According to The Special Education Law, paramedical treatments are included as part of the ancillary services provided to students learning in the special education system.
- Paramedical treatments include: Physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, dance therapy, music therapy, movement therapy, art therapy, drama therapy and bibliotherapy.
- The types of therapy, the framework (individual or group), and the number of weekly hours that are to be provided are determined by the educational institution's multidisciplinary professional staff as part of each student's personalized curriculum (TALA).
Who is Eligible?
- Those entitled to treatments as part of the special education services (שח"ם) basket:
- Children learning in all types of classes in special education preschools
- Children learning in all types of classes in special education schools
- Children learning in in the regular education system in special education classes for children with: autism, cerebral palsy (CP), severe physical disabilities, intellectual developmental disabilities (multiple intermediate intellectual disability, complex intermediate intellectual disability, severe/profound/nursing care intellectual disability), blindness/visual impairment, deafness/hearing impairment.
- Those entitled to treatments as part of the integration basket:
- Those who have appeared before an integration committee who are in a special needs homeroom within a regular education framework (כיתה מקדמת) intended for students with: borderline intellectual functioning, mild intellectual disabilities, severe behavioral/emotional disorders, multiple learning disabilities, developmental and language delays (this basket is not intended for those with mild disorders).
- Receiving paramedical treatments in the special education framework, does not automatically make students ineligible to receive treatments from their health fund as well.
- A health fund is not entitled to remove itself from the needs of someone being treated through the special education system, is not entitled to refer the student to special education system for the receipt of paramedical treatments, is not entitled to condition the provision of services on the entitlement under the Special Education Law and may not determine not to provide paramedical treatments to someone just because they are receiving or should be receiving them in special education framework.
- However, when exercising discretion to determine the medical treatment required for the student, the attending doctor may also take into account the paramedical treatments the student receives through the special education system in order to make an optimal professional decision on the type of treatments to be provided.
- The fact that a child is in special education does not exempt health plans from providing paramedical treatments for that child
Laws and Regulations
- Ministry of Education Director Circular 5760/8(a) from 02.04.2000: Implementation of the Special Education Law - Paramedical services for schoolchildren in special education frameworks
- The Ministry of Education - Special Education Division: Physical therapy in the education system, communications clinicians in the education system, occupational therapy in the education system.
- English translation and maintenance by The Shira Pransky Project.