Spotlight on Special Education in Corona: Resources for Students, Teachers, and Parents

Corona is nestled at the base of the mountainous and beautiful Cleveland National Forest in Riverside County, California. Some 45 miles southeast of Los Angeles, this much smaller community still has much to offer students, parents and teachers of special needs children.

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Educational Resources for Special Needs Students and Families

The Corona-Norco Unified School District (CNUSD) Department of Special Education hosts a wide variety of services for parents and their children with special needs. With a motto of “Every Student, Every Day,” and a logo that promotes acceptance, appreciation, challenge, success and independence, it would certainly appear as though CNUSD is doing their very best to offer the best assistance and resources.

Along with a complete listing of their staff, there is a detailed and comprehensive description of their special needs program. They promote a LRE (Least Restrictive Environment) for all their students with specially designed instructions, specialized aids and support services.

In addition to services available to students with significant developmental, emotional, motor, physical, language, speech, visual and hearing impairments, CNUSD provides:

  • A Program Specialist/Coordinator to address everything from concerns to strategies
  • Information on the Community Advisory Committee (CAC)
  • Access to parent support groups, programs and referrals to community agencies
  • Methods and programs for transitioning and reverse transitioning
  • Assessment services and IEP (Individualized Education Program) assistance
  • Parent information on training and events

For the older High School aged children, they provide a School To Work transition program that includes a Workability and Transition Partnership Project. Those with severe and profound disabilities can access information on the Victress Bower School for exceptional children.

There is truly a wealth of information, assistance and resources available through the CNUSD Department of Special Education.

The Autism Society Inland Empire located in Corona is devoted to improving the lives of all those affected by Autism. This organization provides workshops, parent support groups and a regional task force. They also host unique fundraisers, like their 2015 Superhero Walk For Autism, where supporters donn capes and costumes, raising funds for education, programs, information and additional support for those suffering from Autism.

Other Resources Available Nearby for Special Needs Services

The Riverside County SELPA (Special Education Local Plan Area) is the largest multi-district SELPA in all of California. Here you can download forms for IEP including supplemental forms, support documents, notice of procedural safeguards and parental rights. They have resources on Community Advisory Committees (CAC), Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and Mental Health assistance. On this SELPA website, there is a training development guide available for special education administrators and teachers that provides information about workshops, training and meetings.

The Riverside County Department of Mental Health has a childrens services branch that deals with severe emotional and behavior problems. Their staff works closely with schools to provide services that assist with academic problems associated with severe emotional problems.Their treatment center offers evaluations, case management, individual and family therapy programs.

The California Special Needs Law Group (CSNLG) offers legal support and advice specifically in the area of special needs education. The CSNLG supports Counties throughout the State of California and provides assistance with legal issues, mediations and IEP development.

Spotlight on Special Education in La Jolla: Resources for Students, Teachers, and Parents

La Jolla is a beautiful neighborhood just north of San Diego with seven miles of magnificent, curving coastline dotted with gorgeous beaches. Although it maintains a separate zip code and status as a city, it is still a part of the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) where many other valuable resources for special education can be found.

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Educational Resources for Special Needs Professionals and Families

La Jolla High School has a total of six staff members dedicated to serving those with special needs in their department. Within the SDUSD, there is also La Jolla Elementary School for the younger students, but again, more extensive and in-depth resources can be found in neighboring San Diego.

The Special Education Department of the SDUSC includes a Parent’s Resource page, which provides support to families of children with special needs that includes a parent’s helpline. There are links to resources throughout the district, calendar of events, workshops and support for parents as well as siblings. The IEP (Individual Education Plan) Parent Satisfaction Survey Form, Procedural Safeguards and Overviews are all available in several languages.

Resources and Assistance Outside of the San Diego District

The San Diego County Office of Education employs a Special Education Unit that provides specialized services for students with special needs and disabilities throughout the County. In addition to services for the students, they also provide support, coordination and assistance to the six SELPA’s (Special Education Local Plan Areas) within the County including the school districts, agencies and families.

The HOPE Infant Family Support Program offers services to infants and toddlers with special needs from birth to three years of age. Part of the California Early Start program, their no cost services provide home programs, family support, consultation services, social and behavioral support for those eligible infants and toddlers.

The Poway Unified School District, PUSD, has around two-thirds of their schools located within San Diego County to provide resources to students and parents. Their Special Education Department website has numerous links for the parents of primary and secondary students that include:

  • A parental handbook with detailed IEP information
  • Health services
  • Preschool assessment
  • A Community Advisory Committee (CAC)
  • WorkAbility and Transition Partnership Program

The PUSD also has a link to information about the exemption for students with special needs from passing the California High School Exit Examination. PUSD even has their own non-profit organization, the PUSD Special Education Foundation to help fund the gap between where tax dollars fall short and what parents can provide for their special needs children.

Based in Costa Mesa, the California Special Needs Law Group (CSNLG) offers legal advice and support for parents of children with special needs. Most notably, they provide assistance with conflict resolution and Individualized Education Programs (IEP) not only in Costa Mesa and Orange County, but all across the state.

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Another Valuable Non-Profit for Resources and Assistance

The Special Needs Foundation of San Diego is “Dedicated to the families and professionals who care for children with special needs and advocate on their behalf.”

They have combined the many resources available in the community into a single location on their Resource List that support specific disabilities and diagnoses and also categorized by area of need. This comprehensive list of resources includes behavioral, education and health resources located in San Diego and beyond.

