Services, I can’t get services for my son. Why can’t I get services?

This is a question that comes up ALL THE TIME.  How dare anyone need services for their child.  Take for example School XYZ located down the street from me and their special education preschool program. 


If a parent sees that their child has a need for help in a specific area then they are to go to their local school district.  I, as a parent, called the school and stated that my doctor had given me a referral for a speech evaluation.  He is three years old and this is the age they can be qualified to receive services through our public school system.  I asked what I needed to do.  They state that we would need to set up a speech screening.  The first available date is 92 days out.  This is the best they can do. 

Ok, and then what happens? The school states that they are  put on the waiting list for a cognitive and motor skills test.  This has quite a waiting list too.  Why are they doing a cognitive or motor skills test?  I don’t have concerns in these areas.  I asked this question and the response is that they want to make sure they aren’t missing any other needs.   After this step they put them on the list to have a speech evaluation.  Finally, they might qualify for services.

This means we will then get services right.  Many times a kid has a speech need, but they don’t qualify for services through the state guidelines.  However, they do need services.  Then you will need to get them privately.  It sounds like your child might be one of those because he is developmentally outside of being understood by others on target.   If he does qualify and if there is an opening and if there is a qualified speech therapist, then you will receive services.  That will be about 9 months from this start date.  Sounds like a lot of ifs doesn’t it?    Speech is the easier of these special services.


 I have spoken with parent after parent after parent who has a child with significant developmental difficulties such as cerebral palsy and have a great need for physical therapy and/or Occupational Therapy but there are no therapist that are available to the schools to meet the child’s needs. It varies from state to state, but some states require these special areas to have professionals only with doctorate degrees.  Why do these people have to have a doctorate?  Maybe this would make since if we just had lots of OTs, PTs and Speech Therapists that all had doctorate degrees but we don’t.  On top of that, what the school is going to pay is significantly less then what they would get from the medical field.  Now wonder we can’t get services.  Why can’t we have Master degree or even Bachelor Degree Speech, OT, and PT majors working with students.  Specialized help is better than no help right?  This has to be approached through legislation and parents must speak to their representatives to help make change.  It doesn’t help to complain to the teachers.  They don’t have the power to make the changes.





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Lynnette Crawley M.S. Ed

As an educational consultant, I work with families, students, adults, parents, teachers, schools and corporations in relationship to the many disabilities affecting their lives. Many times all anyone needs is a little coaching, direction or tools to close the gap between where they are and where they should be. Making progress is not good enough. We must be closing the gap. Email:

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