Developmental Delay (Early Childhood)

According to state law, a developmental delay is a disability category solely for students who are at least three (3) years of age and not more than five (5) years of age or five (5) years of age but not eligible to be enrolled in kindergarten.  

A developmental delay means a delay of  either two (2) standard deviations below the mean in one (1) of the following areas or one and one-half (1.5) standard deviations below the mean in any two (2) of the following developmental areas:

  • Gross or fine motor development
  • Intellectual development
  • Receptive or expressive language development
  • Social or emotional development
  • Self-help or other adaptive development

Identification and eligibility for special education is determined by the case conference committee using the required assessment.  See “Required Assessment Components for Eligibility Areas.

The evaluation team and case conference committee may use the disability category of developmental delay or any of the other disability categories described in state law.

  • Developmental delay can not be used for students eligible for kindergarten.  If there is another suspected disability, the student must be evaluated prior to entering kindergarten. 

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