Pathways to Support for School Aged Children

Transition Planning for Children Aging Out of Early Intervention Services through Early Support for Infants and Toddlers (ESIT)

When an infant or toddler receiving early intervention services from Washington’s Early Support for Infants and Toddlers (ESIT) program approaches the age of three (3), the Family Resource Coordinator (FRC) begins transition planning for when the child will age out of early intervention services on their third birthday. If the child is potentially eligible for special education and related services, the transition includes evaluation and development of an Individualized Education Program (IEP). Learn more about the transition from early intervention services to school-based services in the Transition Toolkit for Ages 3-5, which includes the Differences Between Part B and Part C Services.

Evaluation and Support for Students with Known or Suspected Disabilities Under the Child Find Mandate

If a student is having a hard time at school and has a known or suspected disability, the school evaluates to see if the student qualifies for special education. A child is protected in their right to be evaluated by the Child Find Mandate.

Not every student who has a disability and receives an evaluation will qualify for an IEP. The school district’s evaluation asks 3 primary questions in each area of learning that is evaluated:

1. Does the student have a disability?

2. Does the disability adversely impact education?

3. Does the student need Specially Designed Instruction (SDI)?

If the answer to all three questions is Yes, the student qualifies for an IEP. Sometimes students who don’t qualify for the IEP will qualify for accommodations and other support through a Section 504 Plan.

Response to Intervention (RTI)

Response to Intervention (RTI) is a system designed to help students who might be having trouble with learning early on. Instead of waiting until they fall behind, RtI steps in early to support them. It’s for students who may not qualify for special education but still need extra help. It’s not a specific program or teaching style, but more of a proactive approach to checking in with students to see how they’re doing.

RTI is not the same thing as special education and it does not replace a school’s responsibility to evaluate students who might qualify for special education services. At any time during the RTI process, parents or teachers can request an evaluation for special education services.

Referral for Evaluation

Referrals for special education eligibility can come from anyone who suspects that a child may have a disability, including but not limited to parents, teachers, medical professionals, and community agencies. Washington law requires evaluation referrals in writing. The state provides a downloadable form for referrals.. The person making the referral can use the form or any other format for their written request, such as this Sample Letter to Request an IEP Evaluation.

PAVE’s policy is to offer support, information, and training to families, professionals, and those interested in various topics. Please note that PAVE is not a legal services agency and cannot provide legal advice or representation. The information is not intended for legal counsel and should not be used as a substitute for legal advice.