A Physiotherapist or Physical Therapist (PT) traditionally provides a rehabilitation service following an injury or disruption to one of the body’s multitude of systems including Musculoskeletal, Neurological, Cardio-Pulmonary to name a few.  The PT is responsible for assessing to support the development of a differential diagnosis.  Once the problem is identified the PT is responsible for: program development and modification; goal setting; treatment and re-assessment with the ultimate goal being getting the client back to the same functional and physical level, or as close to it as possible, as the client was at prior to the impairment occurred.  That being said, the rehabilitative process is an ACTIVE one!

While the role of the PT in the school setting is not exactly the same, there are many overlapping responsibilities when compared to the traditional PT duties.  The school PT targets the student’s gross motor skills to promote the development and progression of the same and may combine an adaptive approach as needed.  In other words, the PT will encourage active strategies to progress the student’s development but may also have to modify activities or add/modify equipment to promote inclusion and equity.  Gross motor skills include: strength, balance, coordination, and fitness to name a few.  With all that being said, the PT role remains a consultative one meaning that active and frequent treatment falls more so on the school and family.  In other words, the PT will provide the school staff and family with strategies to implement and suggestions of how they should be implemented within the school day and at home respectively.  Other PT responsibilities include the following:

  • Consultation & collaboration within the multi-disciplinary team to support a team approach
  • Identifying appropriate equipment to support the student’s inclusion, equity and school experience
  • Connecting with families to relay information or teach/review programming
  • Time spent with those school staff to ensure proper implementation of student programming
  • Referrals to outside services if indicated

Gross motor skills typically develop first (e.g. milestones) and provide some of the building blocks for development of fine-motor skills & communication.  Gross motor programming can also be used to help with regulation, promote attention to task, or simply be used as a movement break to facilitate learning.  Thus, gross motor skill development is an integral part of any child’s growth within the school setting.

  • Family Support for Children with Disabilities (FSCD) – Public program that provides families with funding to access therapeutic services in the community for those children needing and that would benefit from intense therapeutic therapy.

Phone # - 780-538-5115

  • Alberta Health Services (AHS) – Typically follow those children for early intervention until they reach school age (i.e. 3 years old) at which point care is transferred to the school (PLS) and/or home (FSCD) team. AHS should also be involved for any acute post-op rehabilitation.

Phone # - 780-532-4447