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Resources and Articles

(Dis) Ability Fact Sheets

SRVUSD has compiled fact sheets on many disabilities affecting students in our district. These sheets may be used to share information on common characteristics of a specific disability - great for your child's teachers, your relatives, and more! View the Fact Sheets.



Resource Library

Over the years, the PTA Special Needs Committee has purchased a collection of books and DVDs, which we store at the library at Iron Horse Middle School.  These books and DVDs are part of the library's Parent Resources, and any parent, teacher or staff member in SRVUSD can check out these materials.  Please check out the Parent Resources section at IHMS.  You can access the list as follows:

Go to http://library.ihms.srvusd.net

Click on the Catalog tab

Click on Copy Categories

Click on Parent Resources and browse the list.

Email the librarian at emgantt@srvusd.net to request materials.  She will email you back when the materials are ready for pick-up at Iron Horse.


Safe Schools Tipline

To report any acts of school violence, bullying or vandalism, students, staff members, parents and community members are encouraged to call the district's anonymous tipline: (925) 820-5632. 

Local Special Needs Organizations 

CHADD Children and Adults with Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder


Let us help connect you with AD/HD professionals and resources and, together, we can chart a path for the healthy growth of your loved one and, in the process, make life a little easier.


Group based in Walnut Creek with monthly meetings featuring a variety of speakers. For more information, go to www.aspergersresource.org.

Down Syndrome Connection

Support group based in Danville. Go to www.dsconnection.org for more information.

POISE - Parents of Orinda Individuals in Special Education

Support group based in Orinda with monthly meetings featuring a variety of speakers. Go to www.orindapoise.org for more information.

PRAISE - Piedmonters for Resources, Advocacy, and Information in Special Education

Piedmont parents who support and provide information to fellow parents of children with special needs.  Go to www.piedmontpraise.org for more information.

Tri-Valley Special Needs Fun Group

Group based in Pleasanton that plans playgroups and other social outings for children with special needs and their families.  Go to http://www.meetup.com/Tri-Valley-Special-Needs-Fun-Group for more information.

National Society for the Gifted and Talented Connecting gifted and talented children and youth with opportunities and resources.  Go to www.nsgt.org for more information.

Special Needs


Presentation at Orinda Books

Orinda Books will host a presentation by Andrew Schlegelmilch, who has offices in Orinda and specializes in working with individuals with neurological problems such as Asperger's, Non-Verbal Learning Disability and high functioning Autism.  He has written a book called Parenting ASD Teens: A Guide to Making it Up as You go.  Andrew will present on November 5 at 7pm. 


Orinda Books is located at 
276 Village Square, Orinda, CA 94563

(925) 254-7606



Posted by: Erica Griffin
Published: 10/19/14

Gale Ranch & Windemere Ranch Middle Schools joint Special Needs Event

Gale Ranch Middle School together with Windemere Ranch Middle School will hold a coffee and present on the topic, "Collaborating with Teachers: How to Know if my Child's IEP or 504 is working? (And how I can help)" with Helene Momita, SRVUSD Special Needs Ombuds. It will be held on Wednesday, November 19th at 9:15am-10:30am. Please click the link for more information and to RSVP. This event is open to all Middle school parents and guardians and the feeder schools into GRMS & WRMS which are: Coyote Creek, Quail Run, Hidden Hills and Live Oak Elementary Schools. 

Posted by: Erica Griffin
Published: 10/19/14

Montair PTA Parent Education Event
Montair PTA welcomes award winning author, Nancy Rose: Raise the Child You've Got, Not the One You Want. Don't miss this thought provoking book talk about a remarkably effective approach: 
  • Leading with Acceptance
  • Discover what you can and cannot change about your child
  • Build a healthy parent/child connection
  • Raise children to become their best selves

When: Wednesday, October 22, at 9:00am-10:00am

Where: Montair Elementary School, Multi Purpose Room

Posted by: Erica Griffin
Published: 10/5/14

SRVUSD Special Needs Ombuds: Transition & Workability Presentation

SRVUSD Special Needs Ombuds, Helene Momita, presents "Transitions to High School and Workability for Workplace Readiness". Learn ways you can smooth your student's transition to high school. Karen Heilbronner, Director of K-12+ Special Education, together with a high school resource teacher, will discuss ways you can help your child successfully navigate the final years. Also, come and learn about Workability, a grant program whose purpose is to provide high school special education students with the instruction and experiences that can lead to gainful employment. Sue Frankel will be on hand to discuss this exciting program and answer questions. 

When: Wednesday, November 5, 2014 at 10:00am

Where: SRVUSD Education Center, Boardroom B, 699 Old Orchard Dr, Danville


Posted by: Erica Griffin
Published: 10/5/14

Charlotte Wood Middle School Coffee Event

Charlotte Wood is hosting a coffee on October 22, 8:15am-9:30am. District Transition Specialist Rhonda Taft will be speaking to us about this new position in the district and what it is she does.

Everyone is welcome; please let us know you are coming by sending us a note at charlottewoodpta@gmail.com.

Posted by: Erica Griffin
Published: 9/24/14


Events sponsored by other organizations serving special needs children & families

Please note that these events are not sponsored or endorsed by the PTA, but are listed solely for informational purposes.  If you you would like to provide feedback regarding these listings, please email the Special Needs Chair at srvspecialneeds@gmail.com


CHADD Parent to Parent Classes for 2014-2015

CHADD of Northern California is offering their parent to parent classes for 2014-2015. This workshop series will provide educational information and support for families who are dealing with AD/HD and learning to navigate the challenges of AD/HD across the lifespan. For more information, please visit, www.chadd.org and for the list of calendar events: www.chaddnorcal.org/calendar


October is Dyslexia Awareness Month

Join the Northern California Branch of the International Dyslexia Association for two free events this October. Dyslexia is the most common learning difference (1 in 5 kids have it), yet the most publicly misunderstood. Please join NCBIDA for a screening of "The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia," a film directed by James Redford. The film recounts the experiences of children and young adults with dyslexia, including Redford's son, Dylan, and features interviews with highly successful individuals with dyslexia, such as Sir Richard Branson, Gavin Newsom, Charles Schwab, and David Boies. The 52 minute film will be followed by a short panel discussion and audience question-and-answer session. The programs are designed for adults and children age 12 and over. No registration is required. 

