Before your child receives special education services, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that he or she have an evaluation. An evaluation includes information from parents, any special medical concerns, interviews with parents and school staff, and specific tests. The results of an evaluation will be used to determine if your child has a disability and needs special education and related services help in school. You must give your consent in writing before the first evaluation can take place. The evaluation:

  • must be done by trained-and knowledgeable persons
  • must be in all areas related to the suspected disability
  • is more than just one test or assessment procedure
  • must be in your child’s native language unless clearly not possible to do so
  • must not discriminate against your child

Some questions parents can ask the school staff about evaluation are:

  • 1. Why do you want to evaluate my child?
  • 2. What do you think you may find from the evaluation?
  • 3. What kinds of test will you give?
  • 4. In what areas will my child be tested?
  • 5. Will the tests you use discriminate against my child based on:Race? Culture? Disability? Use of language?
  • 6. How do you know that the tests do or do not discriminate?
  • 7. What will happen if my child is NOT evaluated? Will he or she still get some help for the problems you identify?
  • 8. By what date will you give me a written copy of the evaluation results?
  • 9. What steps should I take if I do not agree with the evaluation results?

If your child has behavior problems at school, these questions may be helpful:

  • 1. Does my child need a “functional behavioral assessment?” Why or why not? (a functional behavioral assessment looks at why a child is having behavior problems in school)
  • 2. What are you doing to help my child learn new behavior skills?

If you disagree with the school district’s evaluation results, you have a right to:

  • have someone outside the school system evaluate your child {this is called an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE)}
  • help select the person or persons who will do the testing
  • have the testing done at no cost to you or your family*

*The school district must either have your child evaluated at no cost to you, or show, at a hearing, that its evaluation is appropriate.

© 1999 PACER Center, Inc.; 4826 Chicago Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55417 (612) 827-2966; Fax (612) 827-3065; e-mail: pacer@pacer.orgThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Reviewed and approved by the Office of Special Education Personnel Preparation, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, D.C.

The Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) is a not-for-profit, international professional Association representing full-time experienced independent educational advisors. More about IECA



Finding the right school and proper placement for your child is the key to better education


CAPSES (California Association of Private Special Education Schools) is a statewide professional association of nonpublic schools, agencies, organizations and individuals who specialize in the delivery of quality special education programs to students with special education needs. More about CAPSES





Los Angeles Unified School District- Parent Resource Network

(800) 933-8133 (Mon – Fri, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm)

Hotline for parents of special education students who have concerns regarding their child’s school program.




California Department of Education – Special Education Division (916) 445-4613


Special Education (800) 926-0648



Advisory Commission on Special Education (916) 445-4602


Office of Administrative Hearings

Due Process Hearings (916) 263-0800



Special Education Local Plan Areas (SELPAs)

Special Education Local Plan Areas (SELPAs)

Los Angeles County


ABC/Norwalk-LaMirada USD SELPA

(562) 926-5566 ext. 21148

17006 S. Norwalk Blvd.,

Cerritos, CA 90703

Gloria Lopez, Acting SELPA Director

Composed of ABC USD and Norwalk-LaMirada USD


Antelope Valley SELPA *

(661) 274-4136

38345 30th Street East Suite A2 –  Mail :   39139 10th Street East

Palmdale, CA 93550

Benay Loftus, SELPA Director

Composed of Acton-Agua Dulce USD, Antelope Valley Union HSD, Eastside Union SD, Gorman SD, Hughes-Elizabeth Lakes Union SD, Keppel Union SD, Lancaster SD, Palmdale SD, Westside Union SD, and Wilsona SD


Compton SELPA

(310) 639-4321

2300 W. Caldwell St.

Compton CA 90221

Aaron Benton, SELPA Director

Compton USD

Downey/Montebello SELPA *

(562) 461-8702

9625 Van Ruiten St., Room K1

Bellflower CA 90706

Ray Guilleaume, SELPA Director

Composed of Downey USD and Montebello USD



East San Gabriel Valley SELPA *

(626) 966-1679

1400 Ranger Drive

Covina, CA 91722-2055

Cathy Calbert, SELPA Director

Website www.

