EIP Transition Guidance - Programmatic Eligibility for Early Intervention and Preschool Special Education

Early Intervention Program

To be eligible for EIP services, a child must have either (1) a developmental delay consistent with the State definition of developmental delay; or, (2) a diagnosed condition with a high probability of developmental delay.

EIP regulations 10 NYCRR Section 69-4.1(g) define developmental delay as follows:

"Developmental delay means that a child has not attained developmental milestones expected for the child's chronological age adjusted for prematurity in one or more of the following areas of development: cognitive, physical (including vision and hearing), communication, social/emotional, or adaptive development.

A developmental delay for purposes of the EIP is a developmental delay that has been measured by qualified personnel using informed clinical opinion, appropriate diagnostic procedures and/or instruments and documented as:

  • a 12 month delay in one functional area; or
  • a 33 percent delay in one functional area or a 25 percent delay in each of two areas; or,
  • if appropriate standardized instruments are individually administered in the evaluation process, a score of at least 2 standard deviations below the mean in one functional area or of at least 1.5 standard deviations below the mean in each of two functional areas."

EIP regulations at Section 69-4.3(e) define diagnosed conditions with a high probability of delay as:

  • chromosomal abnormalities associated with developmental delay (e.g., Down Syndrome);
  • syndromes and conditions associated with delays in development (e.g., fetal alcohol syndrome);
  • neuromuscular disorder (e.g., any disorder known to affect the central nervous system, including cerebral palsy, spina bifida, microcephaly or macrocephaly);
  • clinical evidence of central nervous system (CNS) abnormality following bacterial/viral infection of the brain or head/spinal trauma;
  • hearing impairment (a diagnosed hearing loss that cannot be corrected with treatment or surgery);
  • visual impairment (a diagnosed visual impairment that cannot be corrected with treatment including glasses or contact lenses or surgery);
  • diagnosed psychiatric conditions, such as reactive attachment disorder of infancy and early childhood; (symptoms include persistent failure to initiate or respond to primary caregivers; fearfulness and hypervigilance that does not respond to comforting by caregivers; absence of visual tracking); and,
  • emotional/behavioral disorder (the infant or toddler exhibits atypical emotional or behavioral conditions, such as delay or abnormality in achieving expected emotional milestones such as pleasurable interest in adults and peers; ability to communicate emotional needs; self-injurious/persistent stereotypical behaviors).

In 1999, the NYS DOH issued guidance on diagnosed conditions with a high probability of developmental delay, including a list of conditions and their corresponding International Classification of Diseases (ICD-9) codes that should be used for eligibility purposes.

Preschool Special Education Program and Services

Education Law and regulations define a preschool student with a disability as either having a disability or disorder in one or more functional areas of development (Part 200.1(mm)), or a specific condition (Part 200.1(zz)), as follows:

A child is defined as having a disability when s/he exhibits a significant delay or disorder in one or more functional areas related to cognitive, language and communicative, adaptive, socio-emotional, or motor development which adversely affects the student's ability to learn. Such delay or disorder must be documented by the results of the individual evaluation which includes but is not limited to information in all functional areas obtained from a structured observation of a student's performance and behavior, a parental interview and other individually administered assessment procedures, and, when reviewed in combination and compared to accepted milestones for child development, indicate:

  • a 12 month delay in one or more functional areas; or
  • a 33 percent delay in one functional area or a 25 percent delay in each of two functional areas; or
  • if appropriate standardized instruments are individually administered in the evaluation process, a score of 2.0 standard deviations below the mean in one functional area, or a score of 1.5 standard deviations below the mean in each of two functional areas.

A preschool child can be classified as a preschool student with a disability if he/she meets the criteria set forth in the current disability classifications in the Part 200 regulations:

  • autism;
  • deafness;
  • deaf-blindness;
  • hearing impairment; (not covered under the definition of deafness),
  • orthopedic impairment (caused by congenital anomalies, disease, or impairments from other causes);
  • other health impairments (including but not limited to heart condition, tuberculosis, sickle cell anemia, asthma);
  • traumatic brain injury (acquired); and,
  • visual impairment.

In order to be eligible for services under Section 4410 of the Education Law, children must have a significant developmental delay that adversely affects the child's ability to learn. A child may also be eligible if the child can be classified as having one of the above disabilities, and the disability has been shown to adversely affect the child's ability to learn.

NYSED has issued the "Guide for Determining Eligibility and Preschool Special Education Programs and/or Services for Preschool Students with Disabilities" to assist professionals and families in understanding eligibility for services under Section 4410 of the Education Law (available on the SED Web site, www.vesid.nysed.gov).

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