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About Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is a specialty service at Cotting School and is available to students who have orthopedic or neurological problems affecting their performance in the educational environment. Physical therapy primarily addresses motor skill performance and may focus on one or more of the following areas: postural control, balance, muscle tone, muscle strength, coordination, ability to “grade” movement, joint range of motion, skin integrity, sensation (kinesthetic, proprioceptive, tactile), ability to perform specific gross motor skills, ability to achieve independent mobility in school (walking, wheelchair, adaptive tricycle), and ability to achieve independent mobility in the community.

Physical therapy is typically provided on an individual basis, an average of twice a week for 30-minute sessions. Some students receive physical therapy on a small group basis. Frequency of physical therapy is determined at students’ annual I.E.P. meeting and is based on the need for physical therapy relative to overall educational needs. Positioning, mobility, exercise, or brace management programs may supplement direct therapy services. Monthly clinics with vendors assist in managing the wheelchair and bracing needs of our students.

In addition to providing direct therapy services to students, the physical therapist also trains therapy aides, program assistants and teachers in the use of adaptive equipment, seating and positioning, safe lifting and transfer techniques, and brace management. The physical therapist also provides consultation to parents and Cotting staff regarding students’ gross motor abilities and maintains ongoing communication with specialists outside of Cotting.

Physical Therapists are available for training regarding:

  • motor performance
  • issues regarding walking, standing, mobility aids, wheelchairs, etc.
  • specialized chairs, standers, etc.
  • safe lifting and transfer techniques
  • braces and orthotics