Student Related Services and Special Education Process
Some students may need related services to achieve their educational goals. Related services include developmental, corrective, and other supportive services.
Students are eligible for related services only when it is clear that:
- The student’s needs are greater than what can be addressed in their primary educational setting,
- The services are necessary to benefit from the primary educational setting, and
- The elimination and/or absence of these support services would adversely affect educational performance to the point that appropriate learning would not occur.
Parents that suspect that their child may require related services should express their concerns to the classroom teacher. The initial referral to special education is a collaborative effort and needs to be examined very closely before moving ahead with an evaluation.
Counseling helps students recognize and change behaviors that get in the way of learning. Counseling is recommended for students who have social-emotional difficulties that significantly limit their ability to participate in school. Our guidance counselors provide at-risk and mandated counseling. They also do preventive sessions. The purpose of mandated counseling is to help students with disabilities recognize and modify behaviors that interfere with learning. It can be individual and/or group. Our counselors also work with students to help them succeed in school. They address social and emotional school functioning in the areas of appropriate school behavior and discipline, social skills, self-control, conflict resolution, problem solving skills, self-esteem, decision-making skills and vocational and transition planning.
Our counseling team consist of two school counselors and a social worker:
Mr. Desillas firstname.lastname@example.org– Pre-k through first grade
Ms. Klatch email@example.com – Second and third grade
Ms. Alvarez firstname.lastname@example.org– fourth through sixth grade
Speech and Language Therapy is designed to address deficits in a student’s auditory processing, articulation/phonological skills (e.g. production of sounds), comprehension and use of semantics, syntax, pragmatics, voice production and fluency. It may also be recommended to address communication deficits that adversely affect academic performance, including difficulties of language comprehension and expressive language (e.g. difficulty putting words together, limited vocabulary, inability to use language in a socially appropriate way), and cognitive-communication deficits that involve memory, attention, perception, organization, regulation and problem solving.
Occupational Therapy emphasizes independence in activities of daily living (e.g. dressing, feeding, money management), skill acquisition (e.g. self-management skills, vocational skills) and school participation in various settings including the classroom, cafeteria, bathroom, and playground. Occupational therapy is designed to maintain, improve or restore function of students in all educationally related activities including neuromusculoskeletal function (e.g. range of motion, muscle strength, endurance, postural control), motor function (e.g. fine motor skills, oral motor control, visual motor integration), sensory and perceptual function (e.g. integrating and processing of tactile, visual, auditory information), cognitive function (e.g. attention, memory) and psychosocial function (e.g. self-concept, interpersonal skills).
Physical Therapy helps a student to improve his/her physical ability to function and make smooth transitions at school the setting. Therapy may include attention to gross motor development, mobility, balance, and coordination in various school settings such as the classroom, gym, bathrooms, playgrounds, and staircases. Physical therapy is recommended when such support is necessary to allow a student to access his/her educational environment, including, but not limited to a student’s ability to access various areas of the school via walking, wheelchair or other means of mobility; student participation in classroom activities – e.g., participating physically and maneuvering within the classroom environment; and accessing (and participating in) the lunchroom, playground, bathroom, transportation, etc.
Hearing Education Services
Hearing Education Services support students who are deaf or hearing-impaired, and can include guidance, social work, counseling, transition services and work-study programs.
Special Education Process
Things to Consider
If you think your child may need special education services, keep in mind that:
- Children learn and develop at different speeds and in different ways.
- Children who learn differently do not necessarily have a disability.
- Children should not be referred for special education services because of limited English proficiency.
Your child may be eligible for special education services if they show delays in:
- Thinking and learning
- Understanding and using language
- Self-help skills (toileting, eating, dressing)
- Behavior (getting along with others, expressing feelings)
- Physical ability (vision, hearing, movement)
Talking to Teachers/Care Providers
Talk to your child's teachers and care providers. They can share information about how your child is doing in school and you can share information about how your child is doing at home.
Response to Intervention
Response to Intervention (RTI) is an approach schools use to match individual students with the teaching practices and level of support that work best for them. While you may make a referral for a special education evaluation at any time, public schools serving students in grades K-5 are required to implement RTI before making a referral.
How it Works:
RTI is a three-tiered model. At each step, more support is offered to students who need it.
- Tier 1: For all students. This is high-quality, differentiated instruction provided in a general education classroom.
- Tier 2: May include small group instruction or additional instructional time.
- Tier 3: More intensive instruction that may include materials or programs to target your child's needs.
Teachers using RTI will:
- Use screening methods to assess your child's skills and behaviors.
- Determine if your child needs more support than the instruction provided in general education.
- Provide interventions as needed.
- Monitor your child's progress to determine if the intervention is working and, if not, how it might need to be adjusted.
If RTI has been provided and your child still needs more support, you or the DOE can make a referral for an evaluation for special education. You can also request a Section 504 Accommodation.