ECSE stands for "Early Childhood Special Education". It includes specialized instruction that focuses on the developmental areas that the child is delayed in compared to their peers. The 5 developmental areas include: Adaptive, Personal-Social, Communication, Motor, and Cognitive.
- After a referral is made, there are specific timelines that correlates to Part C (birth thru 2 years) and Part B (3 years to 21 years) evaluations
- Part C: 45 calendar days from the date of referral
- Part B: 30 school days from the date permission is received; a meeting is set within 10 days of the due date.
Although each evaluation is different, there are certain steps that are taken with each evaluation.
After a referral is made, the residing school district early intervention specialist (typically the early childhood special education teacher) will contact you to set up a home visit. During this initial contact, the ECSE will ask about what the main concerns are in order to determine which tests and related service providers are appropriate to include in the evaluation process.
After the tests are determined, a "Prior Written Notice" is created. A PWN is a list of tests that will be included in the evaluation. Each evaluation contains a developmental history interview, hearing and vision check, and at least 1 observation. Permission is required to start testing a child.
Evaluations typically take place in the child's natural environment (home, daycare, or school). The child's skills are tested through questioning, pictures, and manipulative toys. After testing is completed, an evaluation is written and a meeting is set up to discuss the results.
If your child's developmental scores on the standardized test are not -1.50 Standard Deviations (1 area for birth thru 2 years, 2 areas for 3 thru 6 years), then the parents should enroll their child in the Follow Along Program.
How Does the Follow Along Program Work?
- An early childhood professional, most often a nurse, may visit with you (in person or over the phone) to tell you more about the program and find out more about your child.
- Questionnaires are sent to you when your child reaches different ages such as 4, 8, 12, 16, 20, 24, 30, and 36 months old. Each questionnaire asks how your child is growing, playing, talking, moving, and acting. (Click here to see an example questionnaire.)
- Handouts with fun activities for you to do with your child are also sent to you.
- The results of the questionnaires will be shared with you. If there are any concerns, a nurse or other professional from the program will get in touch with you. Together, you can talk about choices for further evaluation or early help services.
- When your child is 36 months old, you will get information about the next step, Early Childhood Screening.
Children ages birth thru 2: must have at least 1 area of development that is -1.50 Standard Deviations below the norm
Children ages 3 thru 6: must have at least 2 areas of development that is -1.50 Standard Deviations below the norm
After a child qualifies for early intervention services, a meeting will be set up to discuss the child's individualized plan. This plan will determine what services are appropropriate, when and where services will occur, and what goals will be addressed based on the evaluation results.
For a child ages birth thru 2, this plan is called an Individualized Family Service Plan.
For a child ages 3 thru 21, this plan is called an Individualized Education Plan/Program.