Children's Advocacy Centers of North Dakota
200 E. Main Street #301 * Bismarck, ND 58501
701-323-5626 *
Email contact
Investigations and Developmental Disabilities (return to main Developmental Disabilities page)
 Disabilities Based Practices for Law Enforcement Investigations
Abuse cases that involve a child with a disability can be successfully prosecuted.  Investigators need to spend time and:
  • Ask the person who made the initial report (often a teacher or relative) if the child has special needs prior to the interview.
  • Obtain the child’s school evaluations of the disability and any school plans that addressed those disabilities (IEPs and 504 plans).
  • Discuss the strengths and disabilities with a parent or teacher to gain an understanding of how they could potentially affect the interview.
  • Modify the approach to the interview accordingly, by, for example, making sure to use especially simple language for children with verbal comprehension disabilities, providing writing materials for children who have difficulty speaking, taking frequent breaks, etc.



* American Bar Association;

Interviewing Children with Disabilities

in Child Abuse Cases: A New Approach