Palmdale is a city located about 60 miles north of Los Angeles. Parents, students and professionals seeking special education information and support can tap into some resources in the city, but in most cases will have to venture beyond Palmdale’s borders to find relevant organizations.
While a bit too far from L.A. for Palmdale residents to explore special education organizations and resources provided by that city, parents, students and teachers can look to nearby Lancaster, Santa Clarita and surrounding areas for information sources and supportive services.
Educational Resources for Palmdale Teachers, Students and Parents
The Palmdale School District provides various services for special education students, including occupational therapy, counseling, early intervention and speech and language pathology.
On the school’s website, parents can find links to parents’ rights as well as a directory for youth and family services in the community. These would include support groups and mental health services.
The Antelope Valley SELPA (Special Education Local Plan Area) has its office set up in Palmdale. The SELPA has a Community Advisory Committee and offers information about parents’ rights on its website. The SELPA also provides professional development workshops for special education teachers.
Powerline Programs is based in Palmdale and has a reading program designed for students with learning disabilities.
The Palmdale location of Penny Lane Centers, which offers mental health and family services in many areas of Southern California, hosts a day school for children with developmental disabilities that runs during the school year and during the summer with adjusted hours.
The non-public Academy for Advancement of Children with Autism (AACA) is located in Lancaster, less than ten miles north of Palmdale. In addition to a specialized curriculum, AACA offers occupational and physical therapy, speech and language pathology, and behavioral analysis. Parent training services are also provided.
Other Resources for Special Education Professionals and Families in Palmdale
Though located about 35 miles from Palmdale, Santa Clarita is the nearest city with large-scale special needs resources.
The Santa Clarita branch of California State University – Northridge’s Family Focus Resource Center is found at the North Los Angeles Regional Center. Support groups, parent mentoring and IEP development training are among the services provided by this branch. The Center also hosts an annual Special Needs Resource Fair.
Family support and networking services can be found through the Santa Clarita Autism Asperger Network (SCAAN). Special education students can enjoy playgroups to help with the development of social skills, and there are also family events and parties. Members can take advantage of a lending library that offers books and other materials on developmental disabilities.
Farther from Palmdale, about 50 miles south in North Hollywood, the San Fernando Valley Autism Families provides parents with workshops, lectures and conferences. Social skills-building activities for autistic children are also provided.
Special education legal support and advice is offered by California Special Needs Law Group (CSNLG). This Pasadena-based firm provides advocacy services, represent parents through conflict mediation and helps with IEP development.