SpEd Menu

Division of Special Education



  • Related Services Department


    LAS, APE, OT, PT, AT & RT (More Information Below)

    The Related Services Department provides services to children with disabilities from birth to age 22. The District provides prevention and pre-referral services for students suspected of having an area of need, and provides intervention services to students with special needs who meet the service eligibility criteria under California Ed. Code. The need for Related Services is individual to each student, and is prescribed as part of the student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP). All service provision is based upon the student’s assessed need and is provided in accordance with the mandates of the IEP and state and federal guidelines.

    The Related Service staff consists of over a thousand highly qualified providers serving in every school in the District. The providers all have current state licenses or credentials from the state of California in their field of expertise, and have received extensive training regarding current educational practices. Continuing education is provided yearly to broaden the provider's professional knowledge and enhance their ability to implement the latest research, technology and best practices.

     

  • Speech and Language Icon

    Language and Speech (LAS)


    School-based language and speech (LAS) is a related service that supports the educational program for students who have a communication disorder which impacts their involvement and progress in the general education curriculum in one or more of the following areas:

    • Articulation: The production of speech sounds significantly interferes with communication and attracts adverse attention
    • Language: Inappropriate or inadequate acquisition in comprehension or expression of spoken language
    • Fluency: Difficulties which result in the abnormal flow of verbal expression to such a degree that they adversely affect communication
    • Voice: A voice that is characterized by persistent, defective vocal quality, pitch or loudness

    PDF Icon Speech and Language Position Paper

  • Special education programs and services in California are governed by both federal law, as defined by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and state law, as defined by the California Education Code (CEC).

  • A student with a Speech or Language Impairment is defined as a pupil who has been "assessed as having a language or speech disorder which makes him or her eligible for special education and related services when he or she demonstrates difficulty understanding or using spoken language to such an extent that it adversely affects his or her educational performance and cannot be corrected without special education and related services" (CEC, Section 56333).

  • Children 3 - 22 years of age who meet criteria for special education services may be eligible for Language and Speech (LAS) services. School-based speech-language pathologists share in the decision-making process with the IEP team to determine how to best meet the educational needs of individual students.
  • Classroom-based collaborative services and consultation with school staff, designed to maximize the student's communication skills for improved participation in curriculum activities.

  • Sessions are designed to build speech and language skills to support and enhance interactive communication skills through peer modeling. Service could take place either in the classroom or in a smaller setting outside of the classroom.

  • Services and supports may be delivered in-person or virtually (telepractice). 

Articulation

  • Play activities which include sound awareness and discrimination, using songs, stories and games that emphasize letter sounds
  • Identify a "target sound of the week." Find objects that begin with the sound, make a sound book with pictures, and listen for the sound when reading stories

Language-Receptive, Expressive, Social/Pragmatic

  • Talk to your student about everything you do together
  • "Match plus one" - imitate the child's verbal expression and add one word to model expanded language at his/her appropriate learning level
  • Incorporate role-playing, story-telling and play-acting into activities
  • Encourage students to tell you what they want rather than anticipating their needs
  • Gain students' attention and have child repeat directions to check for understanding
  • Break instructions into smaller parts to assure comprehension
  • Make connections to the child’s life for understanding of new vocabulary
  • Use visuals to assist with story-telling and learning of daily routines
  • Read books to your child and ask questions on their level

Fluency

  • Minimize time pressures, interruptions, competition, and a barrage of questions
  • Model acceptance for individual differences
  • Accept and listen to the student's message

Voice

  • Consult with the school nurse about possible medical concerns
  • Provide opportunities for the student to speak in a normal tone of voice, minimizing situations where he or she will shout or scream

The Los Angeles Unified School District Speech and Language Program consists of a dedicated staff of over 600 qualified speech-language pathologists and speech-language pathology assistants. Our providers are state licensed and/or credentialed. Many are also certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). Continuing education is supported by the District for our providers to maintain a keen awareness of the latest research, technology and best clinical practices.

