Including Children with
Disabilities in Child Care: Red
Flags, Rights, & Resources
Presented by the NJ Inclusive Child Care Project @
the Statewide Parent Advocacy Network
www.spannj.org
© 2005
Goals of the Project
• To increase the quality of early care and education for
children with special needs
• To increase the number of child care providers that offer
inclusive child care
• To increase awareness among parents, childcare providers,
and resource and referral agencies of the services available
for children with special needs
• To improve the delivery of services for children with special
needs through collaboration among providers of child care
services and special needs services
Programs and services
offered by the New Jersey
Incisive Child Care Project
• Free information (in Spanish and English) about the laws
affecting and influencing inclusion and child care
• Free information about available services and resources in
New Jersey for children with special needs in childcare
• Free workshops on inclusion awareness as well as “how to”
workshops for parents and service providers
• Free telephone technical assistance regarding early
childhood and school-age inclusion
• Free on-site consultation support services
Workshop offerings
• Inclusion Awareness: It’s the Law
and It’s Doable
• Red Flags for Child Development
• Observing & Recording Behavior
• Addressing Challenging Behaviors
• Making inclusion happen
WHAT IS MY ATTITUDE
RED FLAGS: Cause for
Action, Not Alarm
• Developmental milestones give a general idea of
the changes you can expect as a child gets older.
• Each child develops in his or her own particular
manner, so it is impossible to predict exactly when
or how a given skill will be mastered.
• Parents and caregivers should not be alarmed if a
child’s development takes a slightly different
course.
RED FLAGS: Cause for
Action, Not Alarm
• The presence of a “red flag” or the inability to do
something most children already can should not
incite panic.
• Parents should alert the parent and pediatrician
immediately if their child displays any of the “red
flag” signs of possible developmental delay for
her or his age.
• Signs can be related to physical development or
motor skills, vision and hearing, emotional
reactions, and other issues.
RED FLAGS
• What are developmental progress
indicators?
• What are “red flags” that should
alert parents & professionals that
there may be a developmental delay
or disability?
Early Indicators
• 2 weeks: moves both arms & both legs fairly
evenly
• 6 weeks: Looks at you, at least for a few
moments, with both eyes, and follows with his
eyes if you move your face slowly from side to
side
• 10 weeks: Smiles in response to your smile
Developmental
Benchmarks 1-3 Months
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Respond to loud noise
Smile
Follow objects with eyes
Reach & grasp toys
Support head by 3 months
Developmental
Benchmarks 4-7 Months
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Roll Over
Respond to sounds
Sit with help
Laugh or make squealing sounds
Holds head steady for few moments
when someone sits her/him up
• Grasps a rattle put in her/his hand
Red Flags @ 7 months
• Seems either very stiff physically or very floppy like a rag
doll.
• Does not roll over in either direction (front to back or back
to front).
• Cannot sit with help or hold his or her head up when the
body is put in a sitting position.
• Does not bear some weight on the legs.
• Reaches with one hand only, has difficulty getting objects
to the mouth, or does not reach for objects at all.
• Refuses to cuddle, seems inconsolable at night, or shows no
affection for the primary caregiver.
Red Flags @ 7 months
• Shows specific eye problems (persistent tearing, eye
drainage or sensitivity to light) or vision impairments
(inability to follow objects with both eyes at near and far
ranges).
• Does not respond to sounds or turn her or his head to
locate sounds.
• Does not laugh, make squealing sounds, smile spontaneously,
babble, try to attract attention, or show interest in peek-aboo.
Developmental Benchmarks
8 months-1 year
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Crawl
Stand when supported
Search for hidden objects
Say single words (“mama,” “papa”) &
makes interesting noises
• Learn to wave or shake head
• Sit steadily; sits on floor without
support
Developmental
Benchmarks Year 1
• Gaze
• Vocalization
• Motor Control: can pick up pea-sized
object using thumb & forefinger
• Coordination of reach and touch
• Examination of Objects
• Mobility
Red Flags @ 1 year
• Does not crawl or drags one side while crawling.
• Cannot stand when supported.
• Does not point to objects or pictures or search
for objects that are hidden while he or she
watches.
• Says no single words.
