The Difference Between Supports and Services in School
By Amanda Morin
If you have a child with learning and thinking differences, you’ve probably heard the phrase “services and supports.” Both of these enable your child get the help he needs in the classroom. And they’re both covered in IEPs, 504 plans and response to intervention (RTI).
But while they may be used interchangeably and your child may receive both, these terms actually mean different things. Here are the key differences.
What they are
Changes to how and what students learn, aimed at helping them succeed in school. That might mean making progress or staying on the same learning level as their peers.
Help in specific areas such as speech or motor skills. Often called related services or direct services. Services provide the extra help kids need to benefit from general or special education.
How kids get them
Different types of supports can be provided through IEPs, 504 plans and RTI.
Different types of services can be provided through IEPs, 504 plans and RTI.
What they cover
In an IEP: Specialized instruction (the unique special education instruction kids need to meet their IEP goals), accommodations and modifications.