School districts are required to provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to all eligible children with disabilities beginning at the age of three. Preschool aged children with disabilities are typically referred in one of the following two ways:
- Transition from the IDEA Part C early intervention services (e.g. BabyNet)
- Referral for evaluation made to the school district by a parent, caretaker, daycare/preschool provider, medical professional, private provider, etc
For more information about the district’s obligation to locate and identify preschoolers with disabilities, review this info below about Child Find:
Child Find is the process of identifying, locating and evaluating children, starting at age three, who may have a disability and be in need of special education and related services. The school district seeks to identify all children residing in our district who may be in need of special education services.
Children in need of special education services are children identified as having an intellectual disability, hearing impairment, visual impairment, orthopedic impairment, speech and language impairment, emotional disability, autism, traumatic brain injury, developmental delay, other health impairment, specific learning disability, or multiple disabilities.
Parents, relatives, and public and private agency employees are asked to help our district find any child who may have a disability and need special education and related services. If you are aware of a child who may have special needs pleas contact Dorchester School District Two Office of Special Services Office at 843-875-4161 to register for the clinic’s speech and developmental screenings.
If applicable please provide copies of medical, developmental, and/or evaluation records prepared by physicians and/or other agencies to aid our Child Find Team in making recommendations for your child. For further information call 843.875.4161.
- At what point should I be concerned that my preschooler may have a disability and need specialized instruction?
- How do I find out if my preschooler is eligible for special education services?
- What happens at the Referral Meeting?
- Who will attend the Referral Meeting?
- What happens after the evaluation is completed?