Special Services Manual


As the parent/guardian of a special education student, you are a key part of the process that provides an appropriate and caring educational experience for your child. You are the advocate who remains a constant in your child’s life as he or she progresses through the school system. This manual is an effort to provide you with clear and accurate information that will help you work effectively with district personnel. It does not replace state laws and guidelines, which are detailed in separate handbooks that you will receive throughout your child’s education. This book is a resource in tandem with your personal communication with district professionals. Central Regional’s Mission Statement applies to every child in our district.


Evaluation and intervention services are provided to students by the Child Study Team, special education instructional staff, and related services specialists. A referral to the Child Study Team may be initiated by a parent/guardian, teacher, school nurse, school administrator, special services staff, medical specialist and other professionals or agencies concerned with the welfare of students when an educational disability may be suspected. Public schools are required by law to develop a process for identifying potentially educationally disabled students. An educationally disabled student is one who may be experiencing difficulties of a physical, emotional, academic, intellectual, or social nature to the extent that the student is not able to function effectively in a regular education program. A Child Study Team evaluation is necessary to determine the basis of the difficulties and whether the student is eligible for special services. If the student is determined eligible for special education and related services an individualized educational program (IEP) is developed.

With federal passage of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA) in December 2004, parents/guardians are an integral part of the IEP Team that plans an appropriate school program and an IEP for the educationally disabled child. Parents and school personnel work together throughout this process in developing an appropriate program to meet the unique student needs. The district provides the full continuum of programs options as outlined in the New Jersey Administrative code (NJAC 6A: 14). The complete rules and regulations pertaining to Child Study Team procedures and students with disabilities are contained in the New Jersey Administrative Code, Title 6A, Chapter 14, Special Education.

Child Study Team Make-up

The Child Study Team is a multi-disciplinary educational team that is responsible to locate, identify, evaluate, determine eligibility, and develop an Individualized Education Program (IEP) for students suspected of having educational disabilities. This group of specialists is employed by the district to provide consultative, evaluative, and prescriptive services to teachers and parents. The team provides diagnostic services to children from age 11 to 21 that have been identified as having a potentially disabling condition. Counseling and consultative services are available for any school-aged student experiencing difficulty in learning or behavior.

The Child Study Team (CST) together with district’s teachers, administrators, and I&RS committees make recommendations for programs and placements which will best address the needs of students who are experiencing school-related programs. The team consists of a school psychologist, learning disabilities teacher/consultant, and school social worker, and in some cases, a speech-language specialist.

School Social Worker

The social worker’s primary responsibility is as a member of the Child Study Team. As such, the social worker contributes to the CST evaluation process by conducting a “social history evaluation.” The social history evaluation is an assessment of bio psychosocial factors (social, emotional, physical, behavioral and cultural) that may impact a child’s adjustment to and performance in school. The school social worker also provides counseling, crisis intervention and consultation services, as well as helping families’ access community services.

Learning Disabilities Teacher/Consultant (LDT/C)

The Learning Disabilities Teacher-Consultant is a master teacher who functions in the school environment as an educational diagnostician, instructional programmer, Child Study Team member, educational consultant and instructional leader. The LDT/C must have the professional preparation to make assessments, analyses, and classifications of students’ learning differences; understand and implement special education law; plan and facilitate delivery of programs for children with learning differences; transfer specific and successful instructional techniques to classroom teachers through consultation, collaboration, and in-service education; and effectively communicate and consult with parents, counselors, teachers, and administrators. An educational assessment shall be the responsibility of a learning disabilities teacher/consultant employed by the district board of education. It shall include review of the student’s educational history, conferences with the student’s teacher(s), and an evaluation and analysis of the student’s academic performance and learning characteristics.

School Psychologist

The school psychologist consults with the student’s teachers and assesses the student’s current cognitive (thinking and learning), social, adaptive, and emotional status. The activities involved in the evaluation vary at times from student to student but, in general, most children are given an intelligence test to determine a child’s likelihood for success within the academic arena. For certain students the school psychologist provides counseling, crisis intervention or consultation services.

