Located west of Los Angeles, the beachfront city of Santa Monica, California, provides on-site and online resources for parents and teachers of special education students. Support and information can be found through workshops, group meetings and online articles.
Special needs children can find several recreational and developmental resources throughout the city. These resources are offered mainly through occupational therapy programs and nonprofit organizations.
Educational Services and Resources for Special Education Teachers and Students
The Los Angeles County Office of Education provides several services to special education students, including speech therapy, counseling, occupational therapy, mobility instruction and adapted physical education classes. It also offers an Early Start program for infants and toddlers who might have a development disability.
The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District has a Special Education District Advisory Committee (SEDAC) that provides monthly meetings and online resources such as a post-high school transition handbook for special needs students in grades 8-12 and their parents. The committee also oversees outreach activities designed to help parents with IEP development as well as making them aware of the services and resources provided by SEDAC.
With a location in nearby West Los Angeles, Pride Learning Center offers reading, spelling, math and writing tutoring programs for children with learning disabilities.
Resources for Special Needs Students and Their Families
The Special Needs Resource Group in Santa Monica offers support services for special education students. Parents can consult with behavior therapists, communication specialists or other professionals at their location or at the students’ home. An art therapy program is also offered, as is a classroom intervention program.
Family Service of Santa Monica, part of Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services, provides an early intervention program for special needs students. It also offers workshops for parents, addressing such topics as stress management and anger management. While not specifically designed for parents of special needs children, these workshops could prove useful for this group.
F.A.C.T. (Family, Adult and Child Therapies) offers parent and child support services through in-home behavior training, social skills groups, parent education and support groups, and sibling support programs for autistic children and their families.
We Rock the Spectrum Santa Monica is a nonprofit organization providing online information for parents of special education students. The organization’s website has definitions of autism, learning disability, speech impairment and other special education terms, as well as information about IEPs, IDEA and parents’ rights. The site also has links to online articles about autism and advocacy services and IEP meeting tips.
Big Fun Gymnastics, which has locations in Torrance, Huntington Beach and Simi Valley, among others, offers its therapeutic swimming program for special needs children at the Santa Monica Swim Center.
Based in Pasadena and offering its services throughout California, the California Special Needs Law Group (CSNLG) provides legal advice and support to special education students and their parents. Among the firm’s services are IEP development assistance and conflict mediation.