ASK - Advocates for Special Kids
"Parents helping parents to understand special education"

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Frequently Asked Questions


11. Do I have to approve or sign the IEP at the IEP meeting?
12. What is the “full continuum of placements” that a school district must offer my child?
13. When considering program placements for my child, should the child fit the program placement
or the placement fit my child?
14. How soon after the IEP meeting must the IEP be implemented?
15. What does FAPE mean?
16. What does Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) mean?
17. How do I make a referral for my child to receive special education services?
18. How do I locate someone to assess my child if I want an independent assessment done? How do I find local service providers for my child?
19. If I need a lawyer or a professional advocate, who can I call?
20. What is "Regional Center"?
21. What is SELPA?
22. How do I become an ASK E-group member?  How do I access and use the e-group for additional resources and information and to communicate with other ASK members?


Questions 1-10

11. Do I have to approve or sign the IEP at the IEP meeting?

No. You have the right to take your IEP home to review it before you sign. Your child remains eligible for special education and stays in his current placement while you decide whether to consent. If you do not consent or file for a fair hearing in a reasonable period of time, then the LEA may file for a fair hearing. . [Source: “Special Education Rights and Responsibilities,” Question 4-32, PAI CA].

Note: It is in your child’s best interests to step back and take time to review the IEP document, carefully considering what your child’s needs are and what you have requested the district to provide to meet those needs.  Pressuring parents to sign IEPs before they have had the opportunity to adequately review and digest their contents, and consider the impact it will have on the child, is akin to a car salesman pressuring a customer to close a deal without allowing them the opportunity to look thoroughly under the hood of the car.  Insist upon your right to fully review the documents which govern your child’s education.

As well, you can consent to only part of an IEP.  You can consent to those parts of the IEP that you agree with, so those services can begin. If you disagree with certain parts of the IEP, those parts cannot be implemented and may be issues at a due process hearing if your concerns cannot be resolved informally. You may wish to file a written dissent with the IEP document to make your position clear. [Cal. Ed. Code Sec. 56346.] A tool that can be used for when you disagree with or “dissent” from the IEP contents is a “Parent IEP Attachment” which is described at Wrightslaw. 

If you do not consent to all the components of the IEP, then those components of the program to which you have consented shall be implemented so as not to delay providing special education and related services to your child. [Cal. Ed. Code Sec. 56346(a).]

If the public education agency determines that the part of the proposed IEP to which you do not consent is necessary to provide a free and appropriate education to your child, they shall initiate a pre-hearing mediation conference, a mediation conference or a due process hearing. While the pre-hearing mediation conference, mediation conference or due process hearing is pending, your child shall remain in his or her then-current placement, unless you and the public education agency agree otherwise. [Cal. Ed. Code Sec. 56346(b).] . [Source: “Special Education Rights and Responsibilities,” Question 4-33, PAI CA].

Any parts of the IEP to which you have not consented may become the basis for a due process fair hearing. [Cal. Ed. Code Sec. 56346.] In addition to a due process fair hearing, several other dispute resolution mechanisms exist but are at your option. See Chapter 6,  Special Education Rights and Responsibilities, Information on Due Process Hearings/Compliance Complaints. 

Federal law makes it clear that the local agency may initiate a due process hearing to attempt to override your consent to initial placement. State law provides the local agency the same option with respect to portions of the IEP to which you have not consented. [34 C.F.R. Sec. 300.507(a); Cal. Ed. Code Sec. 56501(a).]

In addition, you may consent to the content of the IEP as written, including the placement recommendation yet you may disagree with the actual placement site or classroom. For example, after visiting the proposed placement or classroom, you may feel that it does not meet the requirements of the IEP as written. Your disagreement with the actual classroom may become the basis for a due process hearing if your concerns cannot be resolved informally. See Chapter 6, Information on Due Process Hearings/Compliance Complaints. [Source: “Special Education Rights and Responsibilities,” Question 4-34, PAI CA].

