Child Find


One in ten of Georgia’s children have a sensory, emotional, physical, intellectual, or language disability that may inhibit learning.  Many of these disabilities are subtle, so they go unnoticed.  As a result, children may have trouble in school, at home and with their peers.  The earlier these disabilities are discovered and identified, the more effectively they can be managed.  That means the child will have every chance to be successful in life.


“Child find” refers to the process of locating, identifying, and evaluating children with disabilities to ensure that they receive services to which they are entitled.  The Georgia Department of Education and local school systems have a mission to locate, identify, and evaluate each child-birth through 21 years of age-with a suspected disability, and to provide appropriate educational services to these children throughout Georgia.


School Age Children and Youth:

For more information about free or low-cost services for children ages 3 to 21 with special needs, call your local school system and ask for the special education director OR call Coastal GLRS.

Preschool Children:

For more information about free or low-cost services for children ages 0-3 with special needs, contact BABIES CAN’T WAIT at the Coastal Health District 1-800-808-3689.

To view ages and stages of children ages 0 -6, see Bright from the Start website



Child Find Efforts

to Determine Eligibility for Special Education Services

Public school systems in Georgia offer comprehensive Special Education services to eligible students ages three through 21 years.  Children from birth to age three with disabilities will be referred to appropriate agencies for services.  All referrals are considered confidential, and services are provided at no cost.  The parent, legal guardian, or surrogate parent retains the right to refuse services and is provided other procedural safeguards under federal and state law.  Public school services include screening in the area of suspected disabilities, such as hearing, motor skills, speech, language and general development.  Evaluations in the schools are provided for several areas of suspected disabilities, including learning disabilities, speech and language development, physical impairments, vision or hearing problems, intellectual delays, emotional disturbances, autism/pervasive developmental disorders, health problems or traumatic brain injuries.  A free, appropriate, public education with full continuum of services is available for all eligible children and for those students who are home schooled or enrolled in private schools and preschools, including religious schools.  For more information concerning eligibility criteria and referral procedures, please call the Office of Special Education in your local school system.  The staff can answer questions or direct your call to the appropriate person.  All referrals are considered confidential.  The parent or legal guardian retains the right to refuse services and other procedural safeguards under federal and state law.