Early Childhood Special Education Services  (ages 3-6)

Early Childhood Special Education Services (ECSE) are provided for children ages three through six with disabilities or developmental delays.  Eligibility is determined after an evaluation is completed.

Please call 952-388-1900, if you have any concerns or questions about your child’s development or would like further information regarding Early Childhood Special Education services.   

A child is eligible for early childhood special education services if they meet the criteria for any one of the following disability categories:

    • Autism Spectrum Disorder
    • Emotional Behavioral Disorder
    • Deaf/Hard of Hearing 
    • Other Health Impairment
    • Speech/Language Impairment
    • Visual Impairment
    • Deaf-Blindness
    • Developmental Cognitive Disability
    • Physical Impairment
    • Specific Learning Disability
    • Traumatic Brain Injury
    • Developmental Delay

Many of the children in the ECSE program meet criteria for Developmental Delay meaning that a delay has been identified in two or more areas of development.

  • Cognitive -- ability to think and solve problems

  • Motor – small and large muscle use, eye/hand coordination, visual/perceptual skills.
  • Communication -- ability to understand and use language, including speech sound production.

  • Social/emotional development -- making friends, solving conflicts, expressing feelings, and group participation and behavior.

  • Adaptive development – toileting, eating, dressing skills, and the ability to function in home and school settings.

A child may also be eligible under the category of Developmental Delay if the child has a diagnosed condition that has a high probability of resulting in delay and specific developmental needs have been identified. 

ECSE Services
Once a child has been identified as being eligible for Early Childhood Special Education services, an Individual Education Plan (IEP) is written.  The IEP states long and short-term goals for the child, the type of services that will be provided, and where the services will be located.

Services are provided by one or several professionals, depending on your child’s educational needs.  One team member will be assigned as the primary contact person for parents.     

Team members on a child’s IEP may include:

  • Early Childhood Special Education Teacher
  • Speech and Language Pathologist
  • Occupational Therapist
  • School Psychologist
  • Physical Therapist
  • Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
  • Teacher of the Visually Impaired
  • Autism Resource Specialist
  • Pre School Teacher
  • School Nurse

Special Education services are provided in a variety of settings at different locations in the district.  Currently services are provided at the Early Childhood Learning Center, Deerwood Elementary, Highland Elementary, Pinewood Elementary, Thomas Lake Elementary, Westview Elementary, Woodland Elementary, and various community sites.

ECSE-Small Group Classrooms
These classrooms meet from two to five days per week.  There are generally six to nine children in a classroom, all receiving special education services.

ECSE-Integrated Classrooms
These classrooms meet from four to five days per week.  Children receiving special education services meet as a small group one to three days per week.  The remaining days the group is integrated with a community pre-school.

ECSE-Autism Classrooms
The children attend three to five days per week.  Most of the children receive special education services under the category of Autism Spectrum Disorder. 

Speech/Language Groups and Classrooms
Children who have articulation or communication needs meet two days per week from one to two hours.

Community Settings
The ECSE team supports children attending a community pre-school or day care setting.  The Early Childhood Special Education team works collaboratively with the pre-school pre-school staff to meet the child’s goals and objectives.  

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