Chapter 10.1: Eligibility

    State Performance Plan (SPP):

    (See Overview in the Introduction for more information on the SPP.)

    SPP 7:
    A. Positive social-emotional skills (including social relationships);
    B. Acquisition and use of knowledge and skills (including early language/communication and early literacy; and
    C. Use of appropriate behaviors to meet their needs.

    Intent:

    To ensure that each school district of residence conducts a complete initial evaluation or reevaluation in accordance with rule 3301-51-06 of the Administrative Code before the initial provision of special education and related services to a preschool child with a disability residing in the district.

    Timelines:

    Eligible for services at age 3

    Each school district must ensure that the obligation is met to make FAPE available to each eligible child, ages 3 through 5, for whom the school district is the child's school district of residence. Children are eligible for services on the third birthday, even if they are not transitioning from Help Me Grow (HMG). Referrals and evaluations occur early enough to ensure that an IEP is implemented on the child's third birthday for all children transitioning from Part C services.

    No later than the child's third birthday

    Each school district must ensure that the obligation to make FAPE available to each eligible child for whom the school district is the child’s school district of residence begins on the child’s third birthday. For children who transition from Help Me Grow, an individualized educational program (IEP) must be in effect for the child by that date.

    For children entering Help Me Grow 46-90 days before the third birthday, districts must work with the service coordinator to conduct joint (not duplicative) evaluations to ensure that Help Me Grow can develop an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) for transition and the district can develop an IEP by the child's third birthday.

    For children who are suspected of having a disability and enter Help Me Grow 45 days or less before the third birthday, Help Me Grow will refer the child directly to the district or assist the parents are contacting the district. Because these children will not have an IFSP or be provided early intervention services, this referral does not require an IEP by the third birthday. Since the child has not had early intervention, the district should consider appropriate timelines to secure necessary services (30 days for consent, 60 days for evaluation and 30 days for an IEP; 120 days maximum from referral).

    REQUIREMENT

    3301-51-06
    (B) Initial evaluations
    (1) General
    Each school district of residence must conduct a full individual evaluation, in accordance with this rule, before the initial provision of special education and related services under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Act, as amended by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004, December 2004 (IDEA) to a child with a disability residing in the school district.

    3301-51-11
    (C) Eligibility
    Each school district of residence must conduct a full and individual evaluation in accordance with rule 3301-51-06 of the Administrative Code before the initial provision of special education and related services to a preschool child with a disability residing in the district.
    (1) Sufficient information shall be obtained using a variety of information sources to confirm that a disability exists.

    • No single source of information shall be used to determine if a preschool child is eligible or not eligible for special education and related services. Eligibility for special education and related services as a preschool child shall be determined on the basis of multiple sources of information, including, but not limited to:

      (a) Information from Part C for children transitioning from early intervention services;

      (b) Structured observations in more than one setting and in multiple activities;

      (c) Information provided by the parent or caregiver; and

      (d) Criterion-referenced and norm-referenced evaluations.

    (2) Based on the variety of sources of information listed in paragraphs (C)(1)(a) to (C)(1)(d) of this rule, a group of qualified professionals and the parent of the child shall determine if the child has a disability and is eligible for special education and related services as a preschool child with a disability.

    (3) The following developmental areas must be assessed with at least one source of information listed in paragraphs (C)(1)a) and (C)(1)(d) of this rule:

    (a) Adaptive behavior;
    (b) Cognition;
    (c) Communication;
    (d) Hearing;
    (e) Vision;
    (f) Sensory/Motor function;
    (g) Social-emotional functioning; and
    (h) Behavioral functioning.

    GUIDANCE

    Eligibility determined with disability category

    The federal law indicates that the disability categories apply to ages 3 through 21. States have reported preschool children in categories since 1997. There are three scenarios for a child to be eligible for preschool special education:

    • The child meets the criteria of a disability category;
    • The child has been found eligible by meeting the criteria of cognitive disability, emotional disturbance or speech or language impairment and the team determines the use of the term "developmental delay" is more appropriate. No additional assessment is required to use the developmental delay category since the child has been found eligible; or
    • The child does not fit a disability category but has a documented deficit in physical, cognitive, communication, social or emotional development; or has a documented deficit in adaptive behavior and meets the definition of developmental delay. Physical development would include vision, hearing and motor skills.

    Four assessments in needed area of disability

    To determine eligibility for a preschooler with a disability, the following methods are required:

    • Structured interview with persons knowledgeable about the child's functioning;
    • Criterion-referenced evaluations;
    • Norm-referenced tests;
    • Structured observations of the child in more than one setting and in multiple activities; and
    • Information from HMG if transitioning to preschool.

    To determine eligibility, all methods must be used to confirm the disability. Data obtained through all four methods may not agree. The team of qualified individuals determining eligibility would decide if sufficient data is available to make a determination. Informed team consent on eligibility is the purview of the team.

    All developmental domain areas, however, must be assessed by using at least one method of evaluation. The method and the tool used to evaluate does not need to be the same for all domains.

    Eligibility for articulation problems

    The category of speech or language impairment can include articulation errors. However a district must be sure that the articulation errors considered are not developmentally appropriate speech errors. In addition, deficits in articulation would have to indicate a communication delay where special education, not intervention, is necessary.

