Programs

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Physical & Occupational Therapy

The Physical Therapy department at NKESC currently consists of one full-time Physical Therapist and two full-time Certified Physical Therapy Assistants. 

Physical Therapy Related Services (Part B: 3-21 years): Physical Therapy is a related service provided to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special and regular 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.  Issues with mobility may include balance, strength, and/or endurance in regards to walking (with or without an assistive device) or negotiating a wheelchair.  The general goal is to make mobility as safe and independent as possible, as well as addressing any positioning needs as they pertain to maintaining range of motion, weight bearing, and strength for mobility.  The educational environment includes the school building and playground, as well as getting on/off the bus.  Other areas in which PT's generally consult can include PE and emergency evacuation plans.  Direct services by a PT are warranted when specialized or skilled services (those techniques that require a license/specialized training) are required.

Infant Toddler Physical Therapy Services (Part C: Birth to 3 years):  tiny-k services are provided through the Individualized Family Service Plan (ISFP) process.  Therapy-related decisions for qualifying infants and toddlers (birth to three) are based on identified child and family outcomes.  The Physical Therapist promotes the child's awareness and interaction within the natural environment unique to that child using the coaching model. The general outcome is acquisition of motor skills and sensory processing abilities through intervention, parent support and input, coaching and team collaboration.  The Physical Therapist assist families in helping their children develop increased independence in mobility and activities of daily living during play and daily routines and activities.

 

Occupational Therapy is one of the related services under Part B of IDEA
(ages 3-21)  that may be provided to support a student’s Individualized
Education Program.

School-based occupational therapy is designed to enhance the student’s
ability to fully access and be successful within the learning
environment.

Occupational therapy looks at a variety of areas that may affect a
student’s classroom performance including fine motor skills, self-care
skills, sensory processing, oral motor functioning, visual
motor/perceptual abilities and pre-vocational skills.

School-based occupational therapists work collaboratively with the
student’s IEP team and participate in evaluation, programming,
consultation, intervention and monitoring the outcome of the
intervention.

Infant Toddler Occupational Therapy Services (Part C):
Tiny K services are provided through the Individualized Family Service
Plan (IFSP) process. Therapy-related decisions for qualifying infants
and
toddlers (birth to three) are based on identified child and family
outcomes. The Occupational Therapist promotes the child’s awareness and
interaction within the natural environment unique to that child using
the
coaching model. The general outcome is acquisition of motor skills and
sensory processing abilities through intervention, parent support and
input, coaching and team collaboration. The Occupational Therapist
assists
families in helping their children develop increased independence for
activities of daily living and grasping skills.  These skills enhance
the child's ability to complete daily routines and play within their
natural environment.