What are related services for students with disabilities and how are they provided?

Page 4: Common Roles of Providers

Related services personnel help students with disabilities to become more active in learning and school-related activities. Although each related service area serves its own purpose—such as working with students who have speech-language disorders or those who have behavior disorders—the more frequently used related services share certain commonalities.

Assessing and Referring Students

  • teacher with boyScreening, evaluating, and assessing students to identify problems that might interfere with their school performance
  • Conducting ongoing, informal assessments to monitor students’ needs and determine the necessity of continuing support
  • Making recommendations to the IEP team concerning other referrals, when warranted, for other services

Working with Students

  • teacher with girlProviding strategies, modifications, and adaptive aids or equipment to improve students’ school performance, and to include students in school activities
  • Training students in skills required to help manage their needs
  • Addressing individualized modifications so that students can access school activities or the environment

Working with Parents and Other Professionals

  • adults in a meetingServing as a member of students’ multidisciplinary teams
  • Developing educational goals and objectives with the team and determining how related services can help students to achieve those goals
  • Training the school staff and students’ parents in skills to help manage students’ needs
  • Explaining to parents, teachers, other professionals how students’ problems may affect their school performance
  • Recommending strategies, modifications, and adaptive aids or equipment to improve students’ school performance and to include students in school activities
  • Working with the AT specialists and others to determine students’ needs

The following pages will specify some of the related service areas and providers with whom teachers are most likely to work. These include speech-language pathology services, occupational therapy, physical therapy, psychological services, and social work services. Professionals in these disciplines perform the roles identified on this page as well as others specific to their discipline that will be addressed on the individual service pages.

For Your Information

In addition to those discussed on the following pages, school nursing, school counseling, and assistive technology are other commonly used related services. Because separate IRIS Modules already address them, these related services areas will not be covered in great detail here. For more information on these related service areas, you might find it helpful to view the following IRIS Modules:

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