Located in the San Francisco Bay Area, Palo Alto is a city that provides various resources and services for special education students and parents. These services and resources are provided mainly by community and nonprofit organizations.
Special education teachers, too, can benefit from many of these resources, such as those offering training in assistive technology or providing links to articles and books about specific disorders.
Education-Based Resources for Palo Alto Special Education Teachers, Students and Parents
The Palo Alto Sub-Committee of SELPA (Special Education Local Plan Areas) 1 Community Advisory Committee offers advocacy services and parent support and education groups and events. This includes sessions and classes addressing IEP training, parental stress management, coping strategies and inclusion practices.
Services provided by the Palo Alto Unified School District include speech and language specialists, occupational therapy, behavior analysis and a pre-school intervention program. A FUTURES program is designed to help special needs students build the social and vocational skills needed beyond elementary and middle school.
The Santa Clara County Office of Education offers a program designed to help parents and teachers implement assistive technology and alternative communication in the classroom. It also operates the Autism Project, which helps autistic children develop stronger communication skills.
Hope Technology School is an option for special needs students in Palo Alto. In an inclusive environment, special needs students use assistive technology and alternative communication in the classroom. The school also provides on-site speech and physical therapy, sensory integration and occupational therapy.
Resources Targeting Special Education Students and Parents in Palo Alto
Parents Place has a family resource center in Palo Alto. Here, parents will find workshops and consultative services, learning assessment services, parent support groups, speech and language therapy, school advocacy services and social skills workshops for special needs children.
Abilities United has early intervention and preschool services, an after-school socialization program for special education students and an aquatics therapy program. Behavior consultations, mental health counseling, therapeutic evaluations, and speech, physical and occupational therapy services.
Children’s Health Council (CHC) provides online links to behavior specialists, educational specialists, speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists and care managers in and around the Palo Alto area. CHC offers parent education classes, tutoring services and evaluations for autism, speech-langugae disorders and fine motor skills problems. The organization’s site also has downloadable presentations in its Parent Resource Library.
Achieve Kids, with a location in Palo Alto, is an agency with various services for special education students and their families. These services include an on-site behavioral specialist, speech-language therapy, community integration and assistive technology. The organization’s website also includes links to various national agencies, such as Autism Speaks and National Center for Learning Disabilities.
The California Special Needs Law Group (CSNLG), based in Pasadena, provides legal advice and services to special education parents. Serving areas throughout the state, the firm can assist with IEP development, mediate conflict between parents and schools, or assist parents during the assessment process.