CA residents - how to get my kid accepted to Regional Centers?

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by PiscesMom, Jul 26, 2018.

  1. PiscesMom

    PiscesMom Active Member

    Hi all - I am wondering if any of you live in CA, and have successfully gotten your child services thru Regional Centers? How do they decide who they accept?
    Any advice?
  2. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Pisces Mom. I am sorry I am only now seeing your thread.

    I live in CA. But my son was already on regional center in the infant at risk category when I adopted him. He was then removed. I have no experience in accessing services later on in the game. The one recommendation I have is this: There is an organization in Berkeley called "Disability Rights." They have (free) attorneys on staff. They are a legal advocacy group to help disabled people get access to benefits and services.

    They helped us in my son's IEPs to get non-public school. The attorney went with us to IEPS. It was successful (until it no longer was.) I would call them. One, they could give you general help. Two. There may be a branch or they may know of another resource that is closer to you.

    The other thing I can think of is that Law schools have special interest clinics in which their students provide pro bono services to various populations. Disability Rights. Immigration. Special Education. Etc. I know in Southern California for sure both Pepperdine and University of Southern California *USC have this type of clinic. And I would assume every major law school has them to provide opportunities for clinical education for their students. It would be a question of identifying the law schools near you, and to find out if there are disability rights clinics.

    The other idea I have is that there is another organization in Berkeley, called CIL. Center for Independent living. They are the people who sued the government to get disability access made a federal law. If anybody would know what you should do, it would be them.

    I have been out of this and away for a long time. But this is where I would start.
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  3. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

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  4. PiscesMom

    PiscesMom Active Member

    Thank you both for the info! Copa, thanks for all those resources! I am going to have to also figure out how to get her on SSDI, so maybe they will help with that too.
  5. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Hi Pisces mom

    I would ask the above agencies for help with SSI/SSDI. I think they would provide free help. There are legal agencies that I see that have the name Disability Advocates or something like that. They are not free. I think what they do is take a percentage of the back pay when they are successful in getting an application granted. I would google such a thing. But I would apply first, myself, or with the help of a pro bono agency. There may be no reason to pay.

    My son applied as a young adult and he got it on his first application because of his early history. He applied in the county in which he was born and there were extensive records on file of the circumstances of his birth, and life as an infant. They told him he got it because of this. If your daughter has a documented history, it should not be too hard. I hope. Good Luck.
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2018
  6. PiscesMom

    PiscesMom Active Member

    Thank you Copa. I am feeling a little down because Regional Centers said she is too high functioning. But on the other hand, she doesn't want services or a job. She wants to stay home and do art. Is that terrible? She does her art, reads, likes to go on car rides, walk in circles. And maybe that is enough?
    Her records are 3 years old, pretty much. And there is of course her school records; her anxiety, her truancy. I hate to drag her to more doctors, but maybe that can't be helped, at least until she gets SSDI.
  7. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Pisces. I am confused. Is this for your younger daughter?

    Does she have any social relationships outside of your home? Is she is school?

    It is a huge difference for me, if it is your older daughter. Because she needs to learn how to meet her own needs and to live independently.

    If it is your younger child, then I think if she is going to school and has some kind of social engagement, it might be enough for now.
  8. PiscesMom

    PiscesMom Active Member

    Hi Copa - this is my youngest. She has autism and is very anxious. She is not going to school, or doing anything.
    My oldest daughter is typical, work, friends, getting her license.
    My youngest is just very fragile. We went to Ralphs yesterday because she wanted chips. I wasn't right next to her in the aisle - I kind of stood next to some boxes that were left on the shelf, zoned out, then she was right next to me, edge of tears "why did you leave me alone? i was surrounded by people." Most of the time, she waits in the car.

    Taking her to the doctor, getting new glasses, it is a major ordeal.

    The school district sent her to a non-public school, therapists everywhere! Even a "team" to come to our house. She went to school one day in the summer. The next day she eloped - she has done that since 13 - to a coffee house. They called me at work - they had lost her.
    She called me, saying not to tell the school where she was.

    I disenrolled her from the district after her last IEP when nobody listened to me. I told them she can't have therapists everywhere! Just getting to know and trust a teacher is enough of a hurdle, why have her get to know all these grownups? I counted on my hand all the various "helpers" at the IEP meeting they proposed, I said that is TOO MANY. Maybe it was even 8 total? She cannot handle it.

    It was very very hard for me to give up. I feel alone in this, and regret trusting the experts too much. I ruminate a lot.
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2018
  9. Smithmom

    Smithmom Active Member

    Do you have an advocate? An educational advocate I mean. Someone to go to IEP mtgs with you. To help you sort through all the records and see what kind of evaluations, therapist reports, records would help you get the services she needs for school. My question is do you know what you want? If not this person can make suggestions. I'm assuming you can't afford to pay for this. Others can help but I'll offer a couple of suggestions. Call local mental health assoc, autism society, etc. Ask them if they either provide someone or know where you can get help. Once you have a plan and the school wont give you what you want file an appeal. The paperwork for this you get at an IEP meeting. This should trigger a negotiation process. In my state the state will give you an advocate for this negotiation process. In my experience if the advocate agrees with your plan the school district will accept it. They are not going to argue with the state dept of ed rep. If the advocate/ state rep agrees that district can't provide appropriate setting and that regional center is appropriate then that person will help you with that process.

    I don't see here how old she is. Under 16 you run afoul of truancy laws. So she can't stay out of education indefinitely. Over 16 they'll send you drop out paperwork.

    Guess my bigger question, sorry if I missed this too, is she getting some sort of medical help and/ or therapist to help her? Medication? Therapy?