Select Language: English | Spanish
Menu Close

(9.4) Is AB 3632 the only way a California special education student can receive occupational or physical therapy?

(9.4) Is AB 3632 the only way a California special education student can receive occupational or physical therapy?

No. School districts are responsible for providing these related services if not provided by other agencies and are needed in order for a student to benefit from special education. Districts cannot refuse to include services in an IEP just because a funding source has not been identified. [Cal. Gov. Code Sec.

7572(c).] AB 3632 specifically states that when CCS finds OT/PT services are not needed for medical reasons, those services must be provided by the local school if the services are necessary for the child to benefit from special education. [Cal. Gov. Code Sec. 7575(a)(2).] When CCS agencies will not provide OT/PT services because of their own rules or eligibility requirements, these services must be provided by school districts if they are necessary for a child to benefit from special education. [34 C.F.R. Sec. 300.34(a); Cal. Ed. Code Sec. 56031.] OT/PT are, and have always been, listed among the special education related services available under state law [Cal. Ed. Code Secs. 56363(b)(6) & (10)] and federal law [34 C.F.R. Secs. 300.34(c)(6)(9) & (10)] when they are necessary for educational reasons.

If other agencies that are supposed to provide these services stop providing them for any reason, the school district must assume responsibility. [20 U.S.C. Sec.

1412(a)(12)(B)(ii).] In addition, federal law requires that during periods of disputes over services that a non-educational agency had been providing, the state must ensure that the services continue. [20 U.S.C. Sec. 1412(a)(12)(A).] You should always try to have these services identified in the IEP as educationally necessary — or necessary for a student to benefit from special education. It is ultimately the responsibility of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to ensure that state interagency services are carried out. [Gov. Code Sec. 7570.]

For any of these related services, a parent may always obtain and submit an independent evaluation to the school district.  It must be considered by the IEP team. [Gov. Code Sec. 7572(d)(2).] For information on how to obtain an independent evaluation at public expense, see Chapter 2, Information on Evaluations/Assessments.