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Children Under Three

Autism Education Network

An Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) documents and guides the early intervention process for families with a child or children with a developmental disability between the age 0 – three years of age. The IFSP is the vehicle through which effective early intervention is implemented in accordance with Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). It contains information about the services necessary to facilitate a child’s development and enhance the family’s capacity to facilitate the child’s development. Through the IFSP process, family members and service providers work as a team to plan, implement, and evaluate services tailored to the family’s unique concerns, priorities, and resources.

According to IDEA, the IFSP shall be in writing and contain statements of:

  • the child’s present levels of physical development, cognitive development, communication development, social or emotional development, and adaptive development.
  • the family’s resources, priorities, and concerns relating to enhancing the development of the child with a disability;
  • the major outcomes to be achieved for the child and the family; the criteria, procedures, and timelines used to determine progress; and whether modifications or revisions of the outcomes or services are necessary;
  • specific early intervention services necessary to meet the unique needs of the child and the family, including the frequency, intensity, and the method of delivery;
  • the natural environments in which services will be provided, including justification of the extent, if any, to which the services will not be provided in a natural environment;
  • the projected dates for initiation of services and their anticipated duration;
  • the name of the service provider who will be responsible for implementing the plan and coordinating with other agencies and persons; and
  • steps to support the child’s transition to preschool or other appropriate services.




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