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D.C. Parent Raises Awareness Of Special Education Services

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By Jessica Gould

Special Education advocates are on a mission to link children in the district to the services they need.

Elizabeth Rihani spends her days canvassing the city for three-year-olds.

"The schools, churches, community centers, libraries. Anybody who sees a three to five year old on a regular basis, we want to inform them about Early Stages and the services available," she says.

Rihani is a "Child Find" coordinator for Early Stages, a new testing facility in northwest D.C.

"The goal is to make sure that these children are identified early so that they can receive as many services as possible to help them get the strongest start to school," she says.

Rihani would know. Several years ago she noticed her daughter hadn't started walking, even though her peers had. Eventually, Rihani got the help she needed, and she wants to make sure other children have the same opportunity to succeed.

"I had this other experience with my child, and I wanted to be part of it," says Rihani.

Located at Walker Jones Education Campus, Early Stages offers free evaluations to children ages 3 to 5.

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