• Does not learn to use gestures, such as waving or
head shaking.
Developmental
Benchmarks 1-2 years
• 1st word by 15 months
• Walk a few steps w/out holding on
• Speak at least 6 words, points to
what s/he wants, by 18 months
• Develop heel-toe walking after
several months of walking
• Use 2 words sentences by age 2
Development
Benchmarks: Year 2
• Words
Word combinations
• Pretend Play
• Interest in other children
• Smooth walking, climbing stairs, beginning
ball skills
• Can leave caregiver
• Scribbles, uses spoon, removes socks and
shoes
• Knows 1-2 body parts
• Points to pictures in books when
asked “Where’s the doggie?”
Red Flags @ 18-24 months
• Does not walk by 18 months or walks exclusively
on the toes.
• Does not speak at least 15 words and begin to use
two-word sentences.
• Does not seem to know the function of common
household objects like telephones and eating
utensils.
• Does not imitate actions or words or follow simple
instructions.
• Cannot push a wheeled toy.
Development Benchmarks:
24-36 months (2-3 years)
• Understand simple instructions
• Get involved in simple pretend/makebelieve play (feeds doll imaginary food,
makes truck sounds for toy truck)
• Copy a circle by age 3
• Communicate in short phrases
• Asks questions
• Manipulate small objects
Red Flags @ 3 years
• Falls frequently or has difficulty using stairs.
• Cannot build a tower of more than four blocks,
has difficulty manipulating small objects, or
cannot copy a circle.
• Is unable to communicate in short phrases or
understand simple instructions.
• Is not interested in “pretend” play or other
children.
• Has extreme difficulty separating from his or her
mother.
Developmental
Benchmarks: 3-4 years
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•
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Jump in place
Ride a trike
Stack 4 blocks
Engage in fantasy play
Use sentences of more than 3 words
Have some self-control
You can understand most of what s/he says at 4
years
Red Flags @ 4 years
• Cannot throw a ball overhand, jump in place, ride a
tricycle, grasp a crayon with the thumb and
fingers, stack four blocks, or scribble easily.
• Ignores or does not respond to children or people
outside the family.
• Is unable to communicate in sentences of more
than three words or use “you” or “me”
appropriately.
• Shows no interest in interactive games or fantasy
play.
• Resists dressing, sleeping, or using the toilet.
• Lashes out with no self-control when angry or
upset.
Benchmarks for
Preschool
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Pretend play sequences
Sentences
Sequencing of ideas
Conversations
Interest in stories
Categorization
Playground use
Uses variety of art and drawing tools
Increased independence and self-help
Developmental
Benchmarks: 4-5 years
• Able to separate from parents
• Able to concentrate on an activity for more than 5
minutes
• Respond to people in general
• Express a wide range of emotions
• Give first and last name
• Build a tower of 6-8 blocks
• Brush teeth
• Wash and dry hands
• Can tell a simple story; use past, present &
future tenses; knows singular and plural words
Red Flags @ 5 years
• Is extremely fearful, timid or aggressive.
• Cannot separate from her or his parents without
major protest.
• Shows little interest in playing with other
children or using fantasy or imitation in play
• Refuses to respond to people or responds only
superficially.
• Cannot understand two-part commands using
prepositions, such as “put the toy in the chest.”
• Is unable to concentrate on any single activity for
more than five minutes.
• .
Red Flags @ 5 years
• Seems unhappy, sad, or unusually passive much of
the time or alternately, does not express a wide
range of emotions.
• Does not use plurals or the past tense properly,
correctly give his or her first and last name, or
talk about daily activities and experiences.
• Cannot build a tower of six to eight blocks, hold a
crayon comfortably, undress, brush her teeth, or
wash and dry his hands.
• Cannot differentiate between fantasy and reality.
Red Flags @ any age
• Slipping backwards in almost any area is of major
concern.
• Loss of language skills and/or social skills at any
age is a significant red flag.
• Children who are no longer able to communicate or
interact socially at levels they once could should
be evaluated immediately by a health professional.
• An important note: children may exhibit
regressive behavior due to upheaval in their lives,
such as divorce, separation, illness, or death.
