So you see some red flags…what’s next?

You are seeing some of the signs that they outline as “non-typical behaviors”, so what is your next step. This depends on the age of your child.

Under age 3:

If your child is under the age of 3 then there are free services thru the state. Here in Nevada and most states the organization is called Early Intervention Services. Their contact information is:

1161 S. Valley View Blvd.

Las Vegas, NV 89102

#702-486-7670

Let them know that you suspect a developmental delay and that you would like to have your child assessed. Pediatricians, Hospital and Health nurses, WIC clinics, childcare providers and parent or family members can all refer a child to Early Intervention services. Once the referral is made, they have 45 days to complete an intake/screening. They will be assigned a service coordinator and will be evaluated to determine eligibility.

What will a service coordinator be able to assist you with? They will be your primary point of contact for obtaining information and services for your child. Not only will they explain early intervention services, but they will also:

– help you understand the information received

– inform you of your rights in early intervention services

– work along with the rest of the team helping your child to determine what services and support are needed for you and your child

– coordinate and assist with your regular IFSP

– assist in helping your family find community resources

– make sure that items in the IFSP are handled in a timely manner

– help you resolve any concerns that may arise

– assist in developing and implementing of a transition plan for when your child turns 3

– help you become the best advocate for your child

A IFSP (Individualized Family Service Plan) meeting will occur with in 45 days if the child is deemed eligible. After the initial IFSP, there will then be a delivery of services. Each child is different, therefore so will be the services that they are eligible for.

Your child is ages 3-21 years old:

Any child with a disability under IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act) are assured some basic rights. Any child is entitled to public education appropriate to their needs, at no cost to their families. They are also provided this education in the Least Restrictive Environment as possible. Meaning that they must also be educated with children who do not have disabilities as much as possible, they must be educated in the location closest to their home and all support services must be provided. The law states that “special classes, separate schooling or other removal of children with disabilities from the regular educational environment occurs only if the nature or severity of the disability is such that education in regular classes, with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily” and must be documented.

To contact Clark County School District to refer for an assessment appointment during the school year, call: #702-799-7463

Eligibility is different from the school district than it is for Early Intervention. The multidisciplinary team may include a school pscologist, nurse, speech/language pathologist, audiologist, speech education teacher and other clinicians if deemed necessary. They will complete a Health, Pschological and Speech assessment. Once your child has been evaluated by the school district and determined eligible for services, an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) meeting is scheduled. An IEP must be in place before the child will receive services in the school district.

An IEP must include:

– present levels of educational performance

– a description of how your child’s disability affects his/her participation in appropriate activities

– statement of measurable annual goals

– needed services and assistive technology needs with initial dates

– behavioral plan if necessary

– language needs if primarily non-English speaking

– special considerations for children who are blind, hearing impaired, have autism, etc.

– determination of extended school year needs

The last thing that will be determined is the placement where your child will be most likely to achieve goals the team has agreed upon, including a statement of other placements considered and why the team rejected a less restrictive placement.

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About From One Special Mother to Another

I am a mother of two special needs children. I understand both the stress and confusion that it takes to start and continue the process of getting your children the evaluations and assessments needed before and during school years. What I would like to do is provide information and support to parents either just starting, or continuing this process. While at the same time providing a place where other parents can ask questions, share information or just talk to parents who are dealing with similar situations.
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