When Is It Time?


Denice Tucker, OTR
Manager, School-Based Therapy Services, Harris County Dept. of Education 

As a manager with HCDE, I am frequently asked, “When is it time to dismiss a student from OT or PT services?”  The student may always have differences in participation from peers, but how do you know when it is time for dismissal.  IDEA does not specify when to discontinue a related service, but here are a few things to think about as you consider a recommendation for dismissal:

• Does the data show the student has mastered all IEP goals/objectives supported by OT or PT service?
• Does the data show the student is no longer benefitting from OT or PT services despite varied and lengthy attempts?
• Does data indicate that the special education supports currently incorporated into the student’s routine are resulting in progression towards mastery without the addition of OT and PT?

Do your homework by collecting data and collaborating with team players including the parents prior to completing your evaluations.  Explore all areas of learning and participation that might be impacted prior to making final recommendations.  What are the teacher and parent concerns at this point in time? Will the absence of OT or PT interfere with the student’s access to or participation in his or her educational program for the upcoming year? Is on-going service still necessary or would a training session with new teachers/school staff do the trick?

Once you have determined if your service is no longer needed, knowing the answers to the questions above will help you articulate your professional recommendation.


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Author By

Denise Tucker, OTR


​When is it time to dismiss a student from therapy services?

Created at 9/27/2019 11:52 AM by Srivani Erukulla
Last modified at 9/27/2019 11:52 AM by Srivani Erukulla