Composed of Azusa USD, Baldwin Park USD, Bassett USD, Bonita USD, Charter Oak USD, Claremont USD, Covina-Valley USD, Glendora USD, Pomona USD, Walnut Valley USD, and West Covina USD


Foothill SELPA

(818) 241-3111 ext 205  Fax (818) 548-7237

223 N. Jackson St.

Glendale, CA 91206

Amy Lambert, SELPA Director

Composed of Burbank USD, Glendale USD, and La Canada USD

Website: www.


Long Beach USD SELPA

(562) 997-8067

1515 Hughes Way,

Long Beach, CA 90810

Dr. Rachel Heenan, SELPA Director


Los Angeles County Office of

Education  SELPA *

(562) 401-5737

9300 Imperial Hwy.

Downey CA 90242-2890

Jim Anderson, SELPA Director

Composed of LACOE Juvenile Court Schools and LACOE Division of

Alternative Education



Los Angeles USD SELPA

(213) 241-6701

333 S. Beaudry Ave.

Los Angeles, CA 90017

Sharon Jarrett, SELPA Director



Mid Cities Downey MontebelloSELPA *

(562) 461-8702

9625 Van Ruiten Ave., room k-1

Bellflower CA 90706

Ray Guilleaume, SELPA Director

Composed of Bellflower USD, Lynwood USD, and Paramount USD


12820 Pioneer Blvd.

Norwalk, CA 90650

Beth Nishada, SELPA Director


Pasadena Unified School District SELPA

(626) 396-3600 ext.88605

351 South Hudson Ave.

Pasadena, CA 91109

Jerell Hill, SELPA Director,

Special Education



(909) 397-4648 ext. 1

851 S. Hamilton Blvd.

Pomona CA 91766-2826

Jennifer Yales,Ed.D, SELPA Director


Puente Hills SELPA *

(626) 964-7458

4032 Ellesford Ave.

West Covina, CA 91792

Connie Withers, SELPA Director

Composed of Hacienda La Puente USD and Rowland USD

Santa Clarita SELPA *

(661) 294-5398

24930 Avenue Stanford

Santa Clarita, CA 91355


Tracy Peyton Perry, SELPA Director

Composed of Castaic Union SD, Newhall SD, Saugus Union SD, Sulphur Springs Union SD, and William S. Hart Union HSD


Southwest SELPA

(310) 944-3217

320 Knob Hill Ave.

Redondo Beach CA 90277

Dr. Michael Jason, SELPA Director


Composed of Centinela Valley Union HSD, El Segundo USD, Hawthorne SD, Hermosa Beach City SD, Inglewood USD, Lawndale SD, Lennox SD, Manhattan Beach USD, Palos Verdes Peninsula USD, Redondo Beach USD, Torrance USD, and Wiseburn SD.


Tri-City SELPA

(310) 842-4220 ext.4310

Tri-City Special Education Services Region

4034 Irving Pl.

Culver City CA 90232

Dina Parker, SELPA Director

Composed of Beverly Hills USD, Culver City USD, and  Santa Monica-Malibu USD


West San Gabriel Valley SELPA *

(626) 943-9748

15 W. Alhambra Rd.

Alhambra CA 91801

Jacque Williams, SELPA Director

Composed of Alhambra City and HS Districts, Arcadia USD, Duarte USD, El Monte City SD, El Monte Union HSD, Garvey SD, Monrovia USD, Mountain View SD, Rosemead SD, San Gabriel USD, San Marino USD, South Pasadena USD, Temple City USD, and Valle Lindo SD.


Whittier Area Cooperative SELPA

(562) 945-6431   FAX (562) 945-5855

8036 Ocean View Ave.

Whittier, CA 90602

Jimmy Templin, Director, Special Education

Composed of East Whittier City SD, El Rancho USD, Little Lake City SD, Los Nietos SD, Lowell Joint SD, South Whittier SD, Whittier City SD, Whittier Union HSD


