Special Programs Office


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Child Find is a component of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA) 2004 that requires States and Local Education Agencies (school districts and charter schools) to identify, locate, and evaluate all children with disabilities residing in the State, regardless of the severity of their disabilities, and who are in need of special education and related services (34 CFR§ 300.111). Child Find is a continuous process of public awareness activities, screening and evaluation designed to locate, identify, and evaluate children with disabilities who are in need of Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) Programs (Part C) or Special Education and Related Services (Part B).

Prior to COVID, Dickinson ISD met this federal mandate by scheduling a monthly screening event.  During COVID, we have switched to conducting individual screening sessions, which are scheduled through the Special Programs office. We are committed to a process of location, early identification, evaluation and intervention to help children with disabilities that may need special education and/or related services specific to their individual needs.

Children ages 3-6 who are not currently enrolled in a public school program, and who are verified to live in the DISD attendance zone, are eligible to attend a free screening for learning difficulties. Learning difficulties may include: speech impairment, orthopedic impairment, other health impairment, learning disabilities, mental retardation, emotional disturbance, autism, multiple disabilities, traumatic brain injury, visual impairments, auditory impairments or deaf-blindness.  If your child is not zoned to DISD, please contact your local school district’s Special Services department.


Documents accepted for proof of residency:

  • Current utility bill in the parent's name; and
  • Current lease or mortgage in the parent's name

Proof of residency is required prior to signing the consent for evaluation.


"How do we get a 3, 4, or 5 year old student screened?" "My child seems to be developing differently." "The doctor has referred us to the school for a screening."

  • The district conducts child-find screenings for all students who are not currently enrolled in our schools, and who are verified as living in the DISD attendance zone, who are suspected of having a disability between the ages 3-5.

    The child find screening team conducts the screenings at 1-2 times per month depending on need.

  • The team consists of multiple Licensed Specialists in School Psychology (LSSP), a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP), an Occupational (OTR) or Physical Therapist, and a Preschool Program for Children with Disabilities (PPCD) Teacher.

Who can refer a child for this screening?

Parents can call DISD:



*Reservations are required.

Use your phone's camera feature to scan the QR code below to complete a child find request.

Purpose of the Child Find Screening:

The purpose of the Child Find screening is to provide a basic skills screening for young children to determine if there are any significant developmental delays in the following areas:

• Hearing

• Vision

• Fine/Gross Motor Skills

• Cognitive / Academic Skills

• Language/Speech

• Emotional Behavior / Adaptive Behavior


Who conducts the screening tests?

• Licensed Specialist in School Psychology

• Speech-Language Pathologists

• Physical Therapist

• Occupational Therapist

• Educational Diagnosticians

• General and Special Ed Pre-School Teachers

• Nurses

Who is eligible?

Children ages 3-6 who are not currently enrolled in a public school program, and who are verified to live in the DISD attendance zone, are eligible to attend this screening.  The screening is free. Children ages 4-21 who are currently enrolled in a public school program should contact their current campus for a Problem Solving Team Meeting.


Who can refer a child for this screening?

Parents can call DISD at 281-229-6087.  Reservations are required.

What happens at the screening?

The parent brings his/her child in and the child is assessed in each of the developmental areas listed above.  The screening takes approximately an hour and a half. The parent is asked to complete a parent interview while the child is going through the screening process.

Your child will be screened by the team in several areas including: 

• Adaptive Behavior

• Personal Social Skills

• Cognitive Abilities

• Speech / Language Skills

• Fine and Gross Motor Skills

• Pre-Academic Skills


The screening will consist of both formal assessment (his/her performance will be compared to same age peers on a normed assessment) and informal assessment (observations of the child and interview information from the parents/guardians)

At the conclusion of the appointment, the team will share a summary of your child’s assessment screening information and if needed will sign consent for a Special Education evaluation

What do I bring to the Child Find Screening for 3-5 year olds?


  • The legal parent/guardian needs to accompany the child to be able to sign paperwork

  • An adult familiar with the child’s typical behaviors and skill sets should be present to answer questions

  • Any important medical records

  • Any legal paperwork if there are questions about guardianship

  • Parent driver’s license

  • Child’s social security card/number

Parent Inquiry Form
Home School

Disability Terms and Definitions

  1. 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 engagement in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements, resistance to environmental change or change in daily routines, and unusual responses to sensory experience. Autism does not apply if a child’s education performance is adversely affected primarily because the child has an emotional disturbance.
  2. Deaf-blindness means concomitant hearing and visual impairments, the combination of which causes such severe communication and other developmental and educational needs that they cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for children with deafness or children with blindness.
  3. Deafness means a hearing impairment that is so severe that the child is impaired in processing linguistic information through hearing, with or without amplification that adversely affects a child’s educational performance.
  4. Intellectual Disability means significantly sub-average general intellectual functioning, existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior and manifested during the developmental period, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance.
  5. 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 in this section.
  6. Multiple Disabilities means concomitant impairments (such as mental retardation-blindness or mental retardation-orthopedic impairment), the combination of which causes such severe educational needs that they cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for one of the impairments. Multiple disabilities do not include deaf-blindness.
  7. Orthopedic impairment  means a severe orthopedic impairment that adversely affects a child’s education 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).
  8. 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 education environment, that 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, led poisoning, leukemia, nephritis, rheumatic fever, sickle cell anemia, and Tourette syndrome; and adversely affects a child’s educational performance.
  9. 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, including conditions such as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia and developmental apahsia. Specific learning disability does not include learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor disabilities, of mental retardation, of emotional disturbance, or of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage.
  10. 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.
  11. 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. Traumatic brain injury applies to open or closed head injuries resulting in impairment 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. Traumatic brain injury does not apply to brain injuries that are congenital or degenerative, or to brain injuries induced by birth trauma.
  12. Visual impairments including blindness means an impairment in vision that, even with correction, adversely affects a child’s educational performance. The term includes both partial sight and blindness.
  13. Emotional Disturbance 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
  • A tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems. Emotional disturbance includes schizophrenia. The term does not apply to children who are socially maladjusted, unless it is determined that they have an emotional disturbance.

What do I do if my child is enrolled in Dickinson Schools?

Contact your student’s teacher and ask for a student intervention team meeting (SIT)


What if we do not live in the DISD zone?

Contact the Special Services office for the district where you live. Every public school district is required to provide Child Find services under federal and state law.

If your student is already in special education but you suspect additional concerns?

Contact your student’s special education case manager or ARD committee facilitator and ask for a meeting to discuss concerns.

The mission of the Dickinson Independent School District is to ensure that all students have safe and successful learning opportunities that help them reach their full potential and add quality throughout their lives. 

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