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Age 3 services



My case manager of IFSP called to talk about sons future transition at age 3. They said that his service options based on experience of other meetings would be 1) privately drive my child to school for his speech services. Which due to family situation cannot be done. 2) attend a private daycare system where they will arrange speech services or 3) continue his speech services, but pay independently. I thought FAPE is responsibility of LEA, so there should be discussion of transportation there or other options. Is there law that says age three parents need to transport for FAPE services?

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Let me preface my response with the fact that I do not have any experience with pre-elementary students.  But a quick review of the IDEA shows that when a child reaches the age of 3, they move out of Part C (Infants and Toddlers) into Part B, which includes "all children with disabilities between the ages of 3 and 21."  So I don't see how the LEA would not be responsible for FAPE in this situation.

My first thought was to contact your state department of education.  But I'm not sure what "IFSP" stands for.  I'm guessing this is through the state?  Even so, you could reach out to the department of special education and ask for clarification/correction on what you have been told by the case manager.  If it is someone within the school district, I would go up the chain of command or jump straight to contacting the director of special education for the school district.

My interpretation is that the school district is responsible for providing services AND transportation.  However, you will need to establish that your child has a disability.  I'm not familiar with what transfers over from Part C to Part B, so you may need to "start over" by requesting an evaluation, etc.  Your state department of education and the district's special education director should be able to assist you with the process.

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I feel that transportation of preschoolers is a gray area.  Transportation is expensive.  Transporting one student to school for one speech therapy session multiplied by all the preschoolers that need this and other services is a logistical nightmare.

Yes, the school district should transport but I feel many schools put this on the parent.  From the perspective I've seen from other parents, it's scary to put your 3 year old disabled child onto a bus to bring them to school for services.  I think lots of parents want to drive because of this.  Given that parents have other things going on in their lives beyond tending to their disabled child, sometimes getting a child to therapy isn't a thing a parent can do for a lot of reasons.  I think I've even seen case law that said schools should transport.

My thought is that there should be transparency.  Some schools just don't transport students.  Others might only transport when it's for at least half a day.  Whatever the policy, the school should explain to the parents what they can (and cannot) offer but that doesn't happen when transportation isn't discussed but rather dictated.

We have IFSPs in my area.  These are the plans for services with goals that are not school services.  I've see Individualized Family Support Plans for Early Intervention - so everyone is on the same page as far as goals & services are.  I've also seen this for services after kids age out of the school system.  It's the paper trail for the services.  The IRL page that everyone is on.

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