Check out our answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) about child development, disabilities, and providing effective services to children with disabilities.
Does Head Start enroll children with disabilities?
Head Start regulations require that at least 10 percent of enrolled children are children with disabilities. Each Head Start program is responsible for establishing selection criteria and may include children with disabilities from families that have incomes above the Poverty Guidelines, in addition to enrolling children from families with incomes below the Poverty Guidelines.
What is developmental screening and why is it important?
Screening for potential developmental delays in children allows for early treatment and supportive services. On the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website, Head Start educators and families will find a number of resources on developmental screening tools.
What is the difference between screening and assessment?
Both activities may use a standardized tool. A screening is a brief glimpse of a child's health and development. Assessment is a continual process that tracks a child's developmental progress over time.
I'm worried about my child. Where can I find more information to learn whether he or she is on track?
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has developed a website to help you get familiar with the typical developmental milestones children go through. You can see milestones for children from 2 months to 5 years old. The CDC also provides information about what you can do when you are concerned. Here you will find information on developmental screening, a printable milestones checklist, and hints for talking to your doctor about your concerns.
Where can I find out more about specific type of disabilities?
The Center for Parent Information and Resources provides fact sheets that describe specific disabilities, offer tips, and connect you to further resources. Many fact sheets are also available in Spanish.
Where can I find resources on instructional strategies that are effective for children with special needs?
Resources Supporting Individualization is a collection of materials that support individualization. The resources are organized around the eight topic areas identified in the Division for Early Childhood (DEC) Recommended Practices. The topics are: Assessment, Environment, Family, Interaction, Instruction, Teaming and Collaboration, Transition, and Leadership. The practices have been validated as having the strongest evidence-base for individualizing teaching and learning opportunities for all children.
How do I talk to parents if I suspect their child may have a disability?
There are resources on the ECLKC that can help you talk to parents about suspected disabilities. It also is important for parents to understand their rights and how to communicate with LEA staff.
How do I help Head Start staff understand inclusion?
The High Quality Inclusion webinar series focuses on aspects of inclusion and services to children with disabilities. Experts draw on current evidence to cover topics such as assessment, screening, and evidence-best practices that support individualization. Information on partnering with parents is also provided.
Where can I learn more about IDEA?
IDEA is the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act that ensures rights and services to children and youth ages birth to 21. You can learn more about IDEA at http://idea.ed.gov.
Where can I find information about state disability laws and policies?
Last Updated: May 9, 2019