With changing times in education, the Oklahoma State Department of Education would like to inform parents about child find opportunities. “All children with disabilities, residing
in the State, whether attending public or private schools, should be identified, located, and evaluated.” In Oklahoma we require that child find apply to all children who are suspected
of having a disability and in need of special education and related services. We want to make everyone aware of this service that is provided to children with disabilities free of
charge throughout the State of Oklahoma. If you would like more information on child find, contact Checotah Public Schools Special Education Director, Shawndy Young, 918 473-8048
or the Oklahoma State Department of Education, Special Education Services at 405-521-3351 for more information. Help to find our children the education they deserve.
Child Find Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is Child Find?
Child Find is a component of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement
Act (IDEA) 2004 that requires States and Local Education Agencies (school districts)
to identify, locate, and evaluate all children with disabilities residing in the State,
regardless of the severity of their disabilities, and who are in need of special
education and related services (34 CFR§ 300.111). Most recently amended the IDEA
through Public Law 114-95, the Every Student Succeeds Act, in December 2015.
In the law, Congress states:
Disability is a natural part of the human experience and in no way diminishes the right
of individuals to participate in or contribute to society. Improving educational results for
children with disabilities is an essential element of our national policy of ensuring
equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic
self-sufficiency for individuals with disabilities.
Child Find is a continuous process of public awareness activities, screening, and
evaluation designed to locate, identify, and evaluate children with disabilities who are
in need of Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) Programs (Part C) or Special Education
and Related Services (Part B).
What does “child with a disability” mean?
The term "child with a disability" means a child with intellectual disability, hearing
impairments (including deafness), speech or language impairments, visual
impairments (including blindness), serious emotional disturbance (referred to as
"emotional disturbance"), orthopedic impairments, autism, traumatic brain injury, other
health impairments, or specific learning disabilities; and who, by reason thereof,
needs special education and related services (34 CFR§ 300.8).
What do I do if I know of an infant, child, or adolescent who does not learn easily?
All individuals develop at their own pace but some have more difficulty than others.
Early identification and intervention can prevent failure and frustration. Special
attention to teaching and learning strategies may help individuals overcome barriers
to learning. Often these strategies can be provided through general education programs.
Under the Every Student Succeeds Act (2015), each LEA must have a district
improvement plan developed to guide district and campus staff in the improvement of
student performance for all student groups in order to attain state standards. The
district improvement plan must include strategies for improvement of student
performance such as instructional methods designed based on the needs of student
groups not achieving; processes for addressing the needs of children in special
programs; integration of technology in instructional and administrative programs;
positive behavior supports; staff development for educators; and accelerated
What happens if the student continues to struggle even with these general education supports?
The parent(s) or legal guardian will be contacted by the local school district. The child
may be referred to Special Services to help determine eligibility for special education
and related services. Parents/guardians and the school will decide if an evaluation is
needed. The same group may develop an evaluation plan designed to assess areas
of concern. If appropriate, an evaluation will be conducted by qualified school
district/agency personnel. The parents and evaluation personnel will have a meeting
to talk about evaluation results and eligibility for special education and related
Who can begin the Child Find process?
Anyone can start the process: a parent/guardian, doctor, teacher, relative or friend can
call their local school district and request to start the process through Child Find. If
you are concerned about a child’s learning, contact the Special Education office at
(918) 473-8048 or ask to speak to your school’s special education teacher or school
What services may be available through special education?
Each child’s individual need(s) will be addressed on an individualized basis by a team
consisting of: public agency representative, parent(s) or guardian, a person who can
interpret evaluation, teacher(s), and the student (if appropriate). The team will review
evaluation information, discuss eligibility, identify the area(s) of need for specialized
instruction, including related services (such as occupational therapy, physical therapy,
or counseling), and develop a plan to fit the needs of the child.
How much do services cost?
All services provided by Local Education Agencies (school districts and charter
schools) through IDEA 2004 (Part B) Special Education and Related Services (Part B)
are at no cost to the individual or parents.
Who do I contact?
If you are concerned about a child’s learning, contact your school’s special education
teacher, principal, or school counselor. You can also contact the Special Services
Department directly at (918) 473-8048.