Educators’ goal” Identify children with special needs

Published 2:13 am Thursday, June 6, 2019

The sooner children with challenges receive interventions, the better their life outcomes.

That’s why special ed professionals, in conjunction with the Department of Rehabilitation, seeks to identify children with special needs, Covington County Schools Special Ed Director Kelly McCullough said.

“We try to put focus on that this time of year,” McCullough said. “A lot of people don’t realize that services are available from birth to age 21.”

From birth to age 3, services are provided by the Department of Rehabilitation. From 3 to 21, those services are provided by local schools.

“We hear from a lot of parents that they don’t want to transition to the school system until children are of school age.

“Those parents don’t understand the importance,” McCullough said.

McCullough said that 3 and 4-year-old children with special needs can attend a pre-school program in the county’s central office, located on the by-pass in Andalusia.

“We work on communication, cognitive skills, adaptive skills, social and emotional issues, and motor skills,” she said.

Children can qualify for the services for:

  • Autism
  • Deafness/blindness
  • Developmental delays
  • Emotional disability
  • Hearing impairment
  • Intellectual disability
  • Multiple disabilities
  • Orthopedic impairment
  • Other health impairment
  • Specific learning disabilities
  • Speech/language
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Visual impairment.


To refer anyone from birth to 21 with a disability or suspected disability who is not presently enrolled in a public school program, please contact the appropriate person as indicated below:

  • Ages 3-5 residing within the Andalusia City School District: Alexa Padgett at 222-3186.
  • Ages 6-21 residing within the Andalusia City School District: Lindsey Cross at 222-3186.
  • Residing within the Covington County School District: Kelly McCollough at 427-3819.