Revisiting Related Services Decision-Making in Inclusion-Oriented Schools

Related services (e.g., speech-language pathology, physical therapy, occupational therapy) can be essential supports for students with complex support needs by providing educationally relevant and necessary supports that ensure access to an inclusive education. Sometimes these services are, often with the best of intentions, are provided in ways that interfere with inclusive education. This session revisits research-based related services decision-making to facilitate inclusive education. After this session, participants will be able to: a) describe a set of common problems (e.g., fragmentation, quasi-teamwork, lack of shared goals, isolated and autonomous decision-authority, lack of consumer and family involvement) that interfere with the provision related services in ways that are supportive of students receiving an inclusive education; b) describe the pros and cons of three value systems (i.e., more is better, return on-investment, only as special as necessary) that influence related services decision-making; and c) describe an interrelated set of key concepts, strategies, and questions utilized by team members to increase the likelihood that related services will be educationally relevant, educationally necessary, and facilitate an inclusive education.

Michael Giangreco