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School-Age Services

For Children Ages 3-22

Each local school district is responsible for providing a free, appropriate public education to children with disabilities from the age of three through the end of the 21st year who are residents of the school district. This includes providing, at no cost, related services which are necessary for a child to benefit from his or her instructional program.

CCBDD specialists provide their expertise directly to public school districts and parents. Behavior and curriculum intervention specialists, speech-language pathologists, augmentative communication specialists, occupational and physical therapists consult with public school teachers, administrators, district specialists and parents to help students succeed in a least restrictive environment.

For older students, we partner with school districts on transition services that promote movement from school to post-school activities, including post-secondary education, vocational training, competitive employment, continuing and adult education, adult day services, independent living or community participation. These are a part of each student's individual education plan (IEP) from the age of 16 on.

The student, parents, home school district representative and representatives from other public agencies involved in providing services help to determine the individualized transition services the student will receive. The central focus of transition services is to ensure that necessary services and supports are in place for the student to succeed upon leaving school.

Behavior & Curriculum Intervention

Our behavior and curriculum intervention specialists provide a free service, working collaboratively with school-age students, families and staff in public schools throughout the county to ensure that children with special needs receive the appropriate services and supports for a successful educational experience. These experienced and highly trained professionals support school staff and families through specific behavioral and curricular interventions and supports in the home, school and community. 

The behavior and curriculum intervention specialists believe that:

  • Positive behavior supports are effective for everyone.
  • All individuals can learn.
  • All people are capable of change.
  • Collaboration is the catalyst for change.
  • The process of working towards positive solutions is a dynamic one that requires perseverance.

All our intervention specialists hold certifications as multi-handicap instructors. Their experience ranges across all school-age eligible situations. With all the specialists having received training in the application of positive behavioral supports from the Institute for Applied Behavior Analysis. They are also highly skilled in designing functional activities to support a functional curriculum. In addition, all continue to engage in ongoing training and professional development in autism, behavior assessment, severe disabilities, functional curriculum and current best practice.  

Below are supports our specialists can do for school personnel and parents/guardians with children who are diagnosed on the autism spectrum, exhibit challenging behaviors and/or have multiple disabilities:

  • Conduct functional assessments of challenging behaviors
  • Design, implement and provide ongoing support of behavior plans
  • Assist in IEP development and attend IEP meetings as related to the support of behavior plans
  • Consult on classroom engineering and assist with classroom design to maximize learning through the use of visual supports
  • Provide support and staff training on topics including autism, multiple disabilities, behavioral issues, functional curriculum, positive programming and teaching strategies
  • Present at staff inservice programs and/or to parent groups
  • Offer in-home support for families of individuals with challenging behaviors and assist in functional skill acquisition
  • Fabricate needed behavior support materials

These services are available year-round for Cuyahoga County parents/guardians and public school teachers and students, ages 3-22, who are eligible for Board of DD services.  

For more information about these services, including referrals and/or eligibility, call or email our school-age services manager or call (216) 736-2928.

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Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities
1275 Lakeside Avenue East
Cleveland, Ohio 44114-1129
PHONE: (216)241-8230 - FAX: (216)861-0253