Q & A

Some of the most commonly asked questions and answers about Occupational Therapy in the school setting. Please feel free to contact us with your question.

What is school-based Occupational Therapy (OT)?

School-based OT is occupational therapy that is delivered within the educational environment. It is a federally mandated “related service” under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).  Therapy is geared towards maximizing a student’s functional independence and full access to the special education curriculum within the learning environment.

Which students are eligible to receive school-based Occupational Therapy?

School-based OT is considered a related service. It is available for children within the special education system (those that have an Individualized Education Program, IEP) or those with a 504 Plan.

What is the difference between school based occupational therapy and medically based occupational therapy?

School based occupational therapy is provided when a student needs therapy services to function in an educational environment. School based occupational therapy is required by federal and state laws. It is provided at no cost to the parents. Medically based occupational therapy focuses on a child’s medical needs from a rehabilitation perspective. This type of occupational therapy is usually recommended by a doctor and is provided in a clinic, hospital or at home.  Insurance companies or Medicaid usually pays for medically based occupational therapy.

What is the difference between an occupational therapist (OT) and a certified occupational therapy assistant (COTA)?

The occupational therapist administers evaluations, treatment plan, and provides occupational therapy treatment sessions. An occupational therapy assistant works under the supervision of the occupational therapist and cannot perform evaluations