Child Find refers to the process of locating, evaluating and identifying individuals (birth through 21 years of age) in need of special education services. The District coordinates ongoing public awareness Child Find efforts with the Region 16 Education Service Center. The AISD may also conduct early childhood screenings; display public notices; and advertise the availability of services through the media; meetings with private schools; and letters to nursing homes, physicians, residential facilities, group homes, detention facilities, Texas Panhandle Mental Health Mental Retardation, and hospitals.
The AISD has defined a process to facilitate meeting the District's Child Find responsibilities by which children suspected of having a disability are referred for an evaluation. Referrals for a special education evaluation may be made by school personnel or the student's parent.
Preschool Aged Children
For children in the birth - 36 months age range: Within 2 working days from the date a Child Find inquiry is received, school district personnel forward the information to the local Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) program so an ECI Service Coordinator can be assigned to the case. If the referral is initiated within 90 days of the child's 3rd birthday, AISD may choose to process the referral without routing it through the ECI program.
For children approaching 3 years of age who are receiving services through the ECI program, the ECI Service Coordinator will offer the parent an opportunity for a face-to-face meeting with school district personnel 120 days prior to the child's 3rd birthday and (if the parent consents) will provide the AISD with referral information within 90 days prior to the child's 3rd birthday. The District Early Childhood Evaluation Team receives and processes the referrals and conducts the appropriate evaluations.
For children 3 - 5 years of age who have not received services through the ECI program, parents are referred to the elementary campus closest to their home.
School Age 5 to 21 years
Required forms or information concerning the referral process for students currently enrolled in AISD can be obtained from the administrator at the child’s campus. Upon receipt of a completed referral, the District's Special Education Department personnel conduct a Full Individual Evaluation to identify whether or not the child has a disability.
Inquiries about referring individuals in this age range who are not currently enrolled in public school should be routed to the administrator on the age-appropriate campus closest to the child's home.
The AISD Special Education Department personnel are responsible for conducting evaluations on students who are enrolled in private schools located within AISD boundaries regardless of where the student resides. If the student resides in a district other than AISD but attends a school (which meets the definition of a private school) within AISD boundaries, the referral will be processed by the AISD Lead Speech Pathologist, who coordinates this process. If the student resides in AISD and also attends a private/home school within AISD boundaries, the referral will be processed by the student’s AISD home campus by contacting the administrator of that campus. Refer to the Local Operating Guidelines for Private/Home School students for further information.