Brigance Inventory
(Brigance IED-II CriterionReferenced Assessments)
Developmental Sections with Comprehensive Skills Sequences:
• Preambulatory Motor Skills and Behaviors
• Gross-Motor Skills and Behaviors
• Fine-Motor Skills and Behaviors
• Self-help Skills
• Speech and Language Skills
• General Knowledge and Comprehension
• Social-Emotional Development
Red Flags
•Difficulty in:
•Communicating
–Sequencing
–Pretend Play
–Development of play plans with others
–Avoids activities or areas
–Is fearful of certain activities or areas
–Difficulty remaining focused
–Limited play repertoire (repetitive play)
–Tires more easily than others
Red Flags for
Preschoolers
• Additional ‘red flag’ behaviors include:
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Lack of pretend play
Rote language
Lack of vocabulary growth
Lack of language comprehension
Difficulty remaining focused
Suggestions for
aggressive behaviors
•
•
•
•
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•
•
•
•
•
•
May demonstrate same developmental sequence as a younger
typical child
May have reduced language during play
More isolated play
Less associative and cooperative play
Difficulties entering a group play
Difficulty coordinating roles and pretending
Difficulty maintaining play focus and attention during play
Lack of problem solving skills during play
Lack of curiosity in play
Difficulty taking turns
Lack of social rules through peer confrontation
Early Play Stages
• The cognitive thread goes through many changes
in the period from two to five years. An overview
of the changes would be as follows:
– Presymbolic – children use objects for their
intended purpose
• -rolls a truck, drinks from a bottle.
– Beginning symbolic – children pretend briefly
and only on themselves
• -throws liquid out to a bottle and then pretends to
drink from it
• Says nigh-nigh and laughs because it is daytime.
Early Play Stages
• Pretend play involving other things – children play on
objects for short periods of time
– feed the doll
• Beginning sequenced play – child links two play
actions involving other things together.
– Feeds the doll and wipes the doll’s mouth after the doll is done.
• Planned play – child knows what objects he needs
for play sequence before he begins.
– Looks for a dress to put on doll, discards it and puts on
another dress, because the first dress didn’t fit the plan.
Cognitive play stages
• These cognitive play levels include the child’s:
– Placing himself in simple sequences as he reenacts past
events
– Using miniatures to reenact these past events
– Having miniatures talk to each other as they reenact
past events – assigning roles to the miniatures
– Placing past events in a sequence with a beginning,
middle, and end
– Coordinating sequenced events with the sequenced
events provided by other children
Cognitive Levels
• We can practice identifying some cognitive levels:
– Child rolling a car
– Child feeding a stuffed giraffe
– Child making pizza and serving it to a group of pretend
friends
– Child going to the moon in a cardboard rocket ship
– Child looking for the props he needs to enact a beach
scene and then acting it out using a school bus and a
group of toy miniatures to do so.
– Child assigning roles to a group of miniatures in a toy
house; having them act out long convoluted scenes.
Social readiness skills
• These levels include:
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Unoccupied play –play limited to one’s own body
twirls hair
- claps hands repeatedly
Onlooker – child watches play of others
Solitary play - child plays alone (usually at the functional
or beginning pretend play levels we just discussed)
– Plays with a car or blocks, b but leaves if another child
enters play
– Parallel play –child plays alongside another but does not
share materials and does not engage with the other child
Social readiness skills
• Associative play –
– Child plays in a group activity but without coordinating
his ideas with the ideas of others.
– For example, (e.g., a group of children are using blocks
but if you ask them what they are doing, they each
respond with a different answer. A group of children
are making a house out of a refrigerator box but they
have not coordinated a plan for how they will do it).
Social readiness skills
• Cooperative play –
– Children play in an interactive way with other children;
they verbalize their plans and carry them out.
– This kind of play requires symbolic and social
sophistication. They know about taking turns developing
plans jointly pulling their ideas apart and integrating
them with the ideas of other children and assigning roles
to each other as well as to miniatures. Such play also
usually requires a great deal of language competency
since ideas are usually shared and joined as children talk
about them.
