Early Childhood Special Education


Mehlville Early Childhood provides special education and therapy for children based on an initial evaluation. To access special education services, families can be referred by Missouri First Steps, be referred following a DIAL 4 screening, or parents can request a diagnostic evaluation. For more information about diagnostic evaluations, please call us at 314-467-5300.

Following a referral to Mehlville Early Childhood for a special education evaluation, a letter and a copy of the procedural safeguards will be mailed to parents within five days of the referral. The next step in the process is a meeting with the diagnostic team. An invitation stating the date and time for data review will be mailed to the child’s parents. This meeting is typically a face-to-face meeting so we can discuss any concerns you have with your child’s development and to determine if an evaluation with the school district is warranted. Parents are encouraged to bring recent reports and/or medical information regarding their child’s development to the data review meeting.

If an evaluation is scheduled, you will bring your child to the John Cary Early Childhood Center to work and play with our skilled diagnostic team. Evaluation results and diagnoses will be shared with you that same day. If your child is deemed eligible for special education services, you will be contacted by an early childhood special education teacher or therapist to schedule an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) meeting. During an IEP meeting, parents, educators and therapists work together to create a plan to support your child’s unique needs and build on your child’s strengths. Your child can begin services once the IEP is completed.

Please note: A hearing and vision screening is required prior to conducting an evaluation. Both a hearing and vision screening can be completed with the school nurse at the John Cary Early Childhood Center free of charge. Appointments can be made by calling our school nurse at 314-467-5330. If you prefer, you can provide documentation from your child’s physician or schedule a free appointment with the audiology department at Special School District by calling 314-989-8875.

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