Spotlight on Special Education in La Jolla: Resources for Students, Teachers, and Parents

La Jolla is a beautiful neighborhood just north of San Diego with seven miles of magnificent, curving coastline dotted with gorgeous beaches. Although it maintains a separate zip code and status as a city, it is still a part of the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) where many other valuable resources for special education can be found.


Educational Resources for Special Needs Professionals and Families

La Jolla High School has a total of six staff members dedicated to serving those with special needs in their department. Within the SDUSD, there is also La Jolla Elementary School for the younger students, but again, more extensive and in-depth resources can be found in neighboring San Diego.

The Special Education Department of the SDUSC includes a Parent’s Resource page, which provides support to families of children with special needs that includes a parent’s helpline. There are links to resources throughout the district, calendar of events, workshops and support for parents as well as siblings. The IEP (Individual Education Plan) Parent Satisfaction Survey Form, Procedural Safeguards and Overviews are all available in several languages.

Resources and Assistance Outside of the San Diego District

The San Diego County Office of Education employs a Special Education Unit that provides specialized services for students with special needs and disabilities throughout the County. In addition to services for the students, they also provide support, coordination and assistance to the six SELPA’s (Special Education Local Plan Areas) within the County including the school districts, agencies and families.

The HOPE Infant Family Support Program offers services to infants and toddlers with special needs from birth to three years of age. Part of the California Early Start program, their no cost services provide home programs, family support, consultation services, social and behavioral support for those eligible infants and toddlers.

The Poway Unified School District, PUSD, has around two-thirds of their schools located within San Diego County to provide resources to students and parents. Their Special Education Department website has numerous links for the parents of primary and secondary students that include:

  • A parental handbook with detailed IEP information
  • Health services
  • Preschool assessment
  • A Community Advisory Committee (CAC)
  • WorkAbility and Transition Partnership Program

The PUSD also has a link to information about the exemption for students with special needs from passing the California High School Exit Examination. PUSD even has their own non-profit organization, the PUSD Special Education Foundation to help fund the gap between where tax dollars fall short and what parents can provide for their special needs children.

Based in Costa Mesa, the California Special Needs Law Group (CSNLG) offers legal advice and support for parents of children with special needs. Most notably, they provide assistance with conflict resolution and Individualized Education Programs (IEP) not only in Costa Mesa and Orange County, but all across the state.

La Jolla

Another Valuable Non-Profit for Resources and Assistance

The Special Needs Foundation of San Diego is “Dedicated to the families and professionals who care for children with special needs and advocate on their behalf.”

They have combined the many resources available in the community into a single location on their Resource List that support specific disabilities and diagnoses and also categorized by area of need. This comprehensive list of resources includes behavioral, education and health resources located in San Diego and beyond.

More than just resources and services, their website contains helpful articles, research updates and videos as well as event calendars that highlight upcoming conferences, seminars, lectures and other demonstrations. Often this information is directed at parents, professionals and other caregivers that offers data, practical advice and tips directed towards specific types of disorders, illnesses and disabilities.

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