Home Frequently Asked Questions FAQs about Services

Special Education Department

1702 North Alamo Street
San Antonio, Texas  78215

Phone: (210) 225-2406
Fax: (210) 225-2842

FAQs about Services PDF Print

Question:  Can the student receive related services (OT, PT, transportation, counseling) without being eligible for special education?

Answer: Related services means services such as developmental, corrective, and other supportive services required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education.  Related services must support the educational needs of the child.  Each request for related services is considered on an individual basis.  In isolated cases, related services can actually trigger eligibility for special education services.  Always check with the appropriate coordinator if there is a question.



Question:  What is the difference between special education and related services?

Answer: Related services are a component of special education.  These services, such as transportation, OT, PT and counseling, are provided to assist a student benefit from the special education and general education programs.



Question:  What is meant by “consultation services” and by “direct services” when applied to related services?

Answer: Consultation is the provision of related services information/techniques provided to  campus instructional staff to enable them to work with a student with disabilities. This service is recommended by the ARD/IEP meeting to ensure effective implementation of the instructional objectives in a student’s IEP.

    Direct service refers to the provision of related services provided directly to students to develop, correct, improve, and/or restore functioning that is impaired or lost in order to assist a student with disability to benefit from special education.



uestion:  Is an evaluation required prior to making the student eligible for related services?
Answer: YES.The school must complete a referral either as part of the initial assessment, re-evaluation/triennial, or consideration of outside testing.  The referral is sent to the Special Education Department to be given to the therapist assigned to the campus.  The referral must include a completed and signed Notice & Consent for Evaluation.  Testing must be completed and a report written within 60 days of the referral.


Question:  Does having a doctor’s recommendation or prescription for related services automatically qualify a student for services?

 Answer: NO. IDEA requires an assessment to determine if related services are needed.
Public schools must complete an assessment to determine the need for services.  The referral must include a completed Notice & Consent for Evaluation, signed by the parent.  Parent must be given a copy of the Procedural Safeguards.

Question:  Can the parent require the ARD/IEP to follow treatment recommended by private OT,PT, speech & language pathologist, psychologists or other professionals?

Answer: NO.


Any evaluation provided by parent must be considered by the ARD/IEP


committee in determining needed related services.  Any outside testing and recommendations will be reviewed by the appropriate evaluation person for consideration at the ARD/IEP meeting.  The ARD/IEP committee determines services.



Question: What is the difference between OT and PT services?

Answer: Occupational therapy includes improving, developing or restoring functions impaired or lost through illness, injury, or deprivation; improving ability to perform tasks for independent functioning if functions are impaired or lost; and preventing through early intervention, initial or further impairment or loss of function.  Functions might include cutting, pasting, handwriting, eating, dressing, hygiene, or job skills.

Physical therapy includes improving skills such as getting from one location or surface to another in school.  Physical therapy provides support to students who need assistance with positioning due to physical problems.


Question: Who can provide counseling as a related service in public schools?

Answer: A professional who is licensed and certified to provide counseling services can provide counseling as a related service.  This may include a school counselor, an LSSP, LMSW, LPC or psychologist.


Question:  How does a student receive counseling as a related service?

Answer: To receive counseling as a related service, a student must be referred through an ARD/IEP.   An assessment is conducted, and ARD/IEP is held to develop and adopt goals and objectives.   Frequency, duration, and location of services are established by the ARD/IEP committee.


Question: Is adapted physical education a related service?

Answer: NO.


It is an instructional service.  The APE specialist works with the PE instructor and/or the classroom teacher to modify the curriculum to meet the child’s physical and/or cognitive needs.


Question: Does the provision of APE services require a referral, Notice and Consent for Evaluation, and an evaluation?

Answer: YES.


APE services require Notice and Consent for Evaluation, signed by the parent, referral for evaluation, and a completed, written evaluation report.  The referral is completed by the school.  The referral, the consent and the Notice of Release/Consent to Request Confidential Information forms must be sent to the Department for processing.  All three forms must be received before processing can begin.


Question: How, where and by whom can APE instructional services be delivered?

Answer: APE services are based on goals and objectives for APE, developed by the ARD/IEP committee.  APE services can be delivered in a general or special education PE setting, by special education or general education teachers.


Question: Which students are eligible for SAISD transportation as a related service?

Answer: Students who have cognitive limitations, physical limitations or emotional problems are eligible for transportation as a related service. 



Question: Must a representative from SAISD Transportation be present at the ARD/IEP meeting  in order to recommend transportation as a related service?

Answer: NO.


The Department recommends that a school contact the Director of Transportation/Assistant Director of Transportation to have transportation personnel attend ARD/IEP meetings in the following situations:


● Specialized school bus equipment is required to provide transportation services.

● A student with disabilities has severe behavioral problems and transportation is an integral part of the school-based behavioral intervention program.  Goals and objectives for transportation should be included in the BIP.  

● A student with disabilities is medically fragile and requires special care.

● A student has an infectious disease that requires special precautions.

● Special services/instructions, such as individual trips, restraints, isolation, are necessary.