How are children referred?
Referrals to our program come from different sources. Children may transition from First Steps services and/or parents may contact this program to refer their child.
How is eligibility determined?
A multidisciplinary team of educators and therapists evaluate children based on their individual needs. When testing is completed, a case conference committee meets to determine the child’s educational needs. This committee is made up of parents, a school representative, and educational specialists in the area of need.
What services will be provided?
After a child is evaluated and if he/she is found eligible, an IEP (Individualized Education Program) is developed by the case conference committee. Services are provided based on each child’s educational needs. These services may include: participation in a developmental preschool class located in our schools, speech/language therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, vision therapy, and/or hearing services. Transportation may be provided.
If my child receives services through First Steps, will he/she automatically be eligible for services through the district’s preschool program?
In Indiana, criteria for eligibility for early childhood special education is different from First Steps. Therefore, some children who receive services through First Steps may not be eligible for services through schools. All children who are referred through the First Steps program will be evaluated with parent permission. Possible services will be based on those results and will be determined during a case conference committee meeting with both parents and educators present.
How much will these services cost?
Special education services, which are recommended and deemed educationally appropriate for a child by the case conference committee, are provided by the local school district at no cost to the family.
How often will my child’s progress be monitored by teachers and therapists?
Progress is measured frequently in the classroom and therapy setting. Written progress reports will be shared with parents one time every nine weeks, on the report card schedule. A case conference can be held at any time to discuss progress.