If you don’t request, your kid won’t get

Our children with special needs may require specialty programming at the public school in order to make gains. Services under the special ed law known as IDEA list “related services” as services available to our children so that they can benefit from public schooling.

Parents need to know what these “related services” are so that they can request them for the child. Do a search for the “Individuals with Disabilities Education Act” at ed.gov. Then search for “related services”.

Common related services in the public school are physical therapy (PT) and occupational therapy (OT). Many students routinely receive a few minutes each week of these. OT’s are especially helpful when a student struggles with handwriting and coordination issues.

Another related related service as listed in 300.34(c)(8) of the IDEA:

(8)(i) Parent counseling and training means assisting parents in understanding the special needs of their child; (ii) Providing parents with information about child development; and (iii) Helping parents to acquire the necessary skills that will allow them to support the implementation of their child’s IEP or IFSP.

It may be beneficial in the long run for a parent to request these “related services” so that later perceptions of the parent aren’t negative. Since some of the “related services” listed in the IDEA are not typically known by school personnel they may dispute availability.

Often its better to ask for something rather than find out years later what was missed.

Advocates are available to assist parents in Missouri.  Visit the website.

SEPAL advocates are not attorneys and do not give legal advice.