Physical Therapy

CONTACT :: Laurie Ray, Consultant 919.636.1827

The physical therapy consultant serves as a resource to local education agencies, EC directors, physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, parents and students. The consultant is available for on-site, telephone or email consultation for best practice information, resources, program planning and all aspects of school-based physical therapy services.

What is School-based Physical Therapy (PT)?

School-based physical therapists work with other professionals to help students with disabilities to benefit from special education. This includes activities of a school day, like: moving throughout school grounds, sitting, standing in line or at the board, moving in class or through the building. All screens, evaluations, consultations, and interventions are performed by physical therapists licensed by the state of North Carolina. Interventions may include adaptations to school environments, working with a student on motor skills, assistance with identifying and getting special equipment, and collaboration with school staff and other professionals.

All students, who qualify for clinical (or outpatient) physical therapy, may not qualify for school-based services. A student's eligibility for services is determined by a multidisciplinary team that includes parents, educators, program facilitators, the student and other special service providers. The team gathers information about a student's functional abilities and physical development relevant to their education. This information comes from a variety of sources including parents or caregivers, direct observation, medical and teacher reports, assessment tools, and information or input from community agencies. Recommendations for education-based services, including physical therapy, are based upon a thorough review of available information. Findings are shared with the team which uses the information and recommendations to develop an Individual Education Program or IEP. If a student qualifies for related services in order to benefit from their special education, they are provided at no cost to families.

Who Provides School-based Physical Therapy?

Only physical therapists and physical therapist assistants licensed by the state of North Carolina may provide physical therapy in North Carolina schools.


Professional Education Program