A Guide to Services Provided at a Los Angeles Regional Center

Los Angeles Regional Center

The Los Angeles Regional Center offers a wide range of services for residents with developmental disabilities. The Regional Center is also an essential element in planning and coordinating these services, as well as ensuring those with developmental disabilities have access.

Everyone who uses the Los Angeles Regional Center services has access to an in-person centered planning team. Team members often include the person with developmental disabilities, their family, center staff and administrators, as well as all those asked to be part of the team.

This team is vital in the reception of services. The in-person centered planning team serves as the direct channel of support and monitoring. They ensure that those with developmental disabilities maintain their voice in all decision processes.

Eligibility for Services

In order to be eligible for the services provided by the Los Angeles Regional Center, a person must have been diagnosed with a disability prior to turning 18 years of age. This disability must be in accordance with Section 4512 of the California Welfare and Institutions Code (WIC).

Once eligibility is determined, after a free diagnosis and assessment, a case manager is assigned to assist in the planning of services offered by the Regional Center.


Los Angeles Regional Center Services List

Information and Referrals

Regional Centers support those with developmental disabilities and their families with information regarding the diagnosis, assessment, planning, and monitoring of services the center provides. They also have a free referral process to ensure all have access to the services provided by the city, state, and government.

Assessment and Diagnosis

The assessment and diagnosis of anyone with a referred developmental disability is also free. The Regional Center provides this service in order to conclude if services are needed to improve quality of life and opportunity.


Counseling services are also provided by the Los Angeles Regional Center for those with developmental disabilities and their family members. Support services for families are also offered by the center.

Early Intervention Services for at Risk Infants

Children between the ages of zero to 36 months at risk of having a developmental disability may also qualify for Regional center services. These criteria are listed in Section 95014 of the California Government Code, of the California Early Intervention Services Act.

Training and Education

In an effort to support those with disabilities and their families, Los Angeles Regional Center services include training and education on identified disabilities, as well as information for family members on the program and disability.

Individualized Planning

The Regional Center develops each service to fit the needs of each adult or child with developmental disabilities. They also tailor the individualized plan to better help the family support the needs of their disabled family member.

Lifelong Planning and Monitoring

The individualized plan for those who are eligible for services extends to lifelong planning and monitoring. The in-person centered planning team looks at short and long-term development needs, and monitors interventions to ensure maximum success on outcomes.

24 Hour Out of Home Care

If out of home care is needed to ensure the safety and well being of an adult or child with developmental disabilities, the Regional Center will facilitate these needs in accordance with state law.

Community Education

The Los Angeles Regional Center is also committed to community education about developmental disabilities. They continue to do community outreach, encompassing community assistance for the services they offer.

Nearly all services and support offered by the Regional Center are free. There are some costs shared for 24 Hour Out of Home Care for minors with disabilities. These fees are often adjusted depending on income, outlined by the Parental Fee Program.  

Best Resources Available for Special Needs Parents

special needs resources

Many different resources are available to help you and your special needs child. As special needs can encompass a wide range of abilities–physical disabilities that affect mobility, hearing impairments, vision impairments, congenital conditions, and more–the resources and services listed below consider all of the needs of your child:  

The Americans with Disabilities Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is one of the most important pieces of legislation relating to children with special needs, and applies to issues like employment, transportation, access to public facilities, and access to various forms of telecommunications. If a person, group, or organization is in violation of the ADA by their refusal to help you, reminding them of this may be enough to change their minds.

The Department of Developmental Services

Emphasizing people who have developmental disabilities (including, but not limited to, low IQ, autism, epilepsy, and so on), this department of California’s government provides various services and support at a wide range of facilities. As noted on their website, individuals who qualify for support are generally eligible for services throughout the rest of their life, most of which are provided for free.

The California Department of Rehabilitation

The California Department of Rehabilitation, often referred to as the DOR, emphasizes helping people with special needs find employment and develop the skills they need to live independently. They’re also in a good position to determine whether or not a given individual will ever be able to do live independently, or if they’ll need full care and support for the rest of their lives.

Services here include employment counseling, placement assistance, mobility aids, and many other services. Their activities are limited to residents of California, but are available to people with all types and all severities of disabilities. These services will start to become available to your child when they’re in High School, and are geared towards smoothing the transition between the end of public school and the start of college or a career.

Special Needs Network

The Special Needs Network is an independent, non-profit organization that specializes in helping people with developmental disabilities, particularly in areas that are considered under-served by the Department of Developmental Services and other official resources. If the DDS can’t help you, there’s a chance the SNN can.

They emphasize early detection of developmental disabilities, since this can make all the difference for children suffering from learning disabilities. If you’re in an under-served community and worried that your child needs assistance, consider contacting them today and asking if they can help.

Special Education Guide

Are you feeling confused about special education, and how it works for your child? At the California Special Needs Law Group, we specialize in advocacy and support, but we’re certainly not the only resource you should be using. The Special Education Guide is an outstanding reference, offering resources like a Special Needs Dictionary (so you can understand many of the terms you’ll see here), some basic Disability Profiles (to help you understand what services your child may qualify for), and even some resources for parents who’d like to make a career out of helping the children who need it the most.

Need more help?

Check with local community centers, churches, nonprofits, and other organizations. Your child’s needs are important, and while these places may not be able to help directly, they can often help you find someone who can.