District providers have training to support the wide variety of needs of the students we serve:

  • Intensive Language Education After School Program (ILEAP)
  • Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)
  • Bilingual Assessment
  • Preschool Assessment
Speech and Language Program
333 S. Beaudry Avenue, 17th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Phone: (213) 241-6200 Fax (213) 241-8433
  • Adapted Physical Education Icon

    Adapted Physical Education (APE)

    Adapted Physical Education (APE) is a diversified program of developmental gross motor activities, games, sports, and rhythms suited to the interests, capacities and limitations of students with disabilities who may not safely and/or successfully engage in unrestricted participation in the vigorous activities of the general physical education program, modified general physical education program or in a specially designed physical education program in a special day program. Services are based on need and not generalizations from categorical conditions.

    PDF Icon  Adapted Physical Education Program Brochure
    PDF Icon  Adapted Physical Education Position Paper

LAUSD offers a variety of sports opportunities for students with special needs. Students of all ages have an opportunity to participate in a progression of athletics from lead-up sports activities to competitive team sports. APE teachers coach their students to be able to safely and successfully participate in sports. Similar APE service delivery, the sports programs offered by LAUSD are tailored to meet the various needs of our students. 

Inclusive Sports (IS) Grades 9-12 Inclusive Sports (IS) is a CIF Sanctioned level of competition in Track & Field and Swim.  High School students with intellectual and physical disabilities can compete in this level on their High School Track & Field and Swim teams. Unified Tennis Grades 9-12 Unified Tennis is an opportunity for high school students with and without disabilities to develop tennis skills through workshops with neighboring schools.  This opportunity was developed especially for our non-ambulatory students to experience individual sports alongside their ambulatory peers.
Wheelchair Basketball Grades 9-12 Wheelchair basketball is a unique sports training and competition program offered at selected high schools by the APE program. Wheelchair basketball teams are comprised of general education students and students with disabilities. Training and tournaments take place during the school day as part of the student’s physical education instructional program. Adapted Intramural Sports (AIS) Level CTC AIS is designed as a culminating event for students at career and transitions centers (CTC) to compete against each other in Soccer, Floor Hockey, Basketball, and Softball.  Training and scrimmages occur within the individual CTC’s work and school schedules. AIS promotes recreational skills/activities that the students can transition into their local community programs.
Boccia Grades 9-12 and CTC LAUSD’s Boccia program is inclusive for all ability levels, including students with motor impairments. The Boccia program allows students who are typically not able to participate in traditional team sports the opportunity to learn, train, and participate in a team sport and event.  

 

Special Olympics SoCal and LAUSD Logo


In partnership with Special Olympics Southern California (SOSC), LAUSD offers five physical education/sports programs that span from ages 3 to 22. The programs offered promote inclusion and support the development of sports skills that promote successful participation in competitive sports. The partnership, funded by Project Unify through SOSC, offers a positive foundation for activity between special education and general education students, family members, and adult volunteers.

Young Athletes Logo
Team Wellness Logo
Young Athletes Grades PK-K Young Athletes is a school based sport and play program for children with and without disabilities. Young Athletes introduces basic sport skills, such as running, kicking, and throwing, while also incorporating music and explorative opportunities. Team Wellness Grades 8-12 and CTC Team Wellness is an exciting and unique health and wellness curriculum designed for individuals with and without intellectual disabilities. Participants receive guidance, direction, and encouragement for the student’s holistic well-being.
   
   
Unified Sports Logo   School Games Logo  
Unified Sports Grades 9-12 Unified team sports are comprised of students with and without disabilities working alongside each other as teammates representing their school site. Teams travel to other school sites to compete in Soccer, Basketball, and Softball tournaments. School Games Grades K-8 School Games is a sports program that benefits students from kindergarten through eighth grade. The program provides opportunities for competition, fitness and promotes lifelong skills. School Games hosts two sporting events that are held within the school year: Soccer and Track & Field. 
   
