Is there a difference?  Would your child ever need both?

When therapy is recommended for a child, the physician may often recommend that the parents pursue therapy through the school system.  Most people have heard that children can receive speech and occupational therapy through the schools at no charge.  And they sometimes can, but it comes with a lot of caveats.
For the most
part, public schools deliver speech or occupational therapy under the orders of
the Individuals with Disabilities Act – Part B.  To qualify for services,
children must meet the Act’s definition of being disabled.  The Act states that
school-based therapy must focus only on goals that are related to a child’s
ability to benefit from education.  Therefore, school-based therapy puts
emphasis on functional oral and written communication skills.  Challenges that
affect a child’s ability to function normally at home or in the broader
community may be excluded from therapy.  For instance, speech impediments may
not fall under the Individuals with Disabilities Act because a stutter or
trouble forming Rs would not necessarily interfere with learning at
school and sensory processing disorders, even though they can clearly impact a child’s ability to learn and function in the school environment are often not addressed directly.  In fact most schools do not have the equipment required to effective treat sensory processing disorders.
On the other
hand, clinic-based therapy takes a more global outlook on the well-being of the
child and the family.  At Emerge – A Child’s Place, therapists will often
coordinate with teachers, school-therapists, and physicians.  The children who
receive support at Emerge are not limited to those fitting the federal
government’s definition of disabled.  Emerge focuses first on defining the
underlying foundations of each child’s challenges.  Subsequent therapy focuses
on those foundations with goals that encompass success at home, school, public,
and later adult life. 
therapy typically ends when the child no longer requires therapeutic
intervention to perform school tasks.  Therapy at Emerge ends when a child has
reached maximum potential or when the family can continue the therapy
maintenance independently. 
When choosing
a clinic-based therapy program, families can look for specific training,
equipment, techniques, or certifications among their therapy providers.
therapy must limit itself to goals that relate directly to benefiting from
school education.  Emerge can address those issues, plus Emerge is free to
directly address issues of sensory processing, articulation, picky-eating, coordination, self-care, etc. 
With Emerge,
productive therapy can begin before grade school and give a child the best
possible head start on his or her individual school career.
parental support, and parental involvement are all vitally important to most
pediatric occupational and speech therapy plans.  With Emerge, parents and
doctors have more say in the frequency of treatment and the goals of therapy.
Emerge gets parents highly involved in therapy and teaches parents ways to help
and support their child’s development.