Music Therapy and the IEP Process

Music Therapy and IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act)

Existing IDEA regulations recognize that the list of related services under IDEA is not exhaustive and may include music therapy if it is required to assist a child with his/her special education

In addition, the U.S. Department of Education submitted a policy interpretation letter to AMTA recognizing music therapy as a related service.

Music therapists follow all rules and regulations as a related service under IDEA including assessment, treatment, and protocol.

Request for assessment from music therapist can come from parent, teacher, therapist, etc.  Anyone considered a member of the child’s treatment team.

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An assessment (Special Education Music Therapy Assessment Process or SEMTAP) includes:

  1. A review of current IEP/records

  2. Direct observation of IEP related goals/objectives,

  3. Interviews/discussion with relevant staff INCLUDING parents,

  4. Direct assessment (either individual or group or a combination of the two based on IEP goals/objectives)

  5. Written report

  6. Presentation of report to treatment team.

  7. If music therapy is recommended and the treatment team (including parents) concurs/agrees with report then music therapy is written into the student IEP.

  8. Music therapy may be beneficial for a child but may only be written into the IEP when it is “necessary” for a child with a disability to benefit from his or her special education.

  9. Necessity is determined through the SEMTAP

  10. If music therapy services or an assessment are denied for any reason, the parent has the right to obtain a WRITTEN reason/response as to why denial occurred.