You may also change your mind after signing an IEP.  If you have changed your mind, you may revoke your consent at any time. [34 C.F.R. Sec. 300.500(b)(1)(iii).] You should immediately send a written revocation of consent to the special education administrator who represented the school district at the IEP meeting to ask that a new IEP meeting be scheduled as soon as possible. You are entitled to an IEP review meeting within 30 days of a written request, not counting days in July or August. [Cal. Ed. Code Sec. 56343.5).] The district might not, however, revert to implementing the previous IEP, especially if the new IEP is already being implemented at the time you attempt to withdraw consent or if any significant period of time has elapsed before the revocation. At the IEP meeting, if there is a dispute about the child's program or placement, it is unclear whether the "stay-put" provision would apply to maintain the program as described by the IEP to which you wish to withdraw consent or to the previous IEP. See Chapter 6, Information on Due Process Hearings/Compliance Complaints for further information. As always, the best practice is not to sign an IEP until you are sure about its contents. You need not sign an IEP at the IEP meeting where it was developed. You can and should take an IEP home to think about for a day or two if you are not sure you should agree to it at the time of the IEP meeting. You can also sign an IEP in part [Cal. Ed. Code Sec. 56346] as described in Questions 33 and 34. . [Source: “Special Education Rights and Responsibilities,” Question 4-35, PAI CA].

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12. What is the "full continuum of placements" that a school district must offer my child?

The continuum of placements must permit students to receive an education to the maximum extent appropriate with children who do not have disabilities. [34 C.F.R. Sec. 300.550.] See Chapter 7, Information on Least Restrictive Environment. [Source: “Special Education Rights and Responsibilities,” Question 4-36, PAI CA]. [See also FAQ 16, for more on “Least Restrictive Environment.”]  

Federal law provides that each local education agency must ensure that:

            “to the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities, including children in public or private institutions or other care facilities, are educated with children who are not disabled, and special classes, separate schooling or other removal of children with disabilities from the regular educational environment occurs only when the nature or severity of the disability is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily. [20 U.S.C. Sec. 1412 (a)(5)(A); 34 C.F.R. Sec. 300.550(b)(1) & (2); California Education Code (Cal. Ed. Code) Sec. 56364]

School districts must offer a continuum of alternative placements, including:

(1) Instruction in a regular classroom;

(2) Related services (in California, these are called "designated instruction and services") necessary to help your child benefit from special education (see FAQ 6, for more on “Related Services”);

(3) Resource specialist services in which a school resource specialist provides specialized instruction and services to children who spend more than half their day in a regular classroom;

(4) Special day classes and centers in which a school provides specialized instruction and services to children who spend less than half their day in a regular classroom;

(5) State special schools, such as the California School for the Deaf and California School for the Blind;

(6) Home instruction;

(7) Instruction in hospitals or institutions, such as medical facilities, state hospitals and developmental centers, and juvenile schools;

(8) Placement in appropriate nonpublic, non-sectarian schools when no appropriate public school placement is available; and

(9) Out-of-home residential placement, including non-medical care and room and board when educationally appropriate or when the only appropriate school is too far away from your home;

(10) Itinerant instruction in classrooms, resource rooms, and settings other than classrooms where specially-designed instruction may occur;

(11) Instruction using telecommunication; and

(12) Instruction in settings other than classrooms where specially designed instruction may occur.

[34 C.F.R. Secs. 300.26, 300.551; Cal. Ed. Code Secs. 56360, 56361, and 56363.] ( For more specific information on individual types of placements, see Cal. Ed. Code Secs. 56362 (resource specialist program), 56364 (special day class), 56367 (state special schools), 56365 (non-public schools), 56167 (medical institutions), 56850 (state developmental centers and hospitals), 56150 (juvenile schools), and 56156 (out-of-home residential placements).

Note: Unfortunately, school districts do not always provide accurate or complete information about what these placement options are, including the fact that necessary "supplementary aids and services" are supposed to be attempted PRIOR to removing a child from the general education classroom, and often provide parents with information only about the placements the district wants to utilize for the child.  Far too often, the placements the school district would choose are more restrictive than a child truly needs.  School districts MUST provide services in settings and with people who can meet your child’s IEP goals and objectives.  If a proposed classroom or teacher cannot meet your child’s goals, you can ask the district to change them.  However, parents are well advised to observe the various placement options under consideration including classrooms, programs or services, before agreeing to a placement, especially if you have concerns about its appropriateness.

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13. When considering placements for my child, should the child fit the program placement or the program fit the child?

