What is Child Find?
Child Find is the process of locating, evaluating, and identifying children with disabilities who may be in need of special education and related services.
What is a disability?
A physical or mental condition for children ages birth to 3 that may result in a developmental delay requiring special education and related services.
For children ages 3 through 5 – A child who is experiencing a delay in one or more of the following areas: physical development; cognitive development; communication development; social or emotional development; or adaptive development; or, a child who is identified with any of the conditions listed in the paragraph below.
For children ages 5 through 21 – Identification of one or more of the following conditions: autism, deaf-blindness, hearing impairment including deafness, cognitive disability, multiple disabilities, orthopedic impairment, other health impairment, emotional disturbance, specific learning disability, speech or language impairment, traumatic brain injury, and/or visual impairment
Local school districts are required by federal and state laws to find children who may need special education services and related services.
What is the purpose of Child Find?
- To alert parents, professionals, and the public to children who may have disabilities
- To guarantee that school districts find children who may have disabilities and who otherwise may not have come to their attention
- To enable eligible children to receive the special education and related services that are needed
- To promote public awareness of disabilities
How can you help?
If you are aware of a child who may have a disability, please notify the school district. Parents, relatives, public and private agency employees, childcare providers, physicians and concerned citizens are encouraged to help school districts find any child, ages birth – 21, who may have a disability and are in need of special education and related services.
What happens next?
The school district will contact the parents of the child to discuss the next steps in the evaluation and identification process. This process is provided at no cost to the family. If a need is identified, the child can begin receiving the appropriate special education and related services during the school day.
If you suspect a child may have a disability, help is available.