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 Home > Advocate Newsletter Archives > 2020 > One of the Best Kept Secrets in Special Education: How Schools Can Use Teletherapy to Provide Therapy Services in IEPs

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One of the Best Kept Secrets in Special Ed: How Schools Can Use Teletherapy to Deliver Therapy Services in IEPs
by Pete & Pam Wright

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"My child has Autism Spectrum Disorder. Before school closed, he had an IEP and received one-on-one language services, occupational therapy, and one-on-one instructional time."

mom and child

"At a meeting after school closed, the teachers said speech language therapy and occupational therapy could not be delivered face-to-face or virtually."

"We are entering the fourth month without the school providing the services he needs. There is a 'window of opportunity' for my child to learn these skills. He is struggling. I'm scared."

You and your child should not have to wait.
In this issue of The Special Ed Advocate, we will:

  • examine options for children to receive the instruction and related therapies they need, including teletherapy;
  • provide Position Papers, Statements and Recommendations about teletherapy from professional organizations whose members work in schools;
  • demonstrate how you can learn about special ed law and advocacy at home; and
  • provide a "Sample Letter to Document a Problem and Request the Services in a Child's IEP."


1. One of the Best Kept Secrets in Special Ed: How Schools Can Use Teletherapy to Provide Services in IEPs

Parents and school staff need to know that speech-language therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, tutoring, behavioral health therapy -- even speech-language and pyscho-educational evaluations -- are provided virtually.

Teletherapy has allowed children with disabilities to receive these services remotely for years.

If you are distressed about the services your child has not received since the schools closed, read

How Schools Can Use Teletherapy to Provide Therapy Services in Children's IEPs includes resource information you can use to support a request. These resources include position papers, statements and recommendations about teletherapy by the professional organizations whose members work in schools.


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3. Sample Letter to Request That School Provide Therapy Services in Child's IEP

You can request that your school district arrange for school staff to provide your child's instruction and therapy services virtually. If school staff are unavailable or are not trained to do virtual instruction and therapy, you can request that the school provide these services through teletherapy.

Before you request that the school provide services in your child's IEP, you must educate yourself.

You must assume that your child's school will be reluctant to do anything new. (Read Chapter 21 - "Rules of Adverse Assumptions" in Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy by Pam and Pete Wright.

You must also assume that you need to write a persuasive letter. Before you write a letter to request services, please read The Art of Writing Letters to the School.

And < a href="">12 Rules for Writing GREAT Letters

You can use this Sample Letter to Request that School Provide Services as a template. Change the facts and details to fit your situation. You will find our comments and suggestions are in blue lettering.

Learn more about letters, documenting problems and paper trails.



Special Education in the COVID-19 Era

4. Compensatory Education: Evolution of Case Law by Pete Wright

Compensatory education is not in the law (IDEA 2004), the federal special education regulations, or in state laws and regulations.

Compensatory education is a concept created and fine-tuned by the Courts as case law. To understand how the law evolved, you need to know the history of compensatory education.

In addition to changes to the law by Congress, the other source of changes in special education law are created by the decisions issued by the U.S. Supreme Court and the Courts of Appeal.

The law about a child's entitlement to compensatory education is a direct result of three decisions by the U. S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS): Burlington in 1985, this author's Carter case in 1993, and the recent Endrew F. case in 2017.

Decisions from the Courts of Appeal caused a major shift and are the focus of this article, Compensatory Education: Evolution of Case Law.

Created: 06/08/20
Revised: 00/00/00

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