Federal Law - IDEA PART B

MA Regulations 603CMR 28.00 - all sections

Federal Law - Definitions Under IDEA

Massachusetts  Advisories




Early intervention takes place from 0-3 years of age for children identified early as having special needs. This is a service provided by the state and eligibility ends when the child turns three, those services are covered under Part C of IDEA.  If your child is under 3 years old the Department of Early Education & Care is the government contact for information on Early Intervention Services.


These sites are recommended for Early Intervention Information:


MA Health and Human Services





At three years old your child will be “transitioned” out of early intervention and if there is a continued need for services they will formally enter into the world of “special education”. Learn more about transitioning from early intervention in these article and brochures:




Transitioning tips from  a parent


Best Practices in Early Childhood Transition Guide


NICHCY on Transition to pre-school


Some children, generally those that are high functioning, are identified after age three during their pre-school years. Unfortunately, because the early intervention years are over, there is a lot less guidance available to parents.  It is especially important for parents in this group to seek out reliable professionals, both medical and legal as well as through groups created to support your child’s specific disability.  A child who appears high functioning can often be overlooked for appropriate services that will allow them to maintain that status.  SEPAC can help to connect you with these professionals and groups.


The NICHCY website offers an overview of pre-school information.


All states must have a Parent Information & Resource Center(PIRC) to answer parents’ questions relative to disabilities and special needs as well as lend guidance regarding special education procedure and law. Ours resides at the Federation for Children with Special Needs. Telephone: (617) 236-7210, (877) 471-0980 (in MA) Email: