Help with uncooperative school district - Pleasanton area

My nephew, who lives near Pleasanton with his family, was recently diagnosed with a learning disability.  His family is now trying to navigate the educational bureaucracy and to ensure that his learning needs are being fully met.  The school district has dragged its feet and has not been very cooperative in making sure that his needs are met - it took years just for the school to agree to get him tested.  Since educational requirements and education policy are so complex and it's very difficult knowing how to navigate the system, his family is looking to retain the services of an education advocate.  My understanding is that this is the beginning of a very long road.  Does anyone have any advice for the family?  Perhaps even more importantly, do you have recommendations for an education advocate who serves the Pleasanton area?  Are there resources that the family should be connected to?  Any and all advice would be very, very welcome.

Parent Replies

New responses are no longer being accepted.

Hi-we recently moved from the East Coast where special needs were addressed impressively well and now I too am trying to navigate a difficult process. In our previous area it was about partnering with the parents to create the best possible learning environment for the child. Here it is adversarial. And there was a ton of money in NJ for this and none here. I have learned that the lack of responsiveness isn't about not caring - it's about lack of capacity. This isn't an excuse but it helped me put it into perspective.

i went to a good lecture by a special needs advocate sponsored by the special needs Pta in Pleasanton (I highly recommend joining). There were several special ed teachers in the lecture to hear about parents concerns. One came up to me and highly recommended the speaker as an advocate. I haven't used him, yet...but this may help.

Todd Cary  Special education advocacy group 

It's so sad that every parent with a newly diagnosed/assessed child has to reinvent the wheel unless someone they know has experience they can share or they happen to be pointed in the right direction by another agency. This all too often doesn't happen. I would be happy to share everything I know. I am in Oakland, but I have quite a bit of experience navigating and success in getting my son services and helping other parents. You can pass along my email address and if your family wants to talk, I can give them my number. In the meantime, there is the Regional Center (RCEB) http://www.rceb.org/ and DREDF https://dredf.org/ and a good website called Wright's Law http://wrightslaw.com/.

Bonnie

We go to Orinda Academy. My son had an IEP in elementary for ADD and Sensory issues. He has flourished in the small safe environment at Orinda Academy. They have a Learning Support Coordinator that works with the teachers to support your student's needs. Missing homework emails and regular communication from teachers is a plus. The school is 8-12th grades and they are having an open house April 19th. I'll be there or you can message me any questions you may have. Also financial aid is available.