Saturday, October 11, 10am-12pm

(co-presented with Pleasanton Public Library Children's Services)
Pleasanton Public Library, Main Meeting Room 

400 Old Bernal Avenue, Pleasanton, CA 94566

Click here to download a flyer: http://www.dyslexia-ncbida.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Dyslexia-Program-Pleasanton-2014.pdf

Saturday, October 18, 9:30am-11:30am

The Carey School 

1 Carey School Lane, San Mateo, CA 94403

Click here to download a flyer: http://www.dyslexia-ncbida.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Oct.-18-2014-Event-Flyer.pdf


City of San Ramon Therapeutic Recreation

The City of San Ramon offers a variety of therapeutic recreational programs for children and adults with special needs.  Please visit their website at http://www.sanramon.ca.gov/parks/recreation_guide/index.htm


RADD (Recreational Activities for the Developmentally Disabled)

Sponsored by the Town of Danville.  The program provides a range of activities from meals out at local restaurants, bowling, trips to the theater, basketball, and baseball games for people with disabilities ages 15 and up.  These activities are on Friday nights and Saturdays.  For a detailed schedule and registration form, go to the Town of Danville Parks & Recreation Activity Guide.

Special Olympics

Special Olympics offers numerous sports programs throughout the year, free of charge to athletes.  In order to participate, the athlete must have a current application/medical form on file with Special Olympics.  The application form is valid for three years.  If you would like to register your child or find out if your application is still on file, email info@sonc.org or call (925) 944-8801.


Special Olympics Sports – San Ramon Parks and Community Services Registration


 The City of San Ramon together with Special Olympics Northern California provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic style sports for persons eight years of age and older with developmental disabilities. All sports training and competition opportunities are free for Special Olympic Athletes. Special Olympic medical forms must be on file prior to the first day of training.  Sports offered include basketball, bocce, swimming, bowling.

Through games and activities our athletes will build self-esteem, develop motor skills, learn proper stretching and basic rules of the sports. The program is a collaboration between the Parks and Community Services Department and the CSU East Bay Recreation Department.  (www.sanramon.ca.gov/Parks/recreation_guide/index.htm)  

Contact the Special Needs Committee:



Committee Meetings

Special Needs Committee meetings are held from 9:15 to 11:00 on the fourth Wednesday of each month, except for November, December and May, as noted below.  They are held in Board Room A of the SRVUSD Offices at 699 Old Orchard Drive, Danville.

The next Special Needs Committee meeting will be held Wednesday, October 22, 2014 from 9:15-11am. 

Future Special Needs Committee meeting dates are as follows: 


November 19, 2014

December 17, 2014

January 28, 2015

February 25, 2015

March 25, 2015

April 22, 2015

May 27, 2015


Parent Education Evening Speaker Series 

The Parent Education Evening Speaker Series is held on the 3rd Wednesday evening of every month, September through April (except if noted otherwise), 7-9pm at Iron Horse Middle School MPR, 12601 Alcosta Blvd., San Ramon, CA, 94583.  Many of our speakers address topics that are of interest and applicable to both families of children with special needs and families of children who may not be identified as having special needs.  All are welcome to attend.



Background on the PTA Special Needs Committee

The committee was formed in Fall 2002 to:

  • Provide information and support to parents and staff so they can help children with special needs succeed.
  • Help ALL children and adults understand and appreciate challenges faced by children with special needs.
  • Work legislatively to secure and retain adequate laws and funding for children with special needs.

In 2002, the school district was faced with many parents unhappy with how their children's educational needs were being met, pending litigation, and a long list of compliance issues. The initial committee included seven parents with varying PTA experience, a school board member, and the school district's Assistant Director of Special Education. We knew that parents of children with special needs often feel disconnected from the schools and are craving information and support, and we hoped that this committee could help meet some of this need. We define “special needs” broadly - as applying to any child with learning or processing differences, physical disabilities, speech & language difficulties, social or emotional issues, etc., as well as gifted learners.

Eager to start making a difference, the new committee hosted a series of four educational evening programs.  Each of the schools were encouraged to appoint a PTA special needs representative for the following year, and a handful did. The following year the committee hosted an evening program almost every month as well as a full-day Saturday conference. The committee's events consistently drew large audiences by providing information on a variety of topics to parents craving support as well as educators eager to learn.

The number of PTA special needs representatives has continued to grow and as a result we now have an active, collaborative committee. We host 5-6 evening programs a year and collaborate with PTA's Parent Education group to put on a full-day Saturday conference in February.

The school district has moved from being initially hesitant about our efforts to being fully supportive and appreciative. They now encourage teachers and staff to attend our programs, and provide facilities and support whenever asked. The high attendance at all of these programs, the appreciation from parents and staff members who attend them, and the resulting cooperation and collaboration that has positively changed how parents and educators view one another, prove that this program is helping children.

We look forward to another productive year of providing information and support through our evening programs and other events, and the networking and support opportunities that result from participating in these events. We hope you'll check out our events planned for the 2012-13 school year!


Erica Griffin

Chairperson, Special Needs 

San Ramon Valley Council of PTAs