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Related Services

Related services are defined as transportation and such developmental, corrective, and other supportive services required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education.  Related services include such services as assistive technology services, audiology services, interpreting services, psychological services, physical and occupational therapy, recreation, counseling, in-home and parent training, orientation and mobility services, school health services, social work services, and transportation.  Related services do not include cochlear implants or other medical devices that are surgically implanted, the optimization of device functioning, maintenance of the device or replacement of the device. 

Assistive technology 

Assistive technology includes both devices and services.

Assistive technology devices include 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.
Assistive technology services include any service that directly assists a child with a disability 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 his/her customary environment.
  • Purchasing, leasing or otherwise providing for the acquisition of assistive technology devices for children with disabilities.
  • Selecting, designing, fitting, customizing, adapting, applying, maintaining, repairing, or replacement of assistive technology devices.
  • Coordinating and using other therapies, interventions, or services with assistive technology devices, such as those associated with existing education and rehabilitation and programs.
  • Training or technical assistance for a child with a disability or, if appropriate, the child's family.
  • Training or technical assistance for professionals, including individuals providing educational and rehabilitative services, employers or other individuals who provide services to, employ, or are otherwise involved in the major life functions of children with disabilities.
A Full and Individual Evaluation (FIE) reports address the student's need for assistive technology.  Should a specific evaluation be needed to determine a specific need for assistive technology services or devices, the ARD Committee should conduct a Review of Existing Evaluation Data (REED) and request an assistive technology evaluation.  

In the Southeast Texas Cooperative for Special Services, a team of professionals which may include a diagnostician, a speech language pathologist, an occupational therapist, and/or a special education teacher conduct all assistive technology evaluations and monitor the student use of assistive technology.

By School ADM


Counseling as a related service may be required for students to benefit from their special education services.  Counseling as a related service does not supplant general counseling services available to all students.  Counseling services are provided by qualified social workers, psychologists, guidance counselors or other qualified personnel.

In the Southeast Texas Cooperative for Special Services, the recommendation for counseling as a related service may come from a counseling or psychological consultation, an evaluation specifically for counseling, or a full psychological evaluation.  The Director of Special Education is responsible for monitoring the provision of counseling as a related service.

Occupational and physical therapy

Occupational and physical therapy includes improving, developing, or restoring functions impaired or lost through illness, injury, or deprivation, improving the ability to perform tasks for independent functioning, and preventing further impairment or loss of such function.  Educational-based occupational and physical therapies focus on the educational setting of the student and address any needs that the student has in order to benefit form his or her special education services.  These therapies are not clinical in nature and thus the focus of the therapy is not on the individual child, but on how the child is able to function within the school environment.  In the Southeast Texas Cooperative for Special Services, eligibility for occupational and physical therapy is based on an evaluation conducted by a certified occupational or physical therapist.  The evaluation process begins with a consultation.  If services are indicated, the therapist works with the classroom teacher to develop goals and objectives to address specified needs and then becomes one of the implementers of the child's individualized educational program.  As such, occupational and physical therapy services are generally provided in the regular or special education classroom in order to best support the child with the educational environment. 

 Note:  If physical therapy is indicated, a physician's referral for services is required prior to beginning services. 

Orientation and mobility

Orientation and mobility services are provided by qualified personnel for blind or visually impaired students to enable those students to attain systematic orientation to and safe movement within their environments in school, home, and community.  It includes teaching students spatial and environmental concepts and the use of information received by the senses, the use of a cane or service animal to supplement visual travel skills, and instruction in the understanding and use of remaining vision and distance low vision aids.  The Southeast Texas Cooperative for Special Services works with orientation and mobility specialists for the evaluation and provision or orientation and mobility services. 

In-home and parent training

For students who are identified as having autism or a pervasive developmental delay, the ARD Committee must consider the need for in-home training and parent training.  The provision of in-home training and parent training, however, is not dependent on disability, but on the individual needs of the child.  In-home and parent training are intended to assist a child who has demonstrated mastery of certain skills within the school environment to generalize those same skills to the home or community environment.  The areas that in-home training and parent training cover are behavior, communication, socialization and self-help skills.  In the Southeast Texas Cooperative for Special Services, eligibility for in-home and parent training is based on an evaluation conducted by a professional experienced in working with children with autism and who has had training in in-home and parent training.  Individuals who conduct in-home and parent training are professionals who have had training in the area of autism and in-home training.  Parent training may be done individually within the home and community environment, or it may be through parent trainings that are offered throughout the school year by the Southeast Texas Cooperative for Special Services.  Information from parents regarding training topics is sought annually and the training schedule developed accordingly.

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