What is the Infant-Toddler Services Program?
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) mandates special education for children from birth through age 21. A section of this law (Part C) sets guidelines for services for infants and toddlers with disabilities. The State of Kansas administers these services through the Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), and Kansas City Kansas Public Schools contracts with KDHE and provides these services through the Wyandotte County Infant-Toddler Services program.
Who Is Eligible for Services?
Infant-Toddler Services are provided to all children through age 36 months and their families. Eligibility is determined by demonstrated delay in one of more developmental areas or a condition that is likely to result in such a delay. Kansas City Kansas Public Schools serves all eligible children who reside in Wyandotte County, KS.
Approximately 600 children receive services annually through this program.
What Services are Provided?
A variety of services are named in the Part C regulations and must be available if needed. In practice, most children and families’ needs are met by one or more of the following services: Developmental Intervention (provided by Early Childhood Special Educators), Speech Language services, Occupational Therapy, and Physical Therapy, Social Work, Health Services, and Interpretation/Translation. Other services, such as specialized services for children who are visually impaired or deaf/hard of hearing, are provided by contracting with community partners.
The focus of all services is to increase the capacity of families to work toward indentified outcomes with their own children. An Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) is written with each family. As a part of every plan, one of the service providers will assume the role of Family Service Coordinator (FSC). The FSC is responsible for monitoring the IFSP process and connecting the family to other resources necessary to meet their needs.
Kansas City Kansas Public Schools emphasizes a team approach among service providers as well as with caregivers. We employ a staff of trained teachers, therapists, and related service providers who work in geographic teams to serve each eligible child and family. Team members use their specific expertise as well as the collective strength of the team to enable all caregivers to work toward family-identified outcomes.
Where are the Services Provided?
In accordance with best practices and state and federal regulations, children are served in their natural environments to the maximum extent possible. This is defined as being a place where children would naturally be if they did not have a disability. Most often, this is the family home or child care setting, but could include other community settings, as well.
What if I think a child may need services?
Anyone can make a referral. Most often, referrals come from health care providers, other community agencies (Parents As Teachers, Early Head Start, etc.) and family members. A referral can be made by calling 913.627.5500 (fax 913.627.5501).
When a referral is made, a member of our staff will contact the family within 2 working days. An intake visit is scheduled with the family in order to prepare for a full evaluation of the child. If the child is eligible, the service providers and family work together to create the Individualized Family Service Plan. The plan is reviewed periodically, and continues until the child turns three or is no longer eligible.
Services are provided at no cost to families.
For additional information regarding services through the Wyandotte County Infant-Toddler Services program, please contact Cheryl Starr.
Contact ITS if you have any concerns at 913.627.5500.