Education for Young Children with Disabilities
Updated: Jul 2, 2021
If you have a child who is at least three years old, and who has a disability or disabilities, your child may qualify for free early childhood education under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The Preschool Grants Program (a subsection of IDEA) provides that children ages 3 to 5 must receive a Free and Appropriate Public Education. All school districts in Utah are responsible to have an early childhood education system set up that provides FAPE to children between the ages of three and five.
Murray School District has developed a wonderful Early Childhood Education Center with preschool classes focused on social, emotional, academic and creative growth. These classes are available to all students for a nominal monthly fee, but they are available for children who live in Murray School District boundaries, between the ages of three and five, without cost if the child has a qualifying disability.
If you live in Murray and you are concerned that your child may have a disability you may contact the center and request that your child be tested at no cost to you. As of this writing I am not certain of the programs other districts in Utah have for preschool aged children with disabilities. But as a parent you have the right to contact the school district whose boundaries you live in to request that your child, as young as age three be tested if you suspect your child has a disability. I have included the link to Murray's Early Childhood Education Center below because I think it is an example of a program for young children with disabilities that is done quite well, and it can give you an idea of what what an early childhood program might look like.