   
Motor Activity Training Program Logo  
Motor Activity Training Program (MATP) Grades PK - CTC The Motor Activities Training Program (MATP) targets students with severe intellectual and physical disabilities, who typically do not participate in complex team or individual sports. MATP provides individualized training to prepare student athletes for sport specific skills that are appropriate for their ability level.  
 
The Los Angeles Unified School District employs approximately 200 highly qualified APE teachers. Teachers must hold:
  • A bachelor’s degree in kinesiology or a related subject area
  • A minimum of one teaching credential
  • An added authorization in adapted physical education

Many of our teachers are multilingual, National Board Certified, and also coach high school, collegiate, and/or Special Olympics sports.  Our adapted physical educators’ service provision includes special education intervention in the areas of perceptual motor skills, locomotor skills, object control, physical fitness, and adaptive behaviors following a comprehensive standardized assessment by an APE teacher.

Adapted Physical Education
Beaudry Building - 17th Floor
333 South Beaudry Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Phone: (213) 241-6200 Fax: (213) 241-6842 
  • Occupational Therapy Icon

    Occupational Therapy (OT)


    School-based occupational therapy (OT) is a related service included in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Children 3 to 22 years of age who meet criteria for special education services may be eligible for OT services. Service needs are determined upon completion of a school occupational therapy and IEP team recommendation. School-based occupational therapists share in the decision-making process with the IEP team to determine how to meet the educational needs of individual students.

    PDF Icon Occupational Therapy Brochure
    PDF Icon Occupational Therapy Sensory Integration Brochure
    PDF Icon Occupational Therapy Position Paper

Occupational therapy primarily focuses on purposeful, goal directed activities that improve a student's functional performance during their school day. School-based occupational therapists:

  • Assess students within their educational setting, using a comprehensive approach to evaluate and assess a student’s needs in their educational environment as well as "The Educational Framework for Child Success" to determine their needs
  • Collaborate with team members, including students, parents, teachers, adapted physical education teachers, psychologists, speech therapists, orientation and mobility specialists, etc.
  • Provide services in the delivery model of individual or small group treatment, consultation, monitoring or environmental adaptations
  • Provide consultation to classroom teacher/staff/families and environmental modifications for students with disabilities to improve occupational performance within the educational environment
School-based occupational therapy is a support service to the student's educational program. School-based occupational therapists assess the following areas in the context of the educational environment:
  • Postural stability
  • Self-help skills
  • Fine motor skills
  • Sensory processing
  • Social and play abilities
  • Visual motor and perception
  • Task completion and organization

School-based occupational therapists use therapeutic activities that may improve a student's ability to function within the school environment in the areas of self-help, work and play. Occupational therapy intervention may include adaptation of tasks or the environment in order to enhance student performance.

The Educational Framework for Child Success (EFCS) emphasizes the importance of the child’s abilities within his or her curriculum in the context of the school environment, and the EFCS also highlights the importance of curriculum; evidenced based practice; team collaboration; and ongoing as well as future postsecondary child outcomes.

The Los Angeles Unified School District Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy Program consists of a growing staff of over 200 state licensed occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants. The occupational therapists and the occupational therapy assistants are state licensed and many of the therapists on staff also hold a Master's or Doctoral degree. The staff members come from diverse backgrounds and have experience in a variety of settings. Some therapists are actively involved in research, teach University level courses, and have published literature related to the fields of occupational therapy and physical therapy. Additionally, District therapists participate in ongoing continuing education training in a variety of clinical areas.

Occupational Therapy Program
333 S. Beaudry Avenue, 17th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Phone: (213) 241-6200 Fax: (213) 241-8435 
  • Physical Therapy IconPhysical Therapy (PT)


    School-based physical therapy (PT) is a related service included in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Children 3 to 22 years of age who meet criteria for special education services may be eligible for PT services. Service needs are determined upon completion of a physical therapy assessment and IEP team recommendation. School-based physical therapists share in the decision-making process with the IEP team to determine how to meet the educational needs of individual students.

