8. Related Services

Related services are additional special education services that a student may require in order to make progress in his or her Individualized Education Program (IEP). An “area of need” identified on an IEP does not automatically indicate that related services are required.  Related services are required when a student needs additional support in order to make progress towards annual IEP goals.  Related service providers may have detailed knowledge concerning areas of need that require assessment or support and should be consulted prior to developing an assessment plan.


Assessment for a related service may not be added to an assessment plan without consultation from a representative for that related service.


Related Services may include, but are not limited to, the following services:

•  Adapted Physical Education (APE)

•  Assistive Technology (AT)

•  Audiology

•  Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services

•  Health and Nursing

•  Educational Related Mental Health Services (ERMHS)

•  Occupational Therapy

•  Speech-Language Pathology (SLP)

•  Transition Services

•  Specialized Vision Impairment Services (VI)


8.0   Related Services on the IEP 

In the IEP process, Related Services should not be thought of as an area of need.  Instead, Related Services may support an area of need.  For example, a student does not have “OT needs” but has fine motor needs that affect educational progress and may require the support of an occupational therapist or the educational specialist.

Notes  The discussion of related services is held after student strengths and areas of need are identified, after goals are developed, and after necessary accommodations or modifications are identified.


8.0.1    Related Services – Present Levels

With the exception of Health, all sections of the Present Levels of Educational Performance may include input from multiple IEP team members; there is no area of the Present Levels that is the sole responsibility of a specific related service provider.  For example, the Speech Pathologist, classroom teacher and Education Specialist may all have input regarding the student’s communication skills in the school environment.  APE, PT and OT specialists may have detailed knowledge about a student’s motor ability, but a student’s teacher or Educational Specialist may also provide input on how a student is navigating the school environment or how the student is using classroom tools.

8.0.2    Related Services – IEP Goals

If the IEP team determines that related services are required for the student to make educational benefit from their specialized academic instruction, the related service provider must be connected to a goal or goals that support student achievement in the classroom setting.  Any staff/service providers responsible for implementing the goal shall be indicated in the “Goal” section

8.0.3     Service Delivery Model 

One-on-one or small group pullout intervention is not the only “direct” intervention service.  The continuum of services ranges from the least restrictive service of collaborating with staff to the most restrictive service of removing student from their educational setting to provide service. The student’s needs are best met when skill acquisition is connected to meaningful school activities, with classmates, and in natural settings where teachers, support staff, and service providers work together and model effective strategies.

8.0.4    Implementing and Monitoring Related Services

Notes For students with the Federal Handicapping Condition of “Speech Language Impairment” who do not require Specialized Academic Instruction, the Speech Language Pathologist will be the service provider and the case manager (“speech only”).  SLP will be the primary service.


In the majority of situations, the case manager is the teacher providing specialized academic instruction.  Case manager responsibilities with respect to related services include:

  • Ensure that each general education teacher and related service providers have been given information regarding his or her specific responsibilities in implementing the student’s IEP.  This includes the specific accommodations, modifications and supports that must be provided to the student in accordance with the IEP.
  • Ensure that related services are available and scheduled.
  • Completion of the Service Provider Log.  Refer to Forms/Links.

Progress Reports:

Related service providers are required to provide progress reports to parents as indicated on each student’s IEP.  Progress reports must be entered into the district’s electronic IEP system.  A copy of the progress report must be given to the parent/guardian and must be included in the student’s special education container within the cum file.

8.1     Adapted Physical Education  

 What is Adapted Physical Education?

Adapted Physical Education (APE) is a diversified program of developmental activities that are modified to meet the district’s physical education standards. A carefully designed physical education program is developed and implemented within the psychomotor domain for individuals with disabilities. Assistance can be provided to students in the general education program and/or along a continuum of physical education services. The Adapted Physical Education teacher must have a credential authorizing the teaching of APE, as established by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Our students range from preschool to high school. You may also hear Adapted Physical Education referred to as Adapted PE or APE.

What is General Physical Education?

Physical Education in the Sweetwater Union High School District plays an integral role in providing a balanced education for the whole child. Physical education makes a unique contribution to the total educational process by addressing the knowledge (cognitive), social (affective), as well as physical (psychomotor) development and skills of each child.

According to the National Association of Sport and Physical Education, “The goal of physical education is to develop physically educated individuals who have the knowledge, skills and confidence to enjoy a lifetime of physical activity.”

