The transition from Early Intervention Services to School Services is structurally unsound, and it doesn't fulfill the needs of the families or children it services. Perhaps with an early diagnosis (which we did not fall under) it meets the needs, but for us it was hard.
There are PHENOMENAL advocates in early intervention. There is 'magic' that can happen and structures in place to accommodate specific needs.
Once the child turns three, the family and the children's worlds are altered to fit into the needs of the school system. Meaning, we lost the entire team we were working with, and now have to support and justify to our school district why, when, and how often Q needs certain services.
There are PHENOMENAL advocates also in the school system, who are also talented, wonderful, and want the best for our children. However, due to federal funding, government limitations, and the 'level playing field' that is our nation's educational system...it's a tight-rope of requirements on their end that they simply have no control over.
Be prepared to be firm, and although these people are experts in their fields - YOU are the expert of your own child. Never doubt that!
I was encouraged by the most incredible and amazing Parent Adviser to create a 'one sheet' for Q - almost like a resume! It gives the new team an overall picture, a reference, and it shows strength of your own families preparations and knowledge.
ASK for everything!!!
They can say no, but an IEP is a fluid, if legal, document to protect your child's growth.
Insist meetings and changes when you feel your child's growth allows it, regardless of it's sooner than scheduled on the documentation.
BE PREPARED to have constant lengthy phone calls, to answer emails until your eyes are blurry and it's well past your bedtime, and be prepared to fall in love with providers who you thought upon meeting might be a thorn in your side.
Give yourself over to allowing the VILLAGE to help raise your child. You are going to need it. Your child is going to need it, and while Mom's and Dad's are amazing superhuman fairies/elves/magicians, we simply can't do everything! These folks are incredible, and with their support, education, and love - you and your family will THRIVE.