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e-CFR data is current as of July 7, 2020

Title 34Subtitle BChapter IIIPart 303Subpart D → Subject Group


Title 34: Education
PART 303—EARLY INTERVENTION PROGRAM FOR INFANTS AND TODDLERS WITH DISABILITIES
Subpart D—Child Find, Evaluations and Assessments, and Individualized Family Service Plans


Post-Referral Procedures—Screenings, Evaluations, and Assessments

§303.310   Post-referral timeline (45 days).

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, any screening under §303.320 (if the State has adopted a policy and elects, and the parent consents, to conduct a screening of a child); the initial evaluation and the initial assessments of the child and family under §303.321; and the initial IFSP meeting under §303.342 must be completed within 45 days from the date the lead agency or EIS provider receives the referral of the child.

(b) Subject to paragraph (c) of this section, the 45-day timeline described in paragraph (a) of this section does not apply for any period when—

(1) The child or parent is unavailable to complete the screening (if applicable), the initial evaluation, the initial assessments of the child and family, or the initial IFSP meeting due to exceptional family circumstances that are documented in the child's early intervention records; or

(2) The parent has not provided consent for the screening (if applicable), the initial evaluation, or the initial assessment of the child, despite documented, repeated attempts by the lead agency or EIS provider to obtain parental consent.

(c) The lead agency must develop procedures to ensure that in the event the circumstances described in (b)(1) or (b)(2) of this section exist, the lead agency or EIS provider must—

(1) Document in the child's early intervention records the exceptional family circumstances or repeated attempts by the lead agency or EIS provider to obtain parental consent;

(2) Complete the screening (if applicable), the initial evaluation, the initial assessments (of the child and family), and the initial IFSP meeting as soon as possible after the documented exceptional family circumstances described in paragraph (b)(1) of this section no longer exist or parental consent is obtained for the screening (if applicable), the initial evaluation, and the initial assessment of the child; and

(3) Develop and implement an interim IFSP, to the extent appropriate and consistent with §303.345.

(d) The initial family assessment must be conducted within the 45-day timeline in paragraph (a) of this section if the parent concurs and even if other family members are unavailable.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1433, 1435(a), 1436(c))

§§303.311-303.319   [Reserved]

§303.320   Screening procedures (optional).

(a) General. (1) The lead agency may adopt procedures, consistent with the requirements of this section, to screen children under the age of three who have been referred to the part C program to determine whether they are suspected of having a disability under this part. If the lead agency or EIS provider proposes to screen a child, it must—

(i) Provide the parent notice under §303.421 of its intent to screen the child to identify whether the child is suspected of having a disability and include in that notice a description of the parent's right to request an evaluation under §303.321 at any time during the screening process; and

(ii) Obtain parental consent as required in §303.420(a)(1) before conducting the screening procedures.

(2) If the parent consents to the screening and the screening or other available information indicates that the child is—

(i) Suspected of having a disability, after notice is provided under §303.421 and once parental consent is obtained as required in §303.420, an evaluation and assessment of the child must be conducted under §303.321; or

(ii) Not suspected of having a disability, the lead agency or EIS provider must ensure that notice of that determination is provided to the parent under §303.421, and that the notice describes the parent's right to request an evaluation.

(3) If the parent of the child requests and consents to an evaluation at any time during the screening process, evaluation of the child must be conducted under §303.321, even if the lead agency or EIS provider has determined under paragraph (a)(2)(ii) of this section that the child is not suspected of having a disability.

(b) Definition of screening procedures. Screening procedures

(1) Means activities under paragraphs (a)(1) and (a)(2) of this section that are carried out by, or under the supervision of, the lead agency or EIS provider to identify, at the earliest possible age, infants and toddlers suspected of having a disability and in need of early intervention services; and

(2) Includes the administration of appropriate instruments by personnel trained to administer those instruments.

(c) Condition for evaluation or early intervention services. For every child under the age of three who is referred to the part C program or screened in accordance with paragraph (a) of this section, the lead agency is not required to—

(1) Provide an evaluation of the child under §303.321 unless the child is suspected of having a disability or the parent requests an evaluation under paragraph (a)(3) of this section; or

(2) Make early intervention services available under this part to the child unless a determination is made that the child meets the definition of infant or toddler with a disability under §303.21.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1432(4)(E)(ix), 1434(1), 1435(a)(2), 1435(a)(5) and (a)(6), 1435(c)(2)(G), 1437(a)(6), 1439(a)(6))

§303.321   Evaluation of the child and assessment of the child and family.

