Child Find Program helping disabled children find success

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Diane Wise, pictured left, reviews children referrals to validate them for the next step in providing educational and support services for children with disabilities.. Photo by Taylor Welsh

Diane Wise, pictured left, reviews children referrals to validate children in order to take the next step in providing educational and support services for each child.
Photo by Taylor Welsh

Early identification of children in need of special education is important so they can succeed in life, Mike Posey, Pearl River Central School District director of student services, said.
In order to make sure every child in southern Mississippi under the age of 21 who is either physically, mentally, communicatively or emotionally disabled gets proper education and supportive services, the Child Find Program was formed.
Posey said the Child Find Program is an effort to locate, identify and evaluate children in need of special education so “we can provide all the support and educational services and tools to help them be successful.”
These services include specialized teaching plans that best fit each child, one-on-one tutoring and providing a supportive classroom environment.
“Every Child Find program representative of each district in the county works together to identify as many children as possible and give them the best opportunity to succeed. It puts a smile on my face to see the passion each of us share,” Diane Wise, Picayune School District Child Find representative, said.
School districts in Mississippi must comply with the guidelines of the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Amendment Act of 1990, Section VI and provide “comparable educational and supportive services to all homeless children,” a Child Find Program news release states.
“This is all for the success of every child,” Posey said. “If you don’t identify a disability in a student at an early age, things that could have been done won’t work later in their lives.”
Each school district in the state, including the Pearl River Central, Picayune and Poplarville school districts, are tasked with finding children in need and providing them with the best environment possible, Posey said.
Special education classes are offered from elementary through high school, Posey said, which provide an ongoing effort to teach children through the learning technique that best suits them and how to use those techniques to be successful after school.
According to the Child Find Program news release, each school district provides services for the following disabilities: autism, deaf-blind, developmentally delayed, emotional disability, hearing impaired, language/speech, intellectual, multiple disabilities, orthopedic impairments, specific learning disabilities, traumatic brain injuries and visual impairments.
Parents or guardians of children under the age of 21 with any of these disabilities should contact the Child Find coordinator of their school district, Posey said.
For the Picayune School District, contact Diane Wise at 601-798-4555, for the Poplarville School District, contact Shannon Anderson at 601-795-6153 and for the Pearl River County School District, contact Mike Posey at 601-798-1912.

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