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Child Find: Districts’ Role in Identifying Children with Disabilities

Child Find is a legal requirement that schools find all children who have disabilities and who may be entitled to special education services for students starting at birth through age 21. Under this requirement, the district must evaluate any child that it knows or suspects may have a disability in a public or private school/Home school setting. What does this mean for a school district? Below is a quick guide to what Child Find means and what is included in the Child Find procedures.

Does Child find mean we have to test every student? No, however; we do have to review the student’s data and consider if the data supports an area of suspected disability. This is where RTI comes in to play. RTI is not a process to see HOW much data we have, but rather to determine if the data supports an area identified under TEA as a suspected disability.

If a student is referred for speech, but we also have academic concerns, can we move forward with speech while we collect more data to support academic testing? A Speech evaluation is considered a FULL Evaluation. This means that even if speech is the only area being tested, they still have to review academic and cognitive areas. If there is data that indicates a history of academic or behavioral deficits, then it needs to be reviewed and possibly included in the evaluation. Not testing in all areas of suspected disability is a violation of Child Find.

Are there private/home school procedures in place for Child Find? Yes, the district has procedures in place for these requests for evaluation. In addition, flyers have been provided to local private school and day cares within Klein ISD, and we have an Early Childhood assessment team for 3-5 year olds.

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Child Find: Districts' Role in Identifying Children with Disabilities

by Allyson McIntosh
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