Transition form Early Intervention to Preschool Presentation – English
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Transition form Early Intervention to Preschool Presentation – English

Hi. I’m Robyn Chidester, and
I’m the parent of a child who received Early
Intervention Services. My son, Matthew, has down
syndrome, so we wanted to make sure that he
received all of the help that was available for him. If your child is
receiving services in an Early Intervention
program, it is important for you to understand your role in helping your child have
a smooth transition when he or she turns three years old. In this presentation I am going to explain how this transition
process works and what you as a parent need to know. Families are the most important
people in a child’s life. Parenting is a big
responsibility. Parents and family members make
sure their children are safe and have good care. They watch to see that their
children grow and develop as they should for their age. This is a big challenge. It can be an even
bigger challenge when parents know their
child has a disability or if they think their
child is not developing like other children
the same age. It is hard to know what
a child should be doing and what to expect. At times parents may
feel alone and not know where to turn for help. But parents do know
their children better than anyone else does. Know that you are your child’s
best advocate and also the one who will be most affected as you share your child’s
joys and challenges. The Baby Watch Early
Intervention program is an important source of
services and supports to help families enhance
their children’s learning and development. There is a Federal Law
called the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
or IDEA that provides services for children with disabilities. Part C of this law covers
Early Intervention services. In Utah the Baby Watch
state agency oversees all of the Baby Watch
local programs. A little later we will talk
about Part B of the law which covers school services for
children aged three and over. It is important for parents
to understand the law and know how the process
is designed to work. We will be telling you
about a number of resources that can help you learn
more about the law. The law provides a
process where decisions about your child’s
services are made by a team. You, the parents are
required members of the team. Your participation is needed
at every step in the process. Other team members include
your service coordinator and other people providing
services to your child. It is important for you, the person who knows your
child best, to provide the team with important information
about your child. You will want to know
the other team members and understand their roles. If you do not know, ask their
names and what their roles are. Perhaps there is a
special educator, a speech language therapist, a physical therapist
or an audiologist. There are many possibilities
of who could be on the team depending
on your child’s needs. Be positive as you go into
the team meetings and remember that everyone wants to support
you and meet your child’s needs and has your child’s
best interest in mind. Everything the team
does should be focused on your child’s needs. If you don’t understand
a comment or something that is proposed, ask questions. You could say, “Can
you give me an example of how this would work?” or “I’m not sure I understand. Could you explain
this a little more?” When we talk about transition,
we are simply talking about change from one
program to another. Children may receive services through Baby Watch Early
Intervention as needed from birth up until
their third birthday. When children turn three years
old, they may be eligible to receive services from
preschool programs provided by the school district. In order to have a smooth
transition to the new program, planning and preparation must
start well before the child’s third birthday. Now let’s talk more
about how the change or transition will work. Transition can be
an exciting time. It marks growth and
new opportunities. However, parents
may have questions about what will happen
during transition. What are some of the questions
and concerns that you have? You might want to take a
minute to write them down so that you remember to ask. Your child’s Early
Intervention service coordinator and other providers are a
great resource and will be glad to answer any questions
you may have. It is helpful to understand
some of the similarities and differences between
Early Intervention Programs and Preschool Programs. Let’s talk about some
of these similarities and differences before we talk about how we make
the transition. . . In Utah, children are served in local Early Intervention
programs until they turn three years old. At age three, if eligible, the child may enter a special
education preschool provided by the school district. Special education may continue
throughout the school years if the child continues
to be eligible. Early Intervention Services may
be at no cost to the family, funded by Medicaid or CHIP, or
a family may be assessed a fee, based on the family’s
ability to pay. When children move
into preschool, they receive a Free Appropriate
Public Education or “FAPE” at no cost to the parents. In Early Intervention, Families
have an Individualized Family Service Plan or IFSP that
documents the services that will be provided. In Preschool, the
IFSP is replaced by an Individualized
Education Program or IEP. Early Intervention
is Family-Centered, while Special Education
Preschool is Child-centered. This means that the
IFSP is based on the needs the Family has to help them meet
their child’s needs. When children move into preschool the program
is focused more directly on the child’s needs. Both programs are designed
to meet the needs of children in a very individualized way. In Early Intervention, a
child is primarily served in the natural environment. A natural environment is
the setting that is natural or typical for a child that
age and can include the home or community settings such as
day care or Early Head Start. Preschool children are typically
served in the school setting. Early Intervention
services are coordinated by a Baby Watch service
coordinator. In preschool, services
are provided by the school district
personnel. Instead of working with
a service coordinator, you will work with the IEP team. Let’s talk about what
transition looks like. Children in early
intervention programs who are eligible must
experience a smooth and effective transition
to preschool programs or other community resources. If the child is going
