ERIC Identifier: ED295394
Publication Date: 1988-00-00
Author: Zantal-Wiener, Kathy
Source: ERIC Clearinghouse on
Handicapped and Gifted Children Reston VA.
Preschool Services for Children with Handicaps. ERIC Digest
On October 8, 1986, President Ronald Reagan signed P.L. 99-457, the
Education of the Handicapped Act Amendments of 1986. This new law brought about
significant changes for handicapped infants, toddlers, and preschoolers from
birth to age 5, and provided early intervention services and preschool programs
for these children.
WHAT CHILDREN ARE ELIGIBLE FOR EARLY INTERVENTION SERVICES?
Children from birth through 2 years of age who are developmentally delayed
(criteria to be determined by each state), or have conditions that typically
result in delay, or are--at state discretion--at risk of substantial
developmental delay, are eligible for services.
ARE THESE SERVICES CURRENTLY AVAILABLE?
The services vary from state to state. Most states are in the process of
phasing in an early intervention program. If all states continue to participate
in the program mandated by P.L. 99-457, the following components and services
must be provided by each state:
1987-1988: The Governor must designate a lead agency. There is state
discretion with respect to which agency is designated for overall administration
of the program. The Governor must also establish an interagency coordinating
council composed of relevant agencies, consumers, and providers. This Council is
to assist in the development and implementation of state applications, as well
as interagency agreements and the identification of resources, and to otherwise
advise the state. In some states, the Council also serves as the lead agency.
1988-1990: The state must adopt a public policy which includes all of the
components of a statewide system for providing early intervention services to
eligible infants and toddlers.
1990-1991: The state must demonstrate that it has in effect a statewide
system for providing early intervention services. For all eligible children, the
state must conduct multidisciplinary assessments, develop individualized family
service plans, and make available case management services.
1991 and all succeeding years: The state must make available to all eligible
handicapped infants and toddlers within the state appropriate early intervention
WHAT SERVICES MUST BE PROVIDED?
If a state chooses to participate in this program, early intervention
services for each eligible child must include:
--a multidisciplinary assessment; --a written Individualized Family Service
Plan (IFSP) developed by a multidisciplinary team and the child's parents;
--services designed to meet developmental needs, which may include special
education, speech and language pathology and audiology, occupational therapy,
physical therapy, psychological services, parent and family training and
counseling services, transition services, medical services for diagnostic
purposes, and health services necessary to enable the child to benefit from
other early intervention services; --case management services for every eligible
child and his or her parents; --qualified personnel to provide all services; --a
system for the establishment and maintenance of standards, certification, and
licensing policies; and --services provided at no cost to parents except when
federal or state law provides for a system of payments by parents, including
provision for a schedule of sliding fees.
WHAT MUST THE INDIVIDUAL FAMILY SERVICE PLAN (IFSP) INCLUDE?
Each plan must address the needs of BOTH the child and the family. The IFSP
--a statement of the child's present levels of development (cognitive, speech
and language, psychosocial, motor, and self help); --a statement of the family's
strengths and needs relating to the enhancement of the child's development; --a
statement of major outcomes to be achieved for the child and family; --the
criteria, procedures, and timelines for determining progress; --the specific
early intervention services necessary to meet the unique needs of the child and
family, including the method, frequency, and intensity of service; --the
projected dates for the initiation and expected duration of services; --the name
of the case manager; and --procedures for transition from early intervention
into the preschool program.
The IFSP must be evaluated at least once a year, and must be reviewed every 6
months, or more often when appropriate.
HOW CAN A CHILD BE REFERRED FOR EARLY INTERVENTION SERVICES?
For infants and toddlers from birth through age 2, the referral process will
vary in each state. Until each state establishes a referral system, the lead
agency in each state will be an appropriate starting point. (This digest
concludes with a listing of the lead agency for each state and the District of
WHEN MUST STATES PROVIDE SERVICES TO CHILDREN AGED 3 THROUGH 5?
