The Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) determines special education eligibility for children 3 to 5 years of age. An evaluation can begin at age 2 years 6 months. Children are identified as a Preschool Student with a Disability by meeting eligibility criteria as outlined by the New York State Education Department. Eligibility is determined by an individual evaluation administered by a multidisciplinary team. If eligible, special education services are provided within a continuum of services with consideration for the least restrictive environment. An Individualized Education Plan (IEP) is developed for each child meeting the eligibility criteria. The child’s program is reviewed at least once a year. Eligibility for summer services is determined by the CPSE. Not all children are eligible to attend the summer session.
Referral to the CPSE
Referrals are made in writing by parents, professionals, caregivers, program providers, or other individuals who are concerned about a child’s development. A referral can also be initiated by calling the CPSE office.
Children transitioning from the Department of Health’s Early Intervention Program that serves infants and toddlers, birth through age two (2) may be referred to the CPSE by the early intervention services coordinator, upon parent consent.
Written parent consent is obtained before any evaluation is conducted. An evaluation must include the first four (4) components listed below.
- Social History
- Psychological Evaluation
- Education Evaluation, including an observation within the child’s preschool or day care setting
- Medical History
Depending upon the concerns for the child, these may include a speech-language evaluation, occupational therapy evaluation, physical therapy evaluation, a Functional Behavioral Assessment, or an audiological assessment. A child may receive one (1) or several of these evaluations.