It can be hard for us to think about our children growing up and starting school, especially when they are still so young. The Preschool Program for Children with Disabilities (PPCD) can give children much-needed early help to get ready for kindergarten and the years beyond. PPCD is free through your child’s school district. They may include classroom services as well as speech, occupational, and physical therapies. If you‘re interested in getting PPCD, we have helpful tips and facts on Getting Into the Preschool Program for Children with Disabilities (PPCD).
PPCD classroom services usually happen in a public school classroom with a special education preschool teacher. The PPCD classroom helps your child get ready for kindergarten by giving them extra time and help to learn how a classroom runs. Some school districts offer this support in private preschools, Head Start programs, or other places in the community. Ask your school district about your choices. If you decide not to use PPCD classroom services for your child, your child still might be able to get other PPCD-related services.
If you feel like the evaluation missed something, you can ask for another assessment to see if your child is approved to get additional services. Consider asking for a written copy of this evaluation. If you disagree with the school’s assessment, the school might pay for 1 outside evaluation. You can learn more about your rights on our When You’re Having Trouble Getting the Right Services for Your Child page.
If your child qualifies for PPCD, they might be able to get special education services and therapies that can help them reach their Individualized Education Program (IEP) goals. Their evaluation decides what therapies and services they can get, and these are free if your child qualifies for them. They can include:
*Your child might be able to get speech therapy by itself if it is the only special education service that they need.
Beyond this list, there are even more services that might be able to help your child. Parent Companion has a longer list. Again, ask your school district what they have – or what they can help you find.
You might want PPCD support but also want your child to go to a pre-kindergarten (pre-K), Head Start, or private preschool program instead of a PPCD special education classroom. This is called dual enrollment. Dual enrollment is only for children 3 to 4 years old. It is a way to get other PPCD services, such as speech or occupational therapy, through your local school district. You can read more on the Texas Project First Dual Enrollment web page. You can also ask the person responsible for “Child Find” at your school district about your choices.
“We knew our son was developmentally delayed, so we took him to our school district to be evaluated. It was a 30-minute evaluation and they told us he did not qualify for the PPCD program. Five months later we got an autism diagnosis for [him], and then we had him re-evaluated by the school district. He was then accepted into the PPCD program. So, don’t give up if you think your child needs services.”