More than just resources and services, their website contains helpful articles, research updates and videos as well as event calendars that highlight upcoming conferences, seminars, lectures and other demonstrations. Often this information is directed at parents, professionals and other caregivers that offers data, practical advice and tips directed towards specific types of disorders, illnesses and disabilities.

Spotlight on Special Education in Chula Vista: Resources for Students, Teachers, and Parents

Chula Vista, California, is one of the largest cities in the San Diego area. While the city has many resources for special education teachers, parents and students, residents can also look to nearby San Diego, about ten miles northwest of Chula Vista, for relevant organizations and agencies.

Special Education in San Jose

In addition to public education districts and offices, special education resources are offered by nonprofit and community organizations.

Chula Vista Special Education Resources

The Chula Vista Elementary School District provides links to a Special Education Parent Handbook and the IEP Process on its website. Both documents are presented in English and Spanish. Parents can also access a video about the district’s preschool special education services.

The Sweetwater Union High School District in Chula Vista has an Autism Team consisting of special education teachers, a speech pathologist, psychologist and occupational therapist. Through the school district, parents can find outpatient mental health counseling services for emotionally disturbed students. Day treatment services and a transition program are also provided.

The San Diego County Office of Education oversees four county Special Education Local Plan Areas (SELPAs), including the South County SELPA which encompasses the Chula Vista school district. The South County SELPA has a Community Advisory Committee that offers parent awareness and education workshops and conferences. The SELPA also provides training in instructional strategies, behavioral support, IEP development and inclusive classroom practices for special education teachers.

Special Education Recreational, Social and Legal Support for Parents and Students

From camps to support groups, special education parents and students in Chula Vista can find programs and other resources designed to raise awareness, provide information and help students build social skills.

Autism Society San Diego offers parent support meetings as well as numerous activities, such as swimming and camps, for autistic students. The Society provides a lending library consisting of books and videos about autism/Asperger’s at the Exceptional Family Resource Center (EFRC), which has locations in San Diego and Chula Vista.

Special Education in San Jose

EFRC also co-sponsors various support groups for parents of children with autism, ADD, Down syndrome and developmental disorders. Some of these support groups meet in Chula Vista or nearby areas.

San Diego County CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) holds support group meetings in San Diego and Chula Vista. CHADD also offers virtual conferences, online chats and blogs.

Motiva Associates, based in Chula Vista, provides in-home early and behavioral intervention programs for children with autism and developmental disorders.

Some San Diego-based organizations providing therapy services, social skills programs and parent support and mentoring groups include:

Legal advice or support for special education parents is provided by California Special Needs Law Group (CSNLG). The law firm is based in Costa Mesa but offers its services, which include conflict mediation and IEP development assistance, throughout the state.

Spotlight on Special Education in Bakersfield: Resources for Students, Teachers, and Parents

Bakersfield, California, is a city found almost exactly between Fresno and Los Angeles; each are about 100 miles from Bakersfield (Fresno to the north, Los Angeles to the south).

Special Education Bakersfield

Though too far from these cities to take advantage of their special education resources, parents, teachers and students seeking special education support and information can find several organizations within Bakersfield to meet their needs. These organizations include mainly educational institutions and nonprofit agencies.

Educational Resources for Special Needs Professionals and Families

The Bakersfield City School District provides speech, language and physical therapy services to special education students. On the school’s website, teachers will find links to procedural safeguards, special education curriculum information and IEP preparation forms. Parents can access links to a special education handbook as well as information about the Community Advisory Committee, which holds meetings addressing a variety of special education topics such as intervention strategies and support services.

The Kern County Consortium Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) consists of 44 schools districts and three charter schools and is based in Bakersfield. The SELPA offers parent training through workshops and a video library. It also oversees an Early Start program. In addition, personnel development programs are offered.

The Stockdale Learning Center provides educational therapy services for children with learning disabilities. The center will run diagnostic testing and employ intervention techniques. Advocacy services and workshops for parents are also offered here.

Recreational, Legal and Support Resources for Special Education Students and Parents

From awareness programs to social skills development, a few organizations based in Bakersfield focus on support for special education families. Some of these organizations focus on specific developmental or learning disorders, while others have broad programs that encompass more than one disability.

The Kern Autism Network, an affiliate chapter of the Autism Society, hosts monthly family and sibling support group meetings and workshops to help children build social skills as well as an annual Autism Awareness Conference.

Special Education Bakersfield

Bakersfield’s Valley Achievement Center has an afterschool program and a social skills program for autistic children. It also operates an Early Start program for pre-schoolers, which includes behavior analysis and transition planning.

H.E.A.R.T.S. Connection Family Resource Center in Bakersfield offers parents support workshops, mentoring and assistance with IEP development. There’s also fun, social events for special needs children and their families, an educational program using puppets for 4th-grade students to help them understand about learning and developmental disorders, and activities for siblings of special education children.

Bakersfield is also home to the Society for Disabled Children, which supplies speech and language therapy and social activities which could include games, pasta dinners, rock wall climbing and even flying. The Society also oversees a summer camp for children with disabilities.

For legal support and advice, special education parents in Bakersfield can turn to California Special Needs Law Group (CSNLG). CSNLG can assist parents with Individual Education Plan (IEP) development and help to mediate disputes between special education parents and school systems. Their services are available throughout the state.