- Parents or guardians should first contact their child’s teacher or local school to speak with the designated person regarding testing for eligibility for special education. Upon receiving written consent for evaluation from the child’s parent or guardian, a Full Individual and Initial Evaluation (FIE) must be completed within 45 school days, unless certain special circumstances apply.
- An Admission, Review and Dismissal (ARD) committee meeting is then held within 30 calendar days of the date of the FIE to review testing results and determine eligibility for special education.
- If appropriate, the ARD committee develops a specialized program designed to meet the child’s individual needs, which may include related services such as occupational therapy, physical therapy and music therapy. This program is called the Individualized Education Program (IEP). Evaluation for related services is sometimes included in the initial FIE but in many instances occurs later, once the child’s ARD committee members have an opportunity to assess how the child is performing in their educational program.
- The child’s IEP is reviewed annually, and eligibility for special education is reviewed and/or assessed no less than every three years.
Our clients are children from 3-21 who struggle with learning and/or participation at school due to special needs such as cerebral palsy, autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, and others.
If a child is eligible for special education, therapies such as occupational therapy, physical therapy and music therapy may be needed to support a student’s progress on the IEP. Special education law terms these services “related services.” Decisions about these related services are made by members of the Admission, Review, and Dismissal (ARD) Committee and rely heavily on a thorough evaluation of the child’s needs by a therapy professional. Parents are integral members of these committees and work together with school personnel to make decisions in the best interest of the student.
Our therapy services are provided wherever and whenever school-age children receive their education. Therapists support children and their teachers in a variety of ways, including working directly with children in classrooms, playgrounds, cafeterias and other locations during their normal daily school routines. Therapists also provide consultation and training to a child’s teaching staff so that therapeutic strategies and techniques can be carried out consistently, every day, by every professional who works with the child.