Are psychological services limited to testing activities? Although the answer to this question is unquestionably “no,” it is often important to state the obvious. As defined by federal regulations and the psychology profession, psychological services include, but are not limited to, assessment, intervention, consultation, program evaluation, crisis intervention and management, and parent support programs. 5. How do we decide which psychological services to provide to students with disabilities? The responsibility for deciding which psychological/mental health services to provide as related services lies with the IEP team. The team determines the nature and extent of the psychological services necessary based on the use of a problem-solving process. This team makes the initial decision regarding psychological services when a student is first found eligible to receive exceptional student education services or any time during the student’s participation in the exceptional education program. The team may be reconvened at any time when service modifications seem to be needed. The decision regarding the need for related services typically occurs during the initial placement, annually at the IEP meeting, and/or during the reevaluation. The IEP team determines if related services are required for a student to benefit from his or her educational program. The problem-solving process includes the following steps:
4 ■ definition of the problem (child, classroom, school) ■ problem analysis (assessment and decision-making) ■
development of an intervention plan (specific strategies, the personnel to implement the strategies, and the location(s) in which the strategies will be implemented)
■ an evaluation of the effectiveness of the strategies The psychological services that are determined necessary by the team should be ■ selected based on their potential (empirical or clinical/educational data) to impact positively the attainment of the educational goals of the student ■ evaluated on the degree to which their implementation will facilitate the attainment of the educational goals of the student The team, composed of teachers, parents, administrators, the student (when appropriate), and the provider of the psychological services, should consider the need for psychological services in all of the settings in which education is provided to the student. The annual goals or short-term objectives may indicate needs in a variety of settings, such as the community or home. The IEP team documents the psychological services required for the student, their frequency, and the length of time the student will receive those services. This information is helpful to those who must implement the IEP as the information assists with scheduling and managing resources.