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Significant Developmental Delay (SDD)

The permanent rule for Significant Developmental Delay is now in effect. Individualized Education Program (IEP) teams may now consider identifying SDD as a disability category for children ages 3 through 9, for both initial and reevaluations. Other suspected disability categories still need to be considered before identifying a child's disability category as SDD. If a child's 3 year reevaluation is not due, children who are 6 may continue to receive special education and related services under the category of SDD.

For more information: Significant Developmental Delay (SDD) permanent rule

SDD: Permanent Rule ppt  PDF with notes

Eligibility

The current eligibility criteria for significant developmental delay under state law is found at PI 11.36 (11), Wis. Admin. Code. If a student is found to have an impairment, the IEP team nust also determine the need for special education services (PI 11.35)

Eligibility Criteria Checklist  Printable Only  Word Fillable  Spanish Fillable

Programming

If a child has been evaluated and found to meet the eligibility criteria for SDD and needs special education and related services, an IEP is developed based on the individual needs of a particular student. The placement for the child is developed to implement the IEP in the least restrictive environment. 

IEP teams should take several factors into consideration when determining eligibility under SDD whether it is for an initial evaluation or a reevaluation, especially for a child 6 year old or older. Factors should include: the age and developmental level of the child, previous participation in general early childhood settings, access to developmentally appropriate practices, and ample opportunities to learn. 

Through the age of 9: 

It is not automatic that a child continues to receive special education and related services under the category of SDD until the age of 10. Remember the intent of the rule is to allow enough time for the IEP team to gather sufficient information to determine, when appropriate, a new disability category. A reevaluation for continued eligibility under a new category or to determine the child no longer needs special education and related services must occur before the age of 10. Note that the rule is an age (not grade level) limit/deadline.

Natural timelines to consider the reevaluation:

  • 3 year reevaluation (at age 6, 7, 8, or 9)
  • Annual IEP (review information)
  • End of the school year (especially during the year of the child's 9th birthday)
  • Any time the IEP team has enough information to determine a new category or that the child no longer needs special education and related services