Physical Therapists (PT) and Physical Therapy Assistants (PTA) work with students diagnosed with a variety of physical disabilities and complex medical conditions, which have an impact on their education. PTs and PTAs support the academic curriculum by assisting students with physical access to learning material and their school environment. The physical therapy program is individually designed based on the student’s functional abilities and IEP mandates.
The students’ needs are addressed through the following interventions:
- Therapeutic exercise program
- Mobility training
- Manual wheelchair mobility training
- Power wheelchair mobility training
- Gait training
- Adaptive seating and positioning
- Adaptive equipment design
- Functional skills training (transfers, transitions)
Physical therapists coordinate the durable medical equipment clinic and orthotics clinic based on physician referral. In the clinic, new adaptive equipment and/or orthotics can be trialed, assessed and repairs facilitated. Students in need of new equipment are individually evaluated by a team of professionals including parents, durable equipment vendors, physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech pathologists. This coordinated process satisfies all parties involved in the lengthy process of acquiring adaptive equipment and minimizes loss of academic time due to student absences. The physical therapy department affiliates with most university-based physical therapy school programs in the New York metropolitan area providing pediatric specialty training.