Five Things To Remember:

Music therapy is a related service: this was originally stated in the congressional report on IDEA and it has been affirmed by the Federal Office of Special Education.

The only way for music therapy to be placed on an IEP as a related service is through an assessment conducted by a qualified music therapist.

Music therapy may be provided as an educational consult service to a group of students (early childhood or autism programs, for example) -- and this may provide more children with service and teachers with materials they can use on a daily basis -- but it should not be listed as a related service on any student's IEP if that student has not received an individualized assessment.

An assessment for music therapy as a related service should, at minimum, include a review of the student's current IEP, interviews with key IEP team members, and an assessment process/instrument that provides specific data as to whether or not music therapy makes a significant difference in a student's ability to benefit from his or her IEP.

The standard for recommending music therapy in the public schools (according to the federal law) is usually more stringent than that for therapy in other settings. While a child may enjoy music and even "benefit" from the inclusion of music in education and therapy, in order for music therapy to be recommended as a related service, it must be "required" for a child to benefit from his or her special education program.

Click on the link at the top of the page for some great RESOURCES on this subject, or follow the links to the right to browse more of our site.

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