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What are related services?
 
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Children with disabilities often need additional support and services to help them succeed in the classroom. Some students with disabilities only require specialized instruction by a teacher to adapt the curriculum to that child’s needs. Other times, students receive specific related services to support classroom instruction.
 
At BVSD, we offer a variety of such supportive services, which are determined to be necessary by a student’s IEP team.
 
Many BVSD students receive therapy outside of school. Parents are welcome to submit reports and recommendations from outside service providers.  It can be helpful for the IEP team to discuss the information. BVSD is not required, however, to implement the recommendations from any outside report, since changes to the IEP always should be a team decision that takes into account all available information regarding the student, not just the findings of one specific data source.
 

Therapeutic services provided in the educational setting according to an IEP must be directed toward the achievement of functional tasks required for children to participate and benefit from their education. Therapy provided in a medical setting, such as at a hospital or clinic, tends to focus on specific goals that may not relate directly to educational performance.

BVSD service providers work closely with teachers, school staff, parents and community providers who work with students outside of school. Below are the most common related services at BVSD schools:

 

Audiologist
The Audiologist provides a wide array of services throughout the district to assist in identifying and serving students who may have hearing impairments as well as assisting facilities with the correct installation and maintenance of classroom acoustic devises and/or FM systems. They may provide in-service training related to hearing impairments and their implication to school personnel, children, and parents. They also work to ensure the proper fit and functioning of hearing aids and other auditory devices, including the calibration of audiometric equipment. 
 
Audiology Assistant
The Audiology Assistant works under the supervision of the Audiologists and assists in carrying out district-wide school hearing screenings, assists with sound booth evaluations, and provides clerical support in maintaining audiological records. 
 
Registered Occupational Therapist (OTR)
The Occupational Therapist (OTR) is a "related service" provider who supports the student's access to specialized instruction and the general curriculum. Occupational therapists work with students when motor skills interfere with their ability to participate in school and classroom activities when the area of need is not due to lack of instruction. OTRs help students improve specific skills and adapt to classroom demands. Specifically, the OT is concerned with a student's ability to perform in three areas: (1) work productivity within school environments, (2) self-care and (3) play/leisure. An OTR can help a student who has difficulty performing in any of these areas by analyzing and breaking down tasks, developing a new way of doing the task, adapting or modifying the task or environment, and/or practicing elements of the skill with the student. Occupational therapy is provided with a fluid combination of direct and/or indirect service. Direct service may be integrated into a large instructional setting (e.g. classroom, cafeteria, playground, gym), or provided within a smaller instructional environment. Indirect service/consultation may include monitoring student progress and/or recommending accommodations and modifications for targeted students. Occupational therapists work together with school staff and families to identify ways to change, adapt, modify, and use the school environment to optimize overall student performance. OTRs are required to have a valid national registration through NBCOT, a valid state registration through DORA, as well as a Special Services license through CDE. 
 
Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA)
A certified occupational therapy assistant (COTA) provides direct therapy to students while under the supervision of a registered Occupational Therapist. A COTA may assist with screenings and assessments, follow intervention plans, document student performance, assist with clerical duties, and perform maintenance on equipment. A COTA must have an associate's degree from an accredited program and have passed the certification test through NBCOT (National Board of Certified Occupational Therapists). 
 
Physical Therapist (PT)

The Physical Therapist (PT) is a "related service" provider who supports the student's access to specialized instruction and the general curriculum. A PT works collaboratively with the IEP team in screening, evaluating, educating staff and families, program planning and intervention. PTs assist in the development of skills to increase the functional independence of the student within the educational environment. PTs may provide direct or indirect services to assist in addressing those issues that significantly limit a student's movement within the school environment or their ability to perform functional activities throughout their school day. PTs are required to have a valid Colorado state license, as well as a Special Services license through CDE. 

 

School Psychologists and School Social Workers
The BVSD School Psychologists and School Social Workers are a professional group in the district who have extensively worked with both the social-emotional and cognitive aspects of student achievement, and bring a unique skill set to the school environment. School Psychologists and School Social Workers provide integral support to student achievement, emotional/behavioral development, and establish a collaborative culture in buildings. School Psychologists/Social Workers provide essential services to individual students, staff, groups and families within the school, as well as support district-wide initiatives. The following are possible roles that the School Psychologist/School Social Worker may fulfill in their respective schools, contingent upon their allocation and available time at the site:

    • Academic/Behavior Support and Intervention
    • RtI Support
    • Assessment
    • Counseling
    • Consultation
    • Staff Development
    • Crisis Prevention
    • Systems of Care

Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP)
The Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) provides specialized instruction and consultation to students who require support in communication. An SLP may serve as the student's Case Manager if they are the primary provider of special education services. if the primary disability of the student is Speech-Language Impairment. An SLP must have the appropriate Special Services license through CDE.

 
Speech-Language Pathology Assistant (SLP-A) 
Speech-Language Pathology Assistants (SLP-A) do not have their own caseload. Rather, they assist the licensed SLP in managing an existing caseload. Under the supervision of an SLP, an SLP-A may: assist with screenings and assessments, follow intervention plans, document student performance, assist with clerical duties, and perform maintenance on equipment. CDE has published Fast Facts that further delineate the roles and responsibilities of an SLP-A.  An SLP-A must have the appropriate background coursework to obtain an SLP-A authorization through CDE.