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(4.65) How specific does the IEP need to be when describing the related services that are being provided to my child?

(4.65) How specific does the IEP need to be when describing the related services that are being provided to my child?

Federal and state law requires that if related services such as speech therapy or psychological counseling are recommended by the IEP team that the IEP include the frequency, duration, and location of those related services. The services and programs in the IEP document should be described in a manner that is clear to all involved in the development and implementation of the IEP, including and especially the parent.

The IEP should be written as specifically as possible. If the service is not written into the IEP, it does not exist as a required service. You should also include whether the services will be provided individually or in a group. You can even describe how many students should be included in the group. For example, if a student is going to receive speech and language services, the IEP should include a statement like “student will receive speech and language services in a group of no more than 3 students [or individually], 3 times per week (frequency), 30 minute sessions (duration) in the speech therapy classroom [or in the special education or general education classroom] (location)”.

Using the same speech and language example above, if your school district includes a brief statement such as “90 minutes weekly” when describing the speech and language service, it fails to meet the frequency/duration requirements. There is no frequency, no duration and no location listed in the IEP. If this minimal description is proposed by the school district, you should request that the district include frequency/duration/location as required by law. If the school district refuses, you can file a compliance complaint with the California Department of Education (CDE). See Chapter 6, Information on Due Process Compliance Procedures.