School-Based Therapy and Non-School Based Therapy

  • The determination of when occupational therapy and physical therapy are educationally relevant is a complex issue. Many issues are considered when determining the appropriate level of school-based and non-school-based therapy.


    • is indicated as a means to attain an educational goal
    • involves teaming with recommendations based on input from team
    • must contribute to the development, improvement or maintenance of functional level within the educational environment
    • is not intended to meet all therapy need, but rather to meet the needs to promote academic success

    SCHOOL-BASED THERAPY goals aligned with ILS are created to

    • eliminate barriers that hinder access to educational environment
    • assist students in benefitting from the educational program by capitalizing on abilities and minimizing the impact of the disability.

    If a student needs occupational therapy and/or physical therapy to address problems, but the problems do not prevent him or her from benefitting from the educational program, school-based therapy is not provided. Most non-school-based therapists do not have these criteria superimposed on their recommendations for intervention (Royeen, 1992).


    Occupational Therapy: Implementation of direct occupational therapy to individuals for their specific health care conditions shall be based upon a referral from a licensed physician.

    Physical Therapy: Documented current and relevant diagnosis for the purpose of this Act means a diagnosis, substantiated by a signature or oral verification of a physician.

    CCSD15 Medical Referral Guidelines

    1. A referral is requested prior to an evaluation, but the evaluation may continue without the referral. Include "OT and/or PT services pending medical referral" under 'additional information' in the IEP.
    2. New medical referral is required at least every three years for OT.
    3. New medical referral is required at least every year for PT.
    4. New medical referral is always required after any hospitalization and/or surgery for both OT and PT.
    5. It is recommended that BCM hand out referral forms at all annual reviews.


    Occupational therapy is the therapeutic use of purposeful and meaningful occupations or goal-directed activities to evaluate and provide interventions for individuals and populations who have a disease or disorder, an impairment, an activity limitation, or a participation restriction that interferes with their ability to function independently in their daily life roles and to promote health and wellness.

    Registered Occupational Therapist (OTR) is licensed to practice occupational therapy as defined in the IL Occupational Therapy Practice Act, and whose license is in good standing.

    Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) is licensed to assist in the practice of occupational therapy under the supervision of a Registered Occupational Therapist, and to implement the occupational therapy treatment program as established by the Registered Occupational Therapist.

    Physical therapy is the evaluation or treatment of a person by the use of the effective properties of physical measures and heat, cold, light, water, radiant energy, electricity, sound, and air; and the use of therapeutic massage, therapeutic exercise, mobilization, and the rehabilitative procedures with or without assistive devices for the purposes of preventing, correcting, or alleviating a physical or mental disability, or promoting physical fitness and well-being.

    Physical Therapist (PT) is licensed to practice physical therapy and has met all requirements as provided in the Illinois Physical Therapy Act.

    Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) is licensed to assist a physical therapist and who has met all requirements as provided in the Illinois Physical Therapy Practice Act and who works under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist to assist in implementing the physical therapy treatment program as established by the licensed physical therapist. The patient care activities provided by the physical therapist assistant shall not include the interpretation of referrals, evaluation procedures, the planning of, or major modifications of, patient programs.

    CLA Occupational Therapists/Physical Therapists

    Carrie Holt, OT,, 847-963-3431
    Angie Martinez, OT,, 847-963-3448
    Jenny Thomas, OT,, 847-963-3414
    Trisha Raleigh, OT,, 847-963-3435
    Kerry Fallon, OT,, 847-963-3465
    Celeste Bechdolt, OT,, 847-963-3465
    McKenna Donegon,, 847-963-3465
    Deb Erdmann, PT,, 847-963-3403
    Nehal Anand, PT,, 847-963-3473