Case Manager

In addition to their respective roles, the social worker, school psychologist, and learning consultant also serve as case managers for students receiving special education services. Students are assigned a case manager at the time of the referral, however, periodically there are changes in assignments. The case manager coordinates the evaluation process and IEP development, as well as the monitoring and evaluation of the effectiveness of the IEP. The case manager facilitates communication between home and school, and coordinates the annual review and reevaluation process. The case manager is knowledgeable about the student’s educational needs and program, as well as special education procedures and procedural safeguards, and is responsible for transition planning. A speech/ language specialist may also serve as a case manager.


Staff & Title


Areas of Responsibility

Dr. Douglas Corbett



High School Principal

Mr. Angello Mazzuca

Assistant Principal


A – K

Mrs. Adrienne Cangelosi-Schafer

Assistant Principal


K – Z

Mr. Joseph Firetto

Middle School Principal


Middle School Principal

Ms. Irene Marousis

Assistant Principal


Middle School Assistant Principal

Mrs. Felicya Morreale


Math, Science, MC

Mr. Kevin Buscio


English, Social Studies, Arts

Mr. Tim Murphy


Testing, Scheduling, Business


Mr. Darryl Heale, Supervisor (214)



Grades & Letters

Kathleen Thievon


A - De

Stacey Buscio


Di – K

Jeff Mangold


Ri – Z

Kelly Mastronardy


L – Re

Dana Cerullo



Jennifer Mullins


Student Assistance Counselor

Kris Golda


A – J

Kathy Kropke


K - Z

Christine Leotta


Student Assistance Counselor


Colleen P. McCauley, Director of Special Services

Staff & Title


Areas of Responsibility

Colleen Burg,

Social Worker


A - G & Group Home

Nicole Capoano,



H - MI

Michael Jablonski,

Social Worker


MO - Z

Noelle Cauda-Laufer

School Psychologist


High School Psychologist/

Department Head

Theresa Strunk

School Psychologist


Middle School Psychologist

Charlene Rutledge

Social Worker



Laurie Kearney

Speech Therapist


Speech Therapist (HS/MS)

Lynne Lasko



K-Z (Preston)

Lori Weipz

Social Worker


A – J

(Johnston, Frulio)


The First Step in the Referral Process

The Intervention and Referral Service (I&RS) team serves as a resource for teachers and is an integral part of the pre-referral process. I&RS members typically include, but are not limited to, the school principal, nurse, counselor, CST members and teachers. I&RS may also include parents, special education super-visors, speech therapists, or reading specialists. The purpose of the I&RS is to address any possible concerns teachers may have regarding their students’ academic, social, or emotional functioning. Based on meetings with teachers, the I&RS team develops case-specific strategies for use in regular education class-rooms. Teachers then implement these strategies according to I&RS recommendations. Parents are informed about the progress of their child through contact with the teacher. If the strategies are not effective, they may be revised or, if it is suspected that the student is potentially educationally disabled, a referral will be made to the Child Study Team. Parents can request their child be brought before the I&RS team. They would do this by contacting the child’s teacher or principal.

*Parents are always notified if their child is referred to I&RS. Parents can always request a CST evaluation before, during, or after the I&RS process. Written requests for CST evaluations should be directed to the Director of Special Education.

Procedural Safeguards Handbook on Parents’ Rights

IDEA requires school districts to provide parents of a child with a suspected disability, a

notice containing a full explanation of the procedural safeguards (legal rights) available under

IDEA and other state and federal regulations. This hand-book is called, “Parental Rights in Special Education” (PRISE). Parents can obtain a copy of PRISE in any of the district’s schools or in the Child Study Team office or by visiting http://www.nj.gov/education/specialed/form/prise/p...

