Child Find

Recognizing Differences

You, your child and your school are partners in the learning process. This partnership is the key to determining a suitable program for your child. As a parent, you know your child best. Your experiences with and observations of your child provide valuable insight for the school.

Your school has a group of professionals dedicated to creating the best possible learning environment for your child. Your child's teacher is constantly assessing the needs of each student. Special education teachers in each school help classroom teachers meet the diverse learning needs of their students.

Does my child have a disability?

Some children need extra assistance in their school career. Students may be in need of "specially designed instruction" and qualify for special education support in the following areas:

  • Speech and Language: Difficulty with understanding language and/or speaking.
  • Motor: Difficulty with printing, writing, walking, or jumping.
  • Developmental Delay: Young children who appear to be behind in the development of cognition communication, physical skills, social skills and/or self-help skills.
  • Learning Disability: Children who struggle in acquiring reading, writing and math skills.
  • Health Impairments: Limited strength, vitality, alertness due to a chronic or acute health condition (i.e. diabetes, leukemia, ADD, ADHD).
  • Emotional/Behavioral: Difficulty maintaining satisfactory relationships with peers and adults.
  • Orthopedic Impairments: Difficulty with the normal function of muscles, joints and bones.
  • Intellectual Disability: Significant difficulty in intellectual skills and in self-help/adaptive skills.
  • Multiple Disabilities: Two different disabilities occurring at the same time causing severe educational need.
  • Deafness: Documented hearing loss to such a degree that student is unable to process information through hearing.
  • Hearing-Impaired: Documented hearing difficulties which negatively affect the student's educational performance.
  • Vision Impairment/Blindness: Students with a visual impairment that, even with correction, require specially designed instruction.
  • Deaf/Blindness: Students with both significant hearing and vision impairments.
  • Autism: Difficulties affecting verbal and non-verbal communication and social interaction.
  • Traumatic Brain Injury: Students who have experienced injury to the brain by an external physical force, negatively affecting educational performance. 

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) requires all school districts to locate, evaluate and provide services for individuals birth to 21, who may have a disability, including children with disabilities who are homeless or are wards of Washington state.

If you:

  • have questions about whether your child has a disability
  • are concerned about your infant, toddler, or preschooler's development
  • know your child has a disability and are looking for appropriate educational services
  • would like to know how to help their school age child succeed in school
  • are living in a temporary situation, you may contact the district where you are currently staying for a screening. 

You can contact the principal or school psychologist at your home school. You can also contact the district's Special Education office at 425-408-7733 for assistance. Any student or child whether or not enrolled in school may be referred for a special education evaluation by parents, district staff or other person knowledgeable about the student. The school team will invite you to a meeting to discuss your concerns and devise a plan of action. A special education evaluation may be recommended at this time.