Early Childhood Child Find
The Mercer Island School District offers regularly scheduled, free developmental screenings for children ages 3-21 years old. These screenings, called Child Find, provide an opportunity for early childhood professionals to look at your child’s development and compare it to other children their age.
What is Child Find?
The process of locating and evaluating children with disabilities is referred to as Child Find. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) of 2004 requires all school districts to locate, evaluate and provide services for individual’s 3 to 21, who may have a disability.
WAC 392-172A-02040 - School districts shall conduct child find activities calculated to reach all students with a suspected disability for the purpose of locating, evaluating and identifying students who are in need of special education and related services, regardless of the severity of their disability.
What happens during a Child Find Screening?
The purpose of a Child Find Screening is to identify issues that may affect your child’s learning, growth, and development and to help parents identify their child’s strengths and weaknesses.
During the screening, you can expect your child to be screened in the following skill areas:
- Speech/Language: a speech/language pathologist will screen your child's ability to produce speech sounds and to understand and use language.
- Fine Motor Skills: an occupational therapist will screen your child’s fine motor skills (eye-hand coordination, reaching, grasping, object manipulation).
- Gross Motor Skills: a physical therapist will screen your child's gross motor skills (running, jumping, stairs, balance).
- Concepts: an early childhood special education teacher/school psychologist will screen your child's reasoning and problem-solving skills as well as various pre-academic skills such as counting, sorting, colors, etc.
- Social-Emotional/Adaptive: an early childhood special education teacher/school psychologist will consider your child's play skills, interactions with others, self-help skills, etc.
- Vision/Hearing: a school nurse will conduct both a vision and hearing screening and review a health history.
After the screening, a team member will analyze the screening data and connect with the family to discuss any next steps. Next steps may include suggestions for the family and/or initiation of a special education evaluation.
What steps do I take to schedule a Child Find Screening?
To request a Child Find Screening, please contact the Child Find Coordinator, Beth DeGrace via email or phone (206) 947-2731.
Prior to a screening, the District will need to verify residency. Additionally, we ask that families provide the following information before a screening to learn more about your child.