Enabling Children Everyday

October is Physical Therapy Month

Great Prairie AEA provides services that help students with physical disabilities to be successful in all learning environments. October is National Physical Therapy Month and an opportunity for Great Prairie AEA to celebrate and recognize our eight physical therapists and two physical therapy assistants for the work they do with children birth to 21 in our area.

Great Prairie AEA’s Physical Therapy program exists to provide therapeutic services to maximize children’s functional motor abilities through assessment, intervention, advocacy and education related to their unique needs within the educational atmosphere of mutual respect and cooperation. Physical therapists design interventions that improve a student’s physical ability to access and participate in their educational program. Physical Therapy services include: therapy services, consultation for teachers & parents, screening, IEP & Individualized Family Service Plans (IFSP) development, and strategies for students to be successful in all learning environments.

Physical therapists are health care professionals who diagnose and treat individuals of all ages, from newborns to the elderly, who have medical problems or other health-related conditions that limit their abilities to move and perform functional activities in their daily lives. Physical therapists working in educational environments provide services to assist students in benefiting from their educational program. Great Prairie AEA Physical Therapists examine each individual child and develop a plan and goals on an Individualized Education Programs (IEP) using treatment techniques to assist with mobility and enhance function.

Some students also require assistance in kindergarten and beyond. Enabling children to become more mobile is one of the goals of the physical therapy teams at Iowa’s AEAs. Physical therapists provide therapeutic services to maximize children’s functional motor abilities through assessment, intervention, advocacy and education related to their unique needs within the school setting. They accomplish these tasks by collaborating with parents, home intervention and classroom teachers, occupational therapists, speech pathologists, social workers, psychologists and nurses. Physical Therapy Month is sponsored through the American Physical Therapy Association and is celebrated nationally.

Thank you to our Physical Therapists: Steve Bell (Ottumwa), Jan Forinash (Fairfield), Jaime Harris (Oskaloosa), Janet Hurt (Keokuk), Carol Kottenstette, PhD (Burlington), Betsy Schneider (Albia), Clark Ullerich (Oskaloosa), Amanda Walrath (Fairfield) and to our Physical Therapy Assistants: Kandys Dameron (Burlington) and Melissa Grooms (Ottumwa).

Photo: Janet Hurt, Physical Therapist, working with child.

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