Children under Three

Birth to Three
The Birth to 3 Program is for children ages birth to 36 months. Eligibility is based on a diagnosed disability or significant delay in one or more areas of development. The team will evaluate the child’s ability to learn (cognitive development), move, see and hear (physical/motor development), communicate and understand other’s communication (speech and language development), respond to and relate with others (social and emotional development), and eat, dress and care for daily living needs (adaptive development).
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Birth to Three in Your Country
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Children over Three

Early Childhood Special Education Programs
Schools provide Early Childhood Special Education to children age three to five with disabilities in a wide variety of settings, including preschools, Head Start Programs or in a child’s home.
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Special Education
Each school district in Wisconsin is responsible for providing a continuum of Special Education and Related Services to Children with Disabilities and who need special education. Children are evaluated to determine if they met the one of the state’s eligibility criteria. Special education and related services may provide consultation to staff, direct services to the child, training related to the disability, and other services that are identified in the child’s Individualized Education Program.
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Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI)
The DPI has a wealth of information on a variety of topics including: the IDEA-B State Plan, the Council on Exceptional Education, IDEA Complaints, Monitoring, Due Process, IDEA Reauthorization and PI 11 Rule Change, Information Bulletins, Program Information, and Parent and Child Rights. Visit the Website. For information about programs for students with autism Click here

Transition to Adulthood

Opening Doors, a Guide to Adult Services
It is important that you begin to think and plan for life after high school as early as possible. While you are still in high school, you may be able to make decisions about your adult life, including where you want to live, where you will work after you leave high school, and whether you want to obtain further education or training.
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Opening Doors, a Guide to Postsecondary Education
A guide developed by the Department of Public Instruction, is helpful for those considering postsecondary education.
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Transiton Improvement Grant
TIG is intended to provide effective, targeted, and low cost professional development to Wisconsin youth, parents, educators and all stakeholders in the area of postsecondary transition to improve strategies that will positively affect the post school outcomes of students with disabilities. There are many resources for youth and families.

Special Education Help

Cooperative Educational Service Agencies (CESA)
CESAs act as the link among school districts and between a school district and the state. They also facilitate communication and cooperation among public and private schools, agencies and organizations that provide services to students. To find the CESA in your area click here

Assistive Technology

People with disabilities, their families, service providers and other members of the community can access WisTech for questions and information on over 17,000 products and services: selecting, funding, installing and using assistive technology.
(608) 266-7974 or Visit the Website

Talk to me Technologies
(877) 392-2299

Life Journey through Autism: Navigating the Special Education System
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Special Education in Plain Language
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Wisconsin Family Assistance Center for Education, Training and Support (WI FACETS)
Statewide organization that supports families and others with training, information and referral, and individual assistance related to children with disabilities.

Wisconsin Statewide Parent-Educator Initiative (WSPEI)
Provides services for parents, educators and others interested in parent-educator partnerships for children with disabilities. There are WSPEI coordinators and parents liaisons in each Cooperative Educational Service Agency (CESA) district. 877-844-4925 or

Home Schooling

If you have decided to home school your child, you must file a form with the Dept. of Public Instruction called PI-I206. This form states that you will provide at least 875 hours per year of instruction using a sequentially progressive curriculum of fundamental instruction in six areas: reading, language arts, mathematics, social studies, science, and health. There is no monitoring done by DPI, and home-schooled students are not required to take standardized achievement tests. You don’t need to have your curriculum or calendar approved, and you don’t need to have a teaching certificate, but you must take attendance.

Support Groups for Home Schooling

Wisconsin Parents Association (WPA)
Statewide support and advocacy group. Hosts an annual conference.
PO. Box 2502, Madison, WI 53701-2502.