Legal Requirements for Evaluation and Assessment:
Essential Content for Legal Requirements
Page 3 of 14
How is a child’s
eligibility for early intervention services determined?
State Eligibility Criteria, Federal Regulations [Sec. 303.300]
criteria and procedures to be used in determining a
child’s eligibility for early intervention services,
including the use of informed clinical opinion.
Each statewide system of early intervention services must include the eligibility
criteria and procedures, consistent with Sec. 303.16 (see definition of
infant and toddler with disability), to be used by the state in carrying
out programs under this part of the law.
(a) The State shall define developmental delay by--
(1) Describing, for each of five developmental areas (physical, communication,
social/emotional, adaptive and cognitive), the procedures, including
the use of informed clinical opinion, that will be used to measure a
(2) Stating the levels of functioning or other criteria that constitute
a developmental delay in each of those areas.
(b) The State shall describe the criteria and procedures, including
the use of informed clinical opinion, that will be used to determine
of a condition that has a high probability of resulting in developmental
delay under Sec. 303.16(a)(2) (see definition of infant and toddler
(c) If the State elects to include in its system children who are at risk
under Sec. 303.16(b) (see definition of infant and toddler with disability),
the State shall describe the criteria and procedures, including the use
of informed clinical opinion, that will be used to identify those children.
Note 1: Under this section and Sec. 303.322(c)(2) (using
informed clinical opinion during evaluation and assessment), States
to ensure that informed clinical opinion is used in determining a child's
eligibility under this part. Informed clinical opinion is especially
important if there are no standardized measures, or if the standardized
are not appropriate for a given age or developmental area. If a given
standardized procedure is considered to be appropriate, a State's criteria
percentiles or percentages of levels of functioning on standardized measures.
Evaluation/Assessment, Maryland Regulations [COMAR 13A.13.01.06]
regulations define “an infant and toddler with
disabilities” and add the following requirements
about how to determine eligibility.
A. Each local lead agency shall develop written policies and procedures
consistent with the federal regulations (Sec.303.322, evaluation and assessment)
to provide a timely, comprehensive, multidisciplinary evaluation ….
F. Eligibility Determination.
(1) Qualified personnel directly involved in the diagnosis of the child
or in conducting the evaluation and assessment of the child shall determine
the child's eligibility for early
intervention services by comparing evaluation results with the Maryland
criteria for infants and toddlers (Regulation .02 of this chapter)
(2) A written statement shall document the eligibility decision and be included
in the child's early intervention record. The written statement shall include:
(a) The names and titles of the qualified personnel determining the child's
(b) The date of the determination; and
(c) The basis for eligibility determination.
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