About Us Goals Executive Board Meeting Schedule Our PTA & PTSA Units
Programs Health & Wellness Inclusion & Diversity Legislative Advocacy Parent & Community Concerns Reflections Safety Scholarships & Awards Sister School Special Needs
For PTA Leaders Membership Mentors for PTA Units Nominating Committees State PTA Convention

Follow Us on

Facebook button    Twitter button

SNC logo.png


PPT, Word, Excel Viewers [Go]
Acrobat Reader [Go]

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.

Food Allergy Research & Education

Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) works on behalf of the 15 million Americans with food allergies, including all those at risk for life-threatening anaphylaxis. This potentially deadly disease affects 1 in 13 children in the United States – or roughly two in every classroom. FARE is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that was formed in 2012 as the result of a merger between the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network and the Food Allergy Initiative. http://www.foodallergy.org


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 

CARE Parent Network: 



SEED (Special Education Enrichment Development Foundation) Lafayette:


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


Special Needs Committee Evening Parent Education Event

Finding the Words:
Starting Conversations About Your Child’s Special Needs

Helping family members, friends, teachers, community members, and others understand your child’s special needs may be one of the most difficult things that you, as a parent, have to do. Deborah Penry, a parent of a child with special needs, will share some tips and strategies that she and other parents have learned through experience that may help to make these conversations a bit easier.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015


Iron Horse Middle School MPR

12601 Alcosta Blvd, San Ramon, CA 94583

Deborah Penry a staff member at Care Parent Network, the Family Resource Center that supports families of children with special needs in Contra Costa County. Deborah has been associated with Care Parent Network since 1999. She first sought support as a parent of a toddler with special needs and then volunteered as a mentor for other parents before joining the staff in 2006. Deborah says, “I have relied on the knowledge and experience of parents who have gone before me, and I try to pay them back by providing the same support to parents who come after me. I try to ensure that parents’ voices and perspectives are heard and valued.”

Posted by: Erica Griffin
Published: 10/5/15

New Call to Action for AB 1369 "Dyslexia Bill"

Governor Jerry Brown has yet to decide on AB 1369.  Opposition is pleading their case to the Governor, so we must continue to advocate! The Governor can decide to sign or veto any day, as late as October 12th.  


Please call our local representatives at their offices in Sacramento:

Assemblywoman Catharine Baker:  916-319-2016

Senator Steve Glazer, 916-651-4007

"As a constituent in your District, I ask that you or your staff contact Governor Brown’s office & ask for him to sign AB 1369.  AB 1369 has had unanimous, bipartisan support.  Please make sure that Governor Brown is aware of the importance of this dyslexia bill to our State.”

If you haven't already called the Governor's office, please do that too. Phone number and sample script are in the Call to Action link below, just scroll down a bit. A link to complete information about the bill from the Legislature's Bill Info site, including all votes, analyses, and versions of the bill, is also provided below.

Posted by: Rachel Hurd
Published: 9/25/15

Keep Letters and Phone Calls to Gov. Brown coming in Support of AB1369

If you haven't yet sent a letter to Governor Brown in support of #‎AB1369, CA's Dyslexia bill, please do. We need to keep letters and phone calls in support flowing into his office! A letter template is in the first link below. The second link includes the full Action Alert with his address and phone number and suggested Tweets.

The bill passed unanimously through the committee process and floor votes of both the Assembly and the Senate.  It now just needs Governor Brown’s signature to become law.  But the opposition who tried unsuccessfully to gut the bill as it moved through the Senate is still talking to Governor Brown. Let your voice be heard in support of ALL kids in California learning to read!

This bill is important because it will finally recognize dyslexia as a real, educational concern and provide guidelines for appropriate, evidence-based intervention, so that all children in California may learn to read.  It doesn't address all aspects of the issue, but it is a meaningful first step. Thank you for your support and your action!

Posted by: Rachel Hurd
Published: 9/17/15


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 would like to provide feedback regarding these listings, please email the Special Needs Chair at srvspecialneeds@gmail.com

Down Syndrome Connection of the Bay Area

A Bay Area Non-Profit Organization Passionate and Dedicated to Encouraging the Unlimited Potential in Children and Adults with Down syndrome Since 1998. The Down Syndrome Connection of the Bay Area consists of a group of caring individuals, educators, therapists and involved community members whose passion and commitment is to serve families who have members born with Down syndrome. We do this through education, advocacy, support groups for the entire family and developmental based classes for babies, children, teens and adults. Our goal is to enrich the child and adults lives through pre-academic, academic, language skills and social/behavioral interaction, ultimately preparing them for community integration as a valuable participant and contributor. For more information, please visit their website at http://www.dsconnection.org

Upcoming Events for DSCBA: 
Step Up for Down Syndrome
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
1 Santa Barbara Road - Pleasant Hill
Visit this link for the fundraising page and more information. 

CARE Parent Network

What is CARE Parent Network? 

*We are a one-stop family resource center serving families of children with disabilities and special health care needs

*We help families meet the unique challenges of parenting a child with special needs. 

*We are all parents of children with special needs ourselves. 

What services do we provide? We provide: Family Support and Mentoring, Early Start, Special Education and Individualized Education Program (IEP) planning, Resource and Referral, Health Care and Mental Health Care Information and Resources, Teen Transition to Adult Life, Early Education Council (Resource for Professionals), Community Involvement, and Advocacy Information. 


Follow this link to the September 2015 bulletin with upcoming events around the community. 

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)  

Special Needs Committee Meetings & Events Calendar


Contact the Special Needs Committee:



Committee Meetings

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

These are the upcoming dates for the Special Needs Committee Meetings: 

Wednesday, October 28

*Thursday, November 19 (note day change due to other conflicts)

Wednesday, December 16

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Wednesday, February 24

Wednesday, March 23

Wednesday, April 27

Wednesday, May 25


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 2015-2016 school year!


Erica Griffin

Chairperson, Special Needs 

San Ramon Valley Council of PTAs