By school year 1990-1991, all states applying for P.L. 94-142 funds will have
to demonstrate that they are providing a free appropriate public education to
all handicapped children aged 3 through 5.
WHAT TYPES OF SERVICES MUST BE PROVIDED TO CHILDREN AGED 3 THROUGH 5?
The services will be administered through the state education agency (SEA)
and local education agencies (LEA). However, SEAs and LEAs may contract with
other programs, agencies, and providers in order to provide a range of service
models. The committee report affirms variations in length of school day and
range and variety of preschool programs. Examples include part-day home-based,
and part or full-day center-based programs. The report also states that family
services play an important role in preschool programs and that whenever
appropriate, and to the extent desired by the parents, the preschooler's
Individualized Education Program (IEP) will include instruction for parents.
HOW CAN A CHILD BE REFERRED FOR PRESCHOOL SERVICES?
All states will offer preschool services through the Special Education
Division of the local school systems.
STATE LEAD AGENCIES
Alabama--Department of Education, (205) 261-5099 Alaska--Department of Health
and Social Services, (907) 465-3037 Arizona--Department of Economic Security,
(602) 255-5775 Arkansas--Department of Human Services, (501) 371-3419
California--Department of Developmental Services, (916) 323-4828
Colorado--Department of Education, (303) 866-6710 Connecticut--Department of
Education, (203) 566-6584 Delaware--Department of Public Instruction, (302)
736-5471 Washington, D.C.--Department of Human Services, (202) 727-5930
Florida--Department of Education, (904) 488-6830 Georgia--Department of Human
Resources, (404) 894-6329 Hawaii--Department of Health, (808) 732-3197
Idaho--Department of Health and Welfare, (208) 334-5531 Illinois--Board of
Education, (217) 782-6601 Indiana--Department of Mental Health, (317) 232-7879
Iowa--Department of Education, (515) 281-5614 Kansas--Department of Health and
Environment, (913) 296-1316 Kentucky--Department of Mental Health and Mental
Retardation, (502) 564-7703 Louisiana--Department of Education, (504) 342-3675
Maine--Department of Educational and Cultural Services, (207) 289-5950
Maryland--Governor's Office for Children and Youth, (301) 225-1290
Massachusetts--Department of Public Health, (617) 727-5090 Michigan--Department
of Education, (517) 373-8483 Minnesota--Minnesota Department of Education, (612)
296-7032 Mississippi--Board of Health, (601) 960-7613 Missouri--Department of
Elementary and Secondary Education, (314) 751-2965 Montana--Department of Social
and Rehabilitation Services, (406) 444-2995 Nebraska--Department of Education,
(402) 471-2471 Nevada--Department of Human Resources, (702) 885-4730 New
Hampshire--Department of Education, (603) 271-3493 New Jersey--Department of
Education, (609) 292-0147 New Mexico--Health and Environment Department, (505)
827-0118 New York--Department of Health, (518) 474-3664 North
Carolina--Department of Human Resources, (919) 733-3654 North Dakota--Department
of Human Services, (701) 224-2768 Ohio--Department of Health, (614) 466-3263
Oklahoma--Department of Education, (405) 751-0065 Oregon--Department of Human
Resources, (503) 378-2429 Pennsylvania--Office of Mental Retardation, (717)
783-5758 Rhode Island--Department of Special Education, (401) 456-8699 South
Carolina--Department of Health and Environmental Control, (803) 734-4610 South
Dakota--Department of Education and Cultural Affairs, (605) 773-5239
Tennessee--Department of Education, (615) 741-2851 Texas--Department of Health,
(512) 465-2671 Utah--Department of Health, (801) 538-6161 Vermont--Department of
Education, (803) 828-3141 Virginia--Department of Mental Health, Mental
Retardation and Substance Abuse Service, (804) 786-3710 Washington--Department
of Social and Health Services, (206) 753-4983 West Virginia--Department of
Health, (304) 348-0627 Wisconsin--Division of Health, (608) 266-2670
Wyoming--Department of Health and Social Services, (307) 777-7115