writingSpecial Education is specially designed instruction that addresses the unique needs of students found eligible for special education and related services by fully meeting one of the 13 categories of disability under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Note, in order to be eligible for special education and related services, students between the ages of 3 and 22 must have a disability that adversely affects his or her educational progress in school.

Special education services include specially designed instruction and supplementary aids and services (e.g. assistive technology, adaptive materials, and adaptive tools), supports, and anything else needed by the student that will provide meaningfully educational benefits.


Academic services are services that are designed for students based on their unique learning needs that are impacted by their disability. Academic services are provided by a special educator and can be delivered across content areas and through various curriculum.

Service Goals:
Students are able to access the general curriculum
Students develop into independent learners
Students perform at rates that align with their non-disabled peers
Students experience academic growth at rates that align with their non-disabled peers

Service Delivery:
Individual or small group instruction
Provided within the general education classroom
Provided outside the general education classroom
Collaboration with general education teachers and other service providers

Service Locations:
All Cambridge Schools K-12


To help your child benefit from special education, he or she may receive additional help, called “related services.” Related services are specific support services provided to students with disabilities to help them be successful in their instructional programs. The need for these related services is assessed through the evaluation process, with the involvement of individuals who have specialized knowledge in a specific area.

Ensure access to the instructional program
Ensures success in their instructional/school program
Ensures support to the student in achieving overall school success

The following is a list of related services with a brief description:
Audiology - Audiologists consult with classroom teachers, parents, and support staff regarding a student’s hearing loss and technical aspects of the hearing loss.

Counseling - Services provided by qualified social workers/adjustment counselors, psychologists, and guidance counselors.

Occupational Therapy - Occupational therapists identify modifications, specialized supports, and adapted equipment needed by a student to improve the ability to perform school tasks and promote independent functioning in school.

Physical Therapy - School based physical therapists assist students with disabilities by addressing needs that impact their ability to participate and access instructional programs and school settings

Speech and Language Therapy - Support from the pathologists may include counseling and guidance for teachers, staff, and parents to address the communication needs of students; provision of speech and language therapy interventions for students who require additional specialized supports for access to curriculum; and successful participation and communication in the educational setting.

Assistive Technology - Assistive technology services refer to any service that directly assists your child with the selection, acquisition or use of a device. Examples of these services include evaluating your child for assistive technology needs, selecting or fitting a device, and training you or your child in the use of a device.

Transportation - Travel to and from school and between schools; the provision of specialized equipment, accommodations, and/or supports if they are required to provide transportation for a student who receives special education services.
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