When You will Receive the Procedural Safeguards

The procedural safeguards must be given to you one time each school year and at the

following times:

? When your child is first referred for evaluation or when you request an evaluation;

? When you request a copy of the procedural safeguards;

? When your child is removed for disciplinary reasons and the removal results in a change

in placement;

? Upon receipt of the first State complaint and/or the first due process petition in a school

year, if you should file a State complaint or request a due process hearing; and

? Upon revision to the procedural safeguards.

PROCESS . . . . .

Referral – Evaluation – Eligibility – Individualized Education Plan – Placement –
Annual Review / Reevaluation Meeting

The Identification and Placement Process: Description


A student is generally referred for evaluation by school personnel through the I&RS team

or by the child’s parent/guardian. The referral should be made in writing, addressing the specific

presenting concerns and the child’s current strengths and needs. The referral is presented to the

Director of the Child Study Team (Dr. Michele Ramsay) who assigns the referral to a designated case manager. The assigned case manager has responsibility for managing the referral process. If parents make a referral for evaluation, it is important that they know who is designated to receive the referral, who will manage the referral process and who will be contacting the parent during the referral process. They can obtain this information by calling the child’s school or the main number for the Child Study Team office, 732-269-1100, ext., 213.


Informed, signed, parental consent must be received in order for the school to proceed

with the evaluation. It is important for the parent to understand the components of the evaluation

and how the results of the evaluation will be used to determine eligibility for special education

services. An initial evaluation shall consist of a multi-disciplinary assessment in all areas of

suspected disability. Such evaluation shall include at least two assessments and shall be

conducted by at least two members of the Child Study Team in those areas in which they have

appropriate training or are qualified through their professional licensure or educational

certification and other specialists in the area of disability as required or as determined necessary.

The specific kind of evaluations a child needs is decided on an individual basis and will include

professionals trained to assess specific areas. Persons from varying disciplines including a

school psychologist, speech-language therapist, physical therapist, audiologist and/or

occupational therapist may conduct evaluations.

The common elements of a comprehensive assessment generally include the following:

a) A psychological evaluation, which includes a standardized aptitude test that measures

cognitive functioning, a clinical interview, observation, and as needed social-emotional

and adaptive behavior rating scales;

b) A social history, which includes developmental, medical, and educational histories, and

parent, teacher, and student interviews;

c) An educational evaluation, which includes achievement testing, learning style inventory,

and a classroom observation; and

d) A medical evaluation/health appraisal, which includes a physical examination and visual

and auditory acuity testing.

Persons trained in the area of hearing or visual impairment may also provide assessment

services, if needed. At this step of the process, parents should receive Parental Rights in Special

Education (PRISE). After parent consent for initial evaluation of a preschool age or school age

student has been received, the evaluation, determination of eligibility for services under this

chapter, and, if eligible, development and implementation of the IEP for the student shall be

completed within 90 calendar days.

You, as a parent, can provide the school with information about your child that you want

them to use in deciding if your child has a disability that requires special education and related

services. In the event that a parent does not give permission for the school to evaluate the child

and the school personnel believe that the child is in need of special education, the school system

may, but is not required to, pursue the initial evaluation of the child by utilizing due process


Independent Evaluations

As described above, before receiving special education services, your child must receive

an evaluation if a disability exists. If you disagree with the school’s evaluation results, you can

request an independent evaluation. This service is provided at the school system’s expense and

the testing is done by a licensed professional not employed by Central Regional. The results of the independent evaluation must be considered by the IEP team.


After the required evaluations are completed and summary reports are written and shared

with parents, the Individualized Education Program team (IEP Team) conference is held to

determine if a child has a disability and needs special education and/or related services. The IEP

Team includes the child’s parents and professionals who are knowledgeable about the child’s

learning and behavior in the school environment. The team should discuss every area of

physical, behavioral and academic functioning that affects the child’s educational performance.

The team must decide if the student (a) meets the eligibility criteria for a disability area as

outlined in the New Jersey Special Education Administrative Code, Chapter 14, Title 6A; (b) if

the disability adversely affects educational performance; and (c) is in need of specially-designed

instruction and related services. All three criteria must be met in order for the student to be found

eligible for special education.

