Denice Tucker, OTR
Manager, School-Based Therapy Services, Harris County Dept.
As a manager with HCDE, I am frequently asked,
“When is it time to dismiss a student from OT or PT services?” The student
may always have differences in participation
from peers, but how do you know when it is time for dismissal. IDEA does not
specify when to discontinue a related service, but here are a few things to
think about as you consider a recommendation for dismissal:
• Does the data show the student has mastered all
IEP goals/objectives supported by OT or PT service?• Does the data show the
student is no longer benefitting from OT or PT services despite varied and
lengthy attempts? • Does data indicate that the special education supports
currently incorporated into the student’s routine are resulting in progression
towards mastery without the addition of OT and PT?
Do your homework by collecting data and
collaborating with team players including the parents prior to completing your
evaluations. Explore all areas of learning and participation that might be
impacted prior to making final recommendations. What are the teacher and parent
concerns at this point in time? Will the absence of OT or PT interfere with the
student’s access to or participation in his or her educational program for the
upcoming year? Is on-going service still necessary or would a training session
with new teachers/school staff do the trick?
Once you have determined if your service is no
longer needed, knowing the answers to the questions above will help you
articulate your professional recommendation.
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When is it time to dismiss a student
from therapy services?