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Early Intervention in Nebraska

IDEA, Part H, and Nebraska's Early Intervention Act

Effective July 1, 1979, Nebraska implemented a state mandate making local school districts responsible for providing special education and related services to all children with verified disabilities, birth to twenty-one.

These special education and related services must be provided in accordance with federal and state statutes and regulations (Nebraska Department of Education Rule 51). Thus, local districts provide diagnostic services to children via a multidisciplinary team evaluation to determine eligibility. Some districts utilize their own multidisciplinary teams; others contract with one of a number of Nebraska Department of Education approved agencies.

When a child is verified as eligible for special education and related services, the resident school district is responsible for the provision of these services. If not providing services directly, the district may contract with approved service providers such as another school district, ESU, Head Start, day care center, private preschool, other service agencies or private practitioners. Services are provided in both center-based and home-based settings, either separately or in combination. Programs include both integrated and self-contained models.

Educational and support services include: evaluation and assessment of the child; early childhood special education programs; speech, language and audiology services; physical and occupational therapy; and transportation.



P.L. 99-457. Part H:


14 Basic Elements

  1. Definition of developmental delay
  2. Timetable for availability of services
  3. Comprehensive multidisciplinary evaluation of needs of children and families
  4. Individualized family service plan which includes case management
  5. A comprehensive child-find and referral system
  6. Public awareness program to focus on early identification
  7. A central directory of services, resources, state experts, research and demonstration projects
  8. A comprehensive system of personnel development
  9. A single line of authority to a lead agency
  10. A policy of contracting or making arrangement with local service providers
  11. A procedure for timely reimbursement of funds
  12. Procedural safeguards
  13. Policies and procedures for personnel standards
  14. A system of compiling data regarding the early intervention program

P.L. 99-457 Early Intervention Services:

Must Be

  • Provided under public supervision
  • Provided at no cost except where federal or state law provides for a system of payments
  • Designed to meet a handicapped infant's or toddler's developmental needs
  • Provided to eligible children under 3 years of age
  • Provided in conformity with an individualized family service plan


Early Intervention Services:

Must Include

  • Family training, counseling and home visits
  • Special instruction
  • Speech pathology and audiology
  • Occupational therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Psychological services
  • Case management services
  • Medical services only for diagnostic or evaluation purposes
  • Early identification, screening and assessment services
  • Health services necessary to enable the infant or toddler to benefit from the other early intervention services


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