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To help your child benefit from special education, he or she may need extra help in one area or another, such as speaking or moving. This additional help is called "related services".
See the sidebar for a list of common related services. It is the IEP team’s responsibility to review all of the evaluation information, identify any related services your child needs, and include them in the IEP.
Typically, schools have staff who provide related services (such as speech therapists or occupational therapists) to meet the needs of their students. But if a related service is not available from the school, the school can contract with a private provider, a public agency, or even another school district to provide the service.
Your school district is responsible for making sure all services listed in your child’s IEP are provided, even if the district does not directly provide these services. (You’ll find additional information about the school’s responsibility for related services, including specific limitations and exclusions at the end of this section.)
Goals are written for a related service just as they are for special education services. This includes specifying how a child’s progress will be measured.
The Range of Related Services: Limits, Responsibilities, and Exclusions
IDEA’s list of related services is quite long. Yet these are not the only services that can be considered as a related service. Others often made available include artistic and cultural programs such as art, dance, and music therapy.
IDEA makes specific exclusions to what may be considered a related service - two, in particular:
• Medical services may be provided by a licensed physician but only for diagnostic or evaluation purposes. • Medical devices that are surgically implanted, such as a cochlear implant, may not be provided as a related service.
Related services also do not include optimizing how such a device functions, maintaining the device, or replacing it.
The school system remains responsible for monitoring and maintaining medical devices that are needed for the health and safety of the child. This includes breathing, nutrition, and other bodily functions. The school is also responsible for routinely checking the external parts of a surgically implanted device to make sure that it is functioning properly.
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