According to IDEA 2004, students may not be deemed eligible for special education

services if they do not meet the eligibility criteria of the law or if their eligibility is based on a

lack of instruction in reading and math. A student may also be deemed not to be eligible if the

disability does not adversely affect the child’s educational performance.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act

Section 504 is a civil rights law that protects against discrimination and grants equal

access for all. It affects students who have a physical or mental impairment that substantially

limits one or more life functions (e.g. learning). Under Section 504, if the student does not

qualify for special education and related services, he or she may be eligible for reasonable

accommodations in the general education classroom. Although there is no official list of

reasonable accommodations the following academic adjustments are noted specifically in the

law: a) modifications to the method of instruction, b) extended exam time. c) alternate testing

formats, and d) increased time to complete a course. Also auxiliary aids such as calculator, tape

recorders, word processors, may be considered reasonable accommodations. Although there is

not legal requirement to do so, in some cases OT and PT are provided in a 504 Plan. (See page

17 for more details, re: Accommodations.)

The Individualized Education Plan (IEP)

Upon completion of the evaluation, an eligibility conference will be held to discuss

whether the student meets the code criteria making them eligible for special education and/or

related services. A copy of the collaborative Child Study Team finding report will be given to

the parents. Subsequently, but usually immediately following this conference, and

Individualized Education Plan (IEP) conference will be held.

At this meeting, the student’s educational strengths and needs will be considered. Goals

and objectives will be developed to address identified needs. The team will then determine the

appropriate program for each individual student with consideration of the least restrictive

environment as a priority. The evaluations, determination of eligibility for services, and (if

eligible), the development and implementation of the IEP shall be completed within 90 calendar

days of the district’s receipt of parental permission to evaluate.

The implementation of a child’s individual education program should occur 15 days after

the IEP Team’s completion of the plan, unless parents and school personnel mutually agree to

an earlier implementation date. Times may vary, for example, if a child is assigned to another

school for services and transportation must be arranged; if supplemental aids must be acquired

and/or staff must receive specialized training in order to fully implement the IEP. The IEP

document should identify the student’s primary educational placement, the projected date for the

beginning of the services and modifications described in the plan, and the frequency, location

and duration for each service.

Required Elements of an IEP

For a comprehensive list of the required elements of an IEP, see Special Education NJ

Administrative Code, Chapter 14:-3.7 (e) 1-17., pg. 62-68.

IEP Team Attendance

According to Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the Individualized

Education Program team or IEP Team must include the following persons:

? The guardian(s) of the child;

? At least one regular education teacher;

? At least one special education teacher or, where appropriate, at least one special

education provider of the child;

? A representative of the local education agency (LEA) who

(a) is qualified to provide, or supervise the provision of, specially designed instruction

to meet the unique needs of children with disabilities;

(b) is knowledgeable about general curriculum; and

(c) is knowledgeable about the availability of resources of the local educational


? An individual who can interpret the instructional implications of evaluation results. This

person may be the LEA representative described above;

? At the discretion of the parent or the school system, other individuals who have

knowledge or special expertise regarding the child, including related services personnel,

as appropriate; and

? The child, when appropriate.

Parents shall be given written notice of a meeting early enough to ensure that they will

have an opportunity to attend. Meetings shall be scheduled at a mutually agreed upon time and place. If a mutually agreeable time and place cannot be determined, the guardian(s) shall be provided the opportunity to participate in the meeting through alternative means, such as videoconferencing and conference calls.

Resolving Disagreements

What happens if I disagree with the school district over the identification, evaluation,

classification, educational placement or the provision of a free, appropriate public education?

There may be a time when you and the school district disagree. Many disagreements can

be resolved by communication with your child’s teacher, case manager, the school principal, or

other school district personnel. There are also procedures established under state and federal law

to address your concerns, such as complaint resolution, medication or a due process hearing.