*Los Angeles County Office of Education administers this SELPA

SELPAs – Other Counties



 Bakersfield City USD SELPA


1300 Baker St.

Bakersfield CA 93305



Kern County SELPA


1300 17th Street – City Centre

Bakersfield CA 93301-4533

Julianna Gaines, Interim Administrator

Composed of Arvin Union SD, Beardsley SD, Belridge Elementary SD, Blake SD, Buttonwillow Union SD, Caliente Union SD, Delano Joint Union High SD, Delano Union SD, Di Giorgio SD, Edison SD, Elk Hills SD, El Tejon USD, Fairfax SD, Fruitvale SD, General Shafter SD, Greenfield Union SD, Kern County Superintendent of Schools, Kernville Union SD, Lakeside Union Elementary SD, Lamont SD, Linns Valley-Poso Flat Union SD, Lost Hills Union SD, Maple SD, Maricopa USD, McFarland USD, McKittrick SD, Midway SD, Mojave USD, Muroc Joint USD, Norris SD, Panama-Buena Vista USD, Pond Union SD, Richland SD, Rio Bravo-Greeley Union SD, Rosedale Union SD, Semitropic SD, Southern Kern USD, South Fork Union SD, Standard SD, Taft City SD, Tehachapi USD, Vineland SD, Wasco Union High SD, Wasco Union SD.


San Luis Obispo SELPA


8005 Morro Road

Atascadero CA 93422

Jill Heuer, Director

Composed of Atascadera USD, Cayucos Elementary SD, Coast USD, Lucia Mar USD, Pleasant Valley Joint USD, San Luis Coastal USD, San Luis Obispo County Office of Education, San Miguel Joint USD, Shandon Joint USD, Templeton USD.




Santa Barbara County SELPA


401 N. Fairview Avenue

Goleta CA 93117

Janice Butterfield, Director

Composed of  Ballard SD, Blochman SD, Buellton Union SD, Carpinteria SD, Cold Springs SD, College SD, Cuyama Joint Unified SD, Goleta Union High SD, Guadalupe Union SC, Hope SD, Lompoc SD, Los Alamos SD, Los Olivos SD, Orcutt Union SD, Montecito Union SD, Santa Barbara County Education Office, Santa Barbara High SD, Santa Barbara SD, Santa Maria-Bonita SD, Santa Maria Joint Union SD,  Santa Ynez Union High SD, Solvang SD, Vista Del Mar Union SD


Ventura County SELPA


5100 Adolfo Road

Camarillo CA 93012

Mary Samples, Assistant Superintendent

Composed of Briggs SD, Conejo Valley USD, Fillmore USD, Gateway Community School, Hueneme Elementary SD, Las Virgenes USD, Mesa Union SD, Moorpark USD, Mupu SD, Oak Park USD, Ocean View SD, Ojai USD, Oxnard Elementary SD, Oxnard Union High SD, Pleasant Valley SD, Rio SD, Santa Clara SD, Santa Paula Union High SD, Somis Union SD, Ventura County Office of Education, Ventura USD.

Signs of Learning Disabilities

What Are Some Common Signs of Learning Disabilities?


Speaks later than most children

Pronunciation problems

Slow vocabulary growth, often unable to find the right word

Difficulty rhyming words

Trouble learning numbers, alphabet, days of the week, colors, shapes

Extremely restless and easily distracted

Trouble interacting with peers

Difficulty following directions or routines

Fine motor skills slow to develop
Grades K-4

Slow to learn the connection between letters and sounds

Confuses basic words (run, eat, want)

Makes consistent reading and spelling errors including letter reversals (b/d), inversions (m/w), transpositions (felt/left), and substitutions (house/home)

Transposes number sequences and confuses arithmetic signs (+,–, x, /, =)

Slow to remember facts

Slow to learn new skills, relies heavily on memorization

Impulsive, difficulty planning

Unstable pencil grip

Trouble learning about time

Poor coordination, unaware of physical surroundings, prone to accidents
Grades 5-8

Reverses letter sequences (soiled/solid, left/felt)

Slow to learn prefixes, suffixes, root words, and other spelling strategies

Avoids reading aloud

Trouble with word problems

Difficulty with handwriting

Awkward, fist-like, or tight pencil grip

Avoids writing compositions

Slow or poor recall of facts

Difficulty making friends

Trouble understanding body language and facial expressions
High School Students and Adults

Continues to spell incorrectly, frequently spells the same word differently in a single piece of writing

Avoids reading and writing tasks

Trouble summarizing

Trouble with open-ended questions on tests

Weak memory skills

Difficulty adjusting to new settings

Works slowly

Poor grasp of abstract concepts

Either pays too little attention to details or focuses on them too much

Misreads information

Speech & Language

Speech & Language

The definition of learning disabilities includes problems in listening (understanding) and using spoken language. Very frequently, however, oral language problems are not considered to be learning disabilities. This is unfortunate because oral language is the basis or foundation of much learning in school as well as out of school. Perceiving and learning speech sounds, understanding and using new vocabulary, understanding and learning to use grammar, and using language appropriately to communicate with others are critical to school success.




