Do you suspect your child may have a disability?
The Los Angeles Unified School District seeks to identify, locate, and evaluate children suspected of having a disability who may be eligible for special education services designed to meet their educational needs at no cost to families. This includes highly mobile children, migrant children, children experiencing homelessness, children who are wards of the state and children attending private schools located within LAUSD boundaries regardless of where they reside. All other children must live in the LAUSD attendance area.
Every Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) and school district is required to have procedures in place to help locate students who may need special education services, and each public school site within the SELPA has information on how to initiate a referral for special education services.
If your child is not in a special education program and you suspect they may have a disability, please contact your child's teacher or principal to discuss your concerns. A student may be referred by parents, teachers, and other school staff members, doctors, agency staff, or others.
Children Ages Birth to 2 years, 10 months
If you have a concern about your child's development, and your child is younger than 2 years 10 months of age, please contact one of the Regional Centers:
Eastern Los Angeles Regional Center
Telephone: (626) 299-4700
Frank D. Lanterman Regional Center
Telephone: (213) 383-1300
Harbor Regional Center
Telephone: (310) 540-1711
North Los Angeles County Regional Center
Telephone: (818) 788-1900
South Central Los Angeles Regional Center
Telephone: (213) 744-7000
Westside Regional Center
Telephone: (310) 258-4000
Children Ages 2 years, 10 months
If your child is preschool age (beginning at 2 years 10 months) and you have a concern about your child's development, please contact the Early Childhood Special Education office at (213) 241-4713 and/or visit the Early Childhood Special Education website for more information at https://achieve.lausd.net/spedECSE.
Children Who Are School Age (TK and Up)
If your child is school age (TK and up) and you have a concern about your child’s progress in school, please contact the principal at your child's public school of residence to discuss your concerns. As appropriate, your child may be referred to the Student Support and Progress Team (SSPT) to discuss concern(s), identify potential areas of need, and propose interventions, based on student needs. The SSPT includes representatives from general education, and may include special education representatives, who review student progress and suggest interventions and strategies to assist students within the general education program. The SSPT will develop an action plan to support your child’s educational progress. It is highly recommended an SSPT meet to review a student's progress prior to developing an assessment plan for suspected disabilities. If you have additional questions, please contact the School Family Support Services (SFSS) office at (213) 241-6701 or visit https://achieve.lausd.net/Page/17087 to obtain additional contact information.
Children Attending Private Schools
Through the Child Find process, the Los Angeles Unified School District is committed to locating, identifying and evaluating students with disabilities ages 5-22 parentally placed in a private school. If you suspect your child or a student in your program has a disability, you may discuss the evaluation process with a District representative. Please contact your child's school of residence for assistance.
For students that are currently attending a private school, the responsibility to conduct Child Find belongs to the District of Residence (district where student lives), per an agreement between the Special Education Local Plan Areas (SELPAs) in Los Angeles County.
A special education evaluation may be requested by choosing one of the following options. All requests for a special education evaluation must be in writing. If you are unable to provide a written request, staff are available to assist you.
- Resident Students
For students residing within LAUSD boundaries, written requests for initial or three-year special education evaluations are made to the public school of residence.
- Non-Resident Students
For students who reside outside LAUSD boundaries but attend a private school within LAUSD boundaries, written requests for initial or three-year special education evaluations are made to their District of Residence. Parents maintain the right to submit requests to LAUSD's Parentally Placed Private School Office (email@example.com) for purposes of eligibility only, regardless of student's residence.
- Resident Students
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Child Find?
Child find is part of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) federal law. It is a set of activities used to identify, locate and evaluate children from birth to 21 years old who may need special education programs and services. Schools are required, by law, to locate, identify, and evaluate all children with disabilities from birth through age 21.
What is a child with a disability?
The term "child with a disability" means a child evaluated as having one or more of the following: intellectual disability, hearing impairment (including deafness), speech or language impairment, visual impairment (including blindness), serious emotional disturbance (referred to as "emotional disturbance"), orthopedic impairment, autism, traumatic brain injury, an other health impairment, a specific learning disability, deaf-blindness, or multiple disabilities, and who, by reason thereof, needs special education and related services (34 CFR§ 300.8).
Is there a cost for special education services?
All services provided by Local Education Agencies (school districts and charter schools) through IDEA 2004 (Part B) Special Education and Related Services (Part B) are provided at no cost to the individual or parents. This includes assessment.
Who can initiate the Child Find process?
Anyone can start the Child Find process, including but not limited to, a parent/guardian, teacher, doctor, relative or friend can call their local school district Child Find. If you are concerned about a child’s learning, contact your local school campus, district, or charter school.
What if my child attends a private school?
Parents or guardians may refer their child for assessment for special education services. Teachers, other school personnel, and community members may also refer a child for assessment; however, parental permission is required for assessment to commence. All requests for a special education evaluation must be in writing. If you are unable to provide a written request, staff are available to assist you.
For additional information regarding students parentally placed in private schools, visit https://achieve.lausd.net/spedPPPSO and refer to "Child Find: Initial Referral for Special Education Evaluation section.
Additional Information & Resources (Child Find)
- BROCHURES: Program Options for Infants with Low Incident Disabilities
Brochures regarding Low Incidence program options may be accessed in the Division of Special Education Brochures webpage.
Please visit https://achieve.lausd.net/spedBrochures.
- Developmental Milestones
Additional information regarding children's developmental milestones may be accessed on the Center for Disease Control website.
Visit Important Milestones: Your Baby By Three Years | CDC.
- Infants with Low Incidence Disabilities
If you are a parent/guardian of an infant with concerns regarding a child's vision, hearing, or other othopedic needs, please complete a referral form and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.