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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.


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. 



California State PTA (CAPTA) website link for Special Needs: http://capta.org/focus-areas/education/special-needs/



Ed100.org was created to help parents, teachers, and community leaders understand the process and tools to make schools better and to how better understand how funding works. By signing up for Ed100, parents, teachers and community leaders and learn about the many topics in education from special needs to charter schools to college readiness. Please visit the website for more information and to learn how your school's PTA can earn $1000! 



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


Pleasanton Parent Event

The Pleasanton PTA Council Special Needs Committee presents "An In-depth Look at the IEP Process and IEP Goals" 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015 


Pleasanton Middle School MPR 

5001 Case Ave, Pleasanton, CA 


This presentation will provide a detailed look at the IEP (Individualized Education Plan) process. Learn how to help your child's IEP team develop appropriate goals to better support your child's progress in their area(s) of educational need. 


Topics will include:

  •  initial, annual, triennial, and addendum IEP meetings
  •  who should attend and what information must be covered
  •  tips for preparing and participating in IEP meetings
  •  the important role of goals in a student’s IEP
  •  how goals, services and placement are determined by the IEP team

Presenter Todd Gary is a parent of a child with special needs and a special education advocate.


Please note that this event is not sponsored or endorsed by the San Ramon Valley Council of PTAs, but is listed solely for informational purposes. 

Social Thinking Conference coming in December to SF

Social Thinking lessons are designed for individuals with social learning challenges, including those with: Asperger's Syndrome, ASD Levels 1 and 2, Social Communication Disorder, PDD-NOS, ADHD, NVLD, Mixed Receptive-Expressive Language Disorder, twice exceptional, social anxiety, head injury, etc. and no diagnosis!

December 7-9, 2015

About Social Thinking: Social Thinking, developed by Michelle Garcia Winner, is a leading treatment framework for improving social thinking and social skills. For the past 20 years, clinicians at Social Thinking have been devoted to helping individuals with social learning challenges improve their social problem solving and social skills, as well as advance their academic abilities such as reading comprehension and written expression. We have translated our work into award-winning books and conferences so that parents and professionals may use our tools to improve the lives of those for which they advocate. The Social Thinking philosophy is intended for individuals with solid to gifted language and learning skills, ages pre-K through adulthood - regardless of their diagnostic label.


Please note that these events are not sponsored or endorsed by the San Ramon Valley Council of PTAs, but are listed solely for informational purposes.


Events sponsored by other organizations serving special needs children & families

Please note that these events are not sponsored or endorsed by the San Ramon Valley Council of PTAs, 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

The Down Syndrome Connection of the Bay Area (DSCBA), located in Danville, started in 1998 to fill a void in services for families who have children born with Down Syndrome.  Our mission is to empower, inspire and support people with Down syndrome, their families and the community that serves them, while fostering awareness and acceptance in all areas of life.

Down Syndrome is the number one chromosomal disorder. Each year approximately 5000 babies are born in the US to families and there are currently 400,000 people living with Down syndrome.  Down syndrome occurs when a person is born with 47 instead of 46 chromosomes due to an extra pair on the 21st chromosome. The extra genetic material results in unique facial and physical features and can bring many medical issues such as hypotonia, hearing and vision loss, heart defects, speech and cognitive delay, gastrointestinal issues, leukemia and more.   

The DSCBA currently in its 18 year remains unique as the only organization in the Bay Area serving the specific needs of people all ages with Down syndrome and their families.  

At the DSCBA we pride ourselves on taking care of the entire family and the community that serves them with programs focused on education, support, communication, development and abilities. 

Going on its 5th year, the DSCBA Educational Alliance reaches 28 Bay Area school districts providing education teams free training, a lending library of research based materials and communication technology, on going support and access to experts in many areas. 

Our Medical Alliance program is currently connected to 39 Bay Area Hospitals offering training and materials to medical professionals ensuring families receive up to date information about Down syndrome at diagnosis and delivery.  

The DSCBA also offers a summer Communication/School Readiness Program for children attending preschool to first grade  who have limited ways of verbally expressing themselves.  The program works to develop communication, literacy and other skills needed to participate and learn alongside their peers and provides consultation and on going support to their fall school teams.  

We have classes for children of all ages and adult social classes in 4 locations throughout the Bay 4 days a week. You will also find Speech and Music Therapy, Reading Tutoring, AAC services, Early Expression classes for new parents, Grandparent support groups and much more.  

Each year we host many events, both community and fundraising focused. The DSCBA is not government funded, so we work very hard to secure funds to keep the doors open. 

Our 2 main fundraisers are an annual spring Gala which is a magical night of auctions, dinner, dancing and fun to be held on May 21st 2016 at the Diablo Country Club.  We also host a Step Up for Down Syndrome Walk and Picnic each October during National DS Awareness Month. This year we welcomed almost 1000 attendees including 175 volunteers from the community.  

If you would like to get involved with the DSCBA call us at 925-362-8660 or visit our website at http://dsconnection.org


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. 


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/programs/therapeutic.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 http://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: 


*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.


Due to low attendance, the Special Needs Committee has canceled the parent event on Wednesday, November 18th. The SNC will plan another event on this similar topic at a later date. 

Thank you for your understanding and continued support of the San Ramon Valley Council of PTAs. 


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