Early Childhood Special Education
Early Childhood Special Education (Part B of IDEA) and Early Intervention (Part C of IDEA), in Virginia, provide services for children from birth to Kindergarten age who qualify according to state and federal law. All localities in the state have services available for children in this age group who are eligible.
Early Intervention services are provided for infants and toddlers with a disability. "Infant and toddler with a disability" means a child, ages birth through two, inclusive, whose birthday falls on or before September 30, or who is eligible to receive services in the Part C early intervention system up to age three, and who:
- has delayed functioning;
- manifests atypical development or behavior;
- has behavioral disorders that interfere with acquisition of developmental skills; or
- has a diagnosed physical or mental condition that has a high probability of resulting in delay, even though no current delay exists. COV § 2.1-760; 34 CFR § 303.16 (a).
Information about local early intervention services in Greene County can be obtained by calling Infant & Toddler Connection of the Blue Ridge at (434) 970-1391
Preschoolers (defined as age 2,by September 30 of the school year through 5 years of age,but not Kindergarten age eligible, who have been through screening, referral and eligibility may be found eligible for Early Childhood Special Education services under one or more of 14 disability categories, which are defined in the federal and state regulations:
- autism spectrum disorders
- emotional disability
- hearing impairment
- learning disability
- intellectual disability
- multiple disabilities
- orthopedic impairment
- other health impairment
- speech or language impairment
- traumatic brain injury
- visual impairment / blindness
- developmental delay
The goals, settings, and support personnel needed to assist children grow are different for each child. Staff from the school, with the child's family; develop an individualized education program (IEP) with goals and objectives to meet the child’s developmental needs. The goals and objectives include a variety of skills and/or activities for the child to learn and use consistently. The people who assist in implementing the program and in supporting the child vary depending on the child's needs. The settings for implementing the plan also vary, depending on the child’s needs, age, and program. A continuum of placements for provision of services is available.
The curriculum in our preschool program is developmentally appropriate for the child’s age. We use the Creative Curriculum format paying attention to the Milestones of Childhood Development or for 4 year old children, we use the Houghton Mifflin Curriculum which is aligned with the Foundation Blocks for Early Learning.
The ultimate goal for our preschool aged children is for them to be as ready as possible to enter kindergarten. The earlier services are provided for children with disabilities, the better the long term prognosis. Children with special needs who have experienced support early in life do better in future settings. Research shows that participation in programs with typically developing peers is beneficial to all and enhances the language, social skills, and participation in a preschool program of all children. For more information about programs contact Kaki Payne, preschool coordinator, at 434-939-9002.