School based OT vs. other settings
Least restrictive and Free and appropriate
"Students with disabilities have been eligible to receive occupational therapy at school since the 1975 passage of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which served as the original impetus for school-based occupational therapy. The law stipulates that students with disabilities must have access to occupational therapy, if they need it to access their educational curriculum. In 2001, Congress passed the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act which requires schools to improve the academic achievement of all students, including those with disabilities. In 2004, the reauthorization of IDEA extended the availability of occupational therapy services to all students, not just those with disabilities, if it is needed in order to fully participate in school."
Providing School based Occupational Therapy can be a balancing act between providing interventions a student needs to access their classroom curriculum with the least amount of disruption to their free and appropriate general education. OTs in the school setting focus on providing the services necessary for students participate in school based occupations. There is no charge for OT in a public school. School based Occupational Therapy is "not-for-profit" and is based strictly on the needs of the child to function in their classroom.
In the U.S. Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), least restrictive environment (LRE) means that a student who has a disability should have the opportunity to be educated with non-disabled peers, to the greatest extent appropriate.
A Free Appropriate Public Education means that the child with disabilities will receive the same education as a child without disability or handicap. FAPE can be achieved by giving the child special services, usually written in an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). These services may include accommodations for children who use adaptive equipment, services for academic needs, speech and language services and modifications to make a learning environment more comfortable for disabled children.