Intermediate District 917 provides physical therapy services to learners in its member districts in Dakota County on a purchase-of-service and itinerant basis, whereby District 917 Physical Therapists serve approximately 250 learners in their home districts and schools and learners enrolled in 917 site-based programs. Educational physical therapy services differ from clinical physical therapy services. School Physical Therapists are APTA-registered therapists who provide physical therapy as a related service for learners birth through 21 years to help them benefit from their special education programs. Each child receiving physical therapy services has a significant delay in gross motor functional skills as determined by standardized testing and observation. Physical therapy acts as a support service to the educational staff and to the family. The role of the physical therapist is primarily for instruction to parents and to staff in facilitating motor development of the special needs child to allow him or her to meet educational goals. For early childhood learners, physical therapy educational services may be provided in the home on a consultative basis with a strong teaching component to the family and educational staff.
The physical therapist works in cooperation with medical agencies, and serves as an educational team member in providing support to a learner’s family and staff. In conjunction with a child’s IEP manager, the physical therapist shares information with the family and provides options for medical service providers and resources when appropriate.
Physical therapy services may include evaluating a child’s classroom physical and mobility needs, instructing in correct positioning, instructing other staff of a learners’ gross motor function to promote a child’s maximum independence, recommending and assisting with equipment to promote a child’s full learning potential, providing in-service in correct lifting and handling procedures and back safety, adapting physical barriers in the educational environment, and providing physical therapy to facilitate proper patterns of movement, positioning and gross motor progress to support a learner’s IEP goals.
A referral to receive District 917 physical therapy services must be accompanied by a physician’s referral
For further information contact Assistant Director Kitri Kyllo at 952-707-3091