The Volunteer State (Tennessee) is the first in the nation to offer early intervention services from birth until children are eligible to attend school at age five according to Tennessee's Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (DIDD). Read more from their Wednesday October 4, 2023 press release: here.
As stated in DIDD's October 4th press release “We’ve seen children across Tennessee make incredible strides in their development through early intervention services,” said Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (DIDD) Commissioner Brad Turner. “We are thrilled we can continue to lead the nation and take this opportunity to give families the support they need to help their children grow and prepare for school.”
What should parents of children with disabilities and any parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, godparent of any child in Tennessee take away from this? Well as a Special Education Attorney I would think that you should note that it is likely easier to get TEIS services than an IEP or 504 Plan in many instances. I would also note, that the expansion of TEIS services puts in place for eligible children allows a better transition of these services for children of school age to the school system than when there was previously a gap of a year or more where children would be at risk of regression. Having one often wonderful team of professionals specially trained to deliver tailored services to eligible children in Tennessee explain the nature of the Childs disabilities to the LEA (Local Educational Authority aka school system) when they begin their evaluations as required under the Child Find section of IDEA can help ensure that the school system understands the nature of your child's abilities and disabilities in a way where more evidence may be considered in a more favorable light.
If you have questions about changes in the law, or about TEIS eligibility or special education services for your child, then please don't hesitate to leave us a message at 865-235-1787, tell us about your situation, and dates when you would like to pay for and schedule a confidential consultation.