Screenings, Evaluations and Assessments

Child Find is the process used to determine if a child needs special education services and supports. Each state is required by federal law to identify and evaluate children with disabilities, birth to 21, to determine their need for special education services. The law is known as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

To find the children in need of special education, Area Education Agencies (AEAs) conduct what are known as Child Find activities.

In order to be eligible for special education services and supports, a child must have a disability under the IDEA (“disability”) and a need for special education services and supports. What is a disability? A disability is a health or physical condition, pattern of behavior, skill deficit or functional limitation that has a negative impact on school performance. The definition of disability differs from program to program, such as Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), etc.

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