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A Menu of possible Services

This list is not comprehensive... this is definitely something your health professionals, an advocate, or the school can help with.

In public schools within the United States, these services first require assessments by the district. A parent can request any assessment, but it is a team decision as to whether or not to perform any particular assessment (and the parents are key members of that team). It is important for a parent to keep in mind that the school is required to provide services that allow the child to access their education and the educational environment. They are not required to maximize a child’s benefit from their education. Keeping this in mind could help a parent clarify their position so they can work with a team to get all their child needs while at school.

Functional Behavior Assessment
  • A Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) takes a deeper look at the setting of behavior. In schools it is usually done when behaviors are a safety concern, but the process is affective at dealing with a variety of behaviors that interfere with a child’s ability to access their education. By observing the behavior, where it happens and what the consequences of behavior are, an analyst will suggest reasons (“function”) for the behavior or behaviors. This process can include a review of records and assessments including questionnaires, interviews, and direct observation.

Behavioral intervention plan (BIP)

  • From the results of an FBA the analyst will create a BIP which will include strategies to help the child learn new, “functional” behaviors that allow them to access their education without the unsafe behavior. This could include strategies for creating a setting where the behavior is less likely to occur, teaching an appropriate behavior, and strategies caregivers and teachers can use to promote behaviors that beneficial to the child.

Occupational Therapy (OT)

  • An assessment for OT can be important if the child has a disability that affects their ability to access or use the tools (pencils, scissors, etc.) that are part a regular school day. An OT session may include other aspects of movement that the child is not able to do and are normal for children of that age group but will focus on movements necessary to access the school environment and do the things students need to do.

Speech therapy

  • An evaluation for Speech Therapy in school would determine if the child’s ability to make sounds, words, or conversation affects their ability to have an education. A speech therapist can help a child with making sounds, forming words and sentences and having conversations.

Physical therapy

  • Physical therapy may be assessed if the team determines that the your child may have physical difficulty moving around the school, in the classroom, etc. If their movement challenges affect their ability to access their education an evaluation for PT may be warranted.

Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA)

  • ABA is the most common and accepted intervention for children with an ASD. It included a group of evidence based interventions that help teach people the skills that may be deficit in their learning. It can include strategies such as discreet trial teaching, pivotal response training, and shaping. A licensed behavior analyst (LBA) will assess a child’s needs and prescribe an appropriate amount of time and evidence-based practices. Sometimes the interventions are implemented by a special education teacher. A child may also receive specific interventions from a registered behavioral technician under the guidance of an LBA. These interventions can be especially important in helping children interact appropriately with peers, respond to instruction, and increase their ability to tolerate longer periods of time in a traditional classroom.

Assistive technology evaluation and/or device

  • An assistive technology evaluation will often be relative to speech production or access to the classroom and instruction. In regards to autism, the most often evaluation is for a picture exchange communication system. These provide a student with the ability to request and communicate wants and needs using pictures. New tablet-based application allow students to use the same exchange system while providing a speech generation option. you may consider requesting this assessment since the ability to express basic wants and needs is necessary to access a public education. Challenges in communication can also be cause of many other behaviors that are not conducive to the school environment.

1:1 paraprofessional support

  • This may be requested in situations where a child’s safety or the safety of others is an issue. It is often thought that 1 on 1 assistance is best. While many students would benefit from this type of assistance, it is rarely given and not always necessary. If not all day, the assistance of an RBT with the appropriate supervision by an LBA could be appropriate part of the day if it is found that the child would not be able to access their education otherwise.

Parent counseling

  • Parent counseling may be part of a group of recommendations made during the FBA process. Parent counseling could be important when the need for coordination between the home and school environment is necessary for a student to make progress and show benefit from their education.

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