The program placement should be determined based on your child's needs as described in his or her IEP. [34 C.F.R. Sec. 300.552.] The intent of the law is that the program be based on the unique needs of your child, rather than the programs available in the school district. If a program which meets your child's unique needs does not exist, the school district is required to secure a program (for example, starting a new program, modifying an existing program, providing for an interdistrict transfer or paying for a nonpublic school placement as appropriate). [Source: “Special Education Rights and Responsibilities,” Question 4-45, PAI CA].

Parents should also know that the law requires that they must be active participants in any decisions the IEP team makes about the educational placement of their child.  You have the right to obtain as much specific information as possible about the recommended placements during your IEP meeting. Some districts will tell you which placements (specific classrooms) they are recommending and describe those classrooms. Other school districts will recommend general placement categories (for example, resource specialists, special day class). Then, specific classroom assignments follow the IEP. Whichever procedure your district follows, you should request at your IEP meeting that you be included, as the law requires, in any meeting where the educational placement of your child is determined. [20 U.S.C. Sec. 1414(f), 34 C.F.R. Sec. 300.501(c); Cal. Ed. Code Sec. 56342.5.] [Source: “Special Education Rights and Responsibilities,” Question 4-38, PAI CA].

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14. How soon after the IEP meeting must the IEP be implemented?

The IEP must be implemented as soon as possible following the IEP meeting. There can be no undue delay in providing special education and related services; however, the IEP must specify projected dates for initiation of services. [34 C.F.R. Sec. 300.342, 300.347(a)(6); 5 C.C.R. Sec. 3040.] . [Source: “Special Education Rights and Responsibilities, Question 4-41, PAI CA].

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15. What does FAPE mean?  

See WRIGHTSLAW: All About Free Appropriate Public Education

Appropriate, as in Free Appropriate Public Education, means specialized instruction and related services that are provided at public expense, under public supervision and without charge. The instruction and services must meet state standards, must include preschool, elementary and secondary school education, and must be provided in conformity with an IEP that meets all legal requirements. [34 C.F.R. Sec. 300.13.] The services must address all of the child's identified special education and related service needs, and the services and placement must be based on the child's unique needs and not on her disability. [34 C.F.R. Sec. 300.300(a)(3).]

In 1982, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision in Board of Education v. Rowley , 458 U.S. 176; 102 S. Ct. 3034; EHLR 553:656 declaring that under federal law an "appropriate" educational program and placement is one that provides services to the disabled student sufficient for her to obtain "educational benefit." It does not entitle the student to the "best" possible educational program or a "potential maximizing" education. The Rowley case must be followed throughout the United States and was specifically adopted by the federal courts governing California in Gregory K. v. Longview School District, 811 F.2d 1307 (9th Cir. 1987); EHLR 558:284. Specifically, in Rowley the Court was considering a student with disabilities who was mainstreamed in general education classes. For these students, the Rowley court said that educational benefit usually means that the child is making passing grades and is being promoted from grade to grade.

The courts are constantly exploring the meaning of "educational benefit." Certainly, the plan of instruction and placement should be likely to result in meaningful educational progress and not regression or trivial educational advancement. [Polk v. Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit 16, 853 F.2d 171 (3d Cir. 1988).] In California, educational benefit is measured by whether the child is making meaningful progress toward achieving IEP goals and objectives. [County of San Diego v. Cal. Special Ed. Hearing Office, 93 F.3d 1458 (9th Cir. 1996), 24 IDELR 756; Taylor v. Honig, 910 F.2d 627, 629 (9th Cir. 1990), 16 EHLR 1138.]

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16. What does Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) mean?

Least Restrictive Environment is defined in IDEA regulations. Go to the IDEA practices website and locate Sections 300.550-300.553.
Spring 2001- SPecial EDge Newsletter on the LRE  Spring 2001 
SPecial EDge Insert on the LRE Special LRE Insert
Wested LRE Resources Project

Federal law provides that each local education agency must ensure that:

            “to the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities, including children in public or private institutions or other care facilities, are educated with children who are not disabled, and special classes, separate schooling or other removal of children with disabilities from the regular educational environment occurs only when the nature or severity of the disability is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily. [20 U.S.C. Sec. 1412 (a)(5)(A); 34 C.F.R. Sec. 300.550(b)(1) & (2); California Education Code (Cal. Ed. Code) Sec. 56364]

State law provides that special education students be provided with "maximum interaction with the general school population" as appropriate. [Cal. Ed. Code Sec. 56001(g).] Further, state policy provides that special education students "should receive their education in chronologically age appropriate environments with non-handicapped peers." [CDE, Office of Special Education, Policy Statement on Least Restrictive Environment (October 10, 1986).] This means, for example, that a 10-year-old student with disabilities should attend public school at a local elementary campus with other nondisabled students of the same age. Depending on the student's individual needs, he could be fully included in a regular classroom with support services, mainstreamed, attend a special class, or be placed in a combination of both as appropriate.

