The School Association for Special Education in DuPage County (SASED) Services

Occupational & Physical Therapy

Occupational and Physical Therapy services are provided to students as described in the Individuals with Disability Education Act (IDEA). As related services, OT and PT provide specialized interventions to support students' independence and participation in their educational program. A student's special education program may include occupational and/or physical therapy services if he or she requires the specific expertise of a therapist as a supplemental support for skills that are being addressed in the IEP.

The role of occupational and physical therapy in the schools is fourfold:
​Performance areas which may be assessed include:
  1. To provide an accurate assessment of student needs in the learning environment. More specifically, to assess sensory, perceptual, and/or motor skills, to examine the demands of the activity and the context in which the activity occurs, and to identify barriers and supports to learning and participation in the school environment.
    • Positioning, mobility, and safe physical access to the school environment,
    • Educational Activities: ability to assume the role of a student; use school materials; motor component of producing written communication
    • Daily Living Skills, Play Skills, Independent Living Skills, Prevocational Skills
  2. To support teaching staff by providing information on how to interact safely, comfortably and effectively with students. This may include developing instructional programs and staff training to improve student’s performance in identified need areas.
  3. To help the educational team adapt or modify specific school tasks, activities, programming and the school environment to reduce participation barriers.
  4. To provide therapeutic interventions as needed to allow the student to benefit from his or her individualized education program within the least restrictive environment.

School based OT and PT services are not intended to take the place of private therapy. Medical diagnoses or medical issues that do not interfere with a student's ability to access or participate in his or her educational program are not the focus of school therapy services. The school therapist's role is to facilitate and support the current educational goals. Through collaboration, the educational team provides an environment to promote learning and develop functional skills.

How Services are Provided

Assessment, direct service and consultation are utilized to meet the student's identified needs. Through assessment and direct contact with the student, therapists develop interventions and strategies that are implemented throughout the day, in meaningful context, to facilitate independence and participation. These strategies are embedded into the daily school routine allowing the student to practice skills and refine performance in a natural environment. Therapists' continual consultation and collaboration with the educational team to adjust strategies is an essential component of providing effective services.

The objective of school based therapy services is to support increased participation, independence and success in the student's educational program.

Hearing & Vision Itinerant Support


Students may receive audiological services through a referral from the school district or as part of their IEP.


  • Pure tone for hearing acuity
  • Speech reception and word recognition
  • Tympanograms for middle ear functioning
  • Otoacoustic emissions for cochlear functioning
  • Hearing aid performance
  • Central Auditory Processing screening


  • Evaluation of hearing aid function
  • Computerized programming of hearing aids and FM systems
  • Collaboration with students, families, school staff, private audiologists and agencies

Instructional Support Team

A highly trained and diverse group of consultants with backgrounds in educational psychology, applied behavior analysis, positive behavior supports, response to intervention and special education. They have broad training, experience and skills that apply to a wide range of ages, disabilities and learning styles. They work across both SASED and district classrooms and programs from Early Childhood through Transition. The IST provides direct services to assist individual students who are having serious difficulty succeeding in any educational setting. The members of the team are skilled collaborators and use the research proven tool of Functional Assessment to recommend and design proactive behavioral intervention strategies and differentiation of instruction. The IST members not only provide direct service to students and student teams but are expert trainers and conduct workshops and in-service presentations throughout the school year.

Assistive Technology Team

Provides information and trains IEP teams in SASED programs and in its member districts, to effectively consider and/or implement Assistive Technology for students with disabilities. The development of an AT plan will empower students with disabilities to increase their independence, participation, and productivity in order to function successfully within their educational environment. The team is staffed by a Coordinator, Occupational Therapist, and Speech/ Language Pathologist.