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CPSE = Committee on Preschool Special Education
Responsible for children 3-5
 Committee on Special Education
Responsible for children ages 5-21

DDRO = Developmental Disabilities Regional Office
are the starting point to apply for services .  With an eye to enhanced oversight and quality improvement, the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) has established  regions that allow for better coordination of services with the State Office of Mental Health, State Department of Health and other agencies with whom we often partner in providing  services.


DDROs are responsible for the following activities:


  • eligibility

  • intake

  • waiver enrollment (a Federal-State partnership which makes certain types of services available within the home or community so as to avoid placement in an institution)

  • local management of Individual and Community Supports (ICS)

  • management of resources for crisis intervention

  • advocacy

  • shared management of OPWDD statewide applications

  • service recruitment and development for the Family Care program

  • programs, services and supports for aging individuals with developmental disabilities

 What is OPWDD?

The New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities coordinates and provides services for people with developmental disabilities and their families and conducts research into the causes and prevention of developmental disabilities. OPWDD provides access to services for people with developmental disabilities through a regional system dividing the state into sections that are overseen by Developmental Disabilities Regional Offices called DDROs.

What is Special Education?

Special education means specially designed individualized or group instruction or special services or programs to meet the unique needs of students with disabilities. Special education services and programs are provided at no cost to the parent.

DSM =  Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

PDD = Pervasive Developmental Disorder

IEP = Individual Education Plan 


Written by the school district’s Committee on pre-school Special Education (CPSE).
Every school district has a CPSE and a CSE that decide a child's special education needs and services.


EI = Early Intervention

To be eligible for EI services, children must be under 3 years of age and have a confirmed disability or established developmental delay, as defined by the State, in one or more of the following areas of development: physical, cognitive, communication, social-emotional, and/or adaptive.

ISE = Individualized Service Environment

Provides self-directed, individualized assistance and support to individuals living on their own, either alone or with roommates, in their own home or apartment. The program provides residential habilitation, along with natural supports, to assist individuals with activities such as money management, nutrition, socialization, laundry, and other activities of daily living necessary to successfully live independently

IFSP = Individualized Family Service Plan
               I-F-S-P means...

Individualized...the plan will be specially designed for you, your child, and your family.

Family...the plan will focus on your family and the outcomes you hope to reach for your baby or toddler and your family through early intervention.

Service...the plan will include all the details about the early intervention services your child and family will participate in – including when, where, and how often services will be delivered. Your IFSP can also include other services that your child and family needs that will not be paid for by the Early Intervention Program.

Plan..the plan is a written plan for early intervention services.

MSC = 
Medicaid Service Coordination

An on-going Medicaid billable service. MSC is provided by qualified service coordinators and uses a person centered planning process in developing, implementing, and maintaining an Individualized Service Plan (ISP) with and for a person with developmental disabilities. The MSC program requires the Medicaid Service Coordinator to meet with the person that they have a service coordination agreement with at least once each month.
Medicaid Service Coordination Vendors

Respite = short term, temporary care provided to people with disabilities in order that their families can take a break from the daily routine of caregiving 

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Putting People First



The way we talk about people affects the way we see them and the way they view themselves. As awareness of people with disabilities and other special needs increases, the language we use to talk about disabilities also changes.

When talking to or about a child with special needs, it is crucial to look at the whole child, not just the disability. Remember to point out the way the child is like other children, instead of focusing on the differences.

The most important thing to remember is that people with disabilities are people first. Therefore, avoid saying things like “a disabled child,” a “blind girl,” or “a Down syndrome boy.” Instead, put the child first by saying “a child with a disability,” “a girl who is blind,” or “a boy with Down syndrome.” Avoid using words that are derogatory or pitying, such as handicapped, crippled, retarded, mongoloid, or backward.

All children are different from one another and all have different needs. Being sensitive about language will help you become more aware of all children, whether you are a parent or a child care provider. Using sensitive language will help prevent hurt feelings and avoid unintentional insults.  

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