Committee on Preschool Special Education Process
Initial Referral to the Committee on Preschool Special Education: If you have a child approaching three years of age currently receiving services through the Early Intervention Program, a transition plan will be developed to move from Early Intervention to CPSE. The Early Intervention official from the county will provide written notice to the CPSE. If you have a preschool child (children ages 3-5) who is suspected of having a disability, you may want to consult your family doctor. If concerns are present or if you are not comfortable with your child’s progress, you may make a referral to the district’s CPSE. A referral can be made by a parent, doctor, judicial officer, someone from an Early Childhood Direction Center, a designated person in a public agency, or an approved preschool program or Early Intervention Program.
Individual Evaluation Process: Upon referral to the CPSE, you will be asked to sign consent for your child to be evaluated to help to determine if special education services are needed. An evaluation may include several assessment tools to provide information about your child’s abilities and needs. The evaluation must include a physical examination, a psychological evaluation, a social history, an observation of your child in his/her current education setting, and other tests or assessments that are appropriate (such as speech and language, functional behavioral assessment, occupational therapy, physical therapy, etc). The results of the evaluation will be provided to you and you will receive a copy of the evaluation report. You may also bring additional information for the committee to consider.
Evaluation Findings and CPSE Recommendations: Once the evaluation has been completed, you will be invited to a CPSE meeting to discuss information about your child. At the meeting, evaluation results will be reviewed and parents are offered the opportunity to provide information. Based upon this discussion, the committee (including parents) decides if your child is eligible or ineligible to receive special education programs or services. In order to be eligible, your child must be identified as having a disability because of mental, physical, or emotional reasons affecting his/her ability to learn. If your child is eligible for special education programs/services, an Individualized Education Program (IEP) will be developed to meet your child’s needs. The IEP will be designed based upon discussions considering your child’s strengths, your concerns regarding your child’s education, the results of your child’s evaluation and assessments, and any unique needs your child has. Goals will be developed for your child to work toward based upon current levels of functioning. Supports, services, and modifications will be discussed to assist your child in reaching those goals. In addition, the least restrictive environment for location of services will be discussed. This may be day care, a regular preschool program, or other early childhood program. At least once a year, the committee will review your child’s IEP. You may request a meeting at any time to discuss your child’s program.