Special education program for Dothan 3-year-olds

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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) -- Wiregrass teachers and parents are already getting their ducks in a row for the next school year with tours and registrations for kindergarten.

There's a program designed to help exceptional students to prepare for that first year of elementary school.

“A lot of times when your child gets a diagnosis of autism or developmental delay or some medical issue we are the first line of defense,” says Dothan Early Education special education teacher Lacrecia Williams.

Special education starts at birth and exceptional students and their families can benefit from the DEEC’s Bridge Builders program as early as three years old.

“What we do is we transition those parents to the school setting and provide those services that hopefully by the time they are kindergarten age they are ready to enter into the school with a great head start,” says Williams.

Any student that falls under the 13 mandated areas of special education in the bridge builder's program is eligible.

“Anybody that is three that has a disability can qualify for our services. We do not have a deadline. We do not have a cap,” says Williams.

For teachers, the impact the program has on students is a reward within itself.

“We love our students we love our parents and we just enjoy being that first step to a great education for all students,” says Williams.

In addition to a curriculum designed just for them, Bridge Builder students receive occupational, speech, and physical therapy.

There is also a peer program where students with different abilities are working together.