Are you in North Carolina? Are you worried about your child or a friend’s child? Project Child Find is run by the Exceptional Children Division of North Carolina DPI. It is for all children in North Carolina, birth through 21, who have been diagnosed with or may have a disability that will impact their education.
Birth to age 2
Children who are younger than 3 may qualify for early intervention services. The North Carolina Infant-Toddler Program (NC ITP) covers children through the Local Children’s Developmental Service Agencies (CDSAs). You can find your local contact information at this link.
To qualify, your child must meet certain criteria. They must be younger than 3. They must have a certain level of developmental delay or established condition (autism, hearing loss, vision problems, genetic disorder, congenital infection, central nervous system disorder, etc.)
If you feel that your child (or another child; anybody can make a referral) meets these criteria, you contact the local CDSA through phone, fax, letter or in person. An eligibility determination will be made.
If your child qualifies, services will be determined based on your child’s needs. Early intervention is very important!
3 to 5
If your child is not yet school aged but is 3 or over, you can contact the Office of Early Learning. Preschool programs exist for children who qualify before they are eligible for Kindergarten that can help your child obtain the early intervention services that they require.
Schools are obligated to provide special education services for students who qualify under any of the fourteen disability categories. These are called “Exceptional Children services” (EC) in North Carolina. Some states only recognize 13 categories. Your child may qualify under more than one category.
When your child has been referred by either yourself or someone else (teacher is the most common in this situation), you will meet as a team to discuss next steps. Another blog post here discusses those steps and your rights.
If you have any questions or wish to have help navigating this system, feel free to call or email me today!