Transition: Understanding Family Rights

child and mother playing with blocks

It is important to understand your family’s rights throughout early intervention (EI) and into the next step in your child’s journey. You are a critical part of your child’s IEP team. The laws and procedures that guide services for children with disabilities are complicated, but the information below can help explain family rights during transition. 

Transition Outcome

During the IFSP meeting closest to the child’s second birthday. 

  • Discussion includes future placement options, arranging necessary training, school visits, and documentation to be sent with referral.  
  • Outcome includes procedures to help with change in service delivery and transition to new setting.  


6–9 months before third birthday 

Your EI service coordinator will ask you to sign a written consent to begin the referral process. 

Domain Review

Within 14 school days of referral. 

Meeting to decide which domains to evaluate and for parents to sign consent. 

Evaluation, eligibility, and IEP meeting must be completed within 60 school days after consent for evaluation is signed 


  • Can use current EI evaluations or conduct new evaluations.  
  • Parent information must be included. 

Eligibility Meeting

Evaluation team meets to decide whether child is eligible for services. 

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IEP Meeting

  • IEP team determines appropriate services. 
  • Includes goals, services, location of services. 

Services Begin

Services should be in place by the child’s third birthday. The child’s special education and related services can be delivered in a variety of different settings. Parents can request an IEP meeting at any point. 

For more information, see 


  • Parents must provide consent
    • for referral from EI. 
    • for any evaluation. 
    • to begin services. 
  • Parents can halt this process at any time. 
  • Parents are full members of the team and can request a meeting at any time. 
  • Parents must be made aware of all options for services and should be an active participant in creating the Individualized Education Program. 
  • At least three days prior to meeting(s), parents must be given copies of all written materials that will be reviewed, including any evaluations, data, and IEP documents. 
  • Parents may request time to think about and process information and reconvene the meeting later. 
  • Eligibility and IEP meetings can be done together if all paperwork was shared with the family ahead of time OR can be separate meetings to enable the family time to think about the evaluation results. 
Publication date: 2022