Who provides special education services after age 3?

Parent Question
Feb. 2, 2022Updated Mar. 17, 2022

Once a child turns three years old, the child’s school district of residence becomes responsible for providing special education services under IDEA. The transition process begins several months before the child turns three years old, so that an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) is in place with the school district by the child’s third birthday, which is the day the Regional Center early intervention services end. Some children will be eligible for continued Regional Center services under the Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Act after they turn three years old, if they have been diagnosed with a developmental disability as defined by California law. During the transition process, the Regional Center will determine whether your child is eligible to remain a consumer under the Lanterman Act. If you disagree with the Regional Center’s determination, you have the right to file a request for a hearing to appeal their decision.

For more information about services after age three, see our article on the transition from early intervention to Lanterman Act.

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