If there is a concern…
• The parent should raise their concern with their
child’s pediatrician/family care practitioner
• Research shows that parent concerns are a good
gauge of their child’s development
• For a child aged 0-3 years, the parent should
contact early intervention (county Special Child
Health Services Case Management Unit)
• For a child aged 3 years and older, the parent
should contact their local school district
If there is a concern…
• Possible screening/evaluation/assessment:
• Hearing & vision screening (all babies should be screened
for hearing & vision prior to leaving the hospital); if the
parent has a concern about their child’s vision or
hearing, SCHS can provide an appropriate referral
• Physical evaluation
• Evaluation re: cognitive development
• Pediatric & developmental assessment
• Social-emotional evaluation
• Speech/language evaluation
Legal Rights of Families &
Children with Special Needs
• Americans with Disabilities Act
(public accommodations)
• Early Intervention
• Preschool Special education
Americans with
Disabilities Act (ADA)
• Prohibits discrimination based on disability in
employment, education and “public
accommodations,” including child care providers
• Requires “reasonable accommodations” to be
provided at no cost to the person with a disability
• Requires child care providers to accept and serve
children with disabilities if they can do so without
substantively altering their program and without
incurring “excessive cost”
• Enforced by U.S. Department of Justice
Who is covered by ADA?
Almost all privately-run child care centers
(including small, home-based centers, even those
that are not licensed by the state)
-All child care services provided by government
agencies (like Head Start, summer programs, and
extended school day programs)
-Private child care centers that are operating on
the premises of a religious organization
-Only centers that are controlled or
operated by a religious organization do
not have to comply with the ADA.
-Even those centers may have to comply
if they have agreed to comply through
contract with a federal, state, regional,
or local government agency (Section
504 of Vocational Rehabilitation Act).
WHAT DOES ADA REQUIRE?
-Child care providers may not discriminate against
children or persons with disabilities.
-They must provide children and parents with
disabilities with an equal opportunity to participate
in their programs and services.
-Centers and providers cannot exclude children with
disabilities from their programs unless their
presence would pose a direct threat to the health or
safety of others or require a fundamental alteration
of their program.
WHAT DOES ADA REQUIRE?
-Centers and providers must make reasonable
modifications to their policies and practices to include
children, parents, and guardians with disabilities in their
programs.
-Centers and providers must provide appropriate auxiliary
aids and services needed for effective communication with
children or adults with disabilities, unless doing so would be
an undue burden (significant difficulty or expense, relative
to the childcare provider’s resources or the resources of
the “parent” company.)
WHAT DOES ADA REQUIRE?
-Centers and providers must make their
facilities accessible to people with disabilities.
-Existing facilities must remove any readily
achievable barriers.
-Newly constructed facilities and any altered
portions of existing facilities must be fully
accessible.
-If existing barriers can be removed without
much difficulty or expense, childcare
providers must remove those barriers now
even if there are no children or adults with
disabilities using the program.
WHAT DOES ADA REQUIRE?
- Installing offset hinges to widen a door
opening, installing grab bars in toilet stalls, or
rearranging tables, are examples of readily
achievable barrier removal.
-Centers run by government agencies must
ensure that their programs are accessible
unless making changes would impose an undue
burden; this sometimes includes changes to
facilities.
-To demonstrate “reasonable efforts,”
childcare providers must attempt to access
available resources outside of their programs.
Decision-Making Process:
-Providers must make individualized assessments about
whether they can meet the particular needs of each child
with a disability who seeks services from their program,
without fundamentally altering their program.
-Providers must talk with the parents or guardians & other
professionals who work with the child.
-Child care & other providers are not required to accept
children who would pose a direct threat or whose presence
would fundamentally alter the nature of their program.
Unacceptable reasons to exclude:
-Higher insurance rates: If any extra cost is
incurred, it should be treated as overhead and
divided equally among all paying families.
-The need of a child with a disability for
individualized attention, unless the extent of the
need would fundamentally alter the program or
the cost would be an undue burden.
Unacceptable reasons to exclude:
-The need for a child with a disability to bring a
service animal, such as seeing eye dog, to the center,
even if the center has a “no pets” policy. Services
animals are not “pets.”
-The need for a child to receive medication while at
the program. If reasonable care is used in following
the written instructions about administering
medication, centers are generally not liable for any
resulting problems.
