Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

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. helpful.

If the child in your care is between birth to 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 contact your Special Education Local Plan Area and inquire about Early Education Programs for Infants available in the area in which you reside.
  3. 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 the next steps which may include an assessment of your child.*
  2. You may contact your local Parent Training and Information Center who can assist you with information and resources in your area.
  3. 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.

Questions:   Annie Baccay | ABaccay@cde.ca.gov
Last Reviewed: Thursday, January 20, 2022
Recently Posted in Special Education
  • FMTA Consultant Assignments by Region (updated 21-Apr-2022)
    The Focused Monitoring and Technical Assistance (FMTA) Consultants are assigned geographically and by quality assurance activity to align with the eleven California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA) regions.
  • Assembly Bill 130 Independent Study FAQs (updated 19-Apr-2022)
    These Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) assist local educational agencies (LEAs) in implementing Assembly Bill 130. This collection represents commonly asked questions, but is not intended to be a complete list of all possible questions or scenarios.
  • WAI State Advisory Meeting May 3, 2022 (added 08-Apr-2022)
    WorkAbility I (WAI) State Advisory Committee Meeting Agenda.
  • ACSE Agenda April 13, 2022 (added 01-Apr-2022)
    Advisory Commission on Special Education (ACSE) meeting agenda.
  • California's Annual State Application for 2022 (added 23-Mar-2022)
    Annual State Application under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is to be submitted by May 27, 2022, for federal fiscal year (FFY) 2022.