Connecting with Special Education

This is a good time to connect with your school district's Special Education program.


School Based Services:

Image of a schoolhouse.After transition, you'll work with your local school system. 
They are required to help students with disabilities succeed in school

The department in charge of this may be called:

Image of two rounded rectangles separated by the word 'or' with the text 'Exceptional Student Services(EDD)' in the first rectangle, and the text 'Special_Education' in the second rectangle'

Image of an exclamation markDon't be scared by the term Special Education! It only means that your child will get special services to help them learn in school. it does not mean they are any less smart than others, just that they need some support at this time.


Every school system has one of these departments. It's good to get in touch with them when your child is about 2-1/2 years old. Your EarlySteps program will formally contact them, but you can call them anytime.

 Here's what you can do:

  • Find your school's ESS or Special Education department. (Ask your FSC, or call your district school office.) 

  • Meet the director. Tell them about your child and that you may be transitioning soon out of EarlySteps.

  • Ask what kinds of services they offer.

  • See when they can assign you a liaison (their version of an FSC).

  • Visit some of the programs or activities to see how your child might fit in.

  • Learn more!

    • See our other Guide about Special Education Services Guide. (This will open in a new tab.)

    • Talk to other parents who have been through this process before.

    • Click on the link at the bottom of the page to download and read a helpful guide on transitioning to school-based services.

You may hear these terms:

  • Local Education Agency (LEA): Your school district

  • Special Ed Advisory Panel: A group of parents and others who advise the school district's special education program


Source: LDOE