This does not mean that all students must attend regular education classes or attend school at regular education campuses. Depending on the student's individual needs, as documented by the IEP team, he may need to receive educational programming in a self-contained classroom or at a special school, nonpublic school or residential facility.

Systematic efforts on the part of special and regular educators should be made to promote positive interactions between students with disabilities (severely disabled and learning disabled) and their nondisabled peers. See
Chapter 7, Education Rights and Responsibilities,” Information on Least Restrictive Environment.

The following is an excerpt from an article entitled


“The measure is regular transportation, to a regular classroom, with regular students, regular curriculum, access to regular non-academic activities, access to extra-curricular activities, and access to the benefits of all programs and services of the school district.  Any problem arising from a disability that keeps a student from each of the above goals must be reflected in the baseline of need, the outcome desired, and specifically what needs to be programmed for. 

            If a student cannot productively take a regular bus to school as the other children do, because of a disability, that needs to be programmed for because it is a barrier to full enjoyment of the educational experience now and employability, access to recreation and leisure in the community and independent living later. If a student, because of a disability, cannot get his homework assignment, take the needed books home, do the expected  homework and turn it in when he returns to school the next day, that needs to be programmed for because it affects inclusion in a regular class today and affects employability and access to further education and training later.   

The focus, whether in the IDEA, Section 504 or the ADA, has moved completely from serving the child in the special education environment to empowering the student as they  transition through the regular education environment and into the regular community.   

            Senator Stafford, offering an "inclusion" amendment to the Education for All Handicapped Children Act, saw clearly 25 years into the future: "We are concerned that children with handicapping conditions be educated in the most normal possible and least restrictive setting, for how else will they adapt to the world beyond the educational environment, and how else will the non-handicapped adapt to them?" [120 Cong. Rec. S. 8438 (May 20,1974].

When your child's annual goals are related to academics that are objectively measurable, the goal should be to raise the student to grade level equivalency -- just like any other student in regular education. 

A common problem for many students with special needs, as acknowledged by Congress in the 1997 IDEA, is the lowering of expectations by regular education teachers. Students are often allowed to progress at a slower rate so you should make sure the goal for your child is to achieve one grade level of growth for each year of instruction.

If your child's disability makes that difficult then that is exactly what evaluation is to explore, it is exactly what the IEP committee is to discuss and it is exactly what the Comprehensive System of Personnel Development is required for -- to acquire and disseminate promising educational practices that will enable your child's teachers to attempt to enable your child to have the same rate of accomplishment as other children in the class.

It is common to see regular education teachers expecting students with special needs to have a difficult time and to be performing below grade level. So if your child's evaluation shows a deficit, for example in reading of several years below the grade level of the rest of the class, then your goal should be more than one year's growth for one year of instruction -- it should be to get up to grade level. Your child has a right to the same goals and expectations of everyone else in regular education. Being behind in reading will drag your child behind in everything.

Worse, being behind in a regular class can lead to teasing by other students in the class and that must be addressed as well. Recent federal court cases such as Leslie B. v. Winnacunnet Coop. Sch. Dist., 28 IDELR 271 (D.NH 1998) showed that regular education teachers could be liable, as well as the school district being liable, when a student is allowed to fall behind and allowed to be teased to the point that they can no longer attend school.

Some school personnel seem to accept performance below grade level for students with disabilities who are being served in regular classes, but the U.S. Supreme Court does not find that acceptable. The U.S. Supreme Court in Board of Education v. Rowley, at pages 203-04, defined the Congressional requirement for grade level equivalency. "Regular examinations are administered, grades are awarded, and yearly advancement to higher grade levels is permitted for those children who attain an adequate knowledge of the course material. The grading and advancement system thus constitutes an important factor in determining educational benefit. Children who graduate from our public school system are considered by our society to have been educated at least to the grade level they have completed." The Court goes on to say that the specially designed education "must meet the state's educational standards" and "must approximate the grade levels used in the state's regular education."

