While the mission of Exceptional Family Member Program is to ensure appropriate active duty family relocation, additional assistance and referrals may be offered on the following topics.
Housing is a significant issue for families with special needs who require modified living spaces. Because military families relocate often, those with housing accommodation requirements often deal with the same issues each time they move. Families who have special housing requirements, such as handicapped accessibility, must inform the Special Needs Coordinator and/or EFMP-Family Support as early as possible in the relocation process. This information is transmitted to the gaining base as part of the Family Member Relocation Clearance process.
Special Education Services
Department of Defense Dependents Schools and Defense Domestic Elementary and Secondary School:
- DoDDS, DDESS, and the military Services want to provide appropriate special education services for eligible DoD dependents. DoDDS, DDESS, School Liaison Officers and EFMP-M work together to coordinate recommendations to military personnel systems to identify appropriate locations for students with special needs.
Learn more: Department of Defense Education Activity
Early Intervention Services
Infants or toddlers, birth to age 3, with special needs may be eligible for EIS. These are services designed to identify and treat a problem or developmental delay as early as possible. EIS is offered through a public or private agency and is provided in different settings, such as the child’s home or a neighborhood daycare center. EIS can range from integrating development-boosting activities into the activities of daily living for a toddler with some delays, to the implementation of multidisciplinary therapy program and parent assistance for an infant with significant disabilities.
To find out who can help in your area, contact the installation School Liaison Officer, EFMP-FS, SNC or local elementary school. When receiving EIS, a family will have an Individualized Family Service Plan.
Individualized Family Services Plan
The family and the service coordinator work with other professionals, as appropriate, to develop an IFSP. The IFSP is a whole family plan with the parents as the most important part of the IFSP team. Involvement of other team members will depend on the needs of the child and family. These other team members could come from several agencies and may include medical providers, therapists, child development specialists, social workers and others. The IFSP will describe the following:
- The child’s developmental levels.
- Family information, with parents’ concurrences, such as important religious or cultural practices, consideration of the needs of other siblings, who the extended caregivers are, etc.
- The major outcome(s) expected to be achieved for the child and family.
- The services the child will be receiving and when or where he or she will receive these services.
- The steps to be taken to support his or her transition to another program.
Older children, age 3 and older, who require ongoing special education services will have an IEP developed by the school.
Individualized Education Program
Every child in special education must have an IEP. An IEP is a written planning document for the special education student that is developed at a meeting held by the school at least once a year. It is the link between a child with disabilities and the type of special services he or she requires in order to benefit from a free, appropriate public education. Children who are home-schooled are equally entitled to special services where special needs are identified.
In developing an IEP, the school system and the parents should explore together the needs of the child, ways those needs can be met, and which educational needs have the highest priority. An appropriate education is individually designed for each child with disabilities by providing services required to meet those needs.
Any active duty Air Force sponsor that has a child with an IEP, or that has an IFSP, must be enrolled in EFMP.