Ages 3-5


Moving from an IFSP to IEP

A few months after your child's second birthday, you will likely begin to transition from early intervention (Part C of IDEA 2004) services to services for school-aged children (Part B of IDEA 2004).

Will my child automatically receive special education services if they had early intervention?

NO. Not all children who require EI services require special education services. 

Part B services are educational in nature and provided on an individualized basis, making them fundamentally different from Part C services. 

Here is a great document about the differences in Part C  and Part B eligibility, services, etc.

How will I know if my child is eligible for special education services?

 A group of qualified individuals, including the parent(s), must consider multiple sources of information and determine if the child has a disability. In order to determine that a child has a disability, the group must find that the child meets the Virginia criteria for a specific disability area. This includes documentation of:

  •  the presence of an impairment,
  • an adverse impact on educational performance, 
  • the need for specially designed instruction, and
  • Any specific criteria from Virginia regulations.

Determining eligibility for services

If your child is found eligible for special education, the assessment team must forward a summary statement to the IEP team. From this point, no changes can be made to your child’s eligibility without your consent. 

If your child is NOT found eligible for special education, the school must provide you with written notice about its decision. Information relating to your child’s education will be provided to his or her teachers or any appropriate committee, such as the instructional support team or school-based team.   

Where can I find more information?

Please visit the Virginia Department of Education for the latest information on special education in Virginia.

This guide, developed by VDOE, has basic information for parents regarding special education & parental rights.

Access services

There are likely other services beyond education that may benefit your child. Some to consider include:

Next steps

priority actions


Apply for CCC Plus if you haven't already

Visit our section on waivers for more information.

Learn the ABCs of special education

Here are a few common acronyms you may see on your special education journey.

Learn about advocacy

Just about every service your child will require during their life will come from one government entity or another. Learning about advocacy can help you communicate effectively with various systems your child will encounter, and inform those making budgetary decisions the needs of your child and children like him or her. Did you know that to receive the IFDSS or Community Living waiver, there is a currently a ten plus year wait list? It is incredibly important to speak to legislators and share your story. Without your stories, those in decision making roles may not understand the urgency of meeting the needs of the disability community.

Visit our section on advocacy for more information.

Additional resources

Speak to an advocate

Would you like to speak to an advocate about information in this section? Please fill out our intake form. Services are provided free of charge.

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