Least Restrictive Environment

All children, unless excused or exempted are required to have an appropriate physical education requirement. In addition, these services should be provided in such a manner that promotes maximum interaction between children with disabilities and their non-disabled peers as provided in the United States code.

Continuum of Physical Education Services

Functions of General Education:

General Physical Education: Full spectrum of game, sport and fitness activities

Modified Physical Education: Participation within general physical education, with appropriate modifications or adjustment

Specially designed Physical Education:  Physical education programming for a special education class, with minimal or limited adaptions needed.

Functions of Adapted Physical Education:

Adapted Physical Education: Direct physical education services for eligible students who have been precluded from other services delivery options.

Adapted Physical Education Collaboration: Physical education services provided and/or implemented jointly with parents and other staff.

Adapted Physical Education Consultation: Ideas and suggestions for individualizing physical education instructional strategies, equipment, and curriculum.

State Mandated Minutes for Physical Education 

Grades 7-12:
400 minutes every 10 school days

Adapted Physical Education Initial Referral Process 

Adaptations, accommodations and modifications within the existing general physical education program shall be documented before a child is referred to adapted physical education.

If a student who is eligible for special education under IDEA, is enrolled in general or specially designed physical education, and is not successful in the class, the following options exist:

The site team may hold a meeting to determine appropriate adaptations, accommodations, or modifications to attempt within the current physical education setting.

The classroom teacher or the physical education teacher, may independently, identify and implement various interventions in either a general or specially designed physical education setting.

The teacher or the site team may consult the adapted physical education teacher for suggested adaptations, accommodations or modifications that can be attempted.

After reasonable interventions have been attempted and documented, the site team may make a determination that a referral for adapted physical education assessment is appropriate in order to determine the individual’s needs.

Contact your site Adapted Physical Education teacher to initiate the process

8.2    Assistive Technology 


Federal and state laws require IEP teams to consider the need for assistive technology devices and services under the Special Factors section of the IEP for all students in special education.

The terms “assistive technology device” and “assistive technology service” are defined as follows in the IDEA:

assistive technology device means any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of a child with a disability. The term does not include a medical device that is surgically implanted, or the replacement of such device.

assistive technology service means any service that directly assists a child with a related ability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device.  The term includes:

  • The evaluation of the needs of a child with a disability, including a functional evaluation of the child in the child’s customary environment;
  • Purchasing, leasing, or otherwise providing for the acquisition of assistive technology devices by children with disabilities;
  • Selecting, designing, fitting, customizing, adapting, applying, maintaining, repairing, or replacing assistive technology devices;
  • Coordinating and using other therapies, interventions, or services with assistive technology devices, such as those associated with existing education and rehabilitation plans and programs;
  • Training or technical assistance for a child with a disability or, if appropriate, that child’s family; and
  • Training or technical assistance for professionals (including individuals providing education or rehabilitation services), employers, or other individuals who provide services to, employ, or are otherwise substantially involved in the major life functions of that child.

8.2.1    When to Refer a Student 

A team approach is taken in recommending and acquiring assistive technology devices and services as well as in enabling students to use such devices and services. The student’s team always includes his or her teacher and one or more individuals designated by the district who are qualified to assess the student in the area of assistive technology.  Assistive Technology Department Team personnel are available to all educational and support staff to provide technical assistance, consultation, problem-solving and resource information.

A referral should be made to the Assistive Technology Department when current assistive technology is no longer working or when the team needs more information or resources to meet the educational needs of the student.

8.2.2    Referral Process

A request for consultation or assessment for assistive technology devices and/or services may be made for a student in general education as part of a referral for special education.  However, it is recommended that the IEP team convene to discuss the results of the comprehensive assessment and then consider the need, if any, for assistive technology.

  1. Generally, requests from a student’s assessment/student study team for assistive technology are to be made via the Request for Assistive Technology Services form, which may be obtained from the Assistive Technology Department.  In addition, the Consideration of Assistive Technology:  A Guide for IEP Teams form should also be completed.  Requests can be made for a consultation, evaluation, or follow-up to a previous referral by checking the appropriate box on the form.  A description of the specific educational need for which AT assistance is being requested must be included with the request.  Refer to Forms/Links.
  2. A copy of the current IEP and any current assessment reports should be attached to the request.