Refer to the PRISE booklet, page 15, for further details regarding dispute resolution.

Disabilities Covered Under the Act

The following defines each area of disability included in New Jersey Special Education

Administrative Code, Chapter 14, Title 6A:

? Auditory Impaired: means an inability to hear within normal limits due to physical

impairment or dysfunction of auditory mechanisms. An audio logical evaluation by a

specialist qualified in the field of audiology and a speech and language evaluation by a

certified speech-language specialist are required.

? Autistic means a pervasive developmental disability, which significantly impacts verbal

and nonverbal communication and social interaction that adversely affects a student’s

educational performance. Onset is generally evident before age three.

? Cognitively impaired means a disability that is characterized by significantly below

average general cognitive functioning existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive


? Communication Impaired means a language disorder in the areas of morphology,

syntax, semantics and/or pragmatics/discourse, which adversely affects a student’s

educational performance and is not due primarily to an auditory impairment.

? Emotionally Disturbed means a condition exhibiting one or more of the following

characteristics over a long period of time and to a marked degree that adversely affects a

student’s educational performance due to:

i. An inability to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory or health


ii. An inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with

peers and teachers;

iii. Inappropriate types of behaviors or feelings under normal circumstances;

iv. A general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression; or

v. A tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or

school problems.

? Multiply Disabled means the presence of two or more disabling conditions, the

combination of which causes such severe educational needs that they cannot be

accommodated in a program designed solely to address one of the impairments.

? Deaf/blindness means concomitant hearing and visual impairments, the combination of

which causes such severe communication and other developmental and educational

problems that they cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for

students with deafness or students with blindness.

? Orthopedically Impaired means a disability characterized by a severe orthopedic

impairment that adversely affects a student’s educational performance.

? Other Health Impaired means a disability characterized by having limited strength,

vitality or alertness, including a heightened alertness with respect to the educational

environment, due to chronic or acute health problems.

? Preschool Child With a Disability means a child between the ages of three and five

experiencing developmental delay, as measured by appropriate diagnostic instruments

and procedures, in one or more of the following areas:

i. Physical, including gross motor, fine motor and sensory (vision and hearing)

ii. Cognitive

iii. Communication

iv. Social and emotional

v. Adaptive

? Social Maladjustment means a consistent inability to conform to the standards for

behavior established by the school. Such behavior is seriously disruptive to the education

of the student or other students and is not due to emotional disturbance as defined above.

? Specific Learning Disability means a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological

processes involved in understanding or using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or to do

mathematical calculations, including conditions such as perceptual disabilities, brain

injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia. A specific

learning disability is determined when a severe discrepancy is found between the

student's current achievement and intellectual ability in one or more of the following

areas, and that discrepancy is not primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor

disabilities, general cognitive deficits, emotional disturbance or environmental, cultural

or economic disadvantage:

(1) Basic reading skills;

(2) Reading comprehension;

(3) Oral expression;

(4) Listening comprehension;

(5) Mathematical calculation;

(6) Mathematical problem solving;

(7) Written expression; and

(8) Reading fluency.

? Traumatic Brain Injury means an acquired injury to the brain caused by an external

physical force or insult to the brain, resulting in total or partial functional disability or

psychosocial impairment, or both.

? Visually Impaired means an impairment in vision that, even with correction, adversely

affects a student’s educational performance.

Other Definitions Included in IDEA

? Adapted Physical Education is a diversified program of activities specially designed for

an individual who meets eligibility criteria for special education and/or related services

and is not able to participate safely and/or successfully in the regular physical education


? Assistive Technology is any service that directly assists a child with a disability in the

selections, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology devise.

Accommodations and Modifications in the Classroom and for Testing

The IEP team determines whether accommodations, modifications of curriculum or

testing, or alternative testing are needed. When the decision is made it must be documented in

the student’s IEP. The decision regarding the need for special consideration is based on the

student’s evaluation results, current level of functioning, and unique learning characteristics.

