Consistent with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), all school districts have an obligation to identify and serve children with disabilities, aged 3 and older. In Wyoming, special education for children ages 3-5 is provided by regional programs across Wyoming, under the direction of the Department of Health’s Early Intervention and Education Program. These programs offer a full continuum of educational services for children with disabilities, aged birth through 5, as part of an Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) program. This continuum may include speech, occupational and/or physical therapy, outreach and consultation support with families. Services are provided through regional preschool programs, private and community early childhood settings, district preschools, and/or Head Start programs. ECSE services are available to all eligible children within the district, at no cost to families.
Eligibility for ECSE services is determined through an evaluation process to determine whether a child meets state and federal criteria as a child with a disability and shows a need for specially designed instruction. A child must be found eligible under one or more of the follow areas:
- Developmental Delay
- Hearing Impairment
- Visual Impairment
- Orthopedic Impairment
- Emotional Disturbance
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Specific Learning Disability
- Cognitive Disability
- Speech/Language impairment
- Other Health Impairment
Developmental screenings for children with suspected disabilities may be scheduled at any time year round. Screening information, along with developmental history and other parent-provided information are then used to determine the need for a comprehensive eligibility evaluation.
The Wyoming Early Intervention and Education program also provides early intervention supports and services at no cost to families for infants and toddlers. Services include: developmental screening, diagnostic evaluation, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech-language therapy, special instructions, audiology, family service coordination and more.
Least Restrictive Environment Information for Preschool
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