Unacceptable reasons to exclude:
-The fact that a child has allergies, even severe,
life-threatening allergies to bee stings or certain
foods: Providers need to be prepared to take
appropriate steps in the event of an allergic
reaction, such as administering “epinephrine” that
will be provided in advance by the child’s parents.
Non-medical personnel may administer “epi-pens.”
Unacceptable reasons to exclude:
-Delayed speech or developmental delays: Under
most circumstances, children with disabilities
must be placed in age-appropriate classrooms.
-Mobility impairments/need for assistance in
taking off and putting on leg or foot braces
during the day: As long as other children wouldn’t
have to be left unattended, or so complicated
that it can only be done by licensed health care
professionals.
Unacceptable reasons to exclude:
-The need for toileting, even if the provider has
a general rule about excluding children over a
certain age unless they are toilet-trained. Under
state regulations, the childcare provider must
have an approved toileting area if toileting
services are provided for any child, regardless of
age. Universal precautions, such as wearing latex
gloves, should be used whenever caregivers come
into contact with children’s blood or bodily fluids.
Lawful reasons to exclude:
-Children who pose a
direct threat – a substantial
risk of serious harm to the health and safety of
others – do not have to be admitted into a
program.
-This determination may not be made on
generalizations or stereotypes; it must be based
on an individualized assessment that considers
the particular activity and the actual abilities and
disabilities of the child.
What questions can be asked:
-Childcare providers may ask all applicants
whether a child has any diseases that are
communicable through the types of incidental
contact expected to occur in child care settings
or specific conditions, like active infectious
tuberculosis, that in face pose a direct threat.
-Providers may not inquire about conditions such
as AIDS or HIV infection that have not been
demonstrated to pose a direct threat.
Lawful reasons to remove post-admission:
-If a childcare provider has made
reasonable efforts
to meet the needs of a child with disabilities already
in their program, but the child’s needs can’t be met,
or the child continues to pose a direct threat to the
health or safety of others, the child may be removed
from the program.
-This decision must be made on an individual basis.
Costs of Special Services
-Childcare providers may not charge parents of
children with special needs additional fees to provide
services required by the ADA.
-Providers must spread the cost across all
participating families.
-For example, if a center is asked to do simple
procedures that are required by the ADA, like
finger-prick blood glucose tests for children with
diabetes, it can’t charge the parents extra.
Parent Responsibilities:
-The parents must provide all appropriate
testing equipment, training, and special food
for the child.
-If the childcare provider is providing
services beyond those required by ADA, like
hiring licensed medical personnel to conduct
complicated medical procedures, it may
charge the child’s family.
ADA Information Line
-To help offset the cost of actions or
services that are required by the ADA, such
as architectural barrier removal, providing
sign language interpreters, or purchasing
adaptive equipment, some tax credits and
deductions may be available.
-Contact the ADA Information Line at 800514-0301 for more details.
Early Intervention
The mission of the New Jersey Early
Intervention System (NJEIS) is to
provide quality early support and services
to enhance the capacity of families to
meet the developmental and healthrelated needs of children, birth to age
three, who have delays or disabilities.
Referral
There is a single point of entry for early
intervention in each NJ county. Primary
referral sources are required to refer a
child to Early Intervention within 2 days
of identification. Those sources include
hospitals, physicians, parents, child care
programs, local educational agencies, public
health facilities, other social service
agencies, and health care providers.
Service Coordination
Service coordination assists and enables
eligible children and families to receive the
rights, procedural safeguards, and services
within NJEIS. Service coordinators are also
a single point of contact in helping families to
obtain community services and assistance
that they might need for themselves and
their child.
Service Coordination
Every county has a Special Child Health
Services Service Coordination unit.
Parents call the county SCHS unit,
share their concerns about their child,
and are assigned a Service Coordinator
who coordinates evaluation &
assessment and services.
Evaluation & Assessment
An early intervention evaluation will gather
information about the child to see how he or
she is developing. It is used to determine
eligibility for early intervention services.
Assessment helps to define the types and
levels of services needed by the child and
family. It will be completed within 45 days.
Eligibility for EI
A child between birth and 3 years of age is
eligible with at least a 33% delay in one and/or a
25% delay in two or more developmental areas.