Listed below are acceptable accommodations and modifications for standardized testing

as per the New Jersey Department of Education.


A. Setting Accommodations

1. Administering the assessment:


a. individually in a separate room

b. in a small group in a separate room

c. in the resource room

d. in a special education classroom

e. at home or in a hospital (this will depend on the nature of the assessment task)

2. Seating the student in the front of the room near the examiner or proctor

3. Seating the student facing the examiner or proctor

4. Providing special lighting

5. Providing special furniture e.g., desks, trays, carrels

B. Scheduling Accommodations

1. Adding time as needed

2. Providing frequent breaks

3. Terminating a section of the test when a student has indicated that he/she has completed

all the items he/she can. The examiner must ensure that the student has attempted all

items in a section since items are not ordered by difficulty. When this accommodation is

used, the test must be administered in a small group or individually to avoid distraction.

C. Test Materials Modifications

1. Administering the large-print version of the test

2. Administering the Braille version of the test

D. Test Procedure Modifications

1. Administration modifications

a. reading directions aloud

b. reading test items aloud (do not read aloud or sign the reading passages in

Language Arts Literacy –the reading items may be read or signed); ONLY the

teacher who must read the test items aloud or sign is permitted to have a test

booklet assigned to him/her for this task

c. providing and ensuring that amplification (hearing aid and/or FM system) is in

working order

d. using a sign language or cued speech interpreter to sign or cue the directions or

test items but NOT the reading passages

e. masking a portion of the test booklet and/or answer folder to eliminate visual

distractors or providing reading windows

f. repeating, clarifying, or rewording directions ONLY

g. providing written directions on a separate sheet or transparency

h. using an examiner who is familiar with the student

i. using an examiner who can communicate fluently in sign language (American Sign

Language or a form of Manually Coded English)

j. providing manipulatives for math items e.g., number line, counting chips, abacus

(for NJ ASK 3-8 ONLY)

k. using graph paper for HSPA Mathematics (all students are permitted graph paper

for NJ ASK 3-8)

l. using a Braille ruler and talking calculator or large-face calculator

m. using tactile or visual cues for deaf or hard of hearing students to indicate time to

begin, time remaining, and time to end a particular part of the test

n. using calculators for NJ ASK 3-8 Mathematics (all students are permitted

calculators for HSPA)

2. Response modifications

a. having an examiner record the student’s identification information on the test

booklet and/or answer folder

b. dictating oral responses to a scribe (examiner or proctor who writes from dictation)

c. using a Braille writer to record responses

d. signing responses to a sign language interpreter (student must indicate all

punctuation and must spell all key words)

e. recording responses on a word processor (all editorial functions MUST be


f. providing an augmentative communication device

g. using a larger diameter or modified special grip # 2 pencil

h. circling answers in the test booklet (the examiner subsequently transfer the

answers to the answer folder); for the NJ ASK 3-4, the examiner bubbles the

student’s answer choice in the scan able test booklet

i. allowing separate additional continuation pages for writing tasks


The New Jersey Administrative Code for special education and the federal Individuals

with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) ensure that children with disabilities receive a free,

appropriate, public education in the least restrictive environment.

As noted above, in accordance with the least restrictive environment, the first placement

option considered is the regular education classroom with the necessary supplemental aids and

supports to enable the student to meet his/her educational goals.

Supplementary Aids and Services

Supplementary aids and services are provided by paraprofessional aides, teachers, related

service providers, or CST members in the general education classroom to enable students with

disabilities to be educated as much as possible with nondisabled peers. Supplementary aides and

services may include, but are not limited to the following:

1. Prompting, cueing and redirecting student participation;

2. Reinforcing of personal, social, behavioral and academic learning goals;

3. Organizing and managing materials and activities;

4. Implementation of teacher-designed follow-up and practice activities;

5. Consultation regarding

a. the development and demonstration of techniques and strategies;

b. data collection on the effectiveness of the techniques and strategies;

c. development of positive behavioral supports.

