It happens in everyone’s life in many different ways, and in early intervention, transition means progressing from one program to another, such as:
Preschool aged children (3-5 yr) with disabilities may be identified as needing special education services through a variety of different ways, including but not limited to transition from the IDEA Part C early intervention service ( BabyNet), or referral for evaluation made to the (lead education agency) LEA by a parent, caretaker, and/or educator. If your child does not qualify, your service coordinator will help connect you to other resources in your community. If your child does qualify, you will develop an IEP that will meet your child’s needs.
From the age of birth up until 3 years, early intervention services, governed by Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), are provided in the child’s natural environment, and the developmental goals are guided by an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP).
Once your child turns 3, special education services, governed under Part B of IDEA, are provided through the public school system. Your child’s goals, accommodations and modifications are regulated by a legal document known as the Individualized Education Plan (IEP).
After all the evaluations have been completed, you will be contacted to meet with the IEP team if your child is found eligible for services. An IEP will be written before your child’s third birthday. Services will begin on your child’s third birthday.
For more information on both Part C and Part B of IDEA, please visit the US Department of Education’s website.
The acronym IEP stands for Individualized Education Program. This is a written document that describes the educational program designed to meet a child’s individual needs.
The entire IEP process is a way for you and the school to talk about your child’s needs and to create a plan to meet those needs. Let’s look at the process, starting with the IEP meeting.
The IEP has two general purposes:
1. to set learning goals for your child
2. to state the supports and services that the school district will provide for your child.
For many families, navigating the formal education programs of kindergarten and school-age services and the legal process of IEPs seems overwhelming. Just as the transition from early intervention to preschool needs attention, the transition to formal education requires preparation as well. As children are ready to enter kindergarten, there are specific transition activities which make the process run smoothly.
Here are some questions you might want to ask as you move through this transition to kindergarten for your child with challenging behaviors: