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Reasons for Concern

When you suspect your child or a child in your care may have a disability or special need(s).

If you suspect that your child or a child in your care may have a disability or special need(s) that may be affecting their academic, behavioral or developmental progress, there are state and local resources in place for assistance and guidance.

It is important to note, that children develop at different rates and in different ways. Differences in development may be related to personality, temperament, and/or experiences. Some children may also have health needs that affect their development. You may find the Reasons for Concern brochure External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF) helpful.

If the child in your care is between birth – three years of age:

  1. You may call or visit on-line the California Department of Developmental Services External link opens in new window or tab. at 800-515-BABY (2229). You will be provided information and resources available in your local community often through your local Family Resource Center External link opens in new window or tab. who provides parent-to-parent support and information.
  2. You may also speak to your child’s pediatrician who can developmentally assess your child and if appropriate, make referrals to local resources.

If the child in your care is three years of age or older:

  1. You may call your school district, located in the area in which you reside or where your child attends school. When you call, ask to speak with the Special Education department. Special Education staff from your school district will be able to explain next steps which may include an assessment of your child.*
  2. You may contact your local Parent Training and Information Center or Family Empowerment Center External link opens in new window or tab. who can assist you with information and resources in your area.

* Please note: Parents/guardians must provide written permission for their child to be tested and ultimately, if appropriate, for the child to receive special education services and supports through an Individual Family Service Plan (Birth-three) or an Individual Education Plan (IEP) for students ages three-twenty two. All supports and services determined to be appropriate are confidential and should be provided at no cost to the family.

Questions: Kristin Wright | kwright@cde.ca.gov | 916-319-0756 
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