What is a related service?
Related services are support services for special education and are not instructional services. They are those services necessary for the student to make progress toward the identified instructional goals. Related services may include occupational therapy, physical therapy, music therapy, assistive technology, counseling, diagnostic medical services, and transportation. Occupational therapy services are funded through school budgets utilizing state, local, and federal funds.
There are many “related services” that might benefit a child with a disability, just as there are many services that might benefit a child who does not have a disability. However, the law does not require that such services be provided. Rather, the legal duty to provide a related service arises only when without the service the child’s educational program would become less than appropriate, i.e., when the child would not benefit from his educational program without these services. In determining whether a related service is “necessary” for a student, the district should rely on a related services assessment. (Susan B. Graham, 1996)