Nonverbal Learning Disorder (NLD), also called Nonverbal Learning Disabilities, is a developmental disability which all too often goes undiagnosed.  Individuals with this potentially debilitating disorder generally suffer in silence. More on NLD



The mission of the National Coalition on Auditory Processing Disorders, Inc. is to assist families and individuals affected by auditory processing disorders through education, support, and public awareness as well as promoting auditory access of information for those affected by auditory processing disorders. More on NCAPD



The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) is the professional, scientific, and credentialing association for more than 130,000 members and affiliates who are audiologists, speech-language pathologists, and speech, language, and hearing scientists. More on ASHA

Tourette Syndrome

Tourette Syndrome

What Is Tourette Syndrome?

Tourette syndrome (TS) is named for the French doctor Georges Gilles de la Tourette, who first described the condition in 1885. It is thought that in most cases it is a genetic condition that’s inherited, or passed on from parent to child. Doctors and scientists don’t know the exact cause of TS, but some research suggests that it occurs when there’s a problem with how nerves communicate in the brain. A disturbance in the balance of neurotransmitters – chemicals in the brain that carry nerve signals from cell to cell – may play a role in TS. Tourette syndrome is not contagious.


Tourette Syndrome Association (TSA) is the only national voluntary non-profit membership organization in this field. Their mission is to identify the cause of, find the cure for and control the effects of Tourette Syndrome. They offer resources and referrals to help people and their families cope with the problems that occur with TS. They raise public awareness and counter media stereotypes about TS. More on TSA


Tourette-Syndrome – the Internet’s first online community devoted to children and adults with Tourette Syndrome (TS) disorder and their families, friends, teachers and medical professionals. More on Tourette-Syndrome

Disability Discrimination and Harassment

The following are 10 suggested steps to follow when parents choose to formally notify school administrators about their concern of harassment based on the child’s disability.  These steps are adapted from attorney Reed Martin’s “10 Steps to Making a Successful Complaint.”   This information is educational and not intended to be legal advice.

  1. In writing, address the notification to a specific person and date the letter.
  2. Write the letter to a person who has the authority to investigate and the authority to correct the wrong.
  3. Note that the school district is a recipient of federal financial assistance.
  4. State the past or continuing discriminatory activity against your child.
  5. State that the school district has control over both the site of the discrimination and over any school personnel involved.
  6. Explain that the discrimination was not a single act but was severe and pervasive.
  7. Tell how the discrimination excluded your child from continued participation in school or denied your child the benefits to which other students in school have access.
  8. Explain, as well as you can,  what you would like the school to do to stop the discrimination or to remediate the harm the discrimination has done to your child.
  9. Ask for a copy of a school district greivance procedure under Section 504 (even if your child has an IEP under IDEA).  Not having this information may result in continued discrimination.
  10. State that if the person receiving this letter does not investigate or does not take effective corrective action, that you may claim that the district showed deliberate indifference to the discrimination.  You may also want to add a date you expect to hear back from the district in regards to your letter.



CA Community Colleges

Almost all colleges and universities provide some level of services and/or accommodations for learning disabled students, as mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The colleges listed in the link below go a step further…they offer programs, some quite comprehensive, designed to support students with learning disabilities.




