A small city located northwest of Los Angeles, Santa Clarita offers both educational and nonprofit support for special needs parents and their families. Special education teachers, too, can find some professional development opportunities in Santa Clarita.
Resources, however, are somewhat limited, and special education parents and families may need to look beyond this city’s limits. Fortunately, cities such as Burbank and North Hollywood, within 20 to 30 miles of Santa Clarita, are home to several special needs organizations providing support services in the form of workshops, camps and training programs.
Special Education Resources in the Santa Clarita Educational System
Parents, teachers and students can find helpful resources through the Santa Clarita Valley Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA). Parents will find family support services and parent workshops, and special education children can benefit from child find activities and a referral program. Online resources include a parents’ rights document and glossary of terms. Training is also provided to special education teachers.
The SELPA’s Community Advisory Committee (CAC) offers meetings and networking opportunities. Meetings can address such topics as behavior intervention strategies and positive behavior strategies. Community outreach and advocacy practices are also conducted by the CAC.
The Saugus Union School District in Santa Clarita offers a Student Support Services office that provides assistance to parents with special education issues and concerns.
Support Services and Resources for Special Education Families in Santa Clarita
The following organizations are the only two specifically designed for special needs found in Santa Clarita:
- The Family Focus Resource Center of California State University – Northridge has a Santa Clarita branch at the North Los Angeles County Regional Center. Services provided by this Resource Center include support groups, IEP training, parent mentoring and advocacy for special needs children and their families.
- The Santa Clarita Autism Asperger Network (SCAAN) focuses mainly on networking and support services for families.
Outside of Santa Clarita, special education parents and families can turn to the following for therapeutic, social and behavioral support:
- The SFV (San Fernando Valley) Autism Families in North Hollywood, approximately 20 miles southeast of Santa Clarita, offers workshops, lectures and conferences. Activities designed to build social skills for autistic children are also provided.
- The Burbank office of Autism Spectrum Therapies, which also has locations in other states including Arizona and Washington, offers behavioral analysis and social skills programs as well as occupational and speech therapy and psychological evaluation services. Burbank is about 23 miles southeast of Santa Clarita.
- The nonprofit organization Talk About Curing Autism (TACA) holds meetings at two locations in Burbank. TACA has parent mentoring and support workshops as well as conferences, clinics and webinars.
- About 33 miles southeast, in Altadena, California, Education Spectrum offers programs for children with autism, Asperger’s and related disorders and their families. For children, programs are designed to help build social skills, while parent training includes behavioral management strategies and intervention techniques. Individual and family therapy programs are also offered, as are social skills camps.
In some cases, parents of special education children may need to seek legal advice or support. California Special Needs Law Group (CSNLG), based in Pasadena and offering its services throughout California, can help with such issues as IEP development or conflict resolution.