Special Education Referral/Child Find

We have special services available for eligible infants, children and young adults identified with disabilities. Federal and state laws require that school districts maintain a CHILD FIND system for identifying, locating, and evaluating individuals with suspected disabilities (birth through age 21) within its jurisdiction who are in need of special education and related services. 

Our CHILD FIND efforts include advertising the availability of services through media, public notices, staff training, community health fairs and letters to private schools, physicians, nursing homes, group homes, and hospitals.

Special Education Referral - CHILD FIND

Birth to 36 months of age

Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) provides comprehensive early intervention services to families with infants and toddlers (birth through 36 months of age) who have a medical diagnosis, developmental delays or atypical development.  Early intervention services are provided as required by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Part C as amended in 2004.  ECI supports families to help their children reach their potential through developmental services.  ECI provides evaluations and assessments to determine eligibility and need for services. ECI services are provided by the Warren Center.

Services are provided by the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS), Early Childhood Intervention Division. ECI services for families who live within the boundaries of the Garland Independent School District will be provided by the Warren Center.  The Warren Center has sites in both Richardson and Garland.  The Garland site is located at 2625 Anita Drive, 75041. 

For more information or to make a referral, contact Amy Spawn, ECI Program Director, at 972-490-9055.

Related Links

3 through 21 years of age test prep tools

A referral for a suspected disability can be made by anyone.  If you know of someone with a suspected delay or disability, please contact the Community Facilitator or call 972-487-3300.  Once a referral is made, the campus follows the Student Support Team (SST) procedures.  A full individual evaluation (FIE) is conducted to determine the child’s eligibility and educational need for services.

Private/Home School Students

Referrals are accepted primarily from parents, private school administrators, or physicians, for students who reside in Garland ISD or attend a private school located within Garland ISD boundaries. You may contact the Special Education Coordinator, Wendy Brower, or call 972-487-3300.

The referral is made at the campus nearest the private/home School. The Student Support Team (SST) reviews the data to determine the need and scope of the evaluation. A Full Individual Evaluation will be completed and presented at an ARD meeting.

If a student qualifies for services, the ARD committee will offer a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). The parent may decline FAPE and choose an Individual Services Plan for their child. Every year, the district, with input from parents and private school representative, will determine the type of services to be offered for students with identified disabilities.

Frequently Asked Questions - Special Education Child Find


CHILD FIND is a process designed to help identify, locate, and evaluate individuals from birth through 21 years of age with suspected disabilities who may need special education services.

Who can begin the CHILD FIND process?

A parent, doctor, child care provider, friend, relative, private school administrator can contact the neighborhood school counselor, the Community Facilitator, or the Garland ISD Special Education Department at 972-487-3300.

Why should a child with suspected disabilities be referred?

Early identification and intervention can prevent frustration and failure.  Special attention to teaching and learning strategies may help individuals overcome barriers to learning.

What happens after the child is referred?
  • The parent(s) or legal guardian will be contacted by Garland ISD school officials.
  • A committee comprised of parent/guardian and school personnel with determine if an assessment if needed.  This same group may develop an assessment plan designed to evaluate areas of concern. 
  • An evaluation will be conducted by the appropriate Garland ISD personnel at no charge to the family.
  • The parent/guardian and evaluation personnel will have a scheduled meeting to discuss assessment results, determine eligibility, and service options, if applicable.
Who may qualify for special education services?
Individuals qualify for special education services when they have one or more of the following disabilities, according to state and federal guidelines:
  • Auditory (hearing) Impairment (including deafness)
  • Autism
  • Deaf-blindness
  • Emotional Disturbance
  • Mental Retardation
  • Multiple Disabilities
  • Orthopedic Impairment
  • Other Health Impairment
  • Specific Learning Disability
  • Speech or Language Impairment
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Visual Impairment (including blindness)
What services are available?

An ARD (Admission, Review, Dismissal) Committee comprised of parent/guardian, evaluation personnel, age appropriate teacher, Special Education representative, and Garland ISD representative will review assessment information, discuss eligibility, identify area(s) of need for specialized instruction, and develop a plan to meet the needs of the individual.

How much do assessments and services cost?

For individuals who reside in Garland ISD or attend private school in Garland ISD boundaries, the services are provided at no cost.

How do I make a referral or get more information?

You may contact the closest neighborhood school, the Community Facilitator, or call the Special Education Department at 972-487-3300.

What if my child attends private/home school within the GISD boundaries?

If your school age child (3 -21) attends a private school within the Garland ISD boundaries, Garland ISD extends the CHILD FIND privileges to these students.  Please contact the Community Facilitator.

What if my child resides in GISD, but attends private school outside district?
Garland ISD offers a free appropriate public education to all students that reside in Garland ISD boundaries.  However, due to an Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) ruling in July of 2005, we cannot offer services to private school students who attend private schools outside district lines.