The First Steps Special Education Preschool Program provides a wide range of special education programs and services for children birth to five who have identified special education needs. First Steps offers a system of services and supports for children with
disabilities who require specially designed instruction to gain educational benefit. It is the goal of the First Steps Preschool Program to support our parents and students by providing an appropriate program for each child to make it possible for our students to achieve their highest potential. The First Steps Preschool Program supports children who live within the Palmdale School District boundaries as follows:
1. Deaf/Hard of Hearing Infant Program: First Steps is a regional provider that serves a limited number of infants (birth to 35 months) through interagency collaboration with California Early Start. Children are evaluated for services based on suspected disability. In Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP) is developed for children who meet eligibility criteria.
2. Early Childhood Special Education Assessment/Individual Education Program (IEP): Students who are aged 2 years 11 months to 5 years are assessed in all areas of suspected disability. Based on the assessment, appropriate goals, accommodations, services, and education settings are determined and an Individual Education Program (IEP) is developed for students who meet eligibility criteria.
3. Early Childhood Special Education Preschool Program: First Steps Preschool provides a continuum of services for eligible students ages three to five years of age. Students are assigned in the appropriate special education preschool settings based on the IEP. Children are served in a wide variety of early childhood settings including our Communication Lab, Special Day Preschool Classrooms and Inclusive Early Childhood Programs. Emphasis is placed on the development of language, social-emotional, motor, and pre-academic skills. The programs are designed to promote a partnership between professionals and families to help meet the child's individual needs and increase future school success.