Additionally, the law also states that “on a case-by-case basis, the use of school-purchased assistive technology devices in a child’s home or in other settings is required if the child’s IEP team determines that he child needs access to those devices in order to receive FAPE.” [34 CFR 300.308 (b)]  To include Assistive Technology Services as a related service, an assessment must be “conducted by persons competent to perform the assessment” and a report prepared and presented to the parents at an IEP Team meeting.  The type of service, duration and amount of time must also be specified on the IEP.

  1. If determined to be required, assistive technology devices and services may then be included as part of the IEP:
  • within a specific program;
  • as supplementary aids and services; and/or
  • as a related service.
  1. If/when the IEP team has determined that a child with a disability requires a particular assistive technology device or services, a statement regarding assistive technology services needs to be included in the IEP.  This may include a statement in the present levels, special factors section, meeting notes, or by use of technology within the goals and objectives.  Convene an IEP team meeting or amend the current IEP to add AT services or devices.

Notes In the case of students with low incidence disabilities, the need for specialized services, material or equipment is determined through an assessment conducted by appropriately credentialed personnel. When a student’s IEP team determines that such services, material and/or equipment are required to meet the student’s unique educational needs, they are provided by the special education program/department serving the student.

8.3    Health and Nursing Services


Credentialed School nurses provide health services to all special education students who require nursing intervention and/or consultation.  It is the role of the credentialed school nurse to strengthen and facilitate the educational process by improving and protecting the health-related barriers to learning in individual children. Credentialed school nurses respond to health related needs of special education students in many ways.  Nursing services may include reviewing the student’s health records/histories, participating in pre-assessment meetings, assessing for and writing of Nurse Assessment Reports (initial and triennial assessments), participating in the IEP process, as well as, performing needed specialized health care procedures.

8.3.1  When to Refer a Student 

Refer a student to the credentialed school nurse whenever a student’s medical diagnosis indicates professional nursing judgment, consultation and/or intervention.  Students who are newly diagnosed, new to the district or have a medical condition that is unstable should also be referred.

8.3.2  Referral Process

Contact the site nurse.

8.5  Occupational Therapy (OT) 


Occupational Therapy is a related service designed to improve functional skills needed for participation in academic, school and activities of daily living tasks for students with special needs.  Therapy may be provided to support a student’s educational goals by facilitating improved performance and providing adaptations in the areas of motor foundations, visual motor/perceptual skills, self-help and emotional regulation.

8.5.1    Referral Process 

All requests for OT assessment or consultation must be communicated to the OT Specialist assigned to the school site. The site OT specialist may request the referring person to use the Request for OT and/or PT Services form.  When the OT Specialist assignment is unknown, the request is put into writing using the Request for OT and/or PT Services form.  Forms are submitted directly to the OT & PT Services office.  All sections of the request form need to be completed thoroughly, and the required documentation must be attached to the request form.  Teachers may also contact the Senior OT Specialist to determine which OT is assigned to the site.

8.7     Speech and Language Services  


A student between the ages of 0-21 years of age shall be eligible for speech and language services when he or she demonstrates difficulty understanding or using spoken language to such an extent that it adversely affects his or her educational performance and cannot be corrected without special education and related  services.  Speech and language disabilities can result from impairments in articulation, voice, fluency, and/or language skills that occur in the student’s primary language.

8.7.1     When to Refer a Student

A student may be referred for a speech and language assessment when there is a suspicion of a disability in speech/language that affects school progress.  This is generally after it has been determined that appropriate general education resources have been implemented and adequately documented, and that the student’s speech and language needs cannot be met with these modifications within the regular instructional program.  There may be times when the student’s speech/language needs are clearly evident, and depending upon the circumstances, an immediate referral may be made.

8.7.2     Referral Process

A formal referral for a speech-language assessment specifically seeks to identify whether the student requires speech-language services.  Notes from teachers suggesting that a speech-language pathologist look at an individual student do not constitute a referral.  Such informal requests seek broad information and are designed to obtain suggestions for regular program modification(s).

A referral must contain a brief description of the attempted modifications to the student’s regular education program and provide adequate documentation of the results of the modifications.  This description is often provided by identifying attempted modifications of the regular education program and the level of success of each modification over a period of time.

The referral may be made directly to the Speech-Language Pathologist, case manager, school psychologist, administrator.