One of the three Beach Cities in California, Huntington Beach has limited resources when it comes to special education professionals, students and parents. In some cases, these individuals might have to look beyond the city’s limits for information and support. Fortunately, nearby cities have plenty of resources in the area of special education.
Huntington Beach Educational Organizations and Their Special Education Programs
The Huntington Beach City School District has a Community Advisory Committee that holds bimonthly meetings. Any parent of a special education child can become a member.
The school also belongs to the West Orange County Consortium for Special Education (WOCCSE) to form a Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA). Online resources provided by this SELPA include parents’ rights and a parent handbook detailing legal rights, IEPs and program options. Links to relevant nonprofit and county-run organizations are also found on the website.
The Orange County Department of Education offers a link on its website to an Early Education program for special needs children up to five years of age. Additional links provide information about many other topics, including assistive technology and parent rights.
Extensive training programs for special education teachers are provided through the department’s System of Support (SOS). Teachers can receive training in classroom management, instructional methods and intervention strategies through class training and guest speaker seminars.
Special Needs-Focused Nonprofit Organizations Near Huntington Beach
While there are generally no organizations devoted to special needs found directly in Huntington Beach, residents of the city can look to Irvine and Santa Ana, two cities located less than fifteen miles from Huntington Beach, for information about autism, AD/HD and other developmental and learning disorders.
The Autism Society of Orange County, based in Santa Ana, holds support-group meetings in Orange for English-speakers members and in Santa Ana for those who speak Spanish. Members can borrow books, tapes and videos about autism and attend seminars and conferences sponsored by the organization.
The Greater Orange County C.H.A.D.D. (Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) holds monthly support meetings, mainly in Santa Ana but also in Irvine and Orange. These meetings provide information about AD/HD as well as family networking opportunities.
Talk About Curing Autism (TACA) is a nonprofit organization in Irvine that offers learning seminars and social events for autistic children and their families. The organization’s website provides links to helpful articles about therapies, medical interventions, parent support, parents’ rights and more. A resource library lends out books, DVDs and CDs on autism to TACA members.
Irvine-bsaed KiDA (Kids Institute for Development and Advancement) serves Orange County as the largest Center for Autism in the county. Clinical and educational services include behavior, occupational, and speech and language therapy, social groups and a school for K-6 students that focuses on behavior management and social skills development.
Easter Seals Southern California in Santa Ana offers behavior analysis and services in areas of language, speech and physical therapies for autistic children.
For legal advice and support, most notably in areas of IEP development or conflict resolution, parents of special education students can turn to California Special Needs Law Group (CSNLG). The law firm is based in Costa Mesa and serves counties throughout the state.