An Occupational Therapist (OT) or a Certified Occupational Therapist Assistant (COTA) are health professionals that work to help people be as independent as possible in tasks that "occupy" a person's life. For children and youth in schools, an OT or COTA works to ensure a student can participate in the full range of school activities from paying attention in class, holding a pencil or feeding oneself at lunch.
Physical Therapists use their unique expertise in movement and function to promote motor development and student participation in order for the child or young person to access and benefit from the educational environment.
Occupational and Physical Therapy is defined as a related service by the Regulations Governing Special Education Programs for Children with Disabilities in Virginia.
"Related services" means transportation and such developmental, corrective, and other supportive services as are required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education and includes speech-language pathology and audiology services; interpreting services; psychological services; physical and occupational therapy; recreation, including therapeutic recreation; early identification and assessment of disabilities in children; counseling services, including rehabilitation counseling; orientation and mobility services; and medical services for diagnostic or evaluation purposes. Related services also include school health services and school nurse services; social work services in schools; and parent counseling and training. Related services do not include a medical device that is surgically implanted including cochlear implants, the optimization of device functioning (e.g., mapping), maintenance of the device, or the replacement of that device. The list of related services is not exhaustive and may include other developmental, corrective, or supportive services (such as artistic and cultural programs, and art, music and dance therapy), if they are required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education. (§ 22.1-213 of the Code of Virginia; 34 CFR 300.34(a) and (b))
VDOE: Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy Services http://www.doe.virginia.gov/special_ed/iep_instruct_svcs/related_services/occup-phys-therapy/index.shtml