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Child Find

What It Is and How It Works

Child Find 3301-51-03

All children suspected as having a disability residing within the district, including children with disabilities who are homeless, wards of the state, attending nonpublic schools, regardless of the severity of their disability and who are in need of special education and related services are identified, located and evaluated as required by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, as amended by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004, December 2004(IDEA) and federal regulation at 34 C.F.R Part 300 (October 13, 2006) pertaining to child find, including the regulations at 34 C.F.R. 300.111 and 300.646(October 13, 2006) and as required by the provisions of this rule.

If you suspect that a child has a disability, please contact Denise Cirino, Director of Pupil Services at 440 995-7241 or [email protected] 

At a Glance

Child Find is a legal requirement that schools find all children who have disabilities and who may be entitled to special education services. Child Find covers every child from birth through age 21. The school district must evaluate any child that it knows or suspects may have a disability.

You may not have head of the Child Find mandate. It is a legal requirement for schools to find children who have disabilities and need services. Identifying these children is an important first step toward getting them the help they need to succeed in school.

Child Find is part of a federal law called the Individuals with Disabilites Education Act (IDEA). This law protects the rights of students with disabilities.

Who's Covered by Child Find?

Children with disabilities from birth through age 21 are covered. This includes children who are being homeschooled or who are in private school.

Child Find requires school districts to have a process for identifying and evaluating children who may need special education and related services, such as counseling or speech therapy. Even infants and toddlers can be evaluated. They could then receive help for learning disabilities and developmental delays through the government’s early intervention programs. These programs help parents find out if their young children are on track. Then, if needed, the programs can connect families with appropriate services early in the child’s life.

Do schools have to agree to every request for an evaluation?

If the school knows or has reason to suspect your child has a disability, then by law it must agree to do an evaluation. For example, a child’s teacher or parents may be concerned about a child’s academic work and request an evaluation. By law, the school must seriously consider their request. The school doesn’t have to agree to every request for evaluation, though. If there’s no reason to think your child has a disability that requires services, the school doesn’t have to evaluate.

What if the school won’t evaluate your child?

If the school turns down a request for an evaluation, parents can seek a due process hearing. This hearing gives parents and the school a chance to tell their side of the story to a trained, independent hearing officer. Teachers or outside professionals can explain what they know about the child. Parents may present evidence such as evaluation results and samples of their child’s work.

Contact your student's teacher, guidance counselor, or school psychologist for more information.

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