Children with Special Needs

Early Intervention Program

New York State’s Early Intervention Program is a dynamic tool used to promote the success and educational betterment of children with special needs. Counties are responsible for administering this vitally important program as well as coordinating all services, however, New York State is responsible for all program regulations and requirments. 

There is no income eligibility for families with children who need Early Intervention Program services and services must be provided to families at no cost to them.  Intervention is likely to be more effective and less costly overall when implanted early in life.

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Preschool Special Education

New York State’s Preschool Special Education program provides essential services like speech and occupational therapy to special needs children between the ages of 3 and 5 years of age.  It serves as a bridge between the Early Intervention Program (from birth to 3 years old) and a formal Individualized Education Plan (IEP) in a school setting.  Counties, since mandated in 1989, fully fund the preschool special education program.  

A child eligible for preschool special education services may show significant delays in any of the five areas of development: cognitive; communication; physical/motor; social/emotional; and adaptive/self-help. Federal and state laws govern the preschool special education program and grant the legal authority to administer the program to the State and school districts.  There is no income eligibly for families with children who need preschool special education and the services must be provided at no cost to them. 

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NYSAC White Papers and Reports