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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


An Introduction to Parenting with Positive Discipline
Open to all SRVUSD Parents, Teachers, Caregivers and Community Members  
SPEAKER: Heather Cantero SRVUSD School Psychologist and Positive Discipline Trainer
Benefits for Parents:
• Help children and teens develop courage, confidence, responsibility, cooperation, self-respect and trust. 
• Develop new skills and get hands-on training 
• Learn communication and problem solving skills 
• Develop a closer and more satisfying parent-child relationship 
• Encourage your child and yourself
Join us on January 15, 2015 from 6:30pm-8:00pm in the Twin Creeks MPR (located in the back of the school)
2785 Marsh Creek Road, San Ramon 
Posted by: Erica Griffin
Published: 12/19/14

Raising a Child with ADHD: Strategies for a Smoother Family Life

Deborah Sedberry MD will discuss practical tips and tricks to help your family life run more smoothly. From basic advice such as how to get out the door in a timely manner, to homework strategies, and more enjoyable mealtimes, you will come away from this presentation with strategies you can implement. 

Join SEED/POISE for this event on January 14, 2015 at the Lafayette Library. Event starts at 6:30pm with parent social followed by the presentation at 7:00pm. 

Posted by: Erica Griffin
Published: 12/19/14

Speech Pathology Group presents POP (Power of Play)

The Speech Pathology Group in Walnut Creek proudly presents POP (power of play), a parent education opportunity for parents of children ages 2-4 years old. Learn about partnering in play to encourage your child's communication abilities in a 3-part series aimed at teaching and empowering parents to use responsive communication strategies. Presented by Joanne Hughes, M.S., CCC-SLP and Elysa Underwood, M.S., CCC-SLP. 

January 15, 2015 Presentation: Evening class at SPG Walnut Creek for adults only

January 24, 2015 Practice: Lafayette Pediatric Motor Playground for participating parent and child partner

January 29, 2015 Reflection: Evening class at SPG Walnut Creek for adults only

Cost: $200 with 10% discount if registration is made before January 1, 2015. Space is limited. 

Contact Veronica at (925) 945-1474 ext. 0 to register or for any questions. 

Posted by: Erica Griffin
Published: 12/19/14

California Youth Leadership Forum for Students with Disabilities

Student delegate applications are now available for the 2015 YLF, held July 27-31, 2015 in Sacramento, CA. This program is provided to selected students with disabilities at no cost to them.

YLF is an annual five-day leadership program that provides information and resources about employment, education, independence, and assistive technology. YLF is held in Sacramento, and students will stay in the dorms on campus at California State University, Sacramento. 

Students will have the opportunity to live on a college campus and join more than 1,200 alumni from across the state that have been a part of this unique program created specifically for young leaders with disabilities. Students who attend YLF make new, life-long friendships and resource connections to help them reach their personal, academic and career goals. 

Further information and instructions on how to apply are available at www.dor.ca.gov/YLF. 

Deadline to submit applications: February 27, 2015. If you experience any difficulty filling out the application, please contact us by email at YLF@dor.ca.gov, by phone (855) 894-3436, or by relay using 711. 


Posted by: Erica Griffin
Published: 12/19/14

Tri Valley SELPA/CAC Workshop on Special Needs Planning

Tri-Valley SELPA/CAC Workshop present Special Needs Planning:
More than a Special Needs Trust by Jon Elfin, Financial Planner, CRPC, MBA. Join us to learn about: Preserving your child’s financial security, personal security and quality of life.  
            Key issues to be addressed:

  •  Understanding the role of public benefits
  • Making decisions about the future
  •  Using estate planning and trusts to protect assets and provide instructions for care 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015
6:30 PM – 8:00 PM
Livermore Valley USD, Board Room 
685 East Jack London Blvd.
Livermore, CA 94550
All Tri-Valley SELPA/CAC workshops are FREE!
Reservations NOT required. Open to all.
Spanish interpreter available upon request only (5 day notice required) for residents in Tri-Valley SELPA member districts.
For more information, call the Tri-Valley SELPA office at 925.426.9144

Posted by: Erica Griffin
Published: 10/27/14


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


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 11:00am 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. 

Future Special Needs Committee meeting dates are as follows: 

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