In general, the term Related Service means: “services designed to enable a child with a disability to receive a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) as described in the Individualized Education Program (IEP) as may be required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education.” Some common Related Services most people are familiar with include Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy and Transportation. The following list describes ten Related Services parents may not know about:

1. Audiology which includes:

  • Identification of children with hearing loss;
  • Determination of the range, nature, and degree of hearing loss, including referral for medical or other professional attention for the habilitation of hearing;
  • Provision of habilitative activities, such as language habilitation, auditory training, speech reading (lip reading), hearing evaluation, and speech conservation;
  • Creation and administration of programs for prevention of hearing loss;
  • Counseling and guidance of children, parents, and teachers regarding hearing loss; and
  • Determination of children’s needs for group and individual amplification, selecting and fitting an appropriate aid, and evaluating the effectiveness of amplification.

2. Counseling Services which means services provided by qualified social workers, psychologists, guidance counselors, or other qualified personnel.

3. Medical Services which means services provided by a licensed physician to determine a child’s medically related disability that results in the child’s need for special education and related services. It does not include any services from a licensed physician after the child has been determined eligible for Special Education (the Medical Services exception)

4. Orientation and Mobility Services which means:

  • Services provided to blind or visually impaired children by qualified personnel to enable those students to attain systematic orientation to and safe movement within their environments in school, home, and community; and
  • Includes teaching children the following, as appropriate:
    • Spatial and environmental concepts and use of information received by the senses (such as sound, temperature and vibrations) to establish, maintain, or regain orientation and line of travel (e.g., using sound at a traffic light to cross the street);
    • To use the long cane or a service animal to supplement visual travel skills or as a tool for safely negotiating the environment for children with no available travel vision;
    • To understand and use remaining vision and distance low vision aids; and
    • Other concepts, techniques, and tools

5. Parent Counseling and Training which means assisting parents in understanding the special needs of their child. Providing parents with information about child development and helping parents to acquire the necessary skills that will allow them to support the implementation of their child’s IEP.

6. Psychological Services which includes:

  • Administering psychological and educational tests, and other assessment procedures;
  • Interpreting assessment results;
  • Obtaining, integrating, and interpreting information about child behavior and conditions relating to learning;
  • Consulting with other staff members in planning school programs to meet the special educational needs of children as indicated by psychological tests, interviews, direct observation, and behavioral evaluations;
  • Planning and managing a program of psychological services, including psychological counseling for children and parents; and
  • Assisting in developing positive behavioral intervention strategies.

7. Recreation Services which includes:

  • Assessment of leisure function;
  • Therapeutic recreation services;
  • Recreation programs in schools and community agencies; and
  • Leisure education.

8. Rehabilitation counseling services means services provided by qualified personnel in individual or group sessions that focus specifically on career development, employment preparation, achieving independence, and integration in the workplace and community of a student with a disability. The term also includes vocational rehabilitation services provided to a student with a disability by vocational rehabilitation programs funded under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

9. School health services means health services that are designed to enable a child with a disability to receive FAPE as described in the child’s IEP. School nurse services are services provided by a qualified school nurse. School health services are services that may be provided by either a qualified school nurse or other qualified person.

10. Assistive technology devices and services. An assistive technology service means any service that directly assists a child with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device. An assistive technology device means any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of a child with a disability.

If a parent thinks their child needs help in any of these Related Services, they should ask for an assessment right away.

By Dennise Goldberg, Special education Blog: