Some Support • Ages 3-6 • Goal:

Transition into School

Action step 1.

Get an evaluation for special education services.

Starting at age 3, children can get special education services through the school district. To get these services, your child needs a special education evaluation. You or your child’s teachers or EI specialist can ask for one. The evaluation identifies information that goes in your child’s individualized education program (IEP), including:

  • Strengths
  • Interests
  • Skills
  • Educational support needs

If your child isn’t eligible for special education, ask about a 504 plan. A 504 plan is for children who don’t qualify for special education but who may be helped by certain accommodations in the classroom. The plan doesn’t change what’s taught or learning goals. And your child doesn’t need an IEP to have a 504 plan. To learn more about the plan, talk to your child’s teacher or school psychologist.


Words to know

Action step 2.

Work with the IEP team to identify goals and accommodations.

An IEP is a plan that helps make sure students with disabilities like autism get appropriate services in school. At an IEP meeting, you work together with a team of teachers and other professionals to review your child’s evaluations and identify:

  • Measurable goals for your child
  • The least restrictive environment for your child’s learning
  • Accommodations and therapies for your child to help them in school


Words to know

Action step 3.

Understand your rights in the IEP process.

The IEP team can include:

  • The student
  • Parents
  • Teachers
  • A school district representative
  • Service providers, like a speech therapist or an occupational therapist

As equal team members, parents have the right to ask for an IEP meeting at any time in the school year. If you don’t agree with the proposed IEP, you don’t to have to sign it.


Words to know

You’ve reached the end of the action steps for this support level and age group.

  • To find services and providers in your area, visit our Resource Guide.
  • For direct contact with a member of our Autism Response Team, call 1-888-AUTISM2 (1-888-288-4762) or en Español 1-888-772-9050.
  • Send an email to: