Kinds of services your child can get

There are many kinds of special services that can help your child.

Here are some examples: One on one or groups sessions with learning specialists. A special education teacher working with your child and others in the classroom. Therapies like speech, occupational therapy, or physical therapy. A plan to help with behavior issues. Counseling for coping with social or emotional issues. Help with special devices or equipment a child may need.

Click on the box below to learn more about the kinds of therapy:

There are many different types of therapy that can help children with developmental delays.

They can work on different parts of their development.

Here are some of the most common examples:

  • Behavioral Therapy - A therapist helps to encourage positive behaviors and discourage unwanted ones. Desired behaviors are broken down into small tasks to build skills. 

  • Developmental Therapy - A therapist uses relationship and the child's interests to build the areas of development that a child needs help with. These include things like relating and communicating or logical thinking.

  • Speech and Language Therapy — A therapist (sometimes called an SLP, or Speech and Language Pathologist) helps with communication skills at all levels.  These include talking, understanding others, and also non-verbal ways to communicate.

  • Physical Therapy (PT) — A therapist works with your child to improve muscle strength, coordination, and movement. 

  • Occupational Therapy (OT) — A therapist uses movement to help your child to develop the motor, cognitive and emotional skills they need for the things they do. A child's "occupations" include play, self-care (like eating and dressing), social engagement, and eventually academic activities like writing. 

    • Sensory Integration - This is a part of OT where kids learn to experience and process sensory information (sounds, tastes, touch, etc.) in a way that doesn't upset them.

Any of these may be helpful to your child. It depends on their unique mix of challenges and strengths.

Source: Source: Autism Research Institute

Sometimes a child will just need some changes in the classroom environment that will help them to follow the curriculum. These are called accommodations.

Here are some examples of accommodations:

  • A specific placement for your child's desk

  • Equipment to help reduce distraction (like headphones)

  • More time to take tests

  • Audio or video supports (can read instructions out loud, or take notes by voice recording)

You and the school team will develop a specific plan that describe the supports your child needs. Remember, these are just some examples!


Sources: Casey Family Programs, MA DOE