Does anyone have experience with related service providers wanting to discontinue services because the student is no longer making progress? In my eyes this is absolutely not a good reason! What are your thoughts? I’m mainly talking about OT and PT services for kids older than 3rd grade. Is there something I’m missing? I would never discontinue a reading program because a student isn’t making progress - I would work my butt off to find a solution. Is it different with OT and PT?

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It depends on your district’s provider policy. I don’t agree with it either, but my district has a policy to dismiss or discontinue services if the child is not making progress or if behavior is impacting the ability to hold sessions. I work with severely disabled students and 7 (almost 8 but parent wouldn’t consent) of my 10 students have been dismissed from OT because of behavior or limited/lack of progress. I think it speaks more to my OT’s skills in working with severely disabled students, implementing behavior strategies , and creating activities that my students can make progress on, but unfortunately it’s my district’s policy. It’s awful.

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Definitely backwards. It's Essentially giving up on them. If those who are trained to help are unable to, where do they turn to next? It must be very discouraging for parents as well.

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Ugh that makes me sad!! My thought is that if something isn’t working change it somehow!

I do not work with children with severe disabilities or children with severe behaviors (this year at least!!*knocks on wood*)- I’m in a k-5 elementary school and all students are in either an a coteaching model or consultant teaching model. It seems like they’re giving up on these truly wonderful kids who I KNOW can achieve great things, but you have to be really creative and patient - 2 skills I think are so necessary to work with children and especially children with disabilities. I just feel really disheartened that our providers don’t always see that or feel that same way. Thanks for the responses!

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I also work with severely disabled medically fragile students ages 5-8. As our kiddos grow older it becomes more difficult to pursue OT/PT services as “educationally necessary”. One year we had a parent of a dystrophic student want the PT to work on riding a bike. Hard to justify as educationally relevant since non disabled kids typically don’t ride bikes in school. It really depends on your therapists and the student/family. A child with dystrophy will not make progress and will in fact regress as the disease progresses.

We should face the fact that some children in fact do not progress enough to justify moving said student all day long from teacher to teacher and by so doing, isolate them from the classroom atmosphere that often is do helpful to them.

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