What does PL 108-446, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA) require of those providing special education and related services to students with disabilities in schools? A key element is the Individualized Education Program (IEP) which is developed by the IEP team. Physical therapists must understand their role on the IEP team and how to advocate for needed student services. IDEA also includes a number of other provisions which therapists must comprehend to be successful service providers and collaborative team members.
Susan K. Effgen, PT, PhD, FAPTA, is a professor in the Division of Physical Therapy, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Kentucky. She is an established educator and researcher in pediatric physical therapy and has taught at several universities including the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. In 1986, she established the sixth doctoral program in physical therapy in the United States at Hahnemann University (now Drexel University) in Philadelphia, PA, and then the Rehabilitation Sciences Doctoral Program at the University of Kentucky. She co-founded the Adaptive Learning Center for Infants and Children in Atlanta, GA. Dr. Effgen is a Catherine Worthingham Fellow of American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). As co-chair of APTA’s Section on Pediatrics’ Government Affairs Committee, she was active in the process of the authorization and reauthorizations of IDEA. Dr. Effgen has published extensively, has served on several editorial boards, including Physical Therapy, and edited both editions of the text Meeting the Physical Therapy Needs of Children. She was principle-investigator of a US Department of Education grant: PT COUNTS, Study of the Relationship of Student Outcomes to School-Based Physical Therapy Services. Dr. Effgen received the Section on Pediatrics’ Bud DeHaven Award for Extraordinary Service to the Section and the Section’s Advocacy Award, which is now given in her name. She is the founding chair of the Section’s School-Based Physical Therapy Special Interest Group. She is presently working with an adaptive dance program in a number of Kentucky schools.
Chapter one will review the Individualized Education Program (IEP) which guides all services on behalf of the student with disabilities. Therapists must understand the IEP and their role in its development and goal determination.
Chapter two will cover the development of non-discipline specific IEP goals and team collaboration as well as how a physical therapist would determine goals and objectives based on the IEP goals.