Special Education Spotlight Pasadena: Resources for Students, Teachers, and Parents

Special Education Spotlight Pasadena

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Pasadena, one of the larger cities in Los Angeles County, is home to various special needs organizations and groups offering support, educational and professional development programs and information to special education students, teachers and parents.

From academics to recreation, special education students in Pasadena can find programs to meet their needs. Parents and teachers can turn to school districts, private schools, nonprofit organizations and community programs to help them raise and educate special needs children.

Educational Resources for Special Needs Students and Teachers in Pasadena

The Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) oversees inclusive special education programs for elementary, middle and high school students. It also offers a smaller, structured program through its Focus Point Academy, which emphasizes the development of behavior skills and utilizes counseling and nursing services.

The district also has a Community Advisory Committee and a Special Education Task Force. The school district’s website provides helpful links to  brochures, articles and special education documents outlining parent rights and task force meetings.

The Frostig Center offers a school for children with autism, ADHD, and dyslexia and dysgraphia. The school is accredited and certified and offers small classes. The Center also trains special education elementary, middle and high school as well as early education teachers through on-site consultations, workshops and seminars.

Like The Frostig Center, Villa Esperanza Services is a non-profit organization that has a school program for children with various developmental disorders. It also provides speech and occupational therapy programs. The organization’s site has links to advocacy practices, nonprofit organizations for specific disabilities and an events calendar for meetings, fundraisers and more.

Resources for Pasadena Special Needs Students and Parents

Whether parents or special needs students are seeking further educational opportunities outside of the traditional classroom or recreational activities designed for special needs children, they will find several organizations that can help them achieve their goals.

Professional Child Development Associates is a nonprofit organization that provides a team made up of psychologists, therapists, nurse specialists, teachers and other professionals that evaluates and intervenes for children with developmental or behavioral disabilities. The organization also offers training for professionals, consultative services, screening and counseling services.


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AbilityFirst provides an afterschool enrichment program and Friday Night Socials to help special needs students develop social, communication and life skills. A seasonal aquatics program and a camp for special needs children are also offered.

Easter Seals has a Pasadena office that offers various therapy service for those with autism. Children can be enrolled in speech therapy, physical therapy and occupational therapy programs. Behavior analysis is also provided.

South Pasadena Parents of Children with Special Needs Support Group‘s website has links to newsletters, articles, upcoming lectures and seminars, support group meetings and more.

Center for Developing Kids provides intervention services for children with, among other disabilities, autism, ADD and Sensory Integrative Dysfunction.

Pasadena-based Move a Child Higher has a therapeutic horseback riding program designed for special needs students.

Legal support for parents of special education students who might be in conflict with school administrators or boards can seek help from California Special Needs Law Group (CSNLG). The firm provides legal representation to parents for IEP meetings, hearings and mediation throughout the state.

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