Ask An Advocate Q&A |

Ask An Advocate: Direct Services in Special Education

Q: My child is in special education and on their Individualized Education Program (IEP), there are some services listed as direct and other services listed as indirect. What’s the difference?


A: Direct services are services provided directly to a student by a special education teacher or other service provider such as a speech therapist or occupational therapist. These are often provided in a small group and can be described as “eyes on” the student. Indirect services are not provided directly to a student. They often take the form of a specialist teaching a teacher or aide how to do something, consulting with a teacher or service provider, modifying coursework, observation, monitoring equipment, and training on assistive technology. Both direct and indirect services are based on a student’s needs and are listed specifically on the IEP.


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