Special Education » Child Find

Child Find

Somerset County Child Find is a process for identifying and evaluating children ages 3-21, who are suspected of having an educational disability and may be eligible for Special Education or related services. 
Anyone who has a concern about a child’s development can make a referral, including parents, pediatricians, community health nurses, and child care providers.  Individuals can call 410-651-1616 or complete the referral form.
A member of your child’s home school will contact the parent/guardian to schedule an IEP where the team will discuss the concerns listed in the referral.  The team will review all information about the child. When possible, bring outside information to help with this screening process.  If this meeting results in the need for further evaluations, the parent/guardian will sign consent for evaluation of the areas indicated as a need.  When the evaluations have been completed, the team will reconvene to review the results of the evaluations and determine your child’s eligibility for special education and related services.  If your child is found eligible, the team will develop an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or an Individualized Service Plan as appropriate.

The types of services depend upon the needs of the child.  Once a child is found eligible for services, the team will decide the intensity and frequency of each eligible service.

Services include:

  • Physical Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Speech and Language Therapy
  • Special Instruction
  • Vision and Hearing

A student may be determined to be a student with a disability requiring the provision of special education and/or related services based upon IDEA (Individual with Disabilities Education Act) eligibility criteria for:


Autism (Federal Census Code – 14)

“Autism” means a developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction, generally evident before age three, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance.  Other characteristics often associated with autism are engaging in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements, resistance to environmental change or change in daily routines, and unusual responses to sensory experiences.  The term autism does not apply if the child’s educational performance is adversely affected primarily because the child has an emotional disability.

A child who shows the characteristics of autism after age 3 could be diagnosed as having autism if the criteria above are satisfied.


Deaf-Blindness (Federal Census Code – 12)

 “Deaf-Blindness” means concomitant [simultaneous] hearing and visual impairments, the combination of which causes such severe communication and other developmental and educational needs that the child cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely as a child with deafness or child with blindness.


Deafness (Federal Census Code – 03)

“Deafness” means a hearing impairment so severe that a child is impaired in processing linguistic information through hearing, with or without amplification, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance.


Developmental Delay (Federal Census Code – 15)

 “Developmental Delay” for children from birth to three (under IDEA Part C) and children from ages three through seven (under IDEA Part B), the term developmental delay means a delay in one or more of the following areas:  physical development, cognitive development; communication; social or emotional development; or adaptive [behavioral] development.


Emotional Disability (Federal Census Code – 06)

“Emotional Disability” means a condition exhibiting one or more of the following characteristics over a long period of time and to a marked degree that adversely affects a child’s educational performance:

  •  an inability to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory or health factors,
  • an inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers,
  • inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances,
  • a general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression, or
  • a tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems.

The term includes schizophrenia.  The term does not apply to children who are socially maladjusted unless it is determined that they have an emotional disability.


Hearing Impairment (Federal Census Code – 02)

“Hearing Impairment” means an impairment in hearing, whether permanent or fluctuating, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance but that is not included under the definition of “deafness.”


Intellectual Disability (Federal Census Code – 01)

“Intellectual Disability” means significantly subaverage general intellectual functioning, existing concurrently [at the same time] with deficits in adaptive behavior and manifested during the developmental period, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance.

Multiple Disabilities (Federal Census Code – 10)

“Multiple Disabilities” means concomitant [simultaneous] impairments (such as intellectual disability-blindness, intellectual disability-orthopedic impairment, etc.), the combination of which causes such severe educational needs that they cannot be accommodated in a special education program solely for one of the impairments.  The term does not include deaf-blindness.


Orthopedic Impairment (Federal Census Code – 07)

“Orthopedic Impairment” means a severe orthopedic impairment that adversely affects a child’s educational performance.  The term includes impairments caused by a congenital anomaly, impairments caused by disease (e.g., poliomyelitis, bone tuberculosis), and impairments from other causes (e.g., cerebral palsy, amputations, and fractures or burns that cause contractures).


Other Health Impairment (Federal Census Code – 08)

“Other Health Impairment” means having limited strength, vitality, or alertness, including a heightened alertness to environmental stimuli, that results in limited alertness with respect to the educational environment, that –

(a) is due to chronic or acute health problems such as asthma, attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, diabetes, epilepsy, a heart condition, hemophilia, lead poisoning, leukemia, nephritis, rheumatic fever, sickle cell anemia, and Tourette syndrome; and

(b) adversely affects a child’s educational performance.


Specific Learning Disability (Federal Census Code – 09)

 “Specific Learning Disability” means a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language spoken or written, that may manifest itself in the imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or to do mathematical calculations.  The term includes such conditions as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia (a type of language disorder).  The term does not include learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor disabilities; of intellectual disability; of emotional disability; of cultural factors; of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage; or limited English proficiency.


Speech or Language Impairment (Federal Census Code – 04)

“Speech or Language Impairment” means a communication disorder such as stuttering, impaired articulation, a language impairment, or a voice impairment that adversely affects a child’s educational performance.


Traumatic Brain Injury (Federal Census Code – 13)

“Traumatic Brain Injury” means an acquired injury to the brain caused by an external physical force, resulting in total or partial functional disability or psychosocial impairment, or both, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance.  The term applies to open or closed head injuries resulting in impairments in one or more areas, such as cognition; language; memory; attention; reasoning; abstract thinking; judgment; problem-solving; sensory, perceptual, and motor abilities; psychosocial behavior; physical functions; information processing; and speech.

The term does not apply to brain injuries that are congenital or degenerative, or to brain injuries induced by birth trauma.


Visual Impairment (Federal Census Code – 05)

“Visual Impairment” means an impairment in vision that, even with correction, adversely affects a child’s educational performance.  The term includes both partial sight and blindness.