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Child Find is a required part of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

IDEA requires states to identify, locate, and evaluate all children with disabilities, aged birth to 21, who are in need of early intervention or special education services.

In Iowa, area education agencies (AEAs) were created by the legislature to do this in an effective, efficient, and economical way.

Child Find has two purposes:

  • To locate, identify and evaluate individuals with disabilities

  • To determine the educational needs of individuals with disabilities

If a child is still having difficulty and not making the expected progress, a teacher, a parent, or an AEA staff member might begin to suspect that the child may have an educational disability.   A team will gather information about the student in order to decide whether a disability is suspected.

After considering the information, if a disability is suspected, the AEA and the school district will seek permission from the child’s parent/guardian to evaluate the student.   A Full and Individual Initial Evaluation will then be conducted to determine if the child is eligible for special education services and to determine what interventions are needed for the child to make progress.  Data will be collected during the evaluation to determine the child’s progress, discrepancy, and needs.

If a child is eligible for special education services, that means the child has a disability and needs services that require special education resources.  A team will meet to develop an Individualized Education Program (IEP) for the child.

You can find additional information about Child Find in the following document: Misunderstandings, Misinformation and Miscommunications about Child Find

Contacts by District:

Mark Bloom
(Andrew, Bellevue, Cal-Wheat, Camanche, Central DeWitt, Clinton, Delwood, Easton Valley, Maquoketa, Northeast) 
563-344-6362

Diane Campbell
(Bettendorf, Bennett, Columbus, Davenport, Louisa-Muscatine, Pleasant Valley, North Scott, West Liberty) 
563-344-6229

Nicole Peterson
(Muscatine) 
Phone: 563-344-6487

Mary Shihadeh
(Durant, Wilton) 
563-344-6265

© 2018 Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency