What do Physiotherapists do?

Physiotherapists work with teaching staff, Occupational Therapists, Speech Pathologists and families to integrate the development of the student’s physical skills into their daily school program, by setting achievable and functional goals.  Physiotherapists will assess the student’s physical skills in conjunction with the school and families. 

Physiotherapists can provide information to staff about back care, safe and effective transfer techniques and seating and positioning in the classroom.

Physiotherapists work with students with a physical disability to ensure that the student performs to their best potential at school and that their opportunities for learning are maximized. Physiotherapists provide support for children who are integrated into local schools, with support provided primarily through phone contact, via email or in person.  They may provide assistance in the following areas and advise the school on how best to integrate development of these skills in order for them to participate fully in their educational program.

Gross Motor Skills / Mobility

The physiotherapist will assess the student’s functional movement skills and work with the school and family in developing control of movement and improved posture and balance. A physiotherapist helps to facilitate independent means of mobility with walking aids and wheelchairs, and to assist the student to gain access to all environments.


Maintaining Joint Movement and Muscle Length

Functional movement is dependent on an adequate range of joint movement, therefore, the physiotherapist may develop programs to stretch tight muscles and / or prescribe splints, plaster, orthotics and specific positioning aids. This is done in conjunction with the family and the school and therapy team.

Chest Physiotherapy

Some children are vulnerable to chest infections. Physiotherapists may recommend programs of postural drainage and breathing exercises.



Children with disabilities often require specialist equipment, i.e. wheelchairs, standing frames, specialised seating systems to ensure an optimal position to participate in everyday activities at home, school or in the community. A Physiotherapist, in conjunction with Occupational Therapists, will assess and make recommendations for the manufacture and modification of equipment at school and at home.  Physiotherapists will assist families with the decision about which piece of equipment is required and will assist them to access the appropriate funding bodies.
Physiotherapists will also monitor all equipment and ensure that it continues to meet the changing needs of the child as he/she develops and grows.


  Glenroy Specialist School, 208 Hilton Street, Glenroy, Melbourne, 3046 Ph: 03 9304 2263