I started to post this under a different thread, then realized that it was not fair to "jump the fence" on that one. So I started a new thread in order to vent a little about one of my favorite subjects. The difference between qualifying for an IEP and Occupational Therapist (OT) being a related service so therefore should be offered... Per IDEA 204, "Occupational therapy means services provided by an occupational therapist including 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." Also per IDEA 2004, a "related service means ... other supportive services (including...occupational therapy...) as may be required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education..." There is a huge difference between qualifying for an IEP and whether or not a student needs Occupational Therapist (OT) in order to benefit from FAPE. Yes Occupational Therapist (OT) is a related service. Yes, Occupational Therapist (OT) can be provided in the schools. But as is pointed out often on these boards - IEPs are individual education plans. Just because a child gets Occupational Therapist (OT) in the community does not mean the child automatically needs Occupational Therapist (OT) in the schools to benefit from his/her educational environment. An evaluation by an Occupational Therapist (OT) looks not only for a fine, gross, or sensory motor delay, but also that there is significant impact on the child's performance in his/her educational environment and that the student requires Occupational Therapist (OT) services in order to have the essential skills to benefit from his or her educational environment. There is nothing in the law stating that Occupational Therapist (OT) in the schools provides full remediation. Especially now with such emphasis on passing standardized tests, related services looks hard at when a student is pulled out from his/her LRE to participate in therapy. If the student has the essential skills to participate in his educational environment, a related service Occupational Therapist (OT) is not going to pull that student out of academics in order to remediate a motor skill. Many times I have seen a standardized motor assessment score used to justify providing a child with Occupational Therapist (OT) as a related service in the schools. However, a motor delay or dysfunction does not automatically qualify a student for services. I prefer, instead, an assessment called the School Functional Assessment or SFA. It is the most comprehensive functional assessment I have seen out there - it was developed by Occupational Therapist (OT)'s and is a criterion referenced test. This means the student is rated compared with peers, but if used yearly can be used to rate progress for himself. This test I use often when a child has a significant motor delay or medical diagnosis but teachers or staff can't seem to quantify how the delay may be impacting the child's function in the school setting. It looks at all educational environments (including playground, PE, transportation etc), at how much assistance or adaptations are required for a student to perform, and breaks down tasks into physical and cognitive tasks and covers just about any non-academic activity a child performs during a school day.