What is the Difference Between Counseling and Therapy?
Counseling addresses areas that are not deep. In the area of mental health, therapy addresses deep areas such as trauma, abuse/neglect, family dynamics that impacts the overall child or person, long lasting grief and loss, and depression.
What is Counseling as a Related Service?
According to the Department of Education technical assistance paper, it is a related service that is provided to students to assist the student in their success. The service is for the student at school. Although counselors communicate with families about the students’ needs and his/her growth in the related service, it is not family counseling. There are other services available through the student services department that do provide family counseling. Those services are not connected to the IEP and do not cost the family.
How can counseling be added on a student’s IEP?
Counseling is about the emotional needs of the student as indicated in the present level of performance (PLP) on the students IEP. The level of performance can change during the academic year; therefore, the amount and need of the service changes. Family members or any member of the IEP team can request an interim IEP to look at adding, changing or discontinuing the service any time during the year. The service addition or change can ONLY happen at an IEP meeting and the decision regarding the service is a TEAM decision based on information brought to the meeting regarding the students PLP.
Why can’t the service just remain until the student no longer has an IEP?
Student’s are growing and changing constantly. Counseling removes the student from their general education peers. That means the need for the service must be demonstrated in data.