The Supreme Court continues: "The IEP, and therefore the personalized instruction, should be formulated in accordance with the requirements of the Act, and, if the child is being educated in the regular classroom of the public education system, should be reasonably calculated to enable the child to achieve passing marks and advance from grade to grade."

No more fake "A's" and no more fake "promotion." The school has to produce on goals of raising the student to grade level equivalency.”

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17. How do I make a referral for my child to receive special education services?

To refer your child for special education services, write a letter to your child's teacher, principal or special education administrative office. Tell the school district that you are concerned about your child's educational progress. Say that you are making a referral for assessment for special education services. You may also want to let the district know that you are looking forward to receiving an assessment plan within 15 days of the district's receipt of your letter. Keep a copy of this request and any other correspondence with the school district. If you call to make a referral, school district personnel must by law assist you to put your request in writing. If the school district refers your child for special education, it is still critical that you follow up with your own written request. Your written referral will ensure that assessment and IEP timelines will begin. [Cal. Ed. Code Sec. 56029, 56302; 5 C.C.R. Sec. 3021.] [[Source: “Special Education Rights and Responsibilities, Question 1-11, PAI CA].

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18. How do I locate someone to assess my child if I want an independent assessment done? How do I find local service providers for my child?

One thing parents can do is use a database available from the California Dept. of Education, Special Education Division (which you can access here ) which makes available a directory of services provided by certified nonpublic, nonsectarian schools and agencies and includes information on disabling conditions, age ranges, co-ed or single-sex enrollment.

In addition, many ASK families have used the professionals whose names are provided below.  Please note that ASK’s listing of these individuals and organizations is neither an express or implied endorsement nor recommendation of any of these individuals or organizations, rather an offer of information regarding resources that are available in our local area.

Independent psycho-educational and/or neuro-developmental assessments are available through:

Susan McNary- (310) 540-5340
Carol Edwards- (310) 544-5651
Claudia McCulloch- (310) 514-2200.
Pam Ajang- (310) 378-5020
Robert Byrd- (310) 899-9699 or (800) 301-1802
Nancy Harjani- (310) 899-9699 or (310) 225-2130
The H.E.L.P. Group, Neuropsychology Program – (818) 781-0360
UCLA Neuro.Psych. Institute – (310) 825-0511
Dr. Rita Eichenstein 310 202-6301
LA-area ABA providers and independent psychological evaluations


Dr. Michael Fitzpatrick, MD 310 318-9089
Dr. Steve Lawrence, MD 310 542-7878

(If you believe your child may have a developmental disability, you can also contact the local regional center for an assessment. [See FAQ 20, below, for information about “Regional Centers”].

You may also want to consider making a request at an IEP for an assessment to be done by one of the CDE-sponsored Diagnostic Centers. School districts must make the request, but an assessment that is done by the Diagnostic Center is done at NO COST to the school district.  Please note that there is typically a waiting list for assessment.  The Southern California Diagnostic Center can be accessed here  Please be aware that the Diagnostic Center is a branch of the California Department of Education thus is aligned with school districts. As such it should not be considered an "independent evaluator" as that term is used in 34 CFR 300.502  Go to IDEA Practices and locate 300.502

Behavioral Intervention, ABA/DTT

BECA (Behavioral Education for Children with Autism)
21250 Hawthorne Blvd., Suite 500
Torrance, CA 90503
Phone: (310) 545-1237

CARD (Center for Autism and Related Disorders) 
Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh

23300 Ventura Blvd.,
Woodland Hills, CA 91364 
PHONE: (818) 223-0123 

C.A.R.D. in Torrance: (310) 944-9809

LIFE (The Lovaas Institute for Early Intervention)
2566 Overland Avenue Suite 500
Los Angeles, CA 90064
PHONE:(310) 840-5983 
The Lovaas Institute for Early Intervention, 
or LIFE, is a small researched-based psychology
 clinic in the Los Angeles area that specializes in 
developing and implementing behavior modification treatment programs for children with autism. 

