From educational offices to nonprofit organizations, San Diego seems committed to providing a broad support network for special needs parents as well as special education teachers and students.

Special Education Spotlight San Diego

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Throughout this city, these individuals can find support groups, online links, publications, articles and many other resources that can aid them in teaching and raising special needs children. In  the case of the children themselves, resources are available that will direct them to educational and community support services, as well as literature and organizations that can help them better understand their specific disability.

Special Education Resources Through San Diego Schools and Educational Organizations

The Special Education Division of the San Diego Unified School District operates a Parents Services Office dedicated to supplying aid to parents seeking helpful resources. The office has a Parent Helpline number to assist these individuals in finding information about workshops and other support, including links to support groups, articles and fliers.

With about two-thirds of their schools located in San Diego, the Poway Unified School District (PUSD) can also serve San Diego parents, teachers and students. PUSD has a Parent Resources page on its website with several helpful links. Parents can find assistance for creating Individual Education Plans (IEPs), a link to a handbook detailing parent rights and special education advocacy, information about a Community Advisory Committee (CAC) and a link to the PUSD Special Education Foundation, which oversees special education activities and a mini-grants program for teachers.

San Diego County Office of Education is instrumental in providing special education staff development and program reviews, among other responsibilities. The office also oversees an early intervention program for children aged three and under. In addition, the office’s Special Education Unit provides a special education program and as well as services for Juvenile Court and Community Schools students in the county.

Sierra Academy of San Diego provides programs outside of traditional school settings for students with learning and developmental disabilities. The Academy offers speech and occupational therapy, life and social skills training and a behavioral management  program. The academy is run by Specialized Education Services, Inc. (SESI), a national organization with schools throughout California, Connecticut, Maryland and Pennsylvania as well as locations in Virginia and Rhode Island.

One Stop Shopping for San Diego Special Education Parents and Students

Parents and special education students in San Diego need to look no further than the Special Needs Resource Foundation of San Diego. This nonprofit organization, created in January 2014 by the for-profit company San Diego Family, keeps resources for special needs children and families in one place. This information can be accessed online or through an annual publication called Flourishing Families.

Special Education Spotlight San Diego

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Want to find a camp for your special needs child? Are you a teacher or educational administrator looking for grant sources? Want ideas of after school activities or fundraising events? Or maybe you’re a special needs child or parent who wants to find out more about your or your child’s disability.

Whatever the case, this foundation has links and contact information for agencies, nonprofit organizations, community organizations and more. Those accessing this website can also find helpful articles, videos and research updates as well as an events calendar detailing information about upcoming conferences, seminars, lectures and other presentations. Many of these are directed at parents or other caregivers and provide hints and practices for managing specific types of disorders.

Links are available to organizations devoted to the support of specific disabilities, such as:

  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Down’s Syndrome
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Dyslexia
  • Epilepsy

The site also breaks down resources by areas of need; thus, links are provided for various types of therapies, social programs, advocacy and other support services.

Whether you’re looking for parenting support, to develop a deeper understanding of a learning or developmental disorder or wondering what educational programs are available for your special needs child, you’re bound to find what you’re looking for in Los Angeles.

Special Education Spotlight Los Angeles

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From school-based programs to nonprofit organizations, Los Angeles is home to a great support system for those parenting or teaching children in need of special education. Special needs children themselves will also find many useful resources.

Special Education Programs in Los Angeles Schools

The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) provides many resources for special needs students, teachers and parents. From a Community Advisory Committee that offers workshops about special education policies in the district to online links to brochures about developing Individualized Education Plans (IEPs), LAUSD ensures that special education is a top priority in this city.

Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) is an educational agency run by the county’s Superintendent of Schools and Board of Education. Through a team effort that includes psychologists, nurses and curriculum specialists, LACOE provides support services for special education students.  These services include counseling, physical therapy, speech therapy and even transportation.

More Resources for Students, Teachers and Parents

Outside of the Los Angeles education system, parents and special needs children will find many organizations designed to help them in various ways.

The Parents Education League (PEL) of Los Angeles, for instance, supplies parents with a list of schools in the area that have strong special education programs.

Several nonprofit organizations also have offices based in Los Angeles. These provide advocacy for or information about different types of developmental disorders and disabilities. One of the main goals of many of these organizations is to raise awareness about specific disorders or disabilities through public speaking events, workshops, free literature and videos. Some of these organizations include:

Special Education Spotlight Los Angeles

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Where Else You Can Go

We’ve focused on organizations and educational institutions in this article, but students, teachers and parents have other resources in Los Angeles they can tap into.

Hospitals, clinics and government agencies are valuable sources of information about developmental disorders. Some include:

As you can see, if you are a Los Angeles resident raising or teaching a special needs child, or if you yourself have a learning or developmental disorder, you are not facing your struggles alone.