IEP/504 in the West Contra Costa School District

Parent Q&A

IEP for 9yo son diagnosed with Dyslexia and ADD WCCUSD Feb 10, 2020 (5 responses below)
Special Ed/IEP advocate experienced with WCCUSD Dec 19, 2016 (6 responses below)
  • Last Friday we got a diagnosis that our son has dyslexia and ADD. I suspected in 1st grade that he had both and I was right! We went to a licensed neuro psychologist and had a full evaluation done. Now our challenge is figuring out what to do about school next year. We are in WCCUSD and my son is in 3rd grade. I have requested an IEP since we have diagnosis for two disabilities that are covered under IDEA, but I wanted to know what the experience is like for others who have children with diagnosed disabilities in WCCUSD. I have been told that even if the child has advanced grades and isn't that behind, by law, the school is required to accommodate him since he has two diagnosed disabilities that are covered under IDEA. We have also applied to two private schools, but I was told that they can discriminate against children with disabilities because they often don't have the resources to support them. So parents:

    1) What was your experience like getting an IEP?

    2) Did the IEP address all the suggested recommendations for accommodations?

    3) Did the IEP address multi-sensory education recommended for children with dyslexia?

    4) Did the district reimburse you for any tutoring with an education specialist?

    5) Do you have opinions on private versus public school for children with disabilities? We don't have unlimited funds and would most likely be unable to afford private school tuition without financial aid. 

    6) Are they any support groups for parents with children with ADD and dyslexia? This diagnosis has hit us like a brick and I'd love to be part of a supportive community than can provide guidance. 

    Thanks all. 

    Hi there.  My kid has had 3 assessments and 2 IEPs through WWCUSD. That's a lot of questions.  Please PM me and we can talk.  

    Hi there! My son got the same diagnosis a little earlier. We are in BUSD, so can't give you guidance in your district, but I can say that we followed the advice from DREDF ( and got an IEP meeting right away. The IEP itself was not the greatest (i think they never are) - I find that our school district "experts) have total lack of training in both ADD and dyslexia. But what really helped was:

    1) Contacting DREDF

    2) Getting a private, outside educational therapist (you can ping me to get the info for the one we use - it is kind of hard to find one). This therapist can help your kid w/ literacy, executive functioning, and self advocacy. This is really the best thing we ever did. Our son has seen her for 2-3 times a school week for years. 100% worth it!

    3) Retroactively asking the school district to reimburse us (with a lawyer's help)

    Unless your child is really severely dyslexic, I think the therapeutic schools (like Raskob) may not be a fit. Lots of people suggested Charles Armstrong but it's so far away and super expensive, so we didn't even consider it. 

    I attended one meeting of Decoding Dyslexia and it depressed me -- there were only a few parents and as I remember they were all homeschooling (not an option for me). 

    CHADD is a good organization for ADD. Sometimes there are good lectures at Holy Names - It's really important to look at research rather than other people's opinions about your kid's LD - staying informed is great! Feel free to ping me.

    FYI, it hasn't always been easy but my son is now 12 and in 7th grade and reads at grade level and has excellent reading comprehension skills! ADHD has proven to be more of a liability in school but this year, he's showing a lot of maturity and making friends and communicating well and even starting a club at (public) school. 

    It helps to put a request for an IEP in writing because it will let the district know that you are aware of your child's rights.  I would read Wright's Law website and use one of their sample letters for requesting the meeting.  Be prepared to fight for services for dyslexia if your son is at or above grade level.  School districts often deny services for children who are not showing academic weaknesses compared to their classmates.   It's possible that things will go smoothly but If you have difficulty getting a response from the school district you might want to hire an advocate to assist with the process.  Some school districts provide services for private school students but most do not.  Increasingly, private schools are employing learning specialists to help students with disabilities.  I hope this helps.  

  • We are in the process of seeking an IEP from the WCCUSD and would like to find a professional advocate with experience working with this school district. We are also on a tight budget and have found at least one that is prohibitively expensive. Any recommendations of a good advocate, preferably on the west side of the tunnel, would be appreciated. Thank you!

    Try Disability Rights Education and Rights Fund (

    Betsy Brazy - 

    brazylaw [at]

    (510) 224-5146

    She has help me and 4 other people I know in getting the right accommodations and placement for our kids

    in the WCCUSD.  She knows her stuff and is great to work with.

    If you have a neuropsych eval they will often attend iep meetings with you. The advocate Judy True was pretty good. She worked in a way that did not alienate anyone.

    Another route is the cde, if you are having trouble you can reach out to them. (All those calls are recorded and reported to the school.)

    Selpas are trained by the schools legal so you may spin your wheels.

    Dredft in Berkeley may be of help.

    What seems to work for some is talking to the principle, the expense of a due process is steep and can be avoided. S/he can make school specialist available to help after school.

    Scotish rites language lab at lake merrit has services without the rigamerol.

    Its crazy making.

Archived Q&A and Reviews

IEP - does my 3rd grader qualify? (WCCUSD)

May 2007

Our third grade son was evaluated by his public school (at our request) because he is a struggling reader and seems to need more time than his peers to complete tasks and formulate responses. The assessments found that he is extremely bright, and found only one area of concern (involving visual memory), which is impeeding his learning to read. There was a drastic difference in this score and his other scores.

The upshot is that the school says that he does not qualify for services (reading pull-out help, for example), because he ''tested too high'' and is still at grade level (albeit barely).

Is this the case? He feels very bad about himself as a learner, is struggling to read, and is not making much progress. There is an on-site reading specialist, but he does not qualify to see her. I am not sure what his rights are, or how to even find out! Any insights welcome! WCCSD Mom

I understand your frustration -- my very bright son was in a similar situation with very high test scores despite a disability that was seriously affecting his ability to write. From talking to teachers, this happens A LOT in this district. I'm sure it's a financial issue -- there are so many kids that need help that the district can't afford to help them. We were able to get him services through a combination of things -- he had a teacher who really went to bat for him, and we had him independently evaluated and were able to bring in an outside neuropsychological evaluation that held some weight. Another parent I know went over the head of the principal and school psychologist and involved someone at the district level in her IEP meetings. Don't give up -- if you think your son needs help, he probably does, regardless of how well he is doing in other areas. It really is a case of the squeaky wheel, and it's unfortunate that many kids don't have someone to be a strong advocate for them. Good Luck! WCCUSD IEP Mom