When setting up an IEP, the services should respond to your child's needs, not the school's convenience.
You must be sure that your child is getting all the kinds of services they need, and getting them often enough to make progress.
Sometimes a school will suggest fewer or less frequent services than a child really needs. They may say it's because of "scheduling problems" or "staffing limitations".
For example: "We can't schedule a speech therapist at the right times twice a week, so we'll say once a week."
"Related Services" in the IEP refers to services like Speech Therapy, OT (Occupational Therapy) or ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis). These are usually done one-on-one with your child and a specialist, but sometimes they are done in pairs or small groups.
Click here for more about the kinds of services your child may get.
What you can do:
- If you don't agree with decisions about services, including how often and how long for each session, question the reasons and make your case.
- Stand your ground if you think the suggested IEP services are not enough.
- Use the evaluation report or ongoing school assessments to give proof that your child may need more.
- Talk directly with the professionals who did the evaluation, and the therapists who have worked with your child.
The point is that the child's needs should drive the services written into the IEP, not the school's schedule or convenience!
If you have trouble, here are links to more information:
- LaPTIC and Families Helping Families: local organizations who can help you with this process.
- Disagree with the school? An overview of what you can do: explains the Dispute Resolution process.