Related Services in Schools
P&A Fact Sheet
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) of 2004 requires schools provide Related Services to a student with a disability who needs them in order to benefit from the education being offered. The following is a list of related services that may help your child, but remember:
- Not every service must be provided for every student. The student must NEED the service in order to benefit from his or her education program.
- Not every service a student may need is listed. Other services can be provided if they are required to assist the student with a disability to benefit from his or her education. (The “I” in IEP is for individualized.)
List of related services
- Audiology services are used to identify children with hearing loss and to create programs and activities to help these children and their families adjust to the child’s hearing loss.
- Counseling Services are services provided by qualified social workers, psychologists, guidance counselors, and other qualified personnel.
- Early Identification to develop and apply a plan to address a child’s disability as early as possible.
- Interpreting Services is a new related service and is not defined yet by federal or state law.
- Medical Services are provided by a licensed physician to determine the medical reasons for a child’s disability during evaluations for special education and related services. Otherwise schools are not required to provide medical services.
- Occupational Therapy is provided to prevent (through early intervention) initial or further impairments or loss of function; or to improve, develop, or return physical abilities weakened or lost because of illness, injury, or lack of nutrition.
- One-to-One Assistance can include an aide for assistance with personal needs or for behavioral interventions.
- Parent Counseling & Training is provided to assist parents in understanding the special needs of their children and providing parents with information about child development.
- Physical Therapy is provided by a qualified physical therapist to treat disease and injury by mechanical means, such as exercise, heat light, and massage.
- Psychological Services are used to find and explain information about child behavior and conditions based on the results of psychological and educational tests.
- Recreation includes educational and therapeutic programs provided by schools, community agencies, and other groups.
- Rehabilitation Counseling Services are services provided by qualified personnel in individual or group sessions that focus specifically on: career development, employment preparation, achieving independence, mixing in the workplace and community; and services from either the Commission for the Blind or the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation.
- School Nurse Services is a new related service. This category replaces School Health Services under the old law (IDEA 1997). School Health Services were defined as services
provided by a qualified school nurse or other trained staff member such as catheterization, tube feeding, insulin injections, or other treatments required during the course of the school day. (Note: SC Department of Education regulations still list School Health Services as a related service.)
- Social Work Services are services provided to the child and the child’s family to help a family cope with problems in the child’s living situation that negatively affect the child’s ability to benefit from educational services.
- Speech Therapy is provided to identify, diagnose, and treat children with speech or language problems.
- Transportation includes special equipment, such as special buses, lifts, and ramps, to assist children to travel to and from school and between programs.
Note: If the IEP Team decides that related service or services are needed in order for the student to benefit from his/her educational program, the services must be included on the IEP document. Services are to be provided at no cost to the parent.
Note: IDEA also requires schools provide a student with assistive technology (AT) devices and services if they will help the student improve functional capabilities. AT can include computers and communication devices, (AT does not include surgically implanted devices). An IEP can allow a student to take his or her AT device home from school if it is needed for educational purposes. This could be a computer to do homework.
Related Services Under Section 504
Section 504 says that related services are a part of an appropriate education. Unfortunately, Section 504 does not list specific types or categories of related services. However (similar to IDEA 2004) it does state that related services should be provided at no cost to the student with a disability or the student’s parents. In addition, the education and related services for a child with a disability should be designed to meet that child’s individual educational needs as adequately as the services meet the needs of a child without a disability.
- Be Prepared- To ask your child’s doctor or counselor what related services your child needs and get a written note stating why the related serviced is needed at school.
- Be Ready– To tell the IEP (Individualized Education Program) team or section 504 committee what related services you think your child needs.
- Be Ready–To give a copy of the written note from your child’s doctor or counselor to the IEP team or Section 504 committee
- Be Ready – To Tell the IEP team or section 504 committee how the related service you want will improve your child’s ability to benefit from his or her education program and receive an appropriate education.
- Be Sure – That specific timelines for providing related services are written into the IEP or section 504 Plan.
Sources for the information in this Fact Sheet:
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 2004, 20 USC §1401 (1), (2) and (26)
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 1997 and 34 CRF Part 300.24
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and 34 CFR 104.33(b)
South Carolina Department of Education Regulation R 43-243 (B)(26)
This publication provides legal information, but is not intended to be legal advice. The information was based on the law at the time it was written. As the law may change, please contact P&A for updates.
This publication is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (Administration on Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration), and by the U. S. Department of Education (Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Research). It does not necessarily represent the official
views of the funding authorities.
P&A does not discriminate on the basis of disability, race, gender, or national origin in the provision of its programs or services. Pete Cantrell is P&A’s designated coordinator for Sec. 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act. November 2005. ED-12