Related services in the school setting are services that a student receives in order to adequately access educational opportunities. The student must be evaluated by a professional service provider to determine the qualification, need, and/or extent of individualized services. Following the evaluation, the service provider can recommend either direct or consult services. Direct services involve the therapist working directly with the student on specific goals and objectives. While the therapist determines the frequency and duration of the direct services, the ARD committee works together to create applicable goals and objectives based on the therapist’s expertise. If the therapist recommends consult services, information and suggestions will be provided to the parents and educational personnel.
The difference between medical-based therapy models and school-based models
In a medical model of therapy, services are based on a patient’s diagnosis. In a school-based model, students qualify for therapy services to support a student’s individualized educational program (IEP). The principles of the therapy remain the same regardless of the setting, but the school-based therapy focuses on the individual’s ability to benefit from educational opportunities. In a medical model of therapy, services are completed when the doctor or insurance discontinues the services. In a school setting, services continue for as long as the ARD committee believes therapy is still required for the child to make progress toward his/her IEP goals.