SERVICES FOR PRESCHOOL CHILDREN
Act 212, the Early Intervention Services System Act, entitles all preschool children with disabilities to appropriate early intervention services. Young children experiencing developmental delays, physical, or mental disabilities and their families are eligible for early intervention services including screening, evaluation, individualized education program planning, and provision of appropriate programs and services. Potential signs of developmental delay and other risk factors that could indicate disabilities and the possibility that a child is an “eligible young child” may include:
- By the age of 3: not saying many words; not using 2- or 3-word phrases and sentences; not walking; awkward gait (walking); drooling; not answering “show” or “what” questions; not using utensils to feed self;
- By age of 4 (all of the above included): not toilet trained; difficulty with directional words (in, on, under, out); not playing with other children; not able to draw a circle; not able to cross or imitate a vertical line; not able to understand the child’s speech most of the time; difficulty following simple two-step directions (e.g., pick up the paper and put it in the garbage);
- By the age of 5 (all of the above included): unable to answer “where” questions; unable to recall details from a story; not drawing a person with at least 6 parts; immature speech patterns (me instead of I), not able to hop forward with one foot without support;
- Other warning signs at any age: little or no eye contact, over/ under sensitivities to pain, light, or noise; hand flapping; no awareness of space (always bumping into other people or things); awkward hand or foot positioning; won’t touch or eat certain textures; child no longer can do things he/she used to do; developed normally, then stopped; echoes what is said; plays with toys inappropriately (e.g., watches wheels spin on the car, but does not play with the car).
The District ensures that all students transitioning from early intervention programs to kindergarten or first grade programs within the District are transitioned without disruption of services. Parent(s)/Guardian(s) of children entering school-age programs are notified of the District’s Transition activities, which occur before kindergarten registration of each year. The District secures permission to evaluate, conducts an evaluation, and develops an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP)/Individualized Education Program (IEP) in accordance with the timelines required by state and federal regulations and laws.
The Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare is responsible for providing services to infants and toddlers, defined as children from birth through three years of age. For more information, contact:
Alliance for Infants
2801 Custer Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15227
The Pennsylvania Department of Education is responsible for providing services to preschool children from ages three through five. For information, contact:
Allegheny Intermediate Unit, Project DART
475 E. Waterfront Drive
Homestead, PA 15120