Those areas include:
-physical
-cognitive
-communicative
-social/emotional, and
-adaptive.
IFSP
Following the evaluation and assessment, an
Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) is
developed to describe the services that are
needed by the child and family and how they will
be implemented. The IFSP is both a plan and a
process. The plan is a written document and the
process is an ongoing sharing of information
between the family and early intervention to
meet the developmental needs of the child and
the resource needs of the family. It must be
developed within 45 days of referral.
IFSP Meeting
The IFSP is developed at a meeting with the
family, service coordinator, and at least one
member of the evaluation team. It is based on
information collected from the family and the
evaluation/assessment. The meeting is held at a
time and location convenient to the family and in
the language or method of communication that is
used at home, within 45 days of referral.
EI Services
Early Intervention services are designed
to address a problem or delay in
development as early as possible. They
are provided by qualified personnel in
natural environments: settings in which
children without special needs ordinarily
participate
and
that
are
most
comfortable and convenient for the
family, consistent with family routines.
EI Services
In addition to services to infants &
toddlers, the IFSP will contain
services to help the family learn how
to help their child develop and learn.
These services may include respite,
family training, family support, or
parent to parent support.
Cost of EI Services
Federal law requires that specific
services be provided to eligible children
and families at public expense. These
services include Child Find and Referral;
Evaluation and Assessment; Service
Coordination; IFSP Development and
Review; and Procedural Safeguards
(family rights).
Cost of EI Services
Beyond these, a family may have to
assume some or all of the costs,
depending on resources available and
families’ ability to pay. Family cost share
is based on a sliding fee scale that
determines the cost by a family’s income
and size. Families with income up to
350% of poverty do not pay for any
services.
IFSP Reviews
The IFSP is reviewed every 6 months, or
more frequently as appropriate, to ensure
the plan continues to meet the needs of
the child and family. At IFSP meetings,
the IFSP team, which includes family
members, reviews the current outcomes
and early intervention services to update
as needed. A new IFSP is written at least
once per year at an annual review.
Transition at age 3
The goal of all transitions is to assist children and families
to move from one phase to another in the most helpful way
possible. Transitions can occur at any time a child and
family are receiving early intervention services. When a
child is 2 years old, a transition information meeting will
be held with the parents, service coordinator, and others
who have worked with the child to begin planning services
and support that might be needed when the child turns
three and leaves early intervention.
Transition at age 3
This process contains several steps to transition
from early intervention to other early childhood
settings and support services that the child and
family may need at age three. Between 120 and
90 days before the child turns three, there is a
transition meeting that includes EI and the
school district.
Transition at age 3
If the parent and the school district disagree on
the services or placement when a child turns 3,
the child continues to receive all existing EI
services at district expense if the parent
requests mediation or due process.
More Info on EI
For
more
information,
go
www.state.nj.us/health/fhs/eiphome.htm
or call 800-322-8174
to
Accessing Special Ed
If you are concerned about a preschool child or
student (age three through twenty-one) who may
be developing or learning differently, you can call
the school district in which the child resides.
District phone numbers and addresses are
available at
http://www.state.ni.us/nided/directory
or 1-800-322-8174
Referral
A referral is a written request for an evaluation
that is given to the school district when it seems
possible that a child may have a disability and
might need special education and related
services. Parents, school personnel and agencies
concerned with the welfare of students may
make a referral to the school district where the
student resides.
Identification meeting
Within 20 calendar days of receiving a referral,
the school district must hold a meeting to decide
whether an evaluation will be conducted. The
meeting must be conducted in the parent’s
language and materials must be provided in the
parent’s language. If the school district decides
to conduct an evaluation the group will select the
types of testing and other procedures that will
be used to determine if the child needs special
education services.
Evaluation
An evaluation is the process used to determine
whether a child is eligible for special education
and related services. The process includes a
review of any relevant data, and the individual
administration of any tests, assessments and
observations of the child. Every district has a
“child study team,” which includes a social
worker, psychologist, & learning disabilities
teacher consultant. For preschoolers, the CST
must include a speech-language specialist.