    PDF Icon Physical Therapy Program Brochure
    PDF Icon Physical Therapy Position Paper

Physical therapy primarily focuses on purposeful, goal directed activities that improve a student's functional performance during their school day. School-based physical therapists:

  • Assess students within their educational setting, using use a comprehensive approach to evaluate and assess a student’s needs in their educational environment as well as "The Educational Framework for Child Success" to determine their needs
  • Collaborate with team members, including students, parents, teachers, adapted physical education teachers, psychologists, speech therapists, orientation and mobility specialists, etc.
  • Provide services in the delivery model of individual or small group treatment, consultation, monitoring or environmental adaptations
  • Provide treatment, consultation to classroom teacher/staff/families, and environmental modifications for students with disabilities to improve performance and access within the educational environment
School-based physical therapy is a support service to the student's educational program. School-based physical therapists use therapeutic activities that may improve a student's ability to physically access his educational environment. School-based physical therapists assess the following areas:
  • Postural control
  • Balance
  • Strength and stability
  • Motor control and coordination
  • Endurance
  • Functional mobility and accessibility within the educational environment
  • Gross motor skills
The Educational Framework for Child Success (EFCS) emphasizes the importance of the child’s abilities within his or her curriculum in the context of the school environment, and the EFCS also highlights the importance of curriculum; evidenced based practice; team collaboration; and ongoing as well as future postsecondary child outcomes.

The Los Angeles Unified School District Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy Program consists of a growing staff of over 40 state licensed physical therapists. Many of the therapists on staff also hold a Master's or Doctoral degree. The staff members come from diverse backgrounds and have experience in a variety of settings. Some therapists are actively involved in research, teach university level courses, and have published literature related to the field of physical therapy. Additionally, District therapists participate in ongoing continuing education training in a variety of clinical areas.

Physical Therapy
333 S. Beaudry Avenue, 17th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Phone: (213) 241-6200 Fax: (213) 241-8435
  • Assistive Technology IconAssistive Technology (AT)


    The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA) and California special education law require that students with disabilities participate in general education curriculum, assessment, and accountability measures. The IDEA and California law also require that Individualized Education Program (IEP) teams consider whether students need assistive technology services and devices when developing IEPs.

    PDF Icon Assistive Technology Program Brochure
    PDF Icon Assistive Technology Position Paper

Assistive Technology relates to the tools required to maintain, improve, or increase functional capabilities to bridge the gap between student’s performance and the demands of the curriculum. Assistive Technology devices and services are defined in the IDEA as:
  • The term assistive technology device refers to any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified or customized that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of a child with a disability.

  • The term assistive technology service refers to any service that directly assists a child with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device. This includes: evaluation; providing for the acquisition of AT equipment; selecting, designing, maintaining, repairing, or replacing the equipment; coordinating and using other therapies, interventions or services with assistive technology devices; and training or technical assistance for the child, family and other professionals who work with the child.

Although consideration of assistive technology does not mandate assessment, assistive technology devices and services are most often deemed necessary and provided in LAUSD after an assessment has been conducted by the staff at the student’s local school site, staff from the District’s assistive technology team, or both groups in collaboration. The multi-disciplinary team of professionals who work in the field of assistive technology within the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is comprised of highly qualified general and special education teachers with specialized training and experience in the field of assistive technology (AT assessors), occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech and language pathologists, audiologists, deaf and hard of hearing teachers, and teachers of the visually impaired who work at the school site.

If assistive technology equipment is recommended, the local school site has primary responsibility to provide such equipment, with support from the assistive technology team as necessary, including short term equipment loans through the Assistive Technology Lending Library.

Our Assistive Technology Assessors are credentialled special education and general education teachers with specialized training and experience with assistive technology.  All Assessors hold a certificate in Assistive Technology and many have over 10 years of experience in the field. They are well versed in both general education core curriculum and the alternate curriculum, and keep up to date on the latest assistive technology trends, equipment and software.

