I’ve learned a bit more about PT (Physical Therapy) since my wife fell off the Segway and broke her ankle. We got a prescription for a certain number of PT sessions, which have been provided by a couple of licensed physical therapists, and have been very helpful. But school districts are not obligated to fulfill medical prescriptions. The public school is not Walgreens.
The 6th Circuit recently reminded us of this. One of the issues before the court was the decision of the IEP Team not to provide PT to a student with a disability:
Although [the parents] challenge [the school’s] conclusions by pointing to [the child’s] doctor’s prescription for occupational and physical therapy, “a physician cannot simply prescribe special education.” The IDEA does not require schools to provide physical and occupational therapy to all students who might “benefit from or need” those services outside of the educational context; rather, the IDEA only requires schools to provide those services to students who required them in order to receive “the full benefit of special education instruction.” We therefore find [the child’s] educators’ numerous assessments a better indicator of her need for special education services than [the child’s] doctors’s prescription.
The case is M.G. v. Williamson County Schools, decided by the 6th Circuit in an “unpublished” decision on January 9, 2018. We found it at 71 IDELR 102, and 720 F. App.x 280.
DAWG BONE: DOCTORS KNOW MORE ABOUT MEDICINE THAN EDUCATORS. EDUCATORS KNOW MORE ABOUT EDUCATION THAN DOCTORS.
Tomorrow: how the “stay put” rule cost a school district over half a million dollars.