RAE (Resources in Autism Education) 
Sabrina Marasovich 
4455 Torrance Blvd., Suite 801
Torrance, CA 90503-4335. 
PHONE:(310) 791-2062

Working With Autism Inc. 
Jennifer Sabin
16530 Ventura Blvd Suite # 310
Encino, Ca 91436 
PHONE: (818) 501-4240

Wayne Tashjian, M.F.T. 
15720 Ventura Blvd., Suite 606 
Encino, CA 91436 
(818) 788-2388

Autism Spectrum Therapies:
6035 Bristol Parkway, Suite 200
Culver City, CA 90230
Tel (310) 641-1100
Fax (310) 641-1174

Autism Partnership- (562) 431-9293
Looking Glass Children’s Services- (323) 295-4722
IABA, Inst. For Applied Behavior Analysis: 
(310) 649-0499
Autism Behavior Consultants
3440 Torrance Blvd. Suite 104
Torrance, CA 90503
(310) 937-3633

Educational Therapists
Susan Charles- (310) 379-0564
Ginny Erxleben, Center for Learning Unlimited
(310) 544-1644

Vicky Ebeling- (310) 375-4790
Lisa Nicolello- (310) 377-1872
Lois Hillman- (310) 541-6332
Joan Reitter- (310) 791-8585
Joy Mann- (310) 375-7149

OT/PT, Social Skills
Sensory Integration International/Ayres Clinic 
(310) 320-2335
PTN- Pediatric Therapy Network- (310) 328-0276
Can Do Kids- (310) 204-8999
Lifespan Therapeutics

Marianne O’Brien Gordon
25550 Hawthorne Blvd, Suite 209
Torrance, CA  90505
(310) 698-4353

Marcie Rhee, DPT, PCS
310-371-8555 phone
310-371-4488 fax

Therapy West- (310) 337-7115

Rebekah S. Tolin, OTR/L
Phone (917) 327-5837

Speech Therapy
Maureen Johnston- (310) 378-0036
Lynne Alba- (310) 257-8506
Lifespan Therapeutics
Marianne O’Brien Gordon
25550 Hawthorne Blvd, Suite 209
Torrance, CA  90505
(310) 698-4353
Janice DeMore- (310) 373-7599
Donita Teft- (310) 379-7732
Consultant for speech- Susan Myers-Fosnot- (818) 884-9110
Lauri Allen, MA, CCC-SP 

Consultant and Assessment for Speech and Language
Karen Schnee, MA, CCC-SLP : 818 363-1912

Independent Consultants
David Sponder- (310) 521-0112 (autism/behavior)
Scott Shepard- (818) 589-0497 (autism/behavior/inclusion)
Rick Clemens- (805) 985-4808 (inclusion, curricular modifications)
Mary Falvey- (323) 343-4406 (inclusion, curricular modifications etc)
Richard Rosenberg- (562) 698-8121 (inclusion, transition)
Lynn Smithey- (310) 230-1780 (inclusion, curricular modifications)

Trang Nguyen, O.D., F.A.A.O.
Vision enhancement; visual perception testing; functional vision assessments 
2901 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 100
Santa Monica, CA 90403

Dr. Albert K. Chun, O.D.
3537 Torrance Blvd. Suite 18
Torrance, CA 90503
(310) 543-3555

Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome

Rosalyn Firemark, M.A.
Audiology Consultants
3440 Lomita Blvd. #432
Torrance, CA 90505

Carol Atkins, MA, CCC-A,
Audiology Processing Disorder

Miscellaneous  Resources
Brain Gym® International

EEG Spectrum International
Welcome To Brain Place
Irlen Institute

HALO (Helping Autism through Learning and Outreach)

(866) 465-9595


Contact person: Linda Lange, director


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19. If I need a lawyer or a professional advocate, who can I call?

Protection and Advocacy [PAI] at (213) 427-8747 and TASK (Team of Advocates for Special Kids) (714) 533-TASK, or OCRA, Office of Clients Rights Advocacy, (800) 390-7032, offer no or low cost legal assistance. 

Also check the following websites:

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20. What is "regional center?"

To learn more about the California Regional Center System, you may access this site and learn about the regional centers and “Rights Under the Lanterman Act”:  

Regional Centers serving the South Bay area are: Harbor Regional Center 21231 Hawthorne Blvd., Torrance, CA 90503-5591, (310) 540-1171; and Westside Regional Center, 5901 Green Valley Circle, 3rd Floor, Culver City, CA 90230, (310) 337-1155. 

