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Karen S. Browning, MEd, OTC

School of Health Professions, University of Missouri-Columbia

Special Needs Child

Eligibility for Services

The State of Missouri requires all school districts to identify, evaluate, and place children with disabilities in the following consecutive steps. You can follow Ben's journey through this maze of forms and see the important role the educational placement team plays at the beginning and end of the school year.

Screening information is collected in seven areas of functioning:

  1. vision
  2. hearing
  3. health / motor
  4. intellectual / cognitive
  5. academic
  6. social / emotional / behavior
  7. speech / language

and allows the school personnel to determine which area might be affecting the child's acquisition of age-appropriate skills.

Who can make a referral for screening?

What methods might the Screening Team use to obtain information for Ben?

Alternate intervention strategies allow the school district to determine if strategies other than special education placement are or have been effective. (If the child has a history of special services, it may not be necessary to try alternate strategies since this child will most likely continue to have significant delays which necessitate special education.)

How can this information be obtained?

How can such strategies be implemented at this stage if previously not attempted?

A referral is developed by the school district gathered from screening and alternate intervention strategies to document the reasons for referral and a description of concerns about the child.

The evaluation plan describes areas that need further assessment.

Who might be involved in testing?

What types of assessment instruments might be used?

What are the areas of development that can be used to determine eligibility?

What is a Notice of Intent to Evaluate?

Those who performed the evaluation meet to discuss the results and write a diagnostic summary describing the child's strengths and weaknesses. If the child meets the state guidelines criteria for an educational disability in compliance with the federal regulations, an IEP can be written.

What are the eligibility requirements for a child to receive services?

The IEP is a written program describing all special education services that the child is eligible to receive. Parents or guardians are part of the IEP team who determine what education services are appropriate, how they will be provided, and the specific goals and objectives the child can and needs to achieve.

What are the guidelines for goal writing?

Who implements the IEP goals?

Placement (where the services will be delivered) is determined by the team that includes the parents, service providers, and a representative of the local education authority (LEA).

What are the early childhood special education placement or service delivery options?

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Last Update: January 24 2013