Reasons for ConcernWhen 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 helpful.
If the child in your care is between birth to three years of age:
- You may call or visit on-line the California Department of Developmental Services at 800-515-BABY (2229). You will be provided information and resources available in your local community often through your local Family Resource Center who provides parent-to-parent support and information.
- You may contact your Special Education Local Plan Area and inquire about Early Education Programs for Infants available in the area in which you reside.
- 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:
- 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 the next steps which may include an assessment of your child.*
- You may contact your local Parent Training and Information Center who can assist you with information and resources in your area.
- You may also contact your local Family Empowerment Center who provides specialized training, peer-to-peer support, and information.
* 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 Individualized Family Service Plan (birth to three) or an Individualized Education Program for students ages three to twenty-two. All supports and services determined to be appropriate are confidential and should be provided at no cost to the family.