IDEA offers special provisions for states to identify children younger than school age who are eligible for special education and related services. In addition to the Part B disability categories used for school aged students, states may use Developmental Delay (DD), or a term of their choosing, for ages three through nine or a subset thereof. This paper discusses the options states have and analyzes their current policies. A table of the eligibility criteria with links to source documents for the states and District of Columbia is an attachment to the paper.
Danaher, J. (2011). Eligibility policies and practices for young children under Part B of IDEA (NECTAC Notes No. 27). Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina, National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center.