Children With Special Needs Program

Rockland County Child Find Program: the focus of the Child Find component of the Early Intervention Program is to ensure that children are engaged in primary health care where they will receive developmental surveillance and screenings, and referral to the Early Intervention Program as appropriate.

Referrals can be made by calling 845-364-2032. A child's parent, pediatrician, hospital, or any other designated person can make the referral. Infants should be referred if they:

  • Were born after a pregnancy of less than 32 weeks
  • Weigh less than 4 pounds 7 ounces at birth
  • Spend 10 days or more in the NICU
  • Have a diagnosed medical problem at birth or shortly there after

After referral, a Child Find Coordinator will:

  • Contact the family and explain the program
  • Provide information and referrals to the appropriate community agency, if services are needed
  • Monitor that developmental surveillance has been done, and if not, provide a screening for the child

For more information on the Early Intervention Program or to refer a child, please call (845) 364-2032

Early Intervention Program is a statewide program offering therapeutic and support services for children with special needs.  The program offers services to children up to three years of age and their families.  Early Intervention services are provided at no cost to families.

Local Early Intervention Coordinating Council advises and assists the Rockland County Department of Health, Early Intervention Program with its responsibilities as the lead agency for the Early Intervention Program.

Referral - The first step is to contact the Early Intervention office at 845-364-2032 asking for the child to be evaluated.  A child's parent, doctor, baby sitter, or other designated person can make a referral.  An initial service coordinator will contact the family and make an appointment to meet with them.

Evaluation - Once the child has been referred, the parent will choose an evaluator from a list of approved agencies.  The evaluation includes at least two disciplines; one being the family's area of concern, and a generalist who can address all domains.

Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) - After evaluations are completed, an IFSP committee is convened to review the results and determine a plan for the family.  In order to be eligible, a child must have a 33% delay in one area or a 25% delay in two areas of development.  The staff must consider delivering services in the most natural setting.  For babies/toddlers this would be in their home. If a child is eligible for services they also then may choose a service coordinator, who is responsible for ensuring that the IFSP services are being provided, and to assist the family with other concerns.


Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) is a statewide program that provides services to classified preschool children.  If a 3-5 year old child is delayed in the area(s) of speech / language, physical, learning or behavior / social development, he/she may be eligible to receive services through the CPSE. The program is administered by the child's local school district and services are provided at no cost to the family.

The CPSE is overseen by the New York State Education Department (SED), Office of Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities (VESID) and is funded by the State and County.

Referral - The first step in the process is to make a referral asking that the child be evaluated to determine if he/she needs special education services. A referral can be made by the child's parent, doctor, teacher, or other designated person.  Referrals are made to the Chairperson of the Committee on Preschool Special Education in the child's local school district.

Evaluation - Once the child has been referred to the committee, the parent chooses an approved evaluator from a list of evaluation sites. The parent must give written consent for evaluations. The evaluations will provide information about the child's strengths and weaknesses.
They will include:

  • A physical examination
  • A social history
  • An observation of the child in his or her current preschool setting
  • A psychological evaluation
  • Other tests or assessments that are appropriate for the child (such as speech and language)

Services - In order to be eligible, a child must have a disability that affects his or her ability to learn. If eligible, the child will be identified as a "preschool child with a disability".

The committee always must consider delivering services in the least restrictive environment. They will first consider providing Related Services, or Special Education Itinerant Teacher services, or Related Services in combination with Special Education Itinerant Teacher services. These services may be delivered at the child's daycare or regular education setting or at the provider's office. If these services are not appropriate to meet the child's needs, then a half-day or full-day special education preschool program will be considered.

Transportation - Door to door busing can be provided for children eligible for transportation or parents can be reimbursed at the IRS mileage rate for self-transport.