Continuum of Services
The IEP process results in a decision concerning a learning environment in which the identified goals and objectives can best be met by the child.
Special education law requires an education in the least restrictive environment (LRE). Every district must assure an appropriate and effective education of every child in the general education classroom to the maximum extent appropriate.
Federal regulations outline the following guidelines regarding placement decisions:
- Special classes, separate schooling, or otherwise removing your child from general education should occur only when the nature or severity of your child's disability is such that education in general education classes cannot be achieved satisfactorily, even with the use of supplementary aids and services.
- Schools must provide a continuum of placement options (general education classes, general education classes with minimal support, general education classes with one-to-one assistance, special education classes, etc.), and supplementary services (adaptive physical education, speech and language, etc.).
- Schools must provide education as close to your home as possible, and allow your child to participate in extracurricular and nonacademic activities to the extent appropriate.
If your child is removed from a general education classroom, the school must work to return your child to the general education classroom as soon as possible.
Tips For Parents
- Remember - special education is not a place - but, services and supports to assist your child in the setting most appropriate for his/her needs.
- Make sure you understand your child's strengths and needs and what types of supports will be beneficial.
- Share your vision and expectations for your child.
- Be sure to consider all supports and services to help your child succeed i.e. assistive technology, adapted or modified curriculum, special equipment, special education consultation.
The IDEA defines 'related services' as:
- and such developmental, corrective, and other supportive services as may be required t o assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education, including, but not limited to:
- speech and language therapy
- physical therapy
- occupational therapy
- assistive technology
- social work services
- medical services (for diagnostic and evaluation purposes only)
- school health services
- counseling services
The need for related services is individually determined through the IEP process. Related services must have a relationship to the child's special education needs and must be necessary to give the child the opportunity to benefit from his or her special education program. The district provides related services through its own personnel and by contracting with agencies and/or individuals who provide the services. Related services can be delivered directly in an individual or group situation or indirectly by consultation with teasers and other school personnel so they may carry out interventions throughout the school day. One type of service is not necessarily better than the other, but depends on the individual needs of the child.