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What is Screening in Special Education?

Instructor: Lesley King

Lesley has taught ESOL for many years, holds a master's degree in curriculum and instruction, and a doctorate degree in Instructional Leadership.

In this lesson, you will gain an understanding of what screening is in special education. You will also learn steps, reasons and methods for special education screening.

Special Education Screening

The typical school class contains a very diverse group of learners. This means that some learners will need additional services in the classroom. The first step to determine if a student should be assessed for special education services is screening, which may consist of group testing or classroom observation. As a teacher, you may find that it is common to begin screening toward the beginning of the school year.

Special Education and the Law

A federal law called the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) provides guidance for what schools should do for students with disabilities. This law requires that schools have a thorough Child Find process. Students could thrive in certain areas of development and learning, but still need special services in another area. Therefore, schools must look for students who may qualify to receive special education services. Special education screening is the first step in the Child Find process.

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