What is Child Find?
The purpose of Child Find is to identify, locate, and evaluate children and youth, birth to age 21, who are suspected of, or have a disability or developmental delay. Atlanta Public Schools serves children ages 3 through 21 with identified special education needs.
How can children be referred?
A referral may be made by anyone who has a concern about a child’s development. All referrals are considered confidential. The parent retains the right to refuse services. Children may be referred by any of the following:
- Parents/legal guardians/foster parents
- Other family members
- Physicians/health care providers
- Preschool programs
- School system personnel
- Community agencies
- Private school personnel
- Others who are concerned about a child’s development
When should a child be referred to Child Find?
A child should be referred when:
- An insufficient rate of progress is present, even when accompanied by documentation of scientific research or evidence-based academic or behavioral interventions.
- A health or medical disorder interferes with development or learning.
- A child seems to have difficulty seeing or hearing.
- A child appears to have social, emotional or behavioral difficulties that affect his/her ability to learn.
- A child has diagnosed progressive or degenerative condition that will eventually impair or impede the child’s ability to learn.
- A child seems to have difficulty understanding directions like others that are his/her age.
- A child’s speech is not understandable to family or friends.
- A child has difficulty with reading, math, or other school subjects.
What is Special Education and who is eligible for services?
Special Education is instruction designed to meet the unique learning strengths and needs of individual students with disabilities from birth through age 21. A child must be evaluated and identified as having a disability to be eligible for Special Education and/or related services. Programs are provided for students in all disability areas recognized by the State of Georgia. Disability categories are: Autism Spectrum Disorder, Deafblind, Deaf/Hard of Hearing, Emotional and Behavioral Disorder, Intellectual Disabilities, Orthopedic Impairment, Other Health Impairment, Significant Developmental Delay, Specific Learning Disability, Speech/Language Impairment, Traumatic Brain Injury, Visual impairment.
Where can I find out more about Child Find?
If you suspect a childbirth through two years of age is a child with a disability, you should contact the Babies Can’t Wait Coordinator at 404-802-1690 to initiate a referral for evaluation.
For a preschool-aged child, with a chronological age of 3 through 5, who has or may have a developmental disability please contact Department of Special Education at 404-802-1690.
Parents of students, kindergarten through 12th-grade enrolled in an Atlanta Public School, who suspect their child may have a disability, should contact the teacher, principal, or the chairperson of the school’s Student Support Team.
Parents of students, kindergarten through 12th grade enrolled in a private or home school, who suspect their child may have a disability, should contact the student’s home-zoned school or the closest public school to the private school.
For additional questions regarding Child Find, contact Department of Special Education at 404-802-2605.