How do I get my child in the 3-5 year old program?
- Transition from Early Intervention.
- What if my child was not in Early Intervention?
- Criteria for Acceptance to the 3-5 year old program.
- Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE).
- What type of Services should I request?
- Transition to the school age program..
- Due Process.
- Using Child Find.
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Transition from Early Intervention:Beginning in the school year that your child is turning 3 years old, the Early Intervention case manager will set up a meeting with your child's Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) at your local school or district to discuss your child's transition from Early Intervention to the 3-5 year old preschool program. If you don't already know what district you're in, you can find it by using your address at the NYC Dept. of Education website.
The local school or district will set the date for the Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) meeting. They will then set a timetable for all the necessary evaluations to be completed in time for the Committee to properly evaluate what services and programs are needed for your child.
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What if my child was not in Early Intervention?If your child was not in Early Intervention you, your child's doctor, teacher or anyone else who thinks your child may have some developmental delay can call the local school or school district to have your child evaluated. The school district will arrange the appropriate evaluations to determine what services may be necessary to help your child.
Criteria for Acceptance to the 3-5 year old program:Preschool children may be entitled to special services based on mental, physical or emotional reasons. The Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) will conduct an evaluation in your child's native language to see if your child has a significant delay or disorder in cognitive, language and communicative, adaptive, socio-emotional or motor development. Specifically the Committee will be looking for indications of:
- A 12-month delay in one or more functional area(s).
- A 33% delay in one functional area, or a 25% delay in each of two functional areas.
- A low score on standardized tests (2 points below in one fuctional area or 1.5 points below in two functional areas).
- Hearing impairment.
- Orthopedic impairment.
- Other health-impairment.
- Visual impairment including blindness.
Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE):The Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) is the committee which meets to determine the classification, needs and services for your child. The committee will have at least:
- The parents of the preschool child.
- At least one of your child's regular education teachers if your child is or may be participating in a regular education environment.
- At least one of your child's special education teachers or therapists.
- A representative from the school district who will act as the Committee Chairperson. The school representative must be qualified and knowledgable in special education.
- An additional parent who has a child in an existing special preschool program. You can request that this additional parent not be present.
- Someone who can explain evaluation results.
- Anyone with special knowledge or expertise regarding your child who the school district or you think should be at the meeting.
- If your child is transitioning from Early Intervention, you can request that the person who worked with your child be present.
- A New York City representative may be present, but is not required.
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What type of services should I request?The following services are available at the preschool level:
- Speech Therapy (ST).
- Occupational Therapy (OT).
- Physical Therapy (PT).
- Assistive technology.
- Parent education.
- Special Education Itinerant Teacher (SEIT) - a special education teacher who works with a child in a setting recommended by the CPSE.
- Special Class in an Integrated Setting (SC/IS) - a class with preschool students with and without disabilities.
- Special Class (SC) - a class with only children with disabilities.
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Transition to the school age program:Preschool services will have been provided either in your home, a preschool or other formal setting. Transitioning to the school age program will most likely mean that your child will go to the local public school kindergarten or a special program in the local public. school. You should investigate the best possible settings for your child as early as possible. Meet with the local school or district and go over all of the the potential placements and services. It's very helpful to sit in on actual classes where your child may be placed and speak to the parents of kids who have attended these programs. Parents of children with special needs are usually very willing to talk to other parents and can be the best way to find out about a program where your child may be placed. The more work you do before the Committee on Special Education (CSE) meeting, the more likely you are to get what you think is best for your child.
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