What Is Child Find?
Child Find is a continuous process designed to locate, identify, and refer as early as possible all young children with disabilities and their families who are in need of Early Intervention Program (Part C) or Preschool Special Education (Part B/619) services of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
To receive Early Intervention Program or Special Education, children must meet eligibility guidelines according to the IDEA. For more general Child Find information on the District Special Services page, please click here.
How do I refer my preschooler for screening or assessment for speech, developmental or other concerns?
To refer a child for whom there are concerns regarding speech or general developmental concerns, please contact Nancy Keithley. Mrs. Keithley is the Educational Diagnostician at Fields Store Elementary. In addition to FSE, her job responsibility includes: all the preschool assessment and screening for Special Services, Child Find activities, Preschool Transition meetings, Bilingual Special Education Assessment and being a member of the Autism Assessment Team. Her phone number is 936-931-4050, extension 3212. If she is unavailable at the time of your call, please leave a voice mail or email, and she will get back to you as soon as possible. Occasionally, this may take a few days, but normally (if she is not out of the district) you'll hear back within a day or two.
Who may be referred through Child Find?
Children who are three years or almost three years old, up to age five years or so and who are not already enrolled in Waller ISD schools may be referred for Early Childhood Child Find. Children who are already enrolled in school must be referred through their campus Response to Intervention team.
If you know of a child who is younger than 3 for whom there are speech or other developmental concerns, Mrs. Keithley will be glad to share information on how to contact the appropriate Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) agency. ECIs serve children with disabilities from birth to 3 years of age, and refer them to the appropriate school district for Transition to the school district so that the school can be ready to serve when the child turns 3, if the child qualifies.
If you have a child in ECI, the ECI service coordinator will contact Mrs. Keithley in order to set up a meeting at least 120 days prior to the child's 3rd birthday. Mrs. Keithley will meet with you and the ECI personnel at your home and review the process with you, along with possible service alternatives. An evaluation appointment will be made at this meeting, called a Transition meeting.
If your child is not currently served by ECI, simply call or email Mrs. Keithley and she will share an overview of the process and make an appointment for you to bring your child in for screening, and if appropriate, an evaluation.
Where does this take place, and what happens when we arrive?
In Waller ISD, the screening and identification process takes place at Fields Store Elementary, where the team is located. When you bring the child for screening, the team will try to obtain a Vision and Hearing screening first. With very young children we are not always successful, but we do always try. If you have Vision and Hearing information, please bring that with you. Following that, we go to the Speech Lab where the speech pathologist and diagnostician will do some activities with your child to try to learn more about him/her. Typically this will take from an hour and a half up to three hours, if we determine that an assessment is appropriate. Even if your concern is "only Speech" the team screens for both speech and general developmental delays. Sometimes you may have to bring your child back on another day to complete the process so that the team may gather more information.
If you have information from a developmental pediatrician, Texas Children's Hospital services or other therapists that have worked with your child, please do bring that so that staff may make a copy of it to include the information as part of the data collected to help determine the child's needs.
What happens after an evaluation?
If we only screen your child, you will leave with information to help address your concerns, and the knowledge that baseline data has been collected for your child in case the concerns persist and an evaluation later is needed. Your written consent will be obtained prior to completing an evaluation.
If we complete a Full and Individual Evaluation (FIE), then we will also schedule an Admission, Review and Dismissal (ARD) meeting in order to review the evaluation and determine appropriate eligibility and placement, if any. You as a parent are an important part of the ARD committee.
What placement options are there if my child qualifies?
There is a range of placement options for preschoolers who qualify. A child must be three years of age to be served in the school, and "3 is 3", meaning that if a child qualifies, and turns 3 during the school year, they do not have to wait until the next school year to attend. Once they are qualified, are 3 years of age and register for school, they may begin attending at that time, regardless of when during the school year it occurs. Children who age in over the summer typically begin school the first day of the coming school year. Some children need speech only services, while others may require a daily program. Related services such as transportation, occupational or physical therapy, etc. may also be considered and recommended as appropriate.