6. Adapted instructional materials;

7. Supports to address environmental needs (e.g. preferential seating, altered

physical room arrangement);

8. Specialized equipment (e.g. wheelchair, computer, software, etc.);

9. Assignment modification;

10. Testing modifications (see prior list)

Resource Programs

Resource Programs provide specialized instruction by a special education teacher to

students with disabilities, in a separate Resource Center Classroom for each subject area.

Special Education Classes

For students in need of more intensive and specialized instruction, placement in a special

class program may be the least restrictive appropriate educational placement. Special class

programs offer instruction in the core curriculum content standards, but the regular education

curriculum and the instructional strategies may be modified based on the student's IEP. For some

students, the IEP may specify a modified curriculum emphasizing functional life skills and/or

prevocational/vocational skills. Students placed in a special education class typically remain in

this class for a major portion of the day, but may also participate in general education classes and

programs appropriate to their needs.

Extended School Year

An ESY program provides for the extension of special education and related services

beyond the regular school year. An extended school year program is provided in accordance with

the student's IEP when an interruption in educational programming causes the student's

performance to revert to a lower level of functioning and recoupment cannot be expected in a

reasonable length of time.

Out of District Placements

Out of district placements include Special Services School District, State Approved

Schools for the Disabled, State Operated Programs and Home Instruction. Home Instruction is

considered the most restrictive and should only be utilized on a temporary basis.

Related Services

Related Services may be provided to students ages 3 through twelfth grade who are

eligible for special education and related services. Related services in K-12 grade include

speech/language, occupational and physical therapies, counseling, and special transportation, etc.

Occupational Therapy

What is occupational therapy? Occupational therapy services within a school setting are

designed to adapt the classroom environment, assist in the development of performance

components that are prerequisites for academic learning, and facilitate functional daily living

skills within a child’s current educational setting.

How are services provided? Current models of best practice suggest intervention be

integrated into the naturally occurring events of the student’s day, rather than in isolated settings

or artificial situations. However, there may be situations when certain skills may warrant more

direct therapeutic interventions. Collaborative efforts may be pursued with a combination of

teachers, other related service providers, parents and others pertinent to the student’s program to

support classroom functioning.

Who receives occupational therapy services? Those students identified to require

occupational therapy services in an IEP or 504 plan in order to access their education.

Determining the need for occupational therapy intervention must include observing the student

within the educational environment and assessing his or her ability to meet the demands of the

current educational program. If environmental adaptations and modifications are in place and

teaching staff are trained to meet the goals of the IEP, then services may not be required.

What skills do occupational therapists typically address?

? Fine motor skills: managing classroom tools and other manipulatives

? Visual perceptual skills: provide strategies for interpreting visual information

? Sensory processing skills; help to effectively process and organize information from all

sense so that the student can effectively interact with the environment

? Self-care skills: dressing, grooming, hygiene, and feeding

? Pre-vocational skills: address prerequisite skills such as organization, sequencing, and

time management.


The development of age-appropriate speech and language skills is essential to the

learning process and to a student’s social and emotional growth. Children must be able to

comprehend the language, express their thoughts, request explanations from the teacher and

produce speech that others can easily understand.

Speech disorders include the following problems:

? Articulation disorders, which include difficulties producing sounds in syllables or saying

words incorrectly to the point that other people can’t understand what’s being said.

? Fluency disorders include problems such as stuttering, the condition in which the flow of

speech is interrupted by abnormal stoppages, repetitions, or prolonging sounds and


? Resonance or voice disorders include problems with the pitch, volume, or quality of a

child’s voice that distracts listeners from what is being said. These types of disorders

may also cause pain or discomfort for the child when speaking.