to continue on to a preschool program, an Individualized
Education Program, or IEP, must be in effect by the
child’s third birthday. Since special education
preschool is provided by your local school
district, it will require you and your early intervention
service coordinator to participate in a
transition planning conference with the school district to
discuss options for preschool and community programs
and to plan for establishing
eligibility for preschool. As we mentioned,
you, the parent, are an important participant
in this planning process. Let’s look at how the
transition process works. It is step by step process
outlined in the IDEA law. As early as your child’s first
individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) meeting or your
child’s second birthday, your service coordinator along
with you and other members of your IFSP team will begin to discuss potential
transition options. You will work together to
begin your child’s plan. The transition steps and
services will be written on the transition plan
page of your child’s IFSP. During IFSP meetings and
throughout your child’s time in Early Intervention, you
will talk about and work on developmentally
appropriate skills that will help your child
progress as he or she moves from Early Intervention
to other programs. Important skills for a child
include: being independent and getting his or her needs
met, engaging in activities, and interacting socially
with peers and adults. When your child is 27 months
old, your child’s name and contact information is sent
to the local school district for the purpose of planning
the number of students who may be eligible
for preschool services. You may decline to
give permission to have information sent
to the school district. A transition conference
is a required meeting that will be arranged by your
service coordinator with you and the Local Education
Agency (LEA or district preschool
coordinator. At least 90 days before your
child’s third birthday a transition conference
will be held to discuss your child’s
needs, the different options for services, and
possible eligibility for preschool services. The transition conference
is held 120 days or more before the third
birthday for children with visual impairments,
hearing impairments and children with particular medical
conditions that require planning for the preschool to meet
their specific needs. In order to schedule your
transition conference your Early Intervention program will
need you to sign consent to share information
about your child with the preschool
agency representative. Who should attend the
transition conference? The three people required
to attend are Parents, The Early Intervention
service coordinator and the preschool coordinator or Local Education Agency
representative (LEA)Others who could attend would be
others from the IFSP team staff from the preschool
program, private providers from programs the parents are
interested in, representatives from community programs
such as Head Start, or anyone else you would like to
invite, including grandparents or friends who know
your child well. Parents can also bring
someone to support or coach them in their role. What will happen at the
transition conference? The transition conference
will help to identify preschool options
and other community programs, that your child might
transition to and your child’s
potential eligibility for services The team
will decide whether to make a referral to
preschool to determine if your child is eligible. Parents have the right to decide
if they want their children to participate in a
preschool program. If parents decide to
wait, they can ask for an evaluation
at a later time. Eligibility for Preschool
Services is not the same as early intervention
eligibility. Some children who receive Early
Intervention services are not eligible for preschool services. An evaluation by the school
district will determine: If your child qualifies as
a student with a disability, Your child’s present level
of academic achievement and functional performance If your child’s disability
has an adverse effect on your child’s ability to
participate in and benefit from age-appropriate activities, and If your child needs special
education and related services. During your child’s evaluation,
information will be gathered about your child’s functional
performance and development. Remember that you are
an expert on your child, and you have important
information to share during the
evaluation process. You may have medical
records or results from private evaluations. You know what your child
can do and cannot do and how your child responds
in different situations. You know what your child likes. Your hopes and dreams for
your child are important. The team will consider
the information you share in determining his
or her eligibility. As a member of the team, you help to decide what
assessments are needed to determine eligibility and
plan for your child’s education. Personnel from the
preschool may be involved in conducting the evaluation. You must receive prior written
notice and give consent. . The prior written notice
tells you the actions that are proposed including
which areas will be assessed and which tests will be used. The consent form
gives your permission for the evaluation to begin. The school district must
have your written consent in order to proceed. Before you consent to the
evaluation, you should feel free to ask any questions
that you have. You may wish to ask
questions such as: What tests or evaluation methods
will be used and why? Are these tests valid
for children with my child’s disability? What steps will be
taken to make the tests culturally appropriate? Will the test be in my
child’s native language? What information will I as
a parent be contributing? Who will be doing
the assessment? How will the testers
help my child to feel comfortable
with the testing? Remember it is always
OK to ask questions at any point during the process. Being an informed parent
helps you to contribute in a meaningful way
to the process. The testing is generally
conducted at the preschool program. You may be asked to
fill out a questionnaire or to be interviewed
regarding such things as your child’s birth
and medical history, how the child has progressed,
what your child can do and can’t do and other
information about your home and family environment. After the evaluation
is complete, a report will be
written, and the team which includes the parents
will determine whether or not your child qualifies for preschool special
education services. You should receive a copy of
the report and an explanation. Be sure to ask any
