Preschool Special Education

All children grow and develop at different rates, but certain guidelines such as those listed below can be helpful in determining if a child has the skills expected for their age. It is very important to know early in a child’s development if they need special help. Your local school district is available to insure the provision of services for students with disabilities or developmental delays from the ages 3 through 5. The people in your local school want to get to know you and your child and to provide your child with appropriate programs and services. Some of the types of educational services available are for eligible students: speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, counseling, and special education teacher services.

The New York State Education Department, through counties, is responsible for the provision of education services to preschoolers with special needs.  Your local school district can arrange an evaluation to determine if your child has special needs.

  • Referrals should be directed to the school district’s Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE).
  • An evaluation will provide an assessment of your child’s development as measured by a team of professionals.
  • If the evaluation shows that your child does have special needs, you will be involved in deciding what services your child should receive to meet those needs.
  • Genesee County assists the school districts in providing preschool services by contracting for and paying for the evaluations, services and transportation for eligible children.
  • There is no cost to parents for this program.


  • Special education
  • Speech therapy
  • Audiology
  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Psychological services
  • Nursing services
  • Vision services
  • Transportation


  • Any child 3-5 years old who is suspected of developmental delay may be referred for evaluation to meet specific eligibility criteria for services.

For more information call your local school district’s special education office.

Genesee County
Committees on Preschool Special Education

Alexander 585-591-1551 ext. 1112
Batavia 585-343-2480 ext. 1011
Byron Bergen 585-494-1220 ext. 2309
Elba 585-757-9967 ext. 1601
LeRoy 585-768-5502
Oakfield-Alabama 585-948-5221 ext. 3116
Pavilion 585-584-1018
Pembroke 585-599-4525

Below are some of the developmental activities your child should be doing:

By age 3


  • has 200 word vocabulary
  • uses 3 - 5 word sentences
  • uses pronouns I, me, you, and plurals
  • answers simple questions: what, where, who
  • uses the sounds p, b, n, m correctly

By age 4


  • uses 4 - 6 word sentences
  • tells simple stories
  • uses various word endings (running, played)
  • uses helping verbs (are jumping, is eating)
  • uses the sounds w, h, t, d correctly

By age 5


  • uses 6 - 9 word sentences
  • forms questions correctly
  • uses conjunctions such as and, but, after
  • answers complex questions
  • understands sequence of events
  • uses the sounds k, g, f, v, th correctly


  • understands concepts such as big, little, under, in
  • repeats common rhymes
  • tells gender (boy or girl)
  • sorts objects by color or shape
  • recognizes self in a photo


  • completes a 3 piece puzzle
  • matches colors places objects in size order
  • builds complex block structure
  • counts to 10


  • knows shapes
  • understands concepts - more, less
  • counts 10 objects
  • follows 2-step unrelated directions
  • draw a person with at least 6 body parts


  • draws o, -, l , +
  • turns one page at a time in book
  • stands on one foot with help
  • strings large beads
  • takes off coat & puts on shoes (may be wrong foot)
  • feeds self with little spilling
  • pedals tricycle
  • jumps up and down
  • walks up steps (alternating feet)


  • does front buttons
  • balances on 1 foot for 5 seconds with no help
  • holds crayon like an adult
  • catches a large ball
  • walks up and down stairs alternating feet
  • dresses self except for fasteners


  • cuts on a line with scissors
  • jumps forward several times
  • can jump backwards
  • draws some letters
  • colors in lines of a shape


  • Knows songs, finger plays
  • participates in pretend play with dolls, bears
  • puts away toys with help
  • responds to a greeting
  • listens for 5 minutes
  • plays with other children for a few minutes


  • participates in make believe
  • begins to share and take turns
  • play becomes imaginative puts away toys when asked


  • participates in group games with turn taking
  • participates in role imitation (cooking, fixing the car)
  • identifies two emotions
  • listens 10-15 minutes