The Department of Developmental Services (DDS) contracts with Regional Centers to provide services to people with developmental disabilities. Regional Centers are private, nonprofit corporations. There are 21 Regional Centers in California, each serving a specific geographic area. Appendix C, “Rights Under the Lanterman Act” at the above website gives a complete list of the regional centers with their addresses and telephone numbers.

The Regional Center is the main point of contact in your community to ensure that you and your family receive the services and supports you want and need. The Regional Center provides some services itself.  It also helps you get services from other agencies. § 4620. The regional center is required to develop an Individual Program Plan (IPP) with you. The plan must list the services you need. § 4646. See Rights Under the Lanterman Act, Chapter Four for a discussion of developing IPPs. Some kinds of services are so special that they can only be provided through the Regional Center. 

Regional Centers do not directly provide most services and supports. They buy the services you need from private agencies or help you get them from government agencies. The person directly responsible for actually helping to plan for and find the services and supports you need is a social worker, known as your service coordinator (sometimes called a "case manager"). § 4647. 

There is more information about getting the services you want and need from the Regional Center and other agencies in Chapter Four. Sometimes, one agency may have more contact and importance in your life than another. For example, during your school years, the local school district has responsibility for special education and a number of other services. When you leave school, you may get more services and supports from another agency or from the regional center.

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21. What is SELPA?

SELPA is the Special Education Local Planning Area. The SELPA supervises the planning and implementation of special education laws and programs in the area. Our local SELPA is the Southwest SELPA, which is involved with the 12 school districts in the South Bay. The Southwest SELPA is located at 1401 Inglewood Ave., Redondo Beach, CA 90278, (310) 798-2731; fax (310) 798-2978;  Resource Center, (310) 798-2965.  The Southwest SELPA Director is Bob Farran.  SELPA's website is

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22. How do I become an ASK E-group member?  How do I access and use the e-group for additional resources and information and to communicate with other ASK members?

The ASK E-Group is a separate web site designed to allow members to communicate with each other and to receive messages about local school district information and related special education issues. If you live in the Los Angeles area, and would like to become a member of the ASK E-group, go here:
Follow the directions to request to become a member. Your request should be processed within a few days of receipt.. 

Once you are a notified that you are a member of the group, go to the site again. On the right side of the page it will tell you that you are a member, and will ask you to sign in.

Give yourself a sign-in name. For example, Dona is donaw01. Then, give yourself a password and ask your computer to save it so you do not have to sign in every time you go to the site.

If you already have another YAHOO member sign in name, it will tell you that you need to use the Conversion Wizard to have access to the ASK E-group.  If this occurs, just follow the directions for the Conversion Wizard.

Once you have signed in and have a password, you can see all of the saved messages and resources/information that have been archived for ASK Members. You will also have access to all of the other member names and e-mail addresses so that you can communicate directly with other ASK E-group members. 

IMPORTANT!!!  When you have a question you would like to present to the group, use the search function or scan the messages to see if your question has already been raised and responded to before prior to sending a message out to the group. That way questions aren’t repeated and unnecessary e-mails aren't required.  We have designed the ASK E-group to help you find the information quickly for yourself.

If you wish to communicate with an individual member of the e-group, you can communicate with them directly by going into the site, clicking "Members," scrolling down until you see the name of the member you wish to communicate with, and then clicking on the name and sending the message. This allows for direct communication between members without sending messages to all the members.  Of course, you can also send an e-mail directly from your personal e-mail to another e-groups member’s personal e-mail.

If you wish to send a message to the entire ASK e-group, you should send it to  
Be sure and save or bookmark this e-mail address in your address book.

Messages to the entire ASK E-group should be general inquiries about a particular subject of interest, i.e., local practitioners of a particular intervention, good speech teachers, etc.  It can be to inquire about someone, a service, or just to pose a general question or comment to the group. PLEASE use the Yahoo Group resources (archives and search function) prior to sending a message, as you will save yourself and others time and trouble by not repeating questions that have already been asked and answered in previous postings. 

PLEASE NOTE: If you hit the “Reply” button in response to an ASK E-group message, ALL members will see your response!  If you wish to keep your communication confidential to the original writer, or wish to send any information that is personal and confidential, please send them to personal e-mail addresses.  If you wish to reach ASK contacts, send messages to our personal e-mails or contact us through the web site.

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Copyright © 2001  ASK 
All rights reserved.
Revised: January 25, 2002

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