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Diagnostic Centers

Provides comprehensive assessments to special education students and staff development and training services to local educational agencies.

When Specialized Assessment Services are Needed, California’s Diagnostic Centers Can Help

Unique to California, the Diagnostic Centers External link opens in new window or tab. are the California Department of Education’s foremost providers of specialized services and assistance to special education students, their families, and local education agencies (LEAs). The Diagnostic Center Teams are committed to providing a quality service that makes a positive difference for students, their families, and educators.

Established more than 50 years ago, the Diagnostic Centers provide high quality assessments to hundreds of students each year, as well as professional development opportunities for families and educators throughout the state.

California’s three Diagnostic Centers, located in Fremont, Fresno, and Los Angeles, can help LEAs with their most difficult-to-serve special education students ages 2.9 through 22 years. These services are provided at no charge to the LEA or family.

Referrals may be made by the school district when:

  • A student is not making progress, even after all local resources have been used.
  • A student has complex behavioral and/or learning profiles, in addition to assessment needs that cannot be addressed locally.

COVID-19 Guidance

Providing Comprehensive, In-Depth Assessments

Dynamic, Transdisciplinary Process

Each assessment is carefully planned and is:

  • Highly individualized
  • Guided by a set of educationally relevant diagnostic questions
  • Designed to support the local district by providing specialized strategies, interventions, and programming options.
  • Conducted by a team of experts

Assessment in a Variety of Settings

A student may be assessed in the school, at the Center, or in a combination of both environments.

Parents as Partners

Collaboration with parents is an essential, highly valued, and integral part of the assessment process. Parents assume an active role in the team process through input into the referral questions, participation in portions of the assessment, and extensive interviews with Diagnostic Center assessment staff.

Sharing Assessment Results

After completion of the assessment, Diagnostic Center staff members meet with families and school staff to share assessment findings, including practical teaching strategies and interventions. In addition, the district and parents receive a comprehensive written report.

Linking Assessment Results With Instruction

Consultation and Instructional Support

The Diagnostic Center offers a variety of consultative and/or technical assistance services to school staff to assist with students who have been previously served by the Diagnostic Center.

Additional Services

Regional Workshops, Conference Presentations

Each Diagnostic Center offers state-of-the-art professional development and training programs for both district staff and parents. These presentations and workshops are typically prescheduled through regional workshops and in-services, presentations at major state and national professional conferences, and sponsorship of major conferences on a regional or statewide basis.

For More Information

Each Diagnostic Center offers a detailed information packet describing its services. For more information or to discuss the possibility of a specific referral, please contact the Diagnostic Center within your service delivery area. Contact information is below.

Diagnostic Center Counties Served
Northern California External link opens in new window or tab.
39100 Gallaudet Drive
Fremont, CA 94538
Del Norte, Siskiyou, Modoc, Humboldt, Trinity, Shasta, Lassen, Mendocino, Tehama, Plumas, Glenn, Butte, Sierra, Lake, Sutter, Yuba, Placer, Nevada, Sonoma, Napa, Sacramento, El Dorado, Solano, Alpine, Marin, Contra Costa, San Francisco, Alameda, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Benito, Mid Alameda, North Region, Mission Valley, Tri Valley, Southeast Consortium, Oakland, San Ramon Valley, Sacramento City, Folsom Cordova, San Juan, Sutter, and Yolo.
Central California External link opens in new window or tab.
1818 West Ashlan Avenue
Fresno, CA 93705
San Luis Obispo, Northern Kern, Tulare, Kings, Fresno, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Stanislaus, San Joaquin, Tuolumne, Calaveras, Colusa, and Amador.
Southern California External link opens in new window or tab.
4339 State University Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90032
Mono, Inyo, southern Kern, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Orange, Riverside, San Diego, and Imperial.

Available Translations of Diagnostic Centers Information

Questions:   State Special Schools and Services | 916-327-3850
Last Reviewed: Monday, May 23, 2022
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