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. Gordon County 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:
- 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?
For a preschool aged child, with a chronological age of 3 through 5, who has or may have a developmental disability please contact Dana Jackson, PreSchool Coordinator, at 706-879-5229.
Parents of students, kindergarten through 12th-grade, who suspect their child may have a disability, should contact the teacher, principal or the chairperson of the school’s Student Support Team.
For additional questions regarding Child Find, contact Alecia Segursky, Special Education Director, at 706-629-4474.
Students with Disabilities Enrolled in Private Schools
Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA), local school systems have the responsibility to identify all the private school students in their district and conduct Child Find activities with them to identify eligible children.
Under current guidelines, Gordon County Schools is required to allocate a proportionate share of IDEIA funds to provide services to eligible students who have been placed or enrolled by their parents in private schools. In order to determine which services should be provided, which children should receive the services, and how and where the services should be provided, the local system must consult with the private schools within their district and representatives of parents of students with disabilities who attend those schools.
Students with Disabilities Enrolled in Home Schools
In Georgia, references to “parentally placed children in private schools” includes children who are homeschooled by their parents. Local school systems have the responsibility to identify all the private school and homeschooled students in their district and conduct Child Find activities with them to identify eligible children.
Under current guidelines and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA), the Gordon County School District is required to allocate a proportionate share of IDEIA funds to provide services to some students who have been placed or enrolled by their parents in private or home schools. In order to determine which services should be provided, the local system must consult with the private schools within their district, representatives of parents of students who attend those schools, and representatives of parents of home schooled students with disabilities.
For additional information please contact Alecia Segursky, Special Education Director, at 706-629-4474.