Evaluation
At least two child study team members
must participate in the initial evaluation
along with any other specialists whose
observations are necessary for a
meaningful assessment of the child's
needs. The evaluation must be conducted
in the language commonly used by the
family and the child.
Eligibility Meeting
When the evaluation is completed, the school
district holds a collaborative meeting to
determine if the child is eligible for special
education and related services. Prior to the
meeting, the school district must give the parent
a copy of the evaluation reports(s) and other
documents and information that will be used to
determine the child's eligibility. The parent
must receive this information no less than 10
calendar days before the meeting.
Eligibility Criteria
To be eligible for special education and related
services:
§ A student must have a disability according to one
of the eligibility categories;
§ The disability must adversely affect the
student's educational performance; and
The student must be in need of special education
and related services.
Eligibility Criteria
Types of disabilities that may lead a preschooler to
be eligible as “preschool disabled”:
Autism/autism spectrum (pervasive developmental
delay, Apsergers, etc.), communication
impairment, specific learning disability, cognitive
disability, blind/visually impaired, deaf/hearing
impaired, blind & deaf, orthopedic disability,
other health impaired (ADHD, Tourette
Syndrome, etc.), serious emotional disturbance,
traumatic brain injury, multiple disabilities
IEP Meeting
After it is determined that a child is eligible for
special education and related services, a meeting
is held to develop the child's IEP. The IEP is
both a plan and a process. The plan is a written
document that describes in detail a child's
special education program. The process is the
ongoing sharing of information between the
family and school district to meet the child's
developmental and educational needs.
IEP Development
The IEP should describe how the individual child
currently performs and the child's specific
instructional strengths & needs. The IEP must
include measurable annual goals and short term
objectives or benchmarks; services to be
provided; responsible parties; & where services
will be provided (placement). When parental
consent is granted, the IEP is implemented as
soon as possible following the IEP meeting and
within 90 calendar days of the school’s receipt
of parental consent for the first evaluation.
Child’s
For every For every
strengths identified identified
need:
& needs
need:
Annual
Goal &
shortterm
benchmarks
Services
to be
provided
to reach
goal: service,
who provides,
frequency,
duration, group
size
Placement:
where will
services be
provided
Ongoing
monitoring
& report
to parents
Least
restrictive
environment
; interact
with nondisabled
peers
How will
progress be
measured;
participation
in tests w/
accommodations; report
to parents
IEP Development
The IEP includes:
-How the child will learn the core curriculum
content standards (CCCS)
-How the child will be assessed (tested) on state
and district-wide assessments
-How the child will be educated in the “least
restrictive environment” with opportunities to
interact with non-disabled peers
-How the child will receive positive behavior
supports to address challenging behaviors
-How the parent will receive information about
their child’s progress toward CCCS & goals
IEP Development
. For resources on creating meaningful IEP's see
Tools for Teachers at
http://www.njddc.org/tools-teachers.pdf or
contact the NJ Council on Developmental
Disabilities at 609-292-3745.
Accessing Special Ed
To the maximum extent appropriate,
preschoolers and students with disabilities are
educated with their typically developing peers.
Placement in a typical classroom is the first
consideration. For a preschool child this may be
a school district general education preschool
program or a nonsectarian early childhood
preschool/child care program licensed or
approved by a government agency. For further
information: http://www.nj.gov/njded/specialed
Annual review
. Annually, or more often if necessary, the IEP
team will meet to review and revise the IEP and
determine placement. A parent or teacher may
request a review of the IEP whenever they feel
it is needed or appropriate.
Re-evaluation
. A child must be re-evaluated every three years,
or sooner if conditions warrant, or if the parent
or the child's teacher requests it. Reevaluation
is conducted when a change in eligibility is being
considered. Parental consent is required for reevaluation.
Parental Consent
The school district must obtain parental consent:
-Before a child is evaluated for the first time to
determine whether a child is eligible for special education;
• -Before a child's special education program begins for the
first time;
• -Before a child is tested as part of a reevaluation;
• -Before a child's records are released to a person or
organization that is not otherwise authorized to see them.
