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National Center for Special Education Research


Preschoolers with Disabilities: Characteristics, Services, and Results:

NCSER 2006-3003
May 2008

Transitions From Early Intervention to Preschool and Preschool to Elementary School

  • Of the children with disabilities ages 3–5 who had an individualized family service plan (IFSP) before age 3, nearly one-third (31%) had a gap between the end of services received through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Part C and the beginning of preschool services. One-third of all parents believed it took them some or a lot of effort to find out where to get preschool special education services through the school system.
  • More than 75 percent of children with disabilities ages 3–5 who moved from one program to another in the preceding year had teachers who said they encouraged parents or guardians to meet with staff before the children entered the new school, program, or classroom; had children and families visit the new school, program, or classroom; provided parents with written information; had new staff members participate in children's IEP development; or called the children's parents.
  • The majority of children's teachers (57%) reported that children and their families had extremely adequate transition support. More than half (54%) of teachers of kindergarteners with disabilities reported the students had very easy transitions; however, 15 percent had somewhat or very difficult transitions.