- Meet our Occupational Therapists
- What is school-based occupational therapy?
- Occupational Therapy Service Delivery
- What areas do school-based occupational therapists address?
- Medical vs. Educational Occupational Therapy Services
- Suggestions for home to help develop fine-motor and visual motor skills
- More information related to occupational therapy
- Links and Resources for Teachers
- Links and Resources for Parents
It can be confusing trying to determine what is educational-based versus medical-based occupational therapy. The two tables below can assist with understanding the difference between the two types.
Difference in Service Delivery Model
Educational Model Medical Model
Educational team includes parents, student when appropriate, educators, and therapist(s). Using therapists’ evaluations, the team collaborates to determine focus of service as well as frequency and duration based on the student’s educationally
related therapy needs.Before an evaluation is conducted, students go through a referral process where intervention strategies are implemented by classroom staff in the student’s current educational setting.
Therapy focuses on intervention to improve the student’s ability to learn, participate, and function in their educational programming.
Services are provided on school grounds, through
school-sponsored community integration/vocational programs.
Students’ages range from birth through 21.
Services are provided at no cost to students.
A doctor prescription is not required to receive OT services in school. The school district is not obligated to follow recommendations or a
prescription for therapy services written by a medical doctor or an OT from an
Documentation of intervention is related to RTI, SBT, IEP or 504 plan requirements. Emphasis is placed on educational terminology.
Discharge may occur when the student is no longer eligible for special education services, when other members of the IEP team can implement the interventions, when a student has reached a plateau and no longer benefits from
the services or when the student can perform all school tasks functionally without therapeutic intervention.
Medical team recommends focus, frequency, and duration of therapy. Third party (insurance) may be ultimate decision maker.
Therapy focuses on treatment to alleviate or cure specific underlying medical in the pathologies.
Treatment settings usually include clinic, hospital, and home.
Clients/patients span all age ranges.
Payment is on fee-for-service basis, covered by private insurance, governmental assistance or the family.
A doctor prescription is required for OT evaluation and treatment. Insurance companies require this for billing purposes.
Therapy documentation is dictated by guidelines of the setting and insurance requirements. Emphasis is placed on medical terminology.
Discharge may occur when goals have been met, progress has been limited, insurance denies services and/or maximum number of visits has been reached.