Early Intervention And Special Education: How Child Find Works (page 2)
What is Child Find?
It’s a component of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) that requires states to identify, locate, and evaluate all children with disabilities, aged birth through 21, who are in need of early intervention or special education services.
Who is responsible for local Child Find activities?
Public schools and the Arizona Early Intervention Program (AzEIP) are responsible for ‘finding’ eligible children.
What if I have concerns?
If you have concerns about your child’s development or progress in school, you may receive help from the AzEIP or your local school. There are no costs to parents for Child Find services.
Contact the AzEIP for children aged birth to 3, if you are concerned about how your child:
- Plays and interacts with others
An AzEIP specialist will come to your home to talk with you about your concerns and observe your child. For more information about the Arizona Early Intervention Program, visit their website at www.azdes.gov/azeip, or call either 1-888-439-5609 or (602) 532-9960.
Contact your local school for children aged 3 through 21, if you are concerned about your child’s development or performance in the areas that affect development and learning in school:
- Vision and Hearing
- Motor Control or Coordination
- Behavior or Social Skills
- Speech or Language Skills
- Thinking or Performing Tasks
Public schools use a screening process to check your child's development and academic progress.
For children 3 years to kindergarten age, call the special education department of the local school district. You may also call the county school superintendent’s office. Or, use the ‘find a school’ link on the ADE website, www.ade.az.gov.
For children kindergarten age through 21 years, call the principal’s office at the local public school and ask to speak with the special education department about your concerns.
What happens next?
If an evaluation is needed, you will be part of the evaluation team. You can give important information on your child’s developmental and medical history. The team, of which you are a part, will discuss the results of the evaluation. You will be involved in the decision-making process to determine if your child is eligible for early intervention or special education services.
What is early intervention (ages 0-3)?
Early intervention is professionals working in partnership with parents and families of children with special needs, to support a child’s growth, development, and learning. Early intervention is planned around each child and family’s unique daily routines and family life. An Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) is developed to provide supports and services.
What is preschool special education and school-aged special education (ages 3 through 21)?
It is specially designed instruction and related services provided to students with disabilities, preschool through high school. An Individual Education Plan (IEP) is developed based on their unique strengths and needs. Related services such as speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, or assistive technology might also be provided. Eligible students are entitled to a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE).
Parent involvement in the special education process is critical to your child’s success. You’re the best advocate for your child.
- Ask the school for a copy of the Procedural Safeguards Notice. This will explain your special education rights and responsibilities.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Find out what tests will be given to your child and why they have been considered.
- Be involved in your child’s evaluation. Find out what kind of information you will be asked to contribute to the process.
- Request copies of important paperwork; including a copy of the final report. Keep these documents in a safe place.
- Keep a log of phone calls. Use your calendar to keep track of testing dates and meetings.
- Contact a parent group for guidance. It helps to talk to other parents whose children have been evaluated for special education services.
Where do I find more information about Child Find?
The Child Find website, www.azed.gov/ess/childfind, includes:
- Links to school districts and AzEIP
- Developmental milestones
- Federal and state statutes and school district requirements
Arizona Department of Education, Exceptional Student Services Becky Raabe, Child Find Coordinator Becky.email@example.com (928) 679-8106 or call 1-800-352-4558 and ask for Child Find.
Arizona Early Intervention Program 1-888-439-5609 or (602) 532-9960 www.azdes.gov/azeip
Your local school district office, neighborhood school, or charter school will have information about Child Find and special education services.
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