Child Find

  • What is Child Find?

    Child Find is a statewide effort by the State Department of Education and the Department of Rehabilitation Services to locate, identify, and evaluate children with disabilities. If you know of a child, birth to age twenty-one, who is not receiving any education services or feel that your child may be in need of special education services, please contact your local school or call the Department of Special Education Support Services at 205-342-0513. 

    The Tuscaloosa City Schools has Child Find procedures that ensure that all children within its jurisdiction, ages birth to twenty-one, regardless of the severity of their disability, and who need special education and related services are identified, located, and evaluated.  These Child Find procedures also apply to children who attend private schools, within the Tuscaloosa City School district, highly mobile children with disabilities (i.e. migrant and homeless children, or children who are wards of the state), and children who are suspected of having a disability and are in need of special education even though they are advancing from grade to grade.

    Why is Child Find Important?

    Child Find helps the child, the family, and the provider to plan appropriate services and link families to these services. Special education services are provided within the Tuscaloosa City Schools for students who have been identified as eligible for special education services. Students identified as eligible for special education services must meet the following two requirements:

    • Federal and state eligibility requirements as having a disability; and,
    • Need specially designed instruction.

    The staff is dedicated and committed in supporting instructional outcomes for all students. The Department of Special Education Support Services welcomes any comments and concerns. Please feel free to contact the Director of Special Education, Dr. Bruce A Prescott at 205-342-0513 for more information or if you have any questions.

    Areas of Eligibility:

    AUTISM - A developmental disability that significantly affects verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction evident before age three that adversely affects educational performance.

    DEAF-BLINDNESS - A combination of both hearing and visual impairments causing severe communication and other developmental and educational needs.

    DEVELOPMENTAL DELAY - A significant delay in one or more of the following areas may identify a child for this area of the disability on his or her third birthday:

    1. Adaptive development
    2. Cognitive development
    3. Communication development
    4. Social and emotional development
    5. Physical development

    EMOTIONAL DISABILITY - A disability in which one or more of the following characteristics are exhibited over a long period of time and to a marked degree, adversely affecting educational performance: An inability to learn which cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory or health factors;

    1. An inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships;
    2. Inappropriate type of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances;
    3. A general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression;
    4. A tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems.

    HEARING IMPAIRMENT – An impairment in hearing, whether permanent or fluctuating, that adversely affects a child's educational performance. The term includes both deaf and hard of hearing.

    INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY- Significantly below average general intellectual functioning existing along with deficits in adaptive behavior and manifested during the developmental period that adversely affects the child's educational performance.

    MULTIPLE DISABILITIES - The combination of impairments such as mental retardation and blindness or mental retardation and orthopedic impairment which causes such severe educational needs that they cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for one of the impairments. The term does not include fearfulness.

    ORTHOPEDIC IMPAIRMENT -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, and impairments from other causes.

    OTHER HEALTH IMPAIRMENT - Having limited strength, vitality or alertness, including a heightened alertness to environmental stimuli, that results in limited alertness with respect to the educational environment, this 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.  The impairment must adversely affect the educational performance of the child.

    SPECIFIC LEARNING DISABILITY - A disorder in one or more basic psychological process involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, which may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or to do mathematical calculations.

    SPEECH AND LANGUAGE IMPAIRMENT - A communication disorder such as articulation, voice, language, or fluency, which adversely affects a child's educational performance.

    TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY - An acquired injury to the brain caused by external physical force, resulting in total or partial functional disability or psychosocial impairment or both, that adversely affects educational performance.

    VISUAL IMPAIRMENT - A visual impairment that, even with correction, adversely affects a child's educational performance.

    PRESCHOOL SPECIAL EDUCATION - Children between the ages of three and six with any of the previously mentioned disabilities may qualify for preschool special education services.

    Contact Information

    Dr. Bruce A Prescott, Director of Special Education
    Tuscaloosa City Schools

    (205) 342-0513