questions you have. If you disagree with the results
you may request an independent evaluation at the school
district’s expense. The independent evaluation
would be done by someone outside of the school district. For more information about an
independent evaluation or any of your other rights, you may
contact the Utah Parent Center. Once your child is evaluated and has been determined eligible for preschool special
education services, it is time to write an IEP or Individualized
Education Program. The IEP meeting must
be conducted and the IEP developed before
your child’s third birthday. The IEP determines the services
your child will receive. You will want to understand
the IEP process and your rights and responsibilities as
a member of the IEP team. You are an important
member of the IEP team, and your input is needed
during the planning process. The team should consider your
hopes, dreams, and concerns for your child as you
discuss the different services that are available. Your legal rights should
also be explained to you. This is a brief introduction
to the IEP process. For more detailed
information, you may want to attend a Utah Parent
Center IEP workshop or read the Utah Parent
Center IEP handbook, Parents as Partners in the IEP
Process, which is available on the Utah Parent
Center website. Parent Consultants at the Utah
Parent Center are available to answer your questions
on an individual basis. Remember that your
child’s IEP team leader and other team members
are excellent sources for information about how
the IEP can be individualized for your child. Preparing for the IEP meeting
can help you to feel confident about the information
you will share. Be sure to bring
information about your child. You can make notes for
yourself or, even better, you could bring material that
you have compiled into a handout to share with the team. You will want to
consider information from evaluations
your child has had. Be sure to bring copies
of your child’s IFSP to help you show what outcomes
your child has been working on and what your child
can and cannot do. The Utah Parent Center IEP
handbook provides some blank profile forms that might
be useful to help you to get started compiling
information about your child. Some things you might want
to share would include; Your child’s history, information
on your child’s progress. What your child can do
and cannot do in all areas of your child’s development. Information on how
your child learns best and what is motivating
to your child. Information on any medical needs that will affect your child’s
education or that needs to be considered
while at school. What services and supports you
child needs in order to learn. Your priorities for your child’s
learning. The team will use information from your child’s
evaluation and information that you and other
team members share to decide what the
child’s present levels of academic achievement and
functional performance are. Knowing your child’s levels is
important in helping the team to write appropriate goals. Writing appropriate goals helps
the team decide what services your child needs to
work on the goals. A wonderful thing
about the IEP is that it is truly individualized
to your child and can be as unique as your child is. Let’s talk a little bit about
what special education is. It is specially designed
instruction to meet the unique needs of
a child with a disability, including: Instruction in
the classroom, home, hospital or institution, and in other
settings and instruction in physical education. The purpose of special
education is to provide a Free Appropriate
Public Education or FAPE. FAPE is provided
beginning no later than the child’s third birthday. FAPE means that special
education and related services
are provided at no cost to the parents. The services must be provided
as outlined in the IEP. All children eligible for
special education are served under one of 13 classifications. Some children in preschool
may continue to be served under the general classification
of “developmental delay,” which was the classification
used in early intervention. When appropriate, some
preschool children are served in more specific
classifications. The classification is based
on specific requirements, but it does not determine
what the services are. The IDEA process outlined in the
law that is used for both IFSP’s and IEP’s is a very
logical process. After a child is referred,
he or she is evaluated. If the child is found
eligible, then the IFSP or IEP is developed and
services are determined. The team then decides
upon placement or where the services
should be delivered. The services are given, and
then at least once per year, the team meets again to
update the IFSP or IEP. This cycle continues until the
child is no longer eligible. It is helpful to remember
that everything that is done, should be based on
the child’s needs. Keeping this in mind should help
the team members work together to come to agreement about
the services that are needed. Let’s talk about how
the IEP is developed. It is very similar to how
your IFSP was developed. There are specific requirements
about the IEP team members who must participate
in the IEP meeting. The required team
members include: Parents, A Special Education
Teacher, A General Education Teacher, A principal or
other representative of the school district called
the LEA representative. This is a person who has the
authority to commit resources for serving your child. An individual who can
interpret evaluation results if the evaluation
is being discussed. Others who may attend an
IEP include: The student, if appropriate, Related
services providers, such as speech therapists,
physical therapists, or occupational therapists,
and so on. Others who have knowledge or
expertise about the child. This could include relatives, people who have served
the child, and anyone the parent chooses
to invite such as a person who is there to support
or coach the parent. What is an IEP? The IEP is a written
Individualized Education Program that is developed, reviewed,
and revised in a team meeting. The IEP has 8 required
components and can include additional
information as appropriate. The required components of an
IEP are: The Present Levels of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance tells
how the child is functioning. For preschool children, this statement describes how
the child’s disability affects progress in appropriate
activities and in pre-academics, communication, social
emotional skills, functional skills, and behavior. Remember that we talked about this component
being the basis upon which the IEP is built. Measurable annual goals
