Child Find is a set of activities used to identify children from birth to 21 years old who may need special education programs and services. Schools are required to locate, identify, and evaluate all children with disabilities from birth through age 21.
The Child Find mandate applies to all children who reside within a State, including children who attend private schools and public schools, highly mobile children, migrant children, homeless children, and children who are wards of the state.
Every SELPA and school district is required to have procedures in place to help locate students who may need special education services, and each public school site within the SELPA has information on how to initiate a referral for special education services. If your child is not receiving special education services and you suspect there is a disability, please contact your child's teacher or principal to discuss your concerns. A student may be referred by parents, teachers, and other school staff members, doctors, agency staff, or others.
- If you suspect your child has a disability, and your child is younger than 2 years 10 months of age, please contact the Regional Center of Orange County at 714-796-5100 for an intake interview.
- If your child is preschool age (starting at 2 years 10 months), please contact Mitchell Childhood Development Center at (714) 285-4600.
- If your child is school age (TK and up), please contact the principal at your child's public school of residence to discuss your concerns. As a result of discussions about your concerns, your child may be referred to the Student Study Team (SST) for additional review. The SST includes representatives from general education and special education staff who review student progress and suggest interventions and strategies to assist students within the general education program. It is highly recommended that a SST meet to review a student's progress prior to developing an assessment plan for suspected disabilities.
If you need further assistance with the Child Find Process, please contact the Special Education/SELPA Division at (714) 558-5551.