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(3.21) Can my child be eligible for special education if she only needs some related services, like speech therapy, for example, but does not need special education instruction?

(3.21) Can my child be eligible for special education if she only needs some related services, like speech therapy, for example, but does not need special education instruction?

No, Federal law specifically states that in addition to meeting one of the disability categories, a student must need some degree of special education instruction.  [34 C.F.R. Sec. 300.8(a)(2)(i).] In addition, California regulations state that a child can qualify for special education if the results of the assessment “demonstrate the child’s impairment … requires special education in one of the program options.”  [5 C.C.R. Sec. 3030(a).] Based on these provisions, a child would not be eligible for special education if she only needs some related service. However, in determining a child’s eligibility, District must conduct comprehensive assessments into all areas of suspected disability. A child’s need for a related service such as speech therapy or occupational/physical therapy should trigger the suspicion of an underlying disability which District must evaluate to determine if the child meets one of the qualifying categories. Similarly, before recommending to exit an already eligible child from special education, District must carry out assessments to see the child remains eligible under one of the other categories.