As part of a multi-disciplinary assessment team, AT Assessors evaluate individual students to determine their functional level and need for assistive technology and/or specialized equipment and services. Assessors identify devices and applications appropriate to student’s assessed needs to facilitate access to their instructional program. They assist in selection, setup and maintenance of equipment, and provide training and consultation to students, school staff and parents regarding the use of that equipment.

Assistive Technology Assessors serve as a resource for school site and local district staff, conducting professional development for LAUSD staff focused on the integration of technology to address Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and provide student access to the curriculum. They also play an active role in maintaining the inventory of Assistive Technology resources available through the seven local LAUSD Assistive Technology Lending Libraries.

  • Consider the use of no-tech or low-tech supports such as sentence isolators and overlays to assist your student with tracking text while reading
  • Slant boards and pencil grips may assist students who struggle with the physical act of writing
  • Sentence starters, graphic organizers and visual models may help your student with written composition
  • Explore built-in device accessibility settings on computing devices for features such as text-to-speech and speech-to-text capability
  • Utilize the digital accessibility features that are integrated into most district adopted curriculum, including text to speech, annotation, and supports for writing
  • Contact the Assistive Technology Assessor assigned to your school with regards to Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS), or further information and assistance
Assistive Technology Program
333 S. Beaudry Avenue, 17th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Phone: (213) 241-6200 Fax: (213) 241-8435
  • Recreation Therapy IconRecreation Therapy (RT)


    School-based Recreation Therapy (RT) is a related service identified in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Children 3 to 22 years of age who meet criteria for special education services may be eligible for RT services. Service needs are determined upon completion of a school RT assessment and IEP team recommendation. School-based RTs share in the decision-making process with the IEP team to determine how to meet the educational program needs of individual students.

Recreation Therapy primarily focuses on purposeful, goal directed activities that improve a student's functional performance during their school day and throughout their educational program. School-based recreation therapists:
  • Assess students within their educational setting, using a comprehensive and dynamic approach to evaluate and assess a student’s needs in their educational environment

  • Collaborate with team members, including students, parents, teachers, adapted physical education teachers, psychologists, speech therapists and behavior support providers

  • Utilizing a multi-tiered system of support, assist schools, teachers and other stakeholders in identifying strategies to support ALL students in utilizing skills required to meaningfully engage in a variety of school based cooperative lessons and activities

  • Provide services through a scope of service delivery models including: collaboration, individualized, small group, as well as, pushing into whole group setting to support skill generalization

  • Provide consultation to classroom teacher/staff/families for students with disabilities to improve social functioning within the educational environment

School based RT is a support service to the student’s educational program. School based RT predominantly addresses supporting a student in the development and application of the underlying skills that are necessary to engage in inclusive cooperative learning and inclusive cooperative play (or social recreation) lessons and activities, across a variety of school environments.

School based Recreation Therapists use therapeutic activities that may improve a student’s ability to utilize social functioning skills with the school environment.

The Los Angeles Unified School District, RT program consists of a growing staff of over 21 therapists. The staff members come to LAUSD with dynamic professional backgrounds and have vast experience in the clinical, community and educational settings. Many therapists are actively involved in the advancement of the field through participation in state and national professional organizations.  Several of our therapists frequently present at conferences, mentor school based therapists from other states and districts, and collaborate with universities locally and across the nation to develop train our future recreation therapists. Additionally, district Recreation Therapists participate in ongoing continuing education training in a variety of areas to ensure their ability to implement the latest research, evidenced based best practice methodology into their service to schools and students.

Recreation Therapists are highly skilled and certificated professionals whose educational course of study include: human anatomy, physiology, abnormal psychology, human growth and development across the lifespan, characteristics of illnesses and disabilities, theory and analysis of play, group dynamics and professional ethics.
Recreation Therapy
333 S. Beaudry Avenue, 17th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Phone (213) 241-6200 Fax (213) 241-6842

  •  Los Angeles Unified School District ♦ Division of Special Education 

    333 South Beaudry Avenue, 17th Floor, Los Angeles, CA  90017