Exceptional Children's Services

Frequently Asked Questions – Physical Therapy

Questions and Answers about Physical TherapyImage of back arrow

Question: What type of service do you provide for my child?

Answer:  Physical therapists work with gross-motor skills (large muscle movement) and posture.

Question:  What can you show me to do to help my child?

Answer: A home exercise program can be recommended for your child if it is appropriate. The program would consist of written instructions and illustrations of exercises. We can also provide information about any equipment that your child may use.

Question: How can I refer my child for help?

Answer: If you are interested in referring your child for a Physical Therapy evaluation, contact his or her classroom teacher or the case manager at the school about your concerns.

Question: How long will you serve my child?

Answer: Services will be provided as long as he or she needs assistance and continues to qualify for the services.

Question: Why does my child move differently from other children?

Answer:  Your child may have different perception of movement in space compared to others his own age. Also, your child may have differences in muscle tone or muscles development that could affect his coordination and movement.

Question: How will I know if my child is doing better?

Answer:  Your child’s progress will be reported to you with his or her regular report card. You may also contact the PT Office (425-3931) with questions or updates about your child.

Question: If my child gets better, will he lose your services?

Answer: Your child may no longer need direct services, but may qualify for consultative services. In consultative services your child could continue to work on things suggested by the PT, but work in the regular classroom or in PE class.

Question: Will therapy hurt my child?

Answer: Your child may feel some discomfort because of using muscles in different ways than he is used to. This can be considered “good pain for gain” since he will learn to use his muscles in a more efficient way.

Question: Who will pay for your services?

Answer:  If your child qualifies for services through the school system, Cumberland County Schools provides the services. If you choose to seek outside services or additional services to those that are provided by the school, Medicaid may be available.

Question: Will my child need special equipment? Who will pay for it?

Answer: Your child may need special equipment, which would be ordered after consultation with you, the parent, and a physician if needed. Health insurance may be used to pay for this equipment, or Medicaid may be available.

Question: Where do we get the equipment?

Answer: The Physical Therapist will assist you with obtaining equipment.

Question: Who fixes the equipment if it needs repairs?

Answer:  Some small adjustments may be done by the Physical Therapist. In some cases, it is necessary to contact the vendor to make the repair.

Question: What do I do with it when my child no longer needs the equipment or outgrows it?

Answer: This equipment can be donated to a community agency for use with another child. The Cumberland County Schools also accepts donations for use with other students. You may also keep the equipment.

Question: Do I have to be trained to use the equipment?

Answer: Yes. The Physical Therapist will show you how to use the equipment. The PT will also work with school personnel to ensure that the equipment is used correctly.

Question: Do you consult with a doctor or private therapy clinic?

Answer:  It may be necessary for us to consult with a doctor or therapy clinic in some cases.

Question: Are there resources outside of the school that I should be using?

Answer:  Outpatient PT is available if you with to pursue it. This would be paid for through your insurance or Medicaid.

Question: How can I indicate that I do/do not agree with a procedure?

Answer: You are welcome to voice your opinion at the IEP meetings or in other
meetings with school personnel.

Question:  Are there local community organizations that could be funding sources for my child and family?

Answer: Your child may qualify for CAP services. If you are interested in more information about CAP, please contact Regina Black at 323-0510.

Question:  Who will actually be giving my child therapy – a paraprofessional or therapist?

Answer:  A Licensed Physical Therapist or a Licensed Physical Therapy Assistant who is supervised by the Physical Therapist will conduct the therapy.

Question:  How can physical therapy help with a child who has autism?

Answer:  There are many books written on how PT can help a child with autism. A specific answer on how PT can help a specific child is not possible without evaluating the child, since the spectrum of autism is very wide. The answer also will vary depending on whether you are referring to school or clinical PT, because they both follow different guidelines and have a different focus.

Question:  What material will you use in the therapy to help the child with Autism?

Answer:  The equipment needed would be determined from the evaluation results.

Question:  How long does a child with Autism have to go to therapy?

Answer: The length of time the child needs therapy differs from case to case. The deficits noted on the PT evaluation, the targeted PT goals and the progress toward them, all impact the frequency and duration of PT required.

Question:  If therapy doesn’t help, what is the next step?

Answer:  If therapy does not work, perhaps following a daily routine of exposure to gross motor activities (at the park or in the backyard, where there are stair climbing, jumping, ball playing, etc. gross motor activities) using and following the same routine or pattern with lots of supervision for safety will help.


Published by Shonda Virgil on June 28, 2018

Cumberland County Schools
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