I think it depends. We send Alex to the special ed preschool through the school district, though he can be in the regular preschool class. We deicded to stay with the special ed classroom because it is much smaller (7-9 students fersus 20 in the reg class) and he does better in smaller environments then larger more active ones. Our qualifications here are different as to recieve services you only need a 25% delay in one single area (he has delays in social language). He will also recieve services through the school year.
Children can still be in regular classrooms and recieve special services (an IEP is usually considered a special service), though with preschool its a matter of whether they are going to get therapy or an aid to help with some skills, where in later grades it can include things like help with tests (extended time limits, verbal versus written tests, written instructions versus verbal etc..) to aides, to therapy, the list goes on and on.
As for the preschool to put him in, I think you need to take nto consideration the type of atmosphere your child needs to thrive. If he needs a smaller class, then I would suggest searching for a palce that does have a more limited class size, your coordinator with the special services may be able to supply references of places like that.
Here it is rather difficult to get into headstart becuase it is restricted by income (and very very low) but the special school district pays for all of Alex's services including the preschool tuition because its part of his therapy.
Moderator - First Time Moms, Parents of Preemies
Missouri State Coordinator
Mommy to Alex and Mason