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Children with Special Needs

Schenectady County Children with Special Needs program provides services to children birth to age five through the Early Intervention Program and Preschool Special Education.

Early Intervention Program


In Schenectady County, the Early Intervention Program is run through Schenectady County Public Health Services. The New York State Department of Health Bureau of Early Intervention is responsible for the oversight of the program.

The Early Intervention Program provides services to eligible children birth to age three with qualifying developmental delays and/or diagnosed disabilities. 

Anyone can make a referral to the Early Intervention Program with parent/caregiver permission. It is a voluntary program and is provided at no cost to families.

A Service Coordinator is assigned to each child to provide case management throughout the process.

Children receive evaluations from state approved evaluation teams that include at least two professionals, one who evaluates overall development and one specializing in the child’s area of concern.

If a child is determined eligible, an Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP) is developed with the parents/caregivers. The IFSP services are intended to help the child and family to achieve goals developed by the family.

Services include, but are not limited to: speech therapy, special instruction, occupational therapy, and physical therapy. Services are provided in the child’s Natural Environment.


Child Find helps to identify children birth to age three who are at risk for developmental delays/disabilities in order to provide services as soon as possible through the Early Intervention Program.

The main goal of the program is to assure all children have health insurance and a physician to provide well child care, including developmental assessments.

Families are contacted every six months and are provided with information on typical development and activities they can do to work with their children. Assistance is provided, as needed, for referrals to the Early Intervention Program.


The Local Early Intervention Council (LEICC) is a group of parents, professionals and community members.  The purpose of the LEICC is to provide a forum to discuss issues related to the needs of young children with developmental delays and their families, as well as share education, ideas, concerns and experiences. 

The LEICC meetings are held 3-4 times per year to discuss the Early Intervention Program. Families and providers are encouraged to attend and participate in these meetings. Parental input is most essential to this program.


Preschool Special Education

Children between the ages of 3-5, suspected of having developmental delays, can be evaluated through the child’s local school district Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE).

Children are evaluated through providers that contract with Schenectady County Public Health Services and must be found eligible to receive services. After evaluations are completed, a CPSE meeting is held at the school district to review the results and determine eligibility, and services if needed.

CPSE services generally follow a school calendar, however, a six-week summer program is available for children who qualify, to prevent substantial regression of their skills.

Parents/caregivers can contact the child’s local school district Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) to make a referral or contact Schenectady County Children with Special Needs for more information.