Even before the Pandemic, schools were not able to fulfill the needs of all special education students. Parents of special needs children have relied on additional special education related services outside of school for years.
Benefits of Special Education Related Services Outside of School
What are Special Education Related Services?
“Related Services” refers to any services that help a child succeed with general or special education. Here is a list of related services your child might benefit from having.
Examples of Related Services and Resources
- Occupational Therapy
- Speech Therapy
- Physical Therapy
- Assisted Technolgy
- Social Worker
- Adaptive Tools
Some of these services or resources are received at school, while others are outside the school setting.
Typical Location of Related Services Outside the School
- Private medical office
- Children’s hospital
- ABA center
- Even your home
Benefits of Related Services Outside of School
At school, your child is in a classroom full of other students. Perhaps there are only a few students in the room, or there could be too many that need that particular additional service. Either way, the school won’t be able to provide adequate service to every child that needs it.
Maintenance means keeping up skills. The phrase “If you don’t use it, then you lose it” applies to this concept.
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For example, an occupational therapist works with a student named Sarah on things like handwriting. In an incredibly successful session, Sarah learns how to use a specific grip on her pencil.
She also struggled with holding her pencil closer to the lead, and the pink seashell grip helped her. With time, the grip will be faded out, and Sarah can have a proper grip toward the pencil’s bottom.
If she never uses this grip again, she continues to hold her pencil incorrectly. It is essential to continuously review these concepts so that it is maintained and not lost over time.
A primary goal for students with special needs is to perform a specific task at school and be able to do it in multiple places. This is called generalization.
It is vital for students because it shows that the student has genuinely mastered it. It proves that a particular setting is not the only time a student knows how to complete the task.
Sometimes an instructor uses prompts that she is unaware of, so it is an actual skill test if the child can do it in multiple places.
Different teachers and therapists bring their unique spin to what they are doing. The best situation would be that all teachers and therapists collaborate to provide the best plan for the student.
In a school setting, therapists often work with and around what students are doing in the classroom. For example, I would often email the occupational therapist (OT) with days and times when I have a task that I wanted some guidance on.
These tasks were based on their IEP goal. It was an excellent time for us to collaborate on how to help the student. The OT would often have other ways to achieve the same goal but in a way that was easier or more efficient for the student.
Another benefit to a team collaboration approach with special education related services is that some people know different ways to work better! The special education teacher or therapist went to college and earned a degree, but everyone has different life experiences.
As a new teacher, this was common for me! In my classroom, there was a student who was having trouble with multi-digit multiplication. I had pulled out all of my tricks, and this kiddo still was having trouble understanding.
I asked another resource teacher about what she does with her kiddos, and she knew of another method. As it turns out, this method ended up being the better solution for several of my other students as well!
Additional Resources for Children in Special Education
Now more than ever, the benefits of special education related services outside of school are not just beneficial but are necessary. Seek out additional services or resources that would help your child with their learning.
What related services have your children been using? Drop your experience with the services in the comments below. Students with learning disabilities deserve to be successful in school. Let us help with the process!
Here are additional articles on our website that may help:
Additional Special Education Related Services Resources
- 6 Benefits Of Supplemental Learning
- Occupational & Physical Therapists In Special Education
- Assistive Technology Ideas in the Special Needs Home
- Get The Services YOUR Child Deserves
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