Columbia School District

Special Education and Student Services


Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapists (OTs) use meaningful activities (occupations) to help children and youth participate in what they need and/or want to do in order to promote physical and mental health and well-being. Students with an IEP might qualify for OT services.

Occupational therapy practitioners focus on

  • academics

  • play and leisure

  • social participation

  • self-care skills (ADLs or Activities of Daily Living)

  • transition/work skills.

OTs work to help remove barriers to student participation in activities and academics at school. Strategies include adapting the environment, modifying curriculum, and providing accommodations. Services generally take place in the school building during the school day.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy services are defined as services provided by a qualified physical therapist. These services focus on assisting a child with a disability to benefit from their educational program. A physical therapist (PT) is licensed through the state and maintains continuing education credits each year. Students with an IEP might qualify for PT services. Interventions with a student may include:

  • Direct service in 1:1 or group settings.

  • Consultative service with school staff.

  • Staff training in the use of equipment and activities across the school day.

  • Gross motor groups.

  • Screenings and evaluations as recommended by the child’s team.

  • Parent contact and contact with outside service providers to coordinate care.