Undivided: Therapies at School for Kids with Disabilities

Education-Based Therapies



Therapies that take place in a school setting, like speech or occupational therapy, can help our kids build skills to better access the curriculum and communicate with their peers and teachers. Check out these resources for more information about what therapies are offered in school and how our kids can benefit from them.

How do I choose between school-based and clinic-based therapies?

The focus of school-based therapies is on a child’s ability to access their education, both in terms of curriculum and environment. Every skill they will need to succeed at school is evaluated and treated through the lens of education. Clinics look more closely at how a child’s disability impacts areas of daily living, not just the child’s role as a student but also their role in home and community environments. Children can receive both school-based and clinic-based services. You can learn more about the differences in cost, providers, assessments, and more in this article.



How do I choose between school-based and clinic-based therapies?

What is educational therapy?

Who provides different therapies in a school setting?

What kinds of behavioral interventions and supports can schools provide?

When does Regional Center pay for educational support?

Related Parent Questions

What are speech-language therapy services in an IEP?
Speech and language services are often conducted both in individual sessions and in a group with similar-age peers.
What is the difference between school-based and clinic-based physical therapy?
A school-based physical therapist looks at how the child physically accesses their school environment. Can they safely navigate the classroom and school grounds? Clinic-based PT looks at medical considerations of the child’s disability to safely navigate different home and community environments.
What is the difference between school-based and clinic-based speech therapy?
A school-based speech therapist focuses on social pragmatics, reading skills, and receptive language. Clinic-based speech therapists have more freedom to treat children using a variety of therapeutic modalities.
What is the difference between school-based and clinic-based occupational therapy?
In schools, OTs look at what kinds of supports are already in place in classroom environments and curriculum, such as an accommodation to complete assignments. Clinic-based OTs look at sensory issues and the child’s “occupation” during play and as a family member.
How does a tutor differ from an Educational Therapist?
A tutor may not be trained to support children with learning and thinking differences, while an ET is experienced in noticing and assessing signs of learning differences and taking steps to address them.
What are Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports programs?
PBIS involves establishing expectations for students, teaching students what those expectations are, and rewarding them when they meet those expectations to build a positive reinforcement system. PBIS is implemented throughout an entire school rather than in only one classroom for consistency.

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