Language disorders can be either receptive or expressive. Receptive disorders refer to

difficulties understanding or processing language. Expressive disorders include difficulty

putting words together, limited vocabulary, or inability to use language in a socially appropriate


What is remediation? Speech-language therapy involves having a speech-language

specialist work with a child on a one-to-one basis, in a small group or directly in a classroom, to

overcome difficulties involved with a specific disorder. Speech-language therapy uses a variety

of therapeutic strategies, including:

? Language intervention activities – involve having a speech-language specialist interact

with a child by playing and talking. The therapist may use pictures, books, objectives, or

ongoing events to stimulate language development. The therapist may also model correct

pronunciation and use repetition exercises to build speech and language skills.

? Articulation therapy – articulation, or sound production, exercises involve having the

therapist model correct sounds and syllables for a child, often during play activities. The

level of play is age-appropriate and related to the child’s specific needs. Articulation

therapy involves physically showing a child how to make certain sounds, such as the “r”

sound. A speech-language therapist may demonstrate how a child should move his

tongue to produce specific sounds.

Referral for Speech Services

Among the many services available to students within our district, including students not

eligible for special education, are those services provided by our speech therapists. Therapists

are trained in techniques to identify, support and remediate a student’s speech and language

needs. There are two ways in which our district identifies which children may be eligible for

speech and language services.

? A child can be referred for evaluation by the child’s teacher.

? A child can also be referred by the child’s parent who may send a letter to the Child

Study Team.

Within 20 days of receipt of a referral a meeting will be convened to discuss with parents,

teachers and speech therapist of evaluation for speech services is warranted. If an evaluation is

agreed upon, once it is completed, parents, teachers, and speech therapist will reconvene another

meeting with 90 days to discuss assessment results and, if necessary, subsequent therapy.


As the IEP team plans, they may decide that a student needs a para-professional to

support the classroom teacher and/or students. The overarching needs that the paraprofessional is

to address are identified by the IEP team. However, on a daily basis, paraprofessionals work as

support personnel under the supervision of certified school professionals. A paraprofessional

serving in a special education position assists teachers in a variety of responsibilities and

performs a multitude of tasks that are both instructional and/or non-instructional.


ADA Americans with Disabilities Act

ADD Attention Deficit Disorder

ADHD Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

AI Auditory Impairment

AT Assistive Technology

AU Autism

BD Behavioral Disabilities

BIP Behavior Intervention Plan

CI Communication Impaired

COTA Certified Occupational Therapist Assistant

CST Child Study Team

DB Deaf-Blindness

DDD Division of Developmental Disabilities

DOE Department of Education

DYFS Division of Youth and Family Services

ED Emotionally Disturbed

ESERS Eligible for Special Education and Related Services

ESY Extended School Year

FAPE Free Appropriate Public Education

FBA Functional Behavior Assessment

HI Hearing Impaired

ICR In-Class Resource (w/Special Education Teacher)

ID Mildly Cognitively Impaired

ID Moderately Cognitively Impaired

ID Severely Cognitively Impaired

IDEA Individual with disabilities Education Act

IEP Individual Education Program

INTPS Integrated Preschool

LD Learning and/or Language Disabilities

LDTC Learning Disabilities Teacher / Consultant

LEA Local Education Agency (School District)

LPT Licensed Physical Therapist

LRE Least Restrictive Environment

MCI Moderately Cognitively Impaired

MD Multiple Disabilities

OCD Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

OCR Office of Civil Rights

ODD Oppositional Defiant Disorder

OHI Other Health Impaired

OI Orthopedically Impaired

OT Occupational Therapist

OTR Occupational Therapist Registered

POR Pull-Out Replacement (Special Education Teacher)

POS Pull-Out Support (Special Ed. Teacher)

PSD Pre-school Disabled

PT Physical Therapist

PT Physical Therapy

RTI Response to Intervention

SC Self-contained

SCI Severely Cognitively Impaired

SI Supplemental Instruction (taught by Regular Ed. Teacher)

SLD Specific Learning Disabilities

SM Socially Maladjusted

TBI Traumatic Brain Injured

TTM Team Teaching Model

VI Visual Impairment