Technical assistance paper



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QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

1.
What is the definition of psychological services?
FEDERAL DEFINITION
According to 34 CFR 300.24 (b)(9), the 1999 regulations implementing the Individuals with Disabilities Education
Act (IDEA) Amendments of 1997, “Psychological services includes-
(i)
Administering psychological and educational tests, and other assessment procedures;
(ii)
Interpreting assessment results;
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(iii)
Obtaining, integrating, and interpreting information about child behavior and conditions relating to learning;
(iv)
Consulting with other staff members in planning school programs to meet the special needs of children as indicated by psychological tests, interview, and behavior evaluations;
(v)
Planning and managing a program of psychological services, including psychological counseling for children and parents; and
(vi)
Assisting in the development of positive behavioral intervention strategies.”
FLORIDA EXPANDED DEFINITION
Florida statutes and rules do not define psychological services. However, school districts throughout Florida provide students with a broader range of psychological services than described in federal regulations. The existence of these broader service delivery models provides the basis for the development of an expanded description of psychological services in Florida schools. This broader range of services is designed to impact more directly the rate of achievement of students and enhance the climate of schools where students learn.

These expanded services, therefore, often are designated on IEPs as “mental health services” rather than the more restrictive term “psychological services.” The expanded definition includes, in addition to the services described in the federal definition, the following:


crisis prevention and intervention services

services designed to maintain and improve school safety

assessment services designed to describe and monitor academic progress, emotional well-being, and instructional strategies

functional behavior assessment and behavioral intervention planning

networking school, home, and community resources

parent/family training, counseling, and support

research and program evaluation




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