Occupational Therapy (OT): CAN OT BE A STAND ALONE SERVICE?

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Lisa:  Can occupational therapy be a stand alone related service for a student receiving special education services?

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Hi Chuck-Regarding section 300.8 (a) (2) could you explain this in terms that a family would understand? In addition, OT is switched from direct to consult if Speech or PT is discontinued. Can you explain that too so families or other members of the IEP team understand the reasoning for this?


Cindy, The citation says a child must be receiving specially designed instruction in order to receive a related service under IDEA. If they are, they can receive as many related services as they need. The amount of service, & whether it is direct or indirect (consult) is recommended by the therapist. Unfortunately, this sometimes is based on factors other than the child’s needs. The team, legally, makes the final decision. The parent has the right to disagree with & challenge the recommendation or decision. They can ask for an independent OT evaluation & use the dispute resolution processes.


Section 300.8(a)(2) of IDEA rules says no.