Because infants and toddlers do not attend public school, families of children ages 0-3 must engage in a very different process to get support.
Part C of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that infants and toddlers with disabilities be provided services in their natural environment from birth to age 3. Parents may request an evaluation if they have concerns about their child's development. Oftentimes, community agencies, pediatricians, and/or other service providers recommend that families request an evaluation when concerns are present.
If your child meets the criteria to receive services, an Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP) will be developed. The IFSP serves children from birth to 36 months of age who have delayed development or diagnosed conditions that are associated with developmental disabilities. The IFSP will document your child's present level of performance in each area of development. The Plan will also describe the services your child will receive. Goals are written based on your family's priorities, concerns and daily routines.
The IFSP should be reviewed every six months with the required team members (parents/ family members, designated service coordinator, evaluation/ assessment personnel, service provider, and an outside advocate if requested). The IFSP must be based on a family-directed, multi-disciplinary assessment of the unique strengths, needs, resources and priorities of the child and family. It must include: