The Individuals with Disabilities Act, (IDEA Part C and Part B) provides for the early identification and interventions for children ages birth to twenty-one years of age through a Child Find. This means your school district is required to locate, evaluate and identify all children that may have a disability and need special education or related services. Your school district has developed a systematic means to do this and are ready to provide pre-referral interventions that may or may not lead to a referral, comprehensive educational evaluation and possibly eligibility for special education and/or related services through an Individualized Education Plan, IEP. In partnership with early interventionists, Head Start, Family Outreach, Region IV Hearing Conservation program, community services and the Gallatin-Madison Special Education Cooperative, your school district meets the requirements of the IDEA for Child Find. There are multiple activities within your district that are all considered Child Find.
FREE Developmental Screenings:
You may be most familiar with “Developmental Screenings” that are free events that are advertised and held at your school district. Developmental screenings are used by doctors, early interventionists as well as school district educators and specialists to determine whether a child is reaching developmental markers or if there are potential delays in development.
Skills such as taking first steps, saying those first words and learning early concepts are referred to as “milestones.” The range of “average” developmental attainment of these milestones for young children can be broad. However, if a child does not reach these markers within the upper limits of the range, it may be considered a delay. For example, if the typical range for learning to walk is 9-15 months, and a child is not walking by 20 months this would be considered a delay.
During a developmental screening event the following milestones will be screened for children birth to 5 years of age. Family Outreach conducts the screening for children birth to 2 years of age and parents participate in the entire screening process. Your school district staff implement the screening for children 3-5 years of age and use a tool called the “Developmental Indicators for the Assessment of Learning-Revised, (DIAL-R). Children are asked to separate from their parent(s) and engage in game-format activities that are set up in small centers. The entire screening takes about 45-minutes for most children. Specialists such as an early education teacher, special educator, speech-language pathologist and school psychologists implement the screening. Each parent receives a summary of the screening results with recommendations and resources to support them in raising a healthy and happy child. Should there be the need for more information a follow-up appointment will be scheduled with Family Outreach or your school district team. During the day of the screening, the specialists are also available to answer any question and visit with you directly about screening outcomes. Areas of screening include:
- Gross motor: using large groups of muscles to perform physical activities, such as skipping, jumping and throwing.
- Fine motor: using hands and fingers to be perform activities such as drawing and writing.
- Hearing: Screening through audiometry, tympanogram, with potential medical referral or follow up with the Hearing Conservation Region IV audiologist.
- Language/Communication: speech sound development or articulation, vocabulary understanding and use, language reasoning and early phonic skills.
- Developmental Concepts: Understanding terms such as more/less; sorting and categorizing, colors and other pre-academic knowledge.
- Social: Following directions and engaging with others
For more information, give us a call!