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Child Find


The intent of Child Find is that all children from birth through age 21 with delays or disabilities are identified, located and evaluated to receive the supports and services they need. Below is a list of signs to look for (broken up into 3 categories), to possibly identify an individual that may need services provided by this school district and/or Arizona Early Intervention Program.

Birth – 3 Years

  • Physical 1: Find in gross developmental lag 2: Sensory difficulties;
  • Cognitive: developmental lag regarding thinking/solving skills;
  • Language/Communication Lag: Regarding skills in receiving information (receptive) and expressing information (expressive);
  • Social/Emotional: internal and external adaptation to environmental stimuli;
  • Self-help: adaptive development to complete basic needs.

3 – 5 Years

Thinking/Cognitive Skills

  • Unable to remember shapes, colors, or numbers
  • Not able to match objects or colors
  • Appears unaware of or unable to anticipate what comes next regarding a familiar event or daily routine
  • Difficulty with simple problem-solving

Physical/Motor Development

  • Unsteady gait and difficulty maintaining balance
  • Unable to climb
  • Muscles too hard, too soft or often twitching
  • Trouble doing activities such as play-dough, or puzzles


  • Prefers to be too far or too near to objects or tasks
  • Tips head to be able to see things
  • Frequently blinks
  • Tearing or red swollen eyes.


  • Does not respond to sound or appears to tune out noise
  • Pulls on ears or has drainage from ears

Social/Emotional/Adaptive Behavior

  • Unable to adjust to new situations and people
  • Demanding and unable to be redirected
  • Exhibits many fears and prefers to play alone
  • Unable to do simple self-care tasks such as: drinking from a cup; eating with a spoon; caring for own toilet needs; washing hands and dressing self

Speech/Language Development

  • Unable to verbalize simple needs and wants
  • Unable to ask who, what, when, and where questions
  • Unable to follow simple two to three word directions
  • Unable to say or sing simple nursery rhymes and songs
  • Speech that is not understood by an unfamiliar listener

Kindergarten – 21 Years


  • Holds printed materials very close or very far away
  • Tilts head or squints when looking at print or distance objects
  • Unable to see at distances others can see
  • Unable to locate objects on a table
  • Rubs eyes, complains of headaches
  • Eyes red, asymmetrical dilation, or other physical differences


  • Unable to hear sounds others hear
  • Does not respond to loud or voice range noises
  • Repeated hits self on side of the head
  • Complains of ringing, buzzing
  • Drops sounds out of words (doesn’t pronounce s, c, etc.)
  • Speaks in a very loud voice


  • Does not pronounce words completely or correctly
  • Unable to repeat directions
  • Mistakes sounds: can not distinguish between pen and pin, get and got, ilk and elk
  • Uses whole sentences when could use one word
  • Uses only one or two words to communicate
  • Unable to follow multi-step directions
  • Unable to talk about actions or behaviors


  • Difficulty understanding key content
  • Extreme difficulty learning to read, write or do mathematics
  • Extreme difficulty understanding what is read or how to apply mathematics
  • Lack of memory for skills from day-to-day
  • Difficulty with abstract reasoning
  • Extreme difficulty with organizing self in time and space, understanding time
  • Lack of work completion

Social/Emotional Behavior

  • Inability to develop positive relationships with peers or adults
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Ritualistic or bizarre behaviors
  • Extreme sadness or anxiety
  • Extreme inattention/off-task behaviors
  • Lack of response to typical discipline

Physical Development

  • Difficulty holding a pencil, tying shoes, or doing puzzles
  • Difficulty catching a ball, throwing a ball, or kicking a ball
  • Difficulty standing up or sitting down
  • Difficulty with walking, running, skipping or hopping
  • Weakness in arms or legs
  • Unable to bend at any natural joint (elbow, knew, waist, etc.)


These procedures and guide steps are for a Parent, Educator or Agency making a referral for Evaluation under the “Child Find” guidelines for Individuals ages Birth to 21 Years.

Public schools and the Arizona Early Intervention Program are responsible for “finding” eligible children and providing services needed for them to reach their potential while fulfilling educational needs. When children are “found”, they are referred to a specialist to screen for development. The screening helps “identify” any areas of concern that need to be evaluated further. In order to receive early intervention or special education services, a child must be evaluated to confirm they have a delay or disability that falls under state definitions.

If needed, the child is evaluated using state criteria for specific delays or disabilities. If eligible, the Arizona Early Intervention Program or a public school system will offer early intervention or special education services according to the child’s needs.


Screening and evaluation processes are available at no cost to parents who believe their child (0 – 21 years) may need early intervention services.

  • Early intervention supports and services assist families of children who are eligible by helping children ages birth to two years 10 ½ months to develop age-appropriate skills. Screening and evaluation procedures for infants and toddlers up through 2 years 10 ½ months  are provided by the Arizona Early Intervention Program (AzEIP). More information can be obtained on the AzEIP website.
  • Preschool special education services for children ages 3 – 5 years provide special strategies to help children reach developmental milestones. Requests for screening and evaluation for children ages 3 years to 5 years may be referred to Little Explorers Preschool at 928-753-6413.
  • Special education services for school-aged students in kindergarten through the age of 21 years provide specialized instruction and services to assist students in the educational environment. Requests for evaluation and screening for school-aged students (Kindergarten – 12th Grades) must be made in writing to the school principal of the school the student attends.
  • Parents of non-public school students, including homeschooled and private schooled may ask for an evaluation, whether or not their student is enrolled in the District’s public-school program. If a school-aged student is home or private schooled, the request must be made in writing to the Director of Special Education at the District Office. If a student is attending a private school, the private school will participate in this process.

If an individual qualifies, special services may include Psycho-Educational, Speech, Hearing, Vision, Occupational, or Physical evaluations. Services in any of these areas may be appropriate.

What if I have concerns?

If your child is under 3 year of age and you have concerns about your child’s development, you may receive help through Child Find. Contact the Arizona Early Intervention Program at (602) 635-9810, the Division of Developmental Disabilities at (480) 831-1009, or Child Development and Education Support Services at (520) 562-3882.  

If your child is ages 3-5, contact the Special Education Department at (928) 753-5678 or our Little Explorers Preschool program at (928)753-6413 and ask for information about the next Child Find screening. These screenings occur throughout the year.

If your child is in kindergarten through 12th grade and you suspect a disability, please contact your child’s teacher or school administrator.

How does Child Find work? 

If your child is under 3 years old, an Arizona Early Intervention specialist will come to your home to talk with you about your concerns and observe your child. 

For children ages 3 through 5, the preschool team uses screening tools for a quick check of your child’s development or performance in the areas that can affect development and learning in school. If a possible delay is suspected, then a full evaluation will be scheduled.

For children in kindergarten through eighth grade, your child’s teacher and other school professionals can support your child through problem solving and interventions. If a disability is suspected, assessments can be administered to determine eligibility for special education services.

Who do I contact for Additional Information?

If you have any questions, please contact the Special Education Department at (928)753-5678, extension 2018.