Under IDEA, Occupational Therapy in the public school system is defined as a “Related Service” and is delivered under the EDUCATIONAL MODEL of therapy. The limitations of the EDUCATIONAL MODEL are that a therapist can only work with a child who has been identified as a Special Education student, and has an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) in place. Therapy is limited to addressing only goals that are educationally relevant and relate to the child’s participation in learning activities.
Alternately, the advantage of the MEDICAL MODEL of therapy is that it aims to treat the entire child within their whole environment. Specifically, therapy will address the underlying cause of the deficits. Every aspect of the child’s life is taken into account when goals are set and treatment is administered. This is the model I use in my practice.
It is not unusual for a child to receive EDUCATIONAL MODEL therapy in school, and MEDICAL MODEL therapy outside of school.
Studies have proven that the earlier a child receives intervention, the more promising the outcomes are. I am dedicated to providing quality therapy and family/caregiver education
so children can reach their highest potential.