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Child Find » Child Find

Child Find

West San Gabriel Valley SELPA Search and Serve (Child Find)

Child find activities are the responsibility of each district and occur prior to a referral for special education services. These activities are designed to locate individuals, birth through 21 years of age, including children not enrolled in public school programs as well as children who are homeless or wards of the state and reside in the district and may be eligible for and in need of special education and/or related services. Child find activities also foster awareness and understanding on the part of educators, parents and other community members of the referral procedures for special education, the eligibility criteria, and the continuum of special education programs and services available. Child find activities inform educators, community agencies, and parents/guardians of their right to refer their child for a special education assessment to determine eligibility and the need for special education services.

(E.C. § 56300 and 56301)

Risk Factors 
The following factors may place children at greater risk for health and developmental concerns: 

  • Premature birth or low birth weight
  • Vision or hearing difficulties 
  • Prenatal exposure or other types of exposure to drugs, alcohol, or tobacco 
  • Poor nutrition or difficulties eating (lacks nutritious foods, vitamins, proteins, or iron in diet) 
  • Exposure to lead-based paint (licking, eating, or sucking on lead-base painted doors, floors, furniture, toys, etc.) 
  • Environmental factors, such as abuse or neglect

Behaviors and Relationships 
Some of the following behaviors may be cause for concern in any child: 

  • Avoids being held, does not like being touched
  • Resists being calmed, cannot be comforted 
  • Avoids or rarely makes eye contact with others 
  • Does not play with others 
  • Acts aggressively on a regular basis, hurts self or others 

  • Has frequent earaches
  • Has had many ear, nose, or throat infections 
  • Does not look where sounds or voices are coming from or react to loud noises 
  • Talks in a very loud or very low voice, or has an unusual sound 
  • Does not always respond when called from across a room even when it is for something that the child is usually interested in or likes 
  • Turns body so that the same ear is always turned toward a sound 


  • Closes one eye or tilts head when looking at an object
  • Has difficulty following objects or looking at people when talked to 
  • Has difficulty focusing or making eye contact 
  • Usually holds books or objects very close to face or sits with face very close to television 
  • Has an eye or eyes that look crossed or turned, or eyes do not move together

Fine & Gross Motor 

  • Has stiff arms or legs
  • Pushes away or arches back when held close or cuddled 
  • Shows poor coordination and falls or stumbles a lot when running, has difficulty turning pages in a book 
  • By age four, has difficulty standing on one foot for a short time 
  • By age five, does not skip or hop on one foot, has difficulty drawing simple shapes


  • Does not try to say familiar rhymes or songs; cannot follow simple directions
  • By age four, does not tell stories, whether real or make-believe, or ask questions; does not talk so that adults outside the family can understand  


  • By age four, does not answer simple questions, such as “What do you do when you are hungry?” or “What color is this?”
  • By age five, does not understand the meaning of today, yesterday, or tomorrow 
Early Start Brochure - for Children ages zero to three years