Helping Families Understand the
Educational vs. Outpatient Therapy Models
Austill’s educational therapy addresses access to special education and school environments for children ages 3 - 21 years old. Our therapy services promote and support independence and participation in a student’s educational setting. These therapy services are provided at no cost to the student or family as part of a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment (LRE).
For 3 year olds to age of beginners (age of entrance into first grade), families can contact their local Intermediate Unit (IU), school district or statewide number at 1-800-692-7288. Therapy eligibility for preschoolers is determined by a 25% delay or 1.5 standard deviation below the mean in one or more developmental areas OR any of the physical or mental disabilities identified by the state; AND students in need of special education and services. For preschool age students, services are provided in educational centers, classrooms, home and preschool.
For school-aged children, families can contact their child’s guidance counselor or their school district’s special education department. A school age student is eligible for special education services if they meet the eligibility criteria for physical and mental disabilities determined by the state AND needs special education. The evaluation takes into consideration the needs that are associated with special education programming and access to the student’s educational environment. The IUs and school districts have up to 60 days to complete the report and initiate services. For school age students, services are provided in a variety of settings such as schools, classrooms, lunchrooms, on the playground, etc.