    Preschooler with a disability eligibility determination

    Part of the discussion determining eligibility should include the differentiation between the child who needs interventions as part of the regular education environment and therefore is not a preschooler with a disability and the child who needs specially designed instruction and related services to address the child's disability and who is a preschooler with a disability. A district should consider the opportunities for partnerships within the early learning community so children can be placed in the LRE and receive supports and sevices through direct and consultative models. (See Introduction - 1.3 LRE)

    • A district is advised to evaluate historical trends on eligibility as well as the number of children determined to be eligible in comparison to 5 percent of the ages 3 through 5 population. If there is a discrepancy between the number of children identified by the district and the percent population figure, the district should determine why the discrepancy occurs and plan accordingly.

    REQUIREMENT

    3301-51-11
    (C) Eligibility
    (5)A preschool child with a disability is a child who has one of the following disabilities, as defined in rule 3301-51-01 of the Administrative Code, based upon the evidence required in paragraph (C)(1) to (C)(3) of this rule, and who, by reason thereof, needs special education and related services:

    (a) Autism;
    (b) Cognitive disability;
    (c) Deaf-blindness;
    (d) Deafness;
    (e) Emotional disturbance;
    (f) Hearing impairment;
    (g) Multiple disabilities;
    (h) Orthopedic impairment;
    (i) Other health impairment;
    (j) Specific learning impairment;
    (k) Speech or language impairment;
    (l) Traumatic brain injury;
    (m) Visual impairment; or
    (n) Development delay, as defined in paragraph (C)(6) of this rule.

    GUIDANCE

    Catastrophic costs for preschool

    At this time there is no legislated funding appropriation for this.

    Specific learning disability (SLD) as a preschool disability category

    Specific learning disability (SLD) has been included because it is one of the categories of disability contained in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) of 2004.

    Kindergarten transition

    A reevaluation is required when a preschool child with a disability is transitioning from preschool to kindergarten. If, however, the annual IEP review occurs before the required reevaluation and the IEP team does not suspect a school-age disability, data describing why the child is no longer a preschool child with a disability must be documented. This would include a review of existing information and progress-monitoring data, as well as a conversation regarding the child’s age-eligibility for kindergarten (the only requirement for kindergarten entry). The team also should discuss the child’s need to extend learning with the kindergarten content standards. If the child's progress warrants no further special education, a Prior Written Notice to Parents PR-01 form can be provided and services discontinued.

    Children transitioning from preschool special education to kindergarten are required to have a reevaluation and not an initial evaluation.

    REQUIREMENT

    3301-51-11
    (C)Eligibility
    (6)A school district may choose to use the term “developmental delay” under the following conditions for children ages three through five who are experiencing developmental delays and who, by reason thereof, need special education and related services:

    (a) The applicability of the term shall be based upon the individual needs of the child as determined by the evaluation team or the IEP team and other qualified professionals;
    (b) In addition to the assessment required in paragraph (C)(1) of this rule, the results of appropriate diagnostic instruments and procedures may also be used to help make the determination that a child has a developmental delay. A developmental delay may be substantiated by a delay of two standard deviations below the mean in one or more of the following areas of development or 1.5 standard deviations below the mean in two or more of the areas of development listed in paragraphs (C)(6)(b)(i) to (C)(6)(b)(v) of this rule. The results shall not be used as the sole factor in making the determination that a child has a developmental delay.
    "Developmental delay" means a child of three to five years who is experiencing a delay as determined by an evaluation team, IEP team, and other qualified professionals in one or more of the following areas of development:
    (i) Physical development;
    (ii) Cognitive development;
    (iii) Communications development;
    (iv) Social or emotional development; or
    (v) Adaptive development.
    (c) The term "developmental delay" may be used only after considering the applicability of the categories provided in paragraphs (C)(5)(a); and
    (d) The term "developmental delay" may be used in place of the following disability categories:
    (i) Cognitive disability;
    (ii) Emotional disturbance; or
    (iii) Speech or language impairment. (A child with a developmental delay that requires special education and related services may be determined in accordance this rule to be a child with a disability.)

    GUIDANCE

    Developmental delay

    The team must consider the disability categories of autism, cognitive disability, deaf-blindness, deaf, emotional disturbance, hearing, multiple disabilities, orthopedic impairment, other health impairment, specific learning impairment, speech/language impairment, traumatic brain injury or visual impairment. If the child meets the definition of one of the disability categories, the child is eligible.

    If the child is found eligible under cognitive impairment, emotional disturbance or speech/language impairment, the team can decide to use the term "developmental delay" without further evaluation.

    If the child is not eligible under any of these disability categories, the team should examine the evaluation information to see if the child meets the eligibility criteria for developmental delay in the areas of physical, cognitive, communication, social, emotional or adaptive development. If there is insufficient information to determine if a developmental delay exists, the team must decide if additional information is required. If additional information is needed, the evaluation plan is modified and the team reconvenes to examine new data. Since evaluation must include assessment of each developmental domain using at least one method of evaluation, the resulting information can inform the process and assist in determining any additional information needs.

    All methodologies must be used to determine eligibility under developmental delay. Standard deviations on norm-referenced assessments are one source of information but cannot be the sole source to determine eligibility. By reviewing all available data, the team determines if the child exhibits a developmental delay.

     

Last Modified: 7/10/2013 1:09:03 PM