Early Childhood Special Education

We provide early intervention services to young children, age birth to kindergarten. Our services help those who are at risk for or demonstrate a developmental delay in the following areas: cognitive, speech and language, large and fine motor skills, adaptive/functional skills, vision or hearing losses and social/emotional skills.

Minnewaska Area Schools staff member Stephanie Swalla
Stephanie Swalla
Early Intervention Part B
(Ages 3 to 6)



What to Expect

After a child receives a formal evaluation to identify specific needs, trained ECSE teachers and specialists will work with the parents and child to develop his or her greatest potential. From birth to age three, these Special Education services are delivered to the child primarily in his or her home or childcare center. From age 3 to 5, children receive these services at Minnewaska Little Lakers Preschool or at a community preschool.

The ECSE process guarantees parental involvement every step of the way. From birth to age three, a child's education is outlined in the Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP). After that, the child's educational goals and objectives are spelled out in his or her Individual Education Plan (IEP). Parents are a key team member in putting together the IFSP and IEP.

Our Goals

  1. Helping children do the best they can through individualized program plans (IFSP and IEP) geared to promote development, based on each child's assessed level of function and need.
  2. Supporting and educating families to help promote the abilities and work with the challenges of children who have special needs.
  3. Providing parents with information about community-based experiences for their children.
Minnewaska Area Early Childhood Special Services
Minnewaska Area Early Childhood Special Services

Early Intervention Services

If you’re concerned about the development of an infant or toddler (birth to two), or you suspect that a little one has a disability, Minnewaska Area Schools can help.  Early intervention services can help infants and toddlers with disabilities or delays to learn many key skills and catch up in their development.

Early intervention is a system of services that helps babies and toddlers with developmental delays or disabilities.

Early intervention focuses on helping eligible babies and toddlers learn the basic and brand-new skills that typically develop during the first three years of life, such as:

  • physical (reaching, rolling, crawling, and walking);
  • cognitive (thinking, learning, solving problems);
  • communication (talking, listening, understanding);
  • social/emotional (playing, feeling secure and happy); and
  • self-help (eating, dressing)

If an infant or toddler has a disability or a developmental delay in one or more of these developmental areas, that child will likely be eligible for early intervention services.

Those services will be tailored to meet the child’s individual needs and may include:

  • Assistive technology (devices a child might need)
  • Audiology or hearing services
  • Speech and language services
  • Counseling and training for a family
  • Occupational therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Psychological services
  • Vision, Orientation and Mobility Therapy
  • Special Education Teacher services
Minnewaska Area Schools staff member Mindy DeGeer
Mindy DeGeer
Early Intervention Part C
(Birth to age 2)



Services may also be provided to address the needs and priorities of the child’s family. Family-directed services are meant to help family members understand the special needs of their child and how to enhance his or her development.

Authorized by law | Early intervention is available in every state and territory of the United States. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires it–Part C of IDEA, to be precise. That’s why you’ll sometimes hear early intervention referred to as Part C.