How do I get my child classified?



What is classification

"Classification" is the determination that your child has a qualifying developmental delay in one or more of these areas: The responsibility for who makes the evaluation depends on the age of your child.

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Who determines classification

If the child lives in the Bronx determinations are made as follows:
Child's age Classification determined by Type of Meeting Document you receive
0-3 years old New York City Infant Child Health Assessment Program or an Early Intervention Evaluator. Meeting with the family IFSP
3-5 years old CPSE at local School District where child lives. CPSE IEP
5-21 years old CSE at local School District where child lives. CSE IEP


Outside NYC determinations are made as follows:
Child's age Classification determined by Type of Meeting Document you receive
0-3 years old County Health Department. Meeting with the family IFSP
3-5 years old CPSE at local School District where child lives. CPSE IEP
5-21 years old CSE at local School District where child lives. CSE. IEP


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It never hurts to ask.

If you, your doctor, your child or your child's teachers think that there is even a chance that your child may have a delay or disability, you should not hesitate to start the classification process.   Initial eligibility screening is always free, as are services which they think your child will need.   Getting services early can make a big difference in your child's future, so when in doubt, get an evaluation.

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Using Child Find.

Each State must operate comprehensive systems of child find in order to identify, locate and evaluate children with disabilities in need of special education and related services.   This is called "Child Find". You should note that the word "Find" is important. It means that the government not only has to service a child in need of servies, but they must have programs to find children in need of these services.

Before children are old enough to attend public school it's not uncommon for a babysitter, daycare provider, or preschool staff to express concern to you about developmental or learning delays. They may suggest that you contact the appropriate agency to have your child screened to determine whether your child should be referred for a full evaluation to determine eligibility for special education and related services.   Child Find has an excellent website that gives you lots of information about every step of getting your child needed services.

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How to request classification.

Parents don't have to wait until someone suggests that their child be screened. If they are concerned about their child’s developmental progress, they should get in touch with the State agency themselves and arrange to have their child screened. Such screenings are free of charge to parents. They are considered part of the State’s responsibility toward the well-being of its resident's children.

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Understanding all of the initials.

When speaking with teachers, therapists, doctors and lawyers about your child's needs and services, you may hear so many different initials that you'll think they're all speaking some foreign language that you don't understand.   With time you'll get used to most of the initials.   The following is a chart of what the initials provided by the Office of Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities.   Their website is a great resource for additional information.

Abbreviation Term
AIS Academic Intervention Services.
AP Advanced Placement.
ASL American Sign Language.
BETAC Bilingual/English Technical Assistance Center.
BIP Behavioral Intervention Plan.
BOCES Board of Cooperative Educational Services.
BOE BOE - Board of Education.
CPSE Committee on Pre-school Special Education.
CSEL Committee on Special Education.
CSPD Comprehensive System of Personnel Development.
CST Child Study Team.
DCEP District Comprehensive Education Plan (NYC).
DOH Department of Health.
DOHMH NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
ECDC Early Childhood Direction Center.
EI Early Intervention.
ERSS Educationally Related Support Services.
ESY Extended School Year.
FAPE Free Appropriate Public Education.
FBA Functional Behavioral Assessment.
FS10 Federal/State Project Budget Form.
FERPA Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974.
IAES Interim Alternative Educational Setting.
IDEA Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
IEE Independent Educational Evaluation.
IEP Individualized Education Program.
IFSP Individual Family Service Plan.
IHO Impartial Hearing Officer.
ILC Independent Living Center.
NYCIST Instructional Support Team.
JMT Joint Management Team.
LEP Limited English Proficient.
LRE Least Restrictive Environment.
NYSED New York State Education Department.
NYSAA New York State Alternate Assessment.
OMH Office of Mental Health.
OMRDD Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities.
PD Persons with Disability.
PDS Professional Development Specialist (SETRC).
PE Physical Education.
PSO Post School Outcome.
RA Regional Associate.
RIC Regional Information Center.
RCT Regents Competency Test.
RSSC Regional School Support Center.
SAVE Schools Against Violence in Education.
SED State Education Department.
SEQA Special Education Quality Assurance.
SETRC Special Education Training and Resource Center.
SRO State Review Officer.
STAC System for Tracking and Accounting of Children.
Sub CSE Subcommittee on Special Education.
SWD Student with a Disability.
TRE Technology Resources for Education.
VESID Office of Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities.


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