Early Childhood Special Education

FCPS offers early childhood resource services, early childhood class-based services, and preschool autism classes.

Early Childhood Identification & Services (ECID&S) provides specialized instruction and related services to all children ages 2 through 5, who qualify under the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA, Part B, Section 619). The ECID&S program ensures the provision of a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) to all children who are found eligible at no cost to their families. The LRE means children with disabilities receive services in community-based environments whenever possible, and only receive services in a more restrictive environment when their individual needs require it. Services are based on an Individualized Education Program (IEP) which is developed in collaboration with FCPS staff members and the parents of each child eligible for early childhood special education services. If eligible, FCPS provides a continuum of special education instructional services. 

Early Childhood Identification & Services - Child Find

Child Find is the process of identifying children with potential special education needs as well as educating the community about child development and the importance of early intervention. Child Find screenings are free to residents of FCPS whose child is 2 through 5 years old.

Early Childhood ResourcePhoto of student being pushed in a swing

Early Childhood resource services provide instructional activities to children in a variety of community settings, dependent on the child’s specific needs, as outlined by the IEP team. ECID&S teachers collaborate with parents, caregivers, and community professionals to incorporate skill building strategies into the child’s daily activities.

Early Childhood Class-based

Early Childhood Class-based services provide instruction in a classroom setting and are located in a number of elementary schools within FCPS. The curriculum emphasizes communication, early literacy, social development, and development of other skills as designated in the student’s IEP.

Early Childhood PACPhoto of teacher working with students in a small group

Preschool Autism Class (PAC) services are designed with a reduced adult to student ratio and provide systematic instruction in a highly structured setting to maximize learning. The program uses Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and Verbal Behavior (VB) to foster communication, social skills, appropriate behavior, and development of other skills as designated in the student’s IEP. PAC services are designed to address the specific needs of preschool-age children who have been identified as having Autism Spectrum Disorder or present characteristics on the autism spectrum, and who cannot benefit from the early childhood class based program.

Early Childhood Deaf/Hard of Hearing Program

FCPS has one school based site which provides specialized instruction designed  specifically for preschool aged children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Instruction is provided using a variety of communication modalities.