First and foremost it is important to point out that each state has different criteria for special needs services. However, there are a few "guidelines" that help determine what services are available and how they are obtained.
An evaluation is almost always first on the list of steps. students are evaluated by a professional (usually a psychologist or psychiatrist, but sometimes a medical doctor). These evaluations usually are in the form of questionnaires or rating sheets filled out by parents and educators and on occasion, the students themselves.
There are 2 parts to obtaining services. part one begins with children ages 0-36 months and is the Early Intervention part of IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act). Through this process, after referral, a parent is put in contact with the early intervention system within that state. The "system" will assign someone to work with the family to make sure the child and family are getting the services they need. An evaluation will take place and if special services are found necessary a written plan will be developed for that child in the form of an IFSP or Individualized Family Service Plan. Depending on the plan ...
The steps taken to assure special education services once a child has been referred. Included is Early Intervention services and special education services within the school.