Tue. Jan 18th, 2022

Are you the parent of a child with autism who is receiving early intervention services and will soon turn 3 years old? Did you know that at 3 years old your child becomes eligible for special education services, through your school district? Have you heard, that some school districts find children who have received EI services ineligible for special education? Would you like to learn about what the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) states about transition and special education? This article will help you learn the procedures that are required for transition from an Early Intervention Program to special education.

1. At least 6 months (180 days) prior to the child turning 3 years old the EI service coordinator shall notify the child’s school district and begin transition procedures. Consider writing your own letter to notify your school district of your child’s needs, disabilities and services currently receiving.

2. At least 6 months (180 days) before the child turns 3 years old the EI service coordinator shall start talking to the parents about the transition process. The parents should also be advised in writing what their parent rights are in the special education system.
















3. At least 4 months (120 days) before the child turns 3 years old a conference needs to be held with the parents to discuss the transition process. This meeting will develop a written transition plan and document any referrals made to the child’s local educational agency.

4. At least 3 months (90 days) before the child turns 3 years old, a conference is to be held between the parents, the EI service coordinator, and a representative from the child’s school district (local educational agency). The LEA must participate according to IDEA!

5. The conference is to discuss eligibility requirements for special education, child’s needs, related services that the child is receiving (OT, PT, Speech/Language etc), any testing that the child requires, and program options for the child for the rest of the school year. Bring copies of all testing reports and medical information to help determine eligibility for special education services.

6. IDEA states that screening can not be required, and that it cannot stall the process of finding the child eligible. Do not let special education personnel screen your child, and then find them ineligible. Make them test them!

7. Special Education Services must be started on the child’s 3rd birthday.

8. If your school district states that they will not test your child, and but state that your child is not eligible for special education services, then get your child an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE). You would have to pay for this, but could be reimbursed later.

9. When the IEE report is finished, take it to special education personnel and state that you believe that this report shows that your child is eligible for special education services; and insist that they be found eligible and receive needed services.

10. If the school district agrees and finds your child eligible, then ask for reimbursement of the IEE.

11. If not you may have to consider a due process hearing. Try and find an experienced parent or advocate, to guide you through this process.

It is critical that your child receive the special education services that they need in order to benefit from their education. Stand up for them, they are depending on you!

By rahul