You are here
Physical Therapy Services (PT)
What is Physical Therapy?
Definition: Physical therapists work collaboratively with a student’s IEP team to improve student access and participation in school and community settings. Physical therapists provide professional expertise in the areas of self-help skills, foundational gross motor skills, mobility skills (transfers, walking, and equipment use), posture and positioning, and recreational skills for age-appropriate play. Physical therapy interventions promote skill acquisition and environmental adaptation and are commonly embedded within the context of student activities and routines.
Office hours will resume if in the fall. If you have any questions please contact Jon Paul Burden.
Physical Therapy may be provided as a related service to support a student’s individualized educational program if:
The Student . . .
- requires regular monitoring and modification of physical strategies or equipment to maintain school accessibility and participation.
- has neuromuscular, orthopedic, or medical issues limiting their access and/or participation in school routines and environments.
- has poor functional motor skills limiting their ability to navigate the educational setting and/or participate in developmentally appropriate interactions with peers during recreational activities.
- has impaired mobility skills limiting their ability to navigate stairs, ramps, uneven terrain, or change positions effectively.
- has decreased independent living skills limiting their ability to manage personal needs in the cafeteria, bathroom, and locker room.
- due to a chronic condition, is at risk for developing complications that may limit school access and/or participation.
Physical therapists must successfully complete a physical therapy program that is accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency and be licensed by the Colorado State Department of Regulatory Agencies.
FAQ about OT/PT (coming soon!)
The Colorado Department of Education Physical Therapy listserv supports school-based PTs: 1) by providing information and news regarding the profession; 2) by announcing professional development and training opportunities; and, 3) by posting school-based job openings. There are no advertisements from vendors or contract-based companies. This service is also chat-free.
Tools and Resources
- Pediatric Fact Sheets (Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy website)
- Code of Ethics for the Physical Therapist (American Physical Therapy Association website)
- Memo - ESSA Joint Statement (PDF)
- Section 504
- CDE Memo - Direct versus Indirect Service (PDF)
- What is the Role of the School Based PT? - Successful Participation for All Students: The Role of School-Based Physical Therapists Beyond a Related Service (PDF Fact Sheet from APTA)
- Educationally Relevant Physical Therapy: Scope of School-Based Practice (PDF Fact Sheet from APTA)
- Guidelines for Supervision - Direction and Supervision of The Physical Therapist Assistant (American Physical Therapy Association website)
- Joint Statement for Collaborative Goals (PDF from AOTA, APTA & ASHA)
More information coming soon.
Occupational Therapy / Physical Therapy Advisory Council
The Exceptional Student Services consultant for PT along with regional PT representatives who comprise the Physical Therapy Advisory Council, meet throughout the year to inform the Colorado Department of Education on statewide PT professional learning and technical assistance needs and assist in the development of guidance materials to support the profession.
Having trouble with this webpage?
If you have problems with broken links or accessing the content on this page, please contact the Exceptional Student Services Unit at ESSU@cde.state.co.us. Please copy the URL link for this page into the email when referencing the problem you are experiencing.