Preschool & EI Eligibility Evaluation

Preschool and EI Evaluations

Children may be referred for evaluation at the Children’s Unit for Treatment and Evaluation for several reasons. We conduct eligibility evaluations (initial evaluations for preschool special education or early intervention) as well as diagnostic evaluations for ASD (preschool second opinion psychological evaluations and EI supplemental psychological evaluations). Families who are referred to us tend to have concerns of ASD as the presenting problem since we can evaluate for both a diagnosis and eligible test scores for services in the same evaluation process.

Early Intervention

If your child is between the ages of birth-three years old and has not yet been evaluated, you should contact your county health department for the county in which you live and ask to speak to someone in the EI program. If you aren’t sure which county to call, please follow the link provided here to view the list of county DOH websites with contact information: NYS Department of Health. An initial multidisciplinary evaluation, sometimes called a core evaluation, will be conducted in collaboration with your county health department. These evaluations require two licensed professionals to evaluate your child and report on evidence of delays or challenges by providing test scores and clinical opinion regarding your child’s needs.

If your child is already in EI and you have a service coordinator assigned to your child, please reach out to that representative and request to have a supplemental psychological evaluation conducted to determine if Autism Spectrum Disorder is a concern. Research has shown that evaluation of children as young as 13 months old is possible to assign a diagnosis. Families are encouraged to ask for evaluation as soon as there is a concern; there is no need to wait until a child is 24 months or older.
Since early therapy to address delays in ASD has shown to help children the best long term, early identification of the disorder is key. Our team has expert clinical psychologists who are trained to diagnose ASD and several other developmental disorders that may present in early childhood. If there are additional concerns that warrant follow-up with medical specialists, we will make those recommendations and suggest possible clinics and professionals to consult.


If your child is within three months of turning three years old or between the ages of 3-5 years old and has not yet been evaluated, you should contact your school district in which you live and ask to speak to someone in the Committee for Preschool Special Education office. An initial multidisciplinary evaluation will be conducted in collaboration with your district CPSE office. Additional components might also be requested, such as speech, occupational therapy, and physical therapy evaluations.
Once your child is evaluated, the CPSE holds a meeting with your child’s evaluation team, your family, and the county health department to confirm eligibility, outline your child’s Individualized Education Plan, and set up supports.

If your child is already in CPSE services and has an IEP (classification of Preschool Student with a Disability) and you have concerns of ASD, you can request a second opinion psychological evaluation. Although parents can request these evaluations of their district at any time according to regulations, if a psychological evaluation has been conducted within the previous year and a diagnosis of ASD would not change the child’s service plan on the IEP, a district has grounds to decline a request for evaluation. It is best to see your child’s CPSE as a partner in reviewing your concerns and planning for needs, so always have open dialogues with them about best times for evaluation, specific requests for services, and other concerns you have – your district wants your child to succeed!

What should I do if I have questions or don’t know how to move forward?

Please call us if you have specific questions to ask or would like more information about our services, timelines, and process for evaluations. You can reach us at 607-777-2829 for evaluation questions or email