About Early Childhood Special Education

Early Childhood Special education is a system of services and support including individualized instruction, supplemental aids, assistive technology, transitional support services and related services that young children with disabilities have a right to receive. The delivery of special education services is governed by the federal law called IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act).

Services for Children Under 3 Years of Age: Early Intervention Program

Infants and Toddlers (children under age 3) who are suspected of having a developmental delay or are diagnosed with a physical or mental condition that has a high probability of developmental delay will receive developmental and learning support services through the Early Intervention Program. The Early Intervention Program identifies and coordinates therapy, services, and guidance among parents, caregivers and specialists to support healthy development of infants and toddlers.

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Services for Preschool and School Age Students: Special Education

Children suspected of having developmental delays or diagnosed disabilities, who are over 3 years of age, may be eligible to receive special education services and supports through the special education program, which is implemented by local school district. In NYC, the special education preschool and school age children are coordinated by the Department of Education.

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