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It is the policy of the State of Missouri that all children with disabilities, residing in the state are identified, located, and evaluated.  School districts and other public agencies responsible for providing special education must offer a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) to children who have been identified as eligible under the eligibility criteria outlined in the Missouri State Plan for Special Education as early as a child's third birthdate.  Special Education and related services for pre-school age is referred to as early childhood special education.

Parents of children who are 3-5 years old or approaching age 3 who suspect their child may have a developmental delay or handicapping condition that may affect them educationally, may contact their local school district to make a referral for evaluation to determine eligibility for special education services

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