Child Find is a search for all children with disabilities. Child Find is the process of identifying, locating and evaluating children with disabilities who may be in need of Special Education and related services. Both state and local education agencies are given the responsibility by federal and state laws to conduct Child Find activities so that children who need Special Education services have the opportunity to receive those services. Early intervention is very beneficial.
What is the purpose of Child Find?
- To promote public awareness of disabilities
- To alert parents, professionals and the public to children who may have special needs
- To assist school districts in finding children who may have disabilities and who otherwise may not have come to their attention.
- To enable children and families to receive the special education and related services that are needed.
What is a disability?
- For age Birth to 3 years – An established condition known to result in delay or a documented developmental delay.
- For ages 3 to 5 years – A documented deficit in one or more of the following developmental areas: communication, vision, hearing, motor skills, social emotional/behavioral functioning, self-help skills and/or cognitive skills.
- For ages 5 to 21 years – Identification of one or more of the following conditions: autism, deafness-blindness, hearing impairment including deafness, mental retardation or 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 including blindness.
Who can help?
Parents, relatives, public and private agency employees and any concerned citizens can report to local school districts any child, age birth to 21, who may have a disability and who may need Special Education and related services. If you are aware of a child who may have special needs, please notify his/her school district. Schools can do their job better with your help.
For children birth to age 3, please click here for referral information.
If you suspect your preschool child has special needs, please click here for a free screening.
Navigating guardianship as your child gets older can be a challenge for families. As a resource to support in this transition, the Ohio Coalition for the Education of Children with Disabilities has released this newsletter with information about Guardianship in Special Education.