(a) General. (1) The lead agency must ensure that, subject to obtaining parental consent in accordance with §303.420(a)(2), each child under the age of three who is referred for evaluation or early intervention services under this part and suspected of having a disability, receives—

(i) A timely, comprehensive, multidisciplinary evaluation of the child in accordance with paragraph (b) of this section unless eligibility is established under paragraph (a)(3)(i) of this section; and

(ii) If the child is determined eligible as an infant or toddler with a disability as defined in §303.21--

(A) A multidisciplinary assessment of the unique strengths and needs of that infant or toddler and the identification of services appropriate to meet those needs;

(B) A family-directed assessment of the resources, priorities, and concerns of the family and the identification of the supports and services necessary to enhance the family's capacity to meet the developmental needs of that infant or toddler. The assessments of the child and family are described in paragraph (c) of this section and these assessments may occur simultaneously with the evaluation, provided that the requirements of paragraph (b) of this section are met.

(2) As used in this part—

(i) Evaluation means the procedures used by qualified personnel to determine a child's initial and continuing eligibility under this part, consistent with the definition of infant or toddler with a disability in §303.21. An initial evaluation refers to the child's evaluation to determine his or her initial eligibility under this part;

(ii) Assessment means the ongoing procedures used by qualified personnel to identify the child's unique strengths and needs and the early intervention services appropriate to meet those needs throughout the period of the child's eligibility under this part and includes the assessment of the child, consistent with paragraph (c)(1) of this section and the assessment of the child's family, consistent with paragraph (c)(2) of this section; and

(iii) Initial assessment refers to the assessment of the child and the family assessment conducted prior to the child's first IFSP meeting.

(3)(i) A child's medical and other records may be used to establish eligibility (without conducting an evaluation of the child) under this part if those records indicate that the child's level of functioning in one or more of the developmental areas identified in §303.21(a)(1) constitutes a developmental delay or that the child otherwise meets the criteria for an infant or toddler with a disability under §303.21. If the child's part C eligibility is established under this paragraph, the lead agency or EIS provider must conduct assessments of the child and family in accordance with paragraph (c) of this section.

(ii) Qualified personnel must use informed clinical opinion when conducting an evaluation and assessment of the child. In addition, the lead agency must ensure that informed clinical opinion may be used as an independent basis to establish a child's eligibility under this part even when other instruments do not establish eligibility; however, in no event may informed clinical opinion be used to negate the results of evaluation instruments used to establish eligibility under paragraph (b) of this section.

(4) All evaluations and assessments of the child and family must be conducted by qualified personnel, in a nondiscriminatory manner, and selected and administered so as not to be racially or culturally discriminatory.

(5) Unless clearly not feasible to do so, all evaluations and assessments of a child must be conducted in the native language of the child, in accordance with the definition of native language in §303.25.

(6) Unless clearly not feasible to do so, family assessments must be conducted in the native language of the family members being assessed, in accordance with the definition of native language in §303.25.

(b) Procedures for evaluation of the child. In conducting an evaluation, no single procedure may be used as the sole criterion for determining a child's eligibility under this part. Procedures must include—

(1) Administering an evaluation instrument;

(2) Taking the child's history (including interviewing the parent);

(3) Identifying the child's level of functioning in each of the developmental areas in §303.21(a)(1);

(4) Gathering information from other sources such as family members, other care-givers, medical providers, social workers, and educators, if necessary, to understand the full scope of the child's unique strengths and needs; and

(5) Reviewing medical, educational, or other records.

(c) Procedures for assessment of the child and family. (1) An assessment of each infant or toddler with a disability must be conducted by qualified personnel in order to identify the child's unique strengths and needs and the early intervention services appropriate to meet those needs. The assessment of the child must include the following—

(i) A review of the results of the evaluation conducted under paragraph (b) of this section;

(ii) Personal observations of the child; and

(iii) The identification of the child's needs in each of the developmental areas in §303.21(a)(1).

(2) A family-directed assessment must be conducted by qualified personnel in order to identify the family's resources, priorities, and concerns and the supports and services necessary to enhance the family's capacity to meet the developmental needs of the family's infant or toddler with a disability. The family-directed assessment must—

(i) Be voluntary on the part of each family member participating in the assessment;

(ii) Be based on information obtained through an assessment tool and also through an interview with those family members who elect to participate in the assessment; and

(iii) Include the family's description of its resources, priorities, and concerns related to enhancing the child's development.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1435(a)(3), 1435(a)(5), 1436(a)(1)-(2))

§303.322   Determination that a child is not eligible.

If, based on the evaluation conducted under §303.321, the lead agency determines that a child is not eligible under this part, the lead agency must provide the parent with prior written notice required in §303.421, and include in the notice information about the parent's right to dispute the eligibility determination through dispute resolution mechanisms under §303.430, such as requesting a due process hearing or mediation or filing a State complaint.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1439(a)(6))

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