Education Options at Age 3
The state of Texas has set up three different ways a three-year-old child who is deaf or hard of hearing can get needed services.
- Local education agency (LEA) – the home school district
- Regional Day School Programs for the Deaf (RDSPD)
- Texas School for the Deaf (TSD)
Local Education Agency (LEA)
Local school districts may provide services directly to a student who is deaf or hard of hearing at the student’s local school. Services are provided at the student’s “home” school, meaning whatever local campus the child would normally attend based on their residence. Typically services for children who are deaf or hard of hearing are in the Preschool Program for Children with Disabilities or PPCD.
Regional Day School Program for the Deaf (RDSPD)
Texas is a very large state, and it is challenging to have trained and certified deaf education staff in every school district. Texas developed Regional Day School Programs for the Deaf to help meet this need. Throughout the state, RDSPDs provide the teachers, interpreters, and other specialized staff to support these children. Children who do not live in the RDSPD district are brought to that district daily for services.
Texas School for the Deaf (TSD)
Texas School for the Deaf serves the entire state of Texas and is located in downtown Austin. TSD has a preschool program for 3-year-old children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Attending TSD requires a “referral” to the school. Some ways a parent can get this referral are:
- LEA or home district referral: The home district ARD committee, which includes the student’s parents or legal guardian, agrees that TSD is an appropriate placement for the student.
- Parent Referral: A parent or legal guardian can request placement of their child at TSD without agreement from their local ARD committee. TSD will then have an ARD meeting to decide if placement at TSD is appropriate.