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Child Find

Child Find is a critical component of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). It ensures that all children with disabilities, regardless of their severity, receive a free and appropriate public education (FAPE). 

What is Child Find?

Child Find is a legal requirement under the IDEA. It mandates that all children, regardless of their disabilities, have the right to FAPE. Child Find ensures that children who may have disabilities are identified, located, and evaluated to determine whether they require special education services to succeed in school.


Who does Child Find apply to? 

Child Find applies to all children from birth through 21 years of age. It covers children who:

  • Have disabilities that may affect their learning.
  • Are in need of special education and related services.


How does Child Find work? 

Child Find operates through a coordinated effort between schools, early intervention programs, healthcare providers, and other community agencies. If a child is suspected of having a disability, parents, teachers, or healthcare providers can request an evaluation. The evaluation process typically involves assessments by qualified professionals to determine the child's eligibility for special education services.


Your role as a Parent/Guardian

As a parent/guardian, you play a crucial role in the Child Find process. If you suspect that your child may have a disability or are experiencing difficulties in school, don't hesitate to reach out to your child's school or healthcare provider. Your active involvement and advocacy can make a significant difference in ensuring that your child receives the support they need.

  • If your child is younger than 2 years 10 months of age, and you suspect your child has a disability, please contact the Regional Center of Orange County at 714-796-5100.
  • If your child is preschool age, please contact Elke Day at Harper Assessment Center at (949) 515-6631.
  • If your child is school age (TK and up), please contact the Special Education Coordinator for your school of residence to discuss your concern.

Find your school of residence by using the NMUSD School Locator.