are written statements that describe what the
child should accomplish in the next year. These goals may be communication
goals, or pre-academic goals such as pre-reading
or numeracy skills, or they can be functional goals,
such as learning how to walk, or how to put on a coat. Some preschool students
may participate in district wide assessments. For those students, the team
should consider whether the child needs accommodations
or modifications for participating
in the assessments. Next is a Written statement of how the student’s progress
toward meeting the annual goals will be measured and when the
parents will receive reports on the progress the child
is making toward meeting the annual goals. This information is designed
to help everyone know if the IEP is working or if
changes might need to be made. It is important for parents to know how the child
is progressing. Next is a written statement
of the related services and service coordination and
other supports and services that are needed for the child to advance towards
the annual goals. Related services
are part of the IEP and include services required
to assist the child to benefit from special education. This list includes
related services that a child might need, depending on the
child’s disability. For example, a child who has
fine motor problems might need occupational therapy
to teach him how to hold his spoon
and feed himself. Or a child who has a delay in
language might need the services of a speech-language provider. The Least Restrictive
Environment statement must address the extent to which
the child will not participate with non-disabled children in
regular classes or activities. The IEP must address
any accommodations that are necessary for
the child to participate in the preschool program. Some accommodations for young
children might include seating arrangements, picture schedules,
communication boards or systems, walkers, wheel chairs,
or special diets. The last required component of
the IEP is a written statement of the frequency and
duration of services. This statement includes
the date services begin, and their frequency,
location and duration. For example this
could be a statement of when physical therapy
would start and the frequency, location, and duration of the
physical therapy services. There are several other
things that must be considered in case a child needs them. These considerations include: Assistive Technology,
Behavior needs. Braille, for children
who are blind or visually impaired
including pre-braille for preschool aged children
The communication needs of the student, including the
needs of children who are deaf or hearing impaired, if the child
has limited English proficiency, and A health care plan. A child with medical needs may
have a separate health care plan, or it may be
included as part of the IEP. A lot has been accomplished when
we get to this point in the IEP. We have agreed on the
child’s needs and services, and it is time to
decide on the placement. Placement means the
kind of setting in which the child
will receive services. Remember that to the
maximum extent appropriate, children are educated with
children who are not disabled. For children in early
intervention, this means in the
natural environment. In special education preschool,
there are various settings that might be considered
depending on the child’s needs
including, Regular classes, Special classes, Special
schools, Home instruction, and Instruction in
hospitals and institutions. Once the IEP is completed,
everyone will sign it. The parent is asked to sign it as documentation
of participation. The parent must be provided
with a copy of the IEP. We recommend that
parents keep this copy in their important
records about the child. Parents will want to keep track of how their child is
progressing on the IEP goals. If things are not working as
planned, or for any reason, the parent can ask to
discuss concerns with the team and if needed, to make
adjustments to the IEP. And remember, the IEP is
revised at least once every year in a new IEP team meeting. Parents should receive a booklet
outlining their procedural safeguards, or the rights that
the IDEA guarantees to children with disabilities
and their families. You may also ask your
case manager for a copy. Your procedural safeguards
outline when you should receive written
prior notice about actions that are proposed and when
you must give written consent. They also outline remedies that
the law provides if you disagree with the team or if the school
does not comply with the law. Your rights should be discussed, and you should ask the preschool
personnel any questions that you have. If you have concerns about how
things are going with the IEP, you have many avenues
for getting help and resolving problems. Usually the first place you want
to go is to the team members who are serving your child. Most problems can be
resolved by talking with the preschool personnel. If you still have concerns,
it is usually best to go up the chain of command
in your school. For example, you could
go to the principal. If you need more help
then you could speak to the special education
administrators in your school district. If that does not
work, you may want to contact the Utah State Office of Education Special
Education Department. Remember that the Utah Parent
Center has parent consultants who can provide information
and advice on how you might want
to resolve problems. You can call for a
free consultation at any time in the process. They may also refer you to
other resources for support, mediation, or legal help. The law provides several formal
dispute resolution options which are outlined in your
procedural safeguards. These options include: Mediation
Filing a state complaint, Asking for a due
process hearing, and Civil Action in
the court system. If you are considering
one of these options, you would definitely want to
obtain some expert advice. Again you may contact the Utah
Parent, the Utah State Office of Education or the Disability
Law Center for legal assistance. Thank you for viewing
this video. You have many new adventures
ahead with your child, and by being an informed
parent, you can help your child to have a great experience
as you transition from early intervention into
the school system and work to achieve wonderful
things in life. We wish you well. We hope you will
take the opportunity to use our free services
and learn more about the Utah Parent Center
by visiting our website at,
attending one of our workshops, or calling one of our
parent consultants.

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