Kern, Los Angeles, San Luis Obispo,

Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties


800 South College Drive

Santa Maria CA 93454-6368

Contact Person: Rob Parisi

Tel: 805-922-6966 ext. 3274

Lompoc Valley Center

1 Hancock Drive, Room 2-116

Lompoc CA 93436

Contact Person: Kerry Runkle

805-735-3366 ext. 5274


3041 West Avenue K

Lancaster CA 93536-5426

Contact Person: Louis Lucero

Tel: 661-722-6360 ext. 6161


1801 Panorama Drive

Bakersfield CA 93305-1299

Contact Person: Diane Allen

Tel: 661-395-4520

Delano Campus

1450 Timmons Avenue

Delano CA 93215

Contact Person: Diane Allen

Tel: 661-720-2012


11110 Alondra Boulevard

Norwalk CA 96050-6269

Tel: 562-860-2451

Contact Person: Don Garriott – ext. 2347

Mary Hunt – ext. 2409


3000 College Heights Boulevard

Ridgecrest CA 93555-9571

Contact Person: Penny Talley

Tel: 760-384-6250


1000 West Foothill Blvd.

Glendora CA 91741-1899

Contact Person: Audrey Abas

Tel: 626-914-8573


26455 Rockwell Canyon Road

Santa Clarita CA 91355-1899

Contact Person: Christi Franklin

Tel: 661-362-3341


San Luis Obispo Campus

P.O. Box 8106

San Luis Obispo, CA 93403-8106

Contact Person: Dr. Patrick Schwab

Tel: 805-546-3100 ext. 3148

North County Campus

2800 Buena Vista Drive

Paso Robles CA 93446

Contact Person: Dr. Patrick Schwab

Tel: 805-591-6200


1301 Avenida Cesar Chavez

Monterey Park CA 91754-6099

Contact Person: Grace Hernandez

Tel: 323-265-8787


Compton College

1111 West Artesia Blvd.

Compton CA 90221-5393

Contact Person: Jennell Allen

Tel: 310-900-1600 ext.2406

Torrance Campus

16007 Crenshaw Boulevard

Torrance CA 90506

Contact Person: Kathryn Holmes, Bill Hoanzl

Tel: 310-660-3295


1500 North Verdugo Road

Glendale CA 91208-2894

Contact Person: Joy Cook

Tel: 818-240-1000 ext. 5450


Liberal Arts Campus

4901 East Carson Street

Long Beach CA 90808-1706

Contact Person: Dan Hansch

Tel: 562-938-4558

Pacific Coast Campus 

East Pacific Coast Highway

Long Beach CA 90806

Contact Person: Dan Hansch

Tel: 562-938-3921


855 North Vermont Avenue

Los Angeles CA 90029-3590

Contact Person: Andrea Smith

Tel: 323-953-4000 ext. 2276


1111 Figueroa Place

Wilmington CA 90744-2397

Contact Person: Sally Fasteau

Tel: 310-233-4240


13356 Eldridge Avenue

Sylmar CA 91342-3200

Contact Person: Robert Schwartz

Tel: 818-364-7732


6201 Winnetka Avenue

Woodland Hills CA 91371-0001

Contact Person: David Phoenix

Tel: 818-719-6430


1600 West Imperial Highway

Los Angeles CA 90047-4899

Contact Person: Celceste Phelps

Tel: 323-241-5483


400 West Washington Boulevard

Los Angeles CA 90015-4108

Contact Person: Donna Lichtman

Tel: 213-763-3773


5800 Fulton Avenue

Valley Glenn CA 91401-4096

Contact Person: David Green

Tel: 818-947-2681 ext. 2679


7075 Campus Road

Moorpark CA 93021-1695

Contact Person: Sherry D’Attile

Tel: 805-378-1461


1100 North Grand Avenue

Walnut CA 91789-1399

Contact Person: Grace Henson

Tel: 909-594-5611 ext. 4290


4000 South Rose Avenue

Oxnard CA 93033-6699

Contact Person: Leo Orange

Tel: 805-986-5830


1570 East Colorado Boulevard

Pasadena CA 91106-2003

Contact Person: Ricardo Castillo

Tel: 626-585-7127


100 East College Avenue

Porterville CA 93257-5901

Contact Person: Susan Lalabell

Tel: 559-791-2215


3600 Workman Mill Road

Whittier CA 90601-1699

Contact Person: Judy Marks & Patrick McConnell

Tel: 562-908-3420


721 Cliff Drive

Santa Barbara CA 93109-2394

Contact Person: Janet Shapiro, Ed.D.

Tel: 805-965-0581 ext. 2365


1900 Pico Boulevard

Santa Monica CA 90405-1628

Contact Person: George Marcopulos

Tel: 310-434-4684


4667 Telegraph Road

Ventura CA 93003-3899

Contact Person: Patty Wendt

Tel: 805-654-6400 ext. 3151


9000 Overland Avenue

Culver City CA 90230-5002

Contact Person: Fran Israel

Tel: 310-287-4423