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Note:  This document has been delivered to the Office of the Federal Register but has not yet been scheduled for publication.  The official version of this document is the document that is published in the Federal Register.

clinical opinion based on that State’s definition of

developmental delay, we note that all States must allow qualified personnel, when conducting evaluations, to use their informed clinical opinion to determine whether the

child meets the State’s definition of developmental delay.

Given the Department’s monitoring experience in States

where qualified personnel are not permitted to use their informed clinical opinion as a separate basis to establish

eligibility, we have set forth in new §303.321(a)(3)(ii)

that such personnel must be able to use informed clinical opinion as an alternate basis for establishing eligibility.

Permitting informed clinical opinion to serve as a separate

basis to establish a child’s eligibility under Part C of

the Act is important given that standardized instruments

may not capture the extent of a child’s delay. The purpose

of new §303.321(a)(3)(ii) is to alleviate the confusion and

to expressly permit qualified personnel to use their

informed clinical opinion to establish a child’s

eligibility for early intervention services under Part C of the Act, even when other instruments fail to identify or confirm the level of developmental delay to establish Part C eligibility.

Finally, we agree with the commenter that clarification is needed regarding the last phrase of new