Special education programs provide services for children from birth to age 21.  Each school offers special education and related services for students who require specialized instruction. Vision and hearing services, as well as speech therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy services are also available. Regional programs in the elementary and secondary schools provide alternative curriculum or behavioral approaches for students who may require more intensive academic or behavioral support. Early intervention services are available through the Infant and Toddler program and through Child Find. Child Find is a continuous process of public awareness activities, screening and evaluation designed to locate, identify and refer as early as possible all young children with disabilities and their families who are in need of Early Intervention Program or Preschool Special Education. The Adult Independence Program (AIP) offers job training and placement assistance to older students who will receive a certificate of completion.

All decisions regarding the placement of a child with a disability in a special education service delivery model will be made by the child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) team which includes the parents or guardians of the child and consistent with the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). A local school system is also required to provide a written copy of this information, upon request [Education Article §8-418].

MSDE Technical Assistance Bulletins

For further information on all programs offered through the Department of Special Education, please contact:

Dr. Tia McKinnon, Director of Special Education
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LeWan M. Jones, Director of Special Education Compliance
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