Resolving Disagreements in
EI or Special Education
Parents have several options:
-Mediation (conducted by state)
-Request for complaint investigation
-Request for due process:
-Resolution session held at the district
(special education only)
-Due process hearing at Office of
Administrative Law (special education) or before
panel of parent, lawyer, & early childhood
professional (early intervention)
Resources for Families of
Children with Special Needs
Early Intervention
Resources (Age 0-3)
– NJ Department of Health & Senior Services
– Special Child Health Services “Single point of
entry”
– Regional Early Intervention Collaboratives
– Early Intervention Programs
– State Interagency Coordinating Council (SICC):
advises State on EI
– SPAN Early Intervention Procedural
Safeguards Training Project
Preschool Resources
(3-5)
– NJ DOE OSEP 619 Coordinator (Barbara
Tkach)
– Regional Learning Resource Centers
– Local school district
– Special Child Health Services Case
Management Units (county-based)
– SPAN - NJ Inclusive Child Care Project
– Map to Inclusive Child Care Committee of NJ
Department of Human Services
– County Unified Child Care Agencies
Special Education Resources
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
NJS DOE Office of Special Ed Programs
SCHS Case Management Units (3-21)
County Supervisor of Child Study
SPAN
NJ DD Council Education Subcommittee
NJ Coalition for Inclusive Education
Disability-specific organizations
NJ Protection & Advocacy
Education Law Center
Association for Children of NJ
Health Resources
– Family Voices/Family to Family Health
Information & Resource Center @ SPAN
– Arc Mainstreaming Medical Care Project
– Community Health Law Project
– University Center of Excellence
– American Academy of Pediatrics-NJ Chapter,
Committee on Children with Disabilities
– Medicaid; Family Care; SSI
– Children’s Catastrophic Illness Program
– NJ Citizen Action
– Association for Children of NJ
Mental Health Resources
– County-based Family Support Organizations
– County Care Management Organizations
– Federation of Families for Children’s Mental
Health @ SPAN
– NJ Association for the Mentally Ill
– NJ Mental Health Association & county Mental
Health Associations
– YCS Center for Infant-Toddler Mental Health
Family Support Resources
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
NJ Statewide Parent to Parent
Family Support Center
Family Support Councils
NJ Developmental Disabilities Council
NJ Self-Help Clearinghouse
Disability-specific organizations
Early intervention
Assistive Technology Resources
• NJ Coalition for Advancement of
Rehabilitation Technology (NJ-CART) @
United Cerebral Palsy Associations
• Technology Assistive Resource Program
(TARP) @ NJ Protection & Advocacy)
• Tech-NJ @ The College of NJ
• “Back in Action” Assistive Devices
Recycling Center
Recreation Resources
• NJ Special Olympics
• Very Special Arts-NJ
• NJ Department of Community
Affairs – Office of Recreation
• Municipal/Township Recreation
Offices
Transportation Resources
• NJ Transit Office of Special
Services
• Access Link
• Reduced Fare Program
• County Para-Transportation
• Amtrak Office of Special Services
• Division of Motor Vehicles –
Handicapped Placard or Plates
County Disability Resources
• County Offices for the Disabled
• County Supervisor of Child Study
(NJS Department of Education)
• Special Child Health Services Service
Coordination (0-3) & Case
Management (3-21) Units
Internet Resources
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Disability Central
Disability Resources Monthly
Family & Disability News
Family Village
Health World OnLine
Inclusion Network
Institute for Community Inclusion
Institute on Independent Living
National Council on Disability
Parents Place
Disability-Specific Resources
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Arc of NJ
Brain Injury Association
CHARGE Syndrome Association
Commission for the Blind & Visually Impaired
COSAC (Autism)
Epilepsy Foundation
Learning Disabilities Association
Mental Health Association
National Alliance for the Mentally Ill-NJ
Disability-Specific Resources
•
•
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•
National Federation for the Blind-NJ
NJ Association of the Deaf
NJ Association of the Deaf-Blind
Parents of Blind Children
Spina Bifida Association
Tourette Syndrome Association
Traumatic Brain Injury Association-NJ
United Cerebral Palsy Associations
Disability Resources
State Office on Disability Services:
–
–
–
–
Information & Referral
Interagency Advocacy
Personal Assistance Services Program
Personal Preference Cash & Counseling
Demonstration Project
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