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Welcome to AEN

imageUnderstanding the Special Education System


Children Under Three

An Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) documents and guides the early intervention process for families with a child or children with a developmental disability between the age 0 – three years of age. The IFSP is the vehicle through which effective early intervention is implemented in accordance with Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). It contains information about the services necessary to facilitate a child's development and enhance the family's capacity to facilitate the child's development. Through the IFSP process, family members and service providers work as a team to plan, implement, and evaluate services tailored to the family's unique concerns, priorities, and resources.

According to IDEA, the IFSP shall be in writing and contain statements of:

1. the child's present levels of physical development, cognitive development, communication development, social or emotional development, and adaptive development.

2. the family's resources, priorities, and concerns relating to enhancing the development of the child with a disability;

3. the major outcomes to be achieved for the child and the family; the criteria, procedures, and timelines used to determine progress; and whether modifications or revisions of the outcomes or services are necessary;

4. specific early intervention services necessary to meet the unique needs of the child and the family, including the frequency, intensity, and the method of delivery;

5. the natural environments in which services will be provided, including justification of the extent, if any, to which the services will not be provided in a natural environment;

6. the projected dates for initiation of services and their anticipated duration;

7. the name of the service provider who will be responsible for implementing the plan and coordinating with other agencies and persons; and

8. steps to support the child's transition to preschool or other appropriate services.

To find out more about how to create an effective IFSP, download these two PDFs from our resources section:

imageEarly Start Resources

imageSpecial Education Rights for Children under Threeimage


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