Today’s Frequently Asked Question

Parents often ask us the difference between school physical therapy and private physical therapy.

I mean, why should a parent pay for a service they can get for free at school??!!

I totally get that, so I thought I would explain more in a blog post.  Because If they were the same, you would be right!  There would be no reason to invest in therapeutic care for your child that is being provided for free at school.

Let’s get into how they’re the same and how they’re different beyond their location of services.  

Isn’t Physical Therapy, Physical Therapy?

Physical therapists are all licensed to provide physical therapy and to work with all ages and all settings.  However, not only do goals change depending on the setting and the individual, but the role does too.

The role of physical therapy in the school is to support a child’s access to education.  It is to support their ability to participate in the least restrictive environment and support the motor skills needed at school.  The services are determined by the student’s IEP, Individualized Education Plan, and is a related service based on education law.  

Private physical therapy can look outside of the child’s education to look at the bigger picture of a child’s life today and in the future.  Private physical therapy can focus on goals from all parts of a child’s life, from keeping up with the family at the park to protecting a child’s joints so that they will be strong, healthy and pain-free for the future.  

Many children will benefit from physical therapy services in both settings to help them achieve success at school while also being able to guide the child towards their own personal potential.  

If you have questions as to the best ways to support your child, reach out to us today and one of our physical therapists can hop on the phone with you and chat about your options.  We are here to support you and your child and to help guide you to know your options so that you can best advocate for and support your child on their journey!

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