Do you have concerns about your child’s development or progress in school?
What Is Child Find?
Child find is a component of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 (IDEA ’04) that requires states to locate, identify, and evaluate all children with a suspected disabilities, ages birth through 21 years, who are in need of early intervention, related services and/or special education services. This includes children who are highly mobile, such as migrant or homeless children, children suspected of having a disability even though they are advancing from grade to grade, private school students, and homeschool students.
The Arizona initiative for child find is referred to as AZ FIND.
Developmental and Educational Services for Children Ages Birth through 21 Years
Special programs are provided to students identified as having disabilities in any of the following areas:
A referral for early intervention or special education services can come from a guardian, guardian, foster guardian, family member, teacher, counselor, or the student who finds learning difficult. The earlier you express your concerns, the sooner your child’s needs will be identified and the sooner he or she will receive the help needed to succeed.
Free Evaluation and Services for Infants and Toddlers
Children ages birth to 2 years 10 1/2 months are screened through the Arizona Early Intervention Program (AzEIP) to determine if early intervention services are needed. Early intervention brings professionals, working in partnership with guardians and families of children with special needs, together to support infants’ or toddlers’ growth, development, and learning. If you have questions about your child’s development, an AzEIP specialist will talk with you about your concerns and observe your child. If your child is found eligible, a plan will be designed to include strategies, activities, and supports to achieve desired outcomes related to your child’s needs. Make an online referral at www.azdes.gov/azeip. For more information, call 1-888-439-5609 or (602) 532-9960.
Help for Preschool and School-Aged Children
Your local school district, or the charter school your child attends (for school-aged children), screens children ages 2 years 10 1/2 months through 21 years. Public schools use a screening process to check your child’s development and academic progress.
Screening of a student's abilities in the areas of vision, hearing, cognitive or academic skills, communication, motor, social or behavioral skills, and adaptive skills is completed within 45 calendar days after enrollment for each Kindergarten student and each new student enrolling in the district. (45 day screening form)
In addition to formal hearing and vision screening, teacher rating scale, progress reports, and/or observation reports may be made to find students who should be referred for formal evaluation, due to suspected disability. (Screening activities do not include detailed individual evaluation procedures such as psychological testing).
Within 10 school days the school must inform Guardian's of any concerns arising from the screening process and inform them of the proposed follow up action regarding the student's needs.
Records of screening results will be maintained in the student's cumulative file.
Students about whom there is a concern, as a result of the screening, will be referred to a Child Study Team to determine the need for a full individual evaluation or other services. The Child Study Team includes the guardians, teachers, and staff involved with the student, who can determine the types of evaluation or services needed.
Should the Child Study Team determine that a referral for an evaluation is needed, a Multidisciplinary Evaluation Team (MET) will be established. The guardian(s) must be a member of the team. A MET 1 meeting will be scheduled and at this meeting the team will determine what assessments are necessary. Guardian's permission to evaluate must be obtained before any formal evaluations can be made. The Guardian will be provided with Prior Written Notification of the proposed evaluation and a copy of Procedural Safeguards outlining their rights as a Guardian of a student with a disability or suspected disability.
Children under the age of 5 should be referred to the Preschool Child Find Coordinator who can determine if the evaluation should be scheduled through the District's preschool program or if a referral needs to be made to the Arizona Early Intervention Program.
EVALUATION AND IDENTIFICATION
A recommended evaluation shall be completed within 60 calendar days after obtaining written consent of the Guardian, or absent such consent, within 60 calendar days following mediation of due-process procedures.
A written evaluation shall be prepared by a multidisciplinary team, which will include at least one teacher or the specialist with knowledge in the area of the suspected disability, a regular education teacher, the evaluator, and the Guardian. Evaluation procedures and materials used shall determine and take into consideration the student's primary language.
The evaluation shall assess the capabilities and limitations of the student in all areas of suspected disability, including where appropriate, health, vision, hearing, social and emotional status, general intelligence, academic performance, communication and motor abilities.
Evaluation data shall include evaluations and information provided by the Guardian's of the child, current classroom-based assessments, observations by the teachers and related service providers, and any additional data required to determine if the student is a child with a disability under one of the categories of IDEA and state law. Special programs and services are available for each of these categories: Autism, Emotional Disability, Hearing Impairment, Deaf-Blindness, Other Health Impairment, Specific Learning Disability, Mild, Moderate or Severe Intellectual Disability,, Multiple Disabilities, Multiple Disabilities with Severe Sensory Impairment, Orthopedic Impairment, Preschool Moderate Delay, Preschool Severe delay, Preschool Speech/Language Delay, Speech/Language Impairment, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Visual Impairment, Deafness.
Children who are identified as having a disability will be provided an individualized education program, which requires guardian's/guardian's consent for initiation.
Family engagement has a positive influence on your child’s academic success and emotional development.
• Set high expectations and establish goals.
• Communicate frequently with teachers to monitor your child’s achievements.
• Ask for ideas and materials to help your child learn at home.
• Reward progress and celebrate accomplishments.
• Volunteer for classroom and schoolwide activities.
• Attend community events and workshops that promote learning and social growth.
AZ FIND, 1-800-352-4558 or 928-637-1871, AZFIND@azed.gov, www.azed.gov/special-education/az-find
For more information and questions specific to our district please contact:
Sherry Mulholland(Paulo Freire Freedom School on University BLVD) at
(520) 624- 7552
Colleen Middleton (Paulo Freire Freedom School on Pennington St.)
at (520) 352-0057