There are many ways your service coordinator (SC) /early intervention (EIS) specialist can assist you with transitioning your child out of our early childhood intervention (ECI) program. Have you started to plan once your child’s ECI services dismiss the day before their third birthday? Does your child need continued therapy? What does that look like? Can they still come into the home? Will Brighton continue to provide services for us? All valid questions most parents have. Here are the options for transitioning out of our ECI services and into Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE), Brighton Center, Brighton Preschool, and other options.
Your SC/EIS will begin to provide you with information about transitioning out of ECI at 27 months of age. Below you will find the options you can choose from at your first transition meeting with your SC/EIS.
Option 1: Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE)
What is ECSE? ECSE is a program for children from 3-5 years of age who meet eligibility criteria to receive special education services from your local school district. To begin this process, you will have to “opt-in” to send a notification out to your local school district. Your SC/EIS will then schedule a transition conference with the respective school district so that the referral process can get initiated with the school district. This transition conference typically occurs 120 days prior to your child’s 3rd birthday. After the transition conference is completed the school district will continue their procedures. The school district is required to complete the evaluation and ARD (admissions, review, dismissal) meeting on or before your child’s 3rth birthday.
Option 2: Walk-in Therapy
Say you are not ready to send your child to school full-time and they qualified for the ECSE classroom, but you are not ready to send them to school just yet. You can accept just the therapy that your child qualifies for. You have the choice to accept all or just certain things the school district is offering. Walk-in therapy is where you would accept the services proposed and you would transport your child to and from the home campus for that service. Want to know the best part of options 1 and 2? They are at no cost to you!
Brighton Center’s Special Education Support Services is available to empower parents to become the best advocate for their child. A Brighton Center consultant will review your child’s proposed Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and assist you in understanding what is being provided to your child while they are in school. A consultant is also available to attend your child’s next ARD meeting alongside you. Do you need a consultant to help you navigate the school system? Submit an inquiry at, https://www.brightonsa.org/contact-us/. Select “Understanding Special Education Laws & Process or ARD Support / Advocacy” to get started on the referral process. For our transitioning families we also have a lunch and learn that covers your options. We are providing a weekly “Transition, What are my Options” class via Zoom in both English and Spanish on Fridays.
Option 3: Pediatric Therapy Clinic at the Brighton Center
What if options 1 and 2 are not what you want to pursue, but your child still needs therapy services? Did you know Brighton Center has a Pediatric Therapy Clinic that is located at our main campus on Higgins Road? Your child can continue receiving speech, occupational, and physical therapy services from our licensed pediatric therapy service therapist. To start the referral process please submit an inquiry at https://www.brightonsa.org/contact-us/ and select “Pediatric Therapy Services (Clinic Based) for children ages 3-5.” One of our staff members will be able to assist in obtaining a referral from your child’s medical provider and the insurance authorization process. Once referral and authorization are complete an evaluation occurs. If your child qualifies for services, you will plan with your therapists to develop goals they will work on with you and your child.
Option 4: Brighton Preschool
Did you know Brighton is equipped with two Preschools? Brighton’s Preschools are Reggio Emilia-inspired where they focus on developing the child as whole by meeting them where they are at with an individualized pre-k curriculum. At our Brighton Preschool you will find small student-to-teacher ratios, educated professionalism and experiences that boost discovery and curiosity. Brighton’s Preschool promotes inclusion where we ensure that every child has the opportunity to participate in our pre-k program regardless of their abilities. To learn more about our Brighton Preschools, submit an inquiry to https://www.brightonsa.org/contact-us/ and select “Preschool.” One of our staff members will get in contact with you to provide you more information.
Option 5: Head-start
If options 1-4 won’t work best for your family, the City of San Antonio has several head starts around town. Your local school district/home campus may also offer the head start program. Head start does have some eligibility requirements such as age, income and priority eligibility for those in foster care, families receiving TANF, SNAP, SSI Benefits, experiencing homelessness or the child has a disability. To get more information please visit https://www.saheadstart.org/en/how-to-apply/.
Option 6: Other Preschools/Childcare
If options 1-5 are not what you are looking for there are other preschools/childcare centers around town that can provide childcare for your family. The requirements for other centers will be based on the center of your choice. Each of these centers will be different. In the event that you need assistance in paying for Child Care services please visit https://www.sa.gov/Directory/Departments/DHS/Childcare-Assistance/Services for more information.
Option 7: Home Health/Clinic Based Therapy
Let’s say you enroll your child into either options 5 or 6 and your child continues to need therapy services. Who should you contact? Contact your child’s physician to obtain a referral to a company that your insurance covers. There are home health agencies that will go into your home or their child care setting (wherever that might be) or you can take your child to a clinic to receive services with their therapist there. Just like our Pediatric Therapy Clinic at the Brighton Center, you will need a referral from your child’s physician and authorization from your insurance. What does my insurance cover? Contact your insurance provider to become knowledgeable with what they do or do not cover in your plan.
While this may all seem overwhelming, your SC/EIS can help guide you through the entire process. If you don’t know what options are avaialble, ASK! The luxury of all this is that you can pick more than one or more than one of the options listed above. We recommend you start as soon as your child turns 27 months of age so that we can follow the appropriate timelines to ensure your child is ready for life after ECI, but you can change your options throughout your journey. You are your child’s expert, whatever you may decide your SC/EIS is here to assist you.