SpEd Menu

Division of Special Education

  • Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE)

  • Preschool student sitting on a slide.


    The Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) Department provides oversight to a wide range of special education programs, supports, and services for children birth to five who have identified special education needs.

  • In accordance with state and federal law, the ECSE department provides direct specialized services as well as technical assistance to school sites. ECSE programs, supports, and services are designed to foster a family and professional partnership while focusing on individual child need. Collaboration among parents, children, and a team of professionals and paraprofessionals is paramount to our success.  

Referral Process

If developmental concerns exist, any preschool grade level child starting at 2 years 8 months that resides within district boundaries may be referred to the District. Parents or private physicians and community agencies with parental consent can make a referral. If a child has an Individual and Family Support Plan (IFSP) and is receiving Early Start services, the regional center service coordinator will refer the child to the District at least 60 days prior to the child’s 3rd birthday. If a family elects, ECSE program staff conduct weekly clinics where a family can visit to discuss any developmental concerns with a multidisciplinary team prior to requesting a special education service assessment.

Upon receipt of a request for assessment, an assessment plan is drafted within 15 days with identified assessment areas and corresponding assessors. After parental consent on the assessment plan is received, the child is assessed to determine the level of functioning in suspected areas of need. After the completion of assessment, an Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting is held to discuss the assessment results; determine eligibility; construct goals; and identify needed program, supports and/or services. The IEP team is a collaboration between parents, assessors, school personnel, and any other individuals deemed necessary by the IEP team.

To make a referral for a child enrolled in a District preschool program, contact your child’s school of attendance.
To make a referral for a child not enrolled in a District preschool program, call 213-241-4713.


Programs, Supports & Services

Based upon a child’s individual identified needs an IEP team can determine appropriate supports and services which may include:
• Early Start Low Incidence services for Infants and Toddlers
• Afterschool Early Childhood Program (AECP)
• Designated Instruction and Services (DIS) in areas such as:
      · Adapted Physical Education
      · Deaf and Hard of Hearing
      · Speech and Language
      · Visual Impairment
      · Occupational Therapy
      · Behavioral Intervention

• Itinerant Special Education Service to:
      · Community Preschools
      · Head Start Agencies
      · District Preschool Programs
      · District Early Education Centers

• Collaborative classrooms with:
      · District Preschool Programs
      · District Early Education Centers
      · Head Start Agencies on District Campuses
      · Expanded Transitional Kindergarten

• Preschool Special Day Programs
• Non-Public Programs

ECSE > Family website / Sito Familiar: 
Internet icon  https://sites.google.com/lausd.net/ecse-familysite/home  

Early Childhood Special Education Brochure  PDF icon » English   PDF icon » Spanish

Early Start Low Incidence Program (O - 3 years old)

This program provides early intervention services for children birth to three years of age who have been identified with hearing loss (DHH), visual impairment (VI), or severe orthopedic impairment (OI).

Early Start Low Incidence services focus on supporting the overall development of the child and providing resources and education to family members and other caregivers. The services are delivered in the natural environment for the child and in the context of the family.

Families and staff work together to develop an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) that guides the service delivery for each child and family.

If you are a parent/guardian of an infant with concerns regarding a child's vision, hearing, or other othopedic needs, please complete a referral form and email it to infantreferrals@lausd.net.

 PDF Icon Low Incidence Referral Form (English)


Early Start Low Incidence Program Brochures
Visual Impairment (VI) Program Brochure   PDF icon » English   PDF icon » Spanish

Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH) Program Brochure  PDF icon» English    PDF icon» Spanish


  •  Los Angeles Unified School District ♦ Division of Special Education 

    333 South Beaudry Avenue, 17th Floor, Los Angeles, CA  90017