Special Education Eligibility Special education is a program designed to meet the unique educational needs of children with disabilities who meet eligibility criteria under the law. Special education services can begin at birth and continue until the age of twenty-two (22). Children may receive special education services under one of the following eligibilities:
Preschool children, ages 3 to 5 years old, may qualify for special education services if they have one of the the previously listed eligible disabilities or an "established medical disability." An "established medical disability" is a disabling medical condition or congenital syndrome very likely to require special education services.
In California, children with disabilities younger than three (3) years of age may also qualify for early intervention which help enhance their development. Children who qualify for early intervention services will receive services from the District if they have solely a visual, hearing, or severe orthopedic impairment. All other children in this age range who exhibit developmental delays or have established risk conditions with harmful developmental consequences will receive early intervention services from their local regional center.
If your child is eligible to receive special education services, you have the right to be informed about all available public and non-public schools or programs. The law requires that to the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities be educated with children without disabilities. This placement is called "the least restrictive environment."
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