According to federal special education law, all students with IEPs who have social, emotional or behavioral challenges which impact the learning of self or others must have those needs addressed as part of the IEP. This may be in the form of services, supports, and/or annual goals to measure the student's progress in the areas that impact performance and participation in school. School Based Counseling Services are provided to students as a short term intervention to assist them in developing strategies and skills to be able to cope with their social or emotional needs. These services can include:
- Behavioral interventions
- Time limited group or individual counseling
- Whole class presentations on social skills, problem solving strategies, or other topics
- Consultation to general or special education teachers
- Short term parent counseling and training specific to their child's disability or needs
The success of these interventions is measured against educational outcomes. Examples of outcomes might include: Improved time on task, utilization of strategies to regulate emotional state, better attendance, reduced number of behavioral outbursts or aggressive acts, etc. If students are not showing progress in their educational goals, the IEP Team may consider a referral for Intensive Social/Emotional Services.
The SELPA employs Social Emotional Services Specialists who work with local districts to assist with children with challenging behaviors and/or mental health needs.