Related Services

About Related Services

Related Services may be provided to students ages three through eighth grade who are eligible for special education and related services. Related services in PreK-8 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 a 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?

  1. Fine motor skills: managing classroom tools and other manipulatives

  2. Visual perceptual skills: provide strategies for interpreting visual information

  3. Sensory processing skills: help to effectively process and organize information from all sense so that the student can effectively interact with the environment

  4. Self-care skills: dressing, grooming, hygiene, and feeding

  5.  Pre-vocational skills: address prerequisite skills such as organization, sequencing, and time management.

Occupational Therapist

Ms. Kristina Geraghty                       TBD/CDW                        [email protected]


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:

  1. 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.

  2.  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 syllables.

  3. 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. 

  1. Receptive disorders refer to difficulties understanding or processing language.

  2. Expressive disorders include difficulty putting words together, limited vocabulary, or inability to use language in a socially appropriate way.

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:

  1.  Language intervention activities – involve having a speech-language specialist interact with a child by playing and talking. The therapist may use pictures, books, objects, or ongoing events to stimulate language development. The therapist may also model correct pronunciation and use repetition exercises to build speech and language skills.

  2.  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.

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

  2. 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 if 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 within 90 days to discuss assessment results and, if necessary, subsequent therapy.

Speech- Language Therapists

Ms. Jennifer Bara                               TBD/CDW                     [email protected]

Ms. Lauren Catellier                           PreK/TBD                     [email protected]

Behavioral Support Services 

Behavioral support services provide training and behavioral support to all teachers and staff working with students who exhibit challenging behaviors. Services are provided at various levels of involvement ranging from brief consultations with teachers to the development of formal behavior support plans for students. The services are designed to empower teachers and related staff to affect positive behavior changes in our students that help them reach their full potential and ultimately succeed in their environment. Many service applications are based on the principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA), where behavior change is accomplished through the processes of positive and negative reinforcement, extinction, and punishment. Data collection methods are typically employed to measure an individual’s ongoing progress related to reducing challenging behavior or increasing appropriate adaptive behavior. This is done to ensure that empirical events form the basis for program evaluation and modification. All treatment recommendations are largely predicated on the results of a functional behavior analysis with the belief that in order to affect behavior change we must understand the reasons for its occurrence. 

General descriptions of services are listed below.

  1. Consultations: An initial meeting usually involving the classroom teacher(s) and the behaviorist to discuss the general concerns and parameters regarding the referred student’s challenging behavior. In most cases, an action plan is generated to delineate any further proceedings. 

  2. Initial Observation: A period of time (approximately one hour) in which the behaviorist observes the referred student in his/her classroom. This is intended to provide general information regarding the student’s interactions with the environment, and how these interactions may affect his/her challenging behavior. 

  3. Functional Analysis: A comprehensive process designed to determine the cause and motivation of a student’s challenging behavior. This may take the form of behavioral surveys, classroom observations, or in some cases, manipulations of environmental variables suspected of influencing challenging behavior.

Behavior Intervention Plans 

Behavior intervention plans are created for students with significant behavioral concerns. Data is collected in order to better understand the potential reasons, history, frequency and level of the behaviors exhibited. This information is then used to organize a plan to address the behaviors exhibited. ABC charts can be created in order to better assess the function of the behavior. The (A) stands for the antecedent which is what occurs immediately before the behavior is exhibited. An example would be when a student is asked to sit down. The letter (B) represents the actual behavior exhibited, such as; hitting, throwing chair, crying, etc. The letter (C) stands for the consequence given for the behavior shown. The data collected on this type of chart over a minimum of 2-4 weeks is the basis for creating a behavior intervention plan. This data allows the teacher and behaviorist to have a basis of knowledge that can help identify patterns of a student’s behavior. 

Board Certified Behavior Analysts

Ms. Kelli Cassetta                       TBD/CDW                      [email protected] 

Ms. Stacey O’Keefe                        TBD                             [email protected] 


As the IEP team plans, they may decide that a student needs an aide to support the classroom teacher and/or students. The overarching needs that the aide is to address are identified by the IEP team. However, on a daily basis, aides work as support personnel under the supervision of certified school professionals. An aide 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.

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