Child Find is the process of locating, evaluating, and identifying children with disabilities who may be in need of special education and related services. The Olentangy Local School District is committed to the location, identification and provision of a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE), for all children between the ages of 3 and 22, having disabilities. Location and referral of such children may be initiated by anyone with knowledge of the child and suspecting the child may have a disability.
The purpose of Child Find is to alert parents, professionals, and the public to children who may have special needs and to guarantee that school districts find children who may have disabilities and who otherwise may not have come to their attention. Another benefit is to enable eligible children to receive the special education and related services that are needed and to promote public awareness of disabilities.
Definition of Disability
For children ages birth to 3, a disability is defined as a physical or mental condition that may result in a developmental delay.
For children ages 3 through 5, a disability is defined as a documented deficit in one or more of the following developmental areas: communication, vision, hearing, motor skills, social emotional/behavioral functioning, self-help skills, and/or cognitive skills.
For children ages 5 through 21, a disability is defined as identification of one or more of the following conditions: autism, deaf blindness, hearing impairment including deafness, multiple disabilities, orthopedic impairment, other health impairment, emotional disturbance, specific learning disability, speech or language impairment, traumatic brain injury, and/or visual impairment including blindness.
Local school districts are required by federal and state laws to find children who may need special education services and related services.
Parents, relatives, public and private agency employees, childcare providers, physicians and concerned citizens are encouraged to help school districts find any child, ages birth to age 21, who may have a disability and are in need of special education and related services.
If you have concerns about a child’s ability or skills and suspect there may be a disability, please contact the child’s teacher, principal, or the Pupil Services office at (740) 657-4070.
The school district will contact the parents of the child to discuss the next steps in the evaluation and identification process. This process is provided at no cost to the family. If a need is identified, the child can begin receiving the appropriate special education and related services during the school day.