San Francisco area resources for special needs kids
 Disclaimer: The information, views, and opinions provided on this web page may not have been completely verified and is not to be considered as a personal recommendation or referral to any person or organization. The views and information are a compilation of bay area discussion group comments and bay area websites including: www.php.com , http://bayareaasresource.orghttp://groups.yahoo.com/group/rwsparentgrouphttp://groups.yahoo.com/group/bayareaprekasd, Linda W, www.thelighthouseproject.com , www.php.com ,  Moria, M, etc. I have also given the list to www.php.com in hopes that they will add this info to their database and then I can substantially reduce the detail in this list :-)  If you see your recommendation here please contact me to be added to the contributor list, if or have corrections or recommendations, please contact 


Accupuncture for kids

Immune Matrix ( was Delicate Balance Health Care Center ) Milpitas, California, 408-262-6900   http://www.immunematrix.com Acupuncture, Biological Age Regression, BioSET™Allergy Elimination, Chinese Herbal Medicine, Enzyme Therapy, Food Allergy Elimination, Massage, Neuro-Emotional Technique (N.E.T.)

Dr. Zhu's Accupuncture clinic San Jose www.scalpacupuncture.org  several parents reported positives

Dr. Cheng in Fremont ,,, one parent reported very positive results from his treatment. www.brainmed.org call the office for more info in English


Auditory related

The Listening Center (aka The Swain Center – Tomatis )


 Note from a parent: the Swain center holds several outreach clinics per year, if you or your school, therapist, etc can gather a group of participants, they will bring the therapy to your site! This is what we did with my son, and it was awesome!!!

Listening Communication & Learning


To check forCalifornia providers for Tomatis



Creative Listening Center – Tomatis, The Listening Program, Brain Builder and Sound Health Series CD's

Concord, CA, 925-686-0762



Judith W. Paton, M.A., FAAA, pediatric and adult

Central Auditory Processing Evaluations, Fast ForWord, AIT (Berard)

San Mateo, CA   (650) 340-1280  www.judithpaton.com


Phyllis Burt, M.A., CCC-A, FAAA

Park Place Hearing Center

Petaluma, CA  (707) 763-3161


audiologist  that screens for CAPD


Infant hearing screening – California locations



Hearing - Language - Speech (Marsha A. Haines )  - audiological assessment

San Jose, CA



Marian S. Tabuchi, MA, OTR - The Listening Program

San Jose, Ca , 408-247-0441

8-week program done at home. Visit www.advancedbrain.com  for background. Program Cost: Service fee includes The Listening Program (binder, detailed program information, and 8 CD's), recommended CD player, required headphones, initial consultation and programming, and phone consultation for 8 weeks. Service fee: $945 payable at initial consultation.


Vital Links, therapeutic listening

http://www.vitallinks.net/providerDirectory/ca.htm find California providers here


The Listening Program, therapeutic listening

http://www.advancedbrain.com/ProviderList_6.asp?State=CA find California providers here



http://www.hemi-sync.com/shop/customer/content.php?section=usdealers  where to buy locally and local workshop presenters

You can also buy the tapes and cd’s directly from their site. The music can be listened to on a regular stereo with speakers


http://www.interactivemetronome.com/default.asp?cate_id=5&pg_id=444 find California providers here – there are many in the bay area

janet meacham rios OTR/L 408 806 4596, Debbie Gonzalez 408 425 6091 san jose and palo alto

Lighthouse – IM www.thelighthouseproject.com    see also OT section

Saratoga Instruction and Diagnostic Center



Behavior Consultants


Gateway Learning Group 
Melissa Willa, M.A., BCBA, Executive Director, San Francisco, CA 94146 
415-513-5299 info@gatewaylg.com , www.gatewaylg.com  
Gateway provides intensive behavioral interventions to young children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. Gateway also provides behavior consultation to families and school staff. Gateway Learning

Group is a certified Non-Public Agency and is vendorized with Golden Gate Regional Center.  


STE Consultants 
Sarah Trautman-Eslinger, M.A., BCBA Executive Director, Berkeley, CA 94710
510-665-9700, info@steconsultants.com http://www.steconsultants.com  
Staff include BCBAs, BCABAs, credentialed teachers, and psychologists. Services offered include: early intervention programs, behavior consultation and functional assessments in homes and in schools, inclusion facilitation, social skills training, verbal behavior programs, and parent and educator training. 
STE Consultants is a certified Non-Public Agency and is vendorized with the Regional Center of the East Bay. Also a member of CalABA and the Association for Behavior Analysis.


Applied Behavior Consultants (ABC), http://www.abcreal.com/

(800) 435-9888; Sacramento: (916) 568-1111; San Jose (408) 937-9580


Behavior Analysts

They run home programs and have a school in Walnut Creek that does Verbal Behavior ABA for kids. The school is run by Mark Sundberg and Jim Partington who are internationally known experts on Verbal Behavior.

Walnut Creek, CA, 925-210-9370

http://www.behavioranalysts.com  They have online classes as well


Behavior Intervention Associates (BIA), Emeryville and San Francisco (510) 652-7445

One parent explains that they have been contracted by many districts (don't know about East Bay, but definitely in San Mateo area) to provide ABA.


Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc. (CARD), 
San Jose, 408-423-8076


Hands Untied, behavioral


Alamo (near Fremont), (510) 439-4566, 925-439-4566


Foundation for Autistic Childhood Education and Support (FACES)

Redwood Shores, CA, 650-595-9555; also offer shadow aides for kids that are mainstreaming


I Can Too Learning Center
Phone: 408.241.9911
One mom shared that they've made tremendous strides with her son


To look for more providers see: http://www.feat.org/abaproviders.htm


Language and Educational Assistance for Preschoolers (LEAP), (650) 634-9940



Lovaas Institute for Early Intervention in the SF Bay Area, San Francisco

(415) 785-1036, http://www.lovaas.com/


Will come to your school and evaluate how your child is doing within that setting

Misty Sorenson (510) 435-6789 behavior consultant

Joanne Williams behavior consultant 415 461-7786
Will also provide in-home aba or play therapy


Stepping Stones Center for Autistic Spectrum Disorders, Inc. 


San Mateo, CA 94403, 650-357-0571

Behavioral and educational programs. Onsite. Full inclusion classroom services; 


Bay Area Child Development Associates  BACDA

San Mateo, CA, 650-655-7612 650-655-7619,

East Bay Site: Pleasant Hill, CA 94523, 925-938-7232


Discrete trial, “floortime”, play skills, school shadow aides


Developmental & Educational Therapy Program 

San Mateo, CA, 650-579-4908

Individual and group. Inclusion. TEACCH Trained - work with infants also. Movement based program with educational academic growth as the goal. Hours include Saturdays.


Communication Behavior Consultants

Tyra Sellers, JD, MA, BCABA

Albany, CA, 707-980-2660



Walnut Creek, CA 94596, 925-938-1862


Behavioral Intervention (2-5 years), play groups -> "Friends Club" (ages 3-4, 5-6. 9-12), they are vendorized by the Regional Center of the East Bay.


Making a Connection

Mark Cerruti, M.S.

Danville, CA  925-806-8090,



B*E*T*A: Behavior Education Training Associates

San Francisco, CA 94122, (415) 564-7830,

one-to-one behavioral, Also provides consultation to parents, professionals and workshops. 


Synergistic Interventions

Kim Stokes, CMT. Vicki Wells, MA

Oakland, CA 94602, 510-914-0322, 
One parent shared: The best ABA provider we had, they are expensive 
but they are fabulous. They not only have very high quality therapists, who always show up, but they do body work during every session to address sensory issues. This was so vital as the school 
district at the time was denying my son OT. They provide all  materials, and what they bring in is always fun, new and my son loved it. Their therapists rotate frequently, like every 2 weeks, so your 
child doesn't get used to one therapist. They also have coverage  when a therapist is absent, so you aren't "owed" hours and your child gets the therapy when they are supposed to. 

Pacific Autism Learning Services PALS
Carrie Sullivan - Bay Area Regional Director 
650-242-0179 x708

The Bright Minds Institute
San Francisco, CA 
(415) 561-6755
Multidisciplinary center that includes behavioral/cognitive neurology, physical/occupational therapy, 
speech/language pathology, education/tutoring, neuropsychology, behavioral therapy (ABA), biofeedback, and clinical psychology/family therapy

Innovative Pathways - Bahrig Mikaelian 
bahrig @ sbcglobal.net  (remove spaces)
One parent reported that they were very happy with her supervisoring their child's ABA program) 
east bay


Consultants for Learning and Autism Support Services, Inc.. (CLASS) 
Denise Pollard M.A. - Director, 650-286-4396 
San Mateo, CA 94403 
Autism, Discrete Trial Training (DTT), Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), and Social Skills Groups. Serving children in the San Francisco Bay Area. CLASS 
One parent enjoyed working w/ Dr. Kylie Jackson at CLASS

www.pacificautism.org early intervention services (0 to 3) full service program including playgroups, and an inclusive preschool
San Jose



see Neurofeedback section on this page

Birthday party ideas – special needs kids friendly:


Lemos Farm on hwy 92 in Half Moon Bay. Lots to do, pony rides, train, play structure etc. They've made lots of improvements. In Sept the weather should be fine. The kids love it. They have pony rides and a big jumping balloon and a train ride and small petting corral with goats.  They also have a little playground.  In September they'll have pumpkins everywhere.  It's lots of fun and works well toddler special needs kids because it's outdoors so not a small confined space and all the kids can play at their own pace.  It's much less crowded in the morning, of course, ie around 9 or 10am


Lazy H Ranch

3100 Miramontes Point Road
Half Moon Bay (650) 726-3743

They bring out about 4 ponies and the kids can enjoy pony rides around a corral (with a parent leading the pony). They can ride as much as they want for an hour or two. There is a covered area for a barbeque and picnic. There is a fun area with a large stack of hay bales for the kids to climb on. It is a scenic area, and very peaceful.


Junior Gym in San Mateo.

Note from one parent: special needs kids with motor planning or motor coordination or sensory issues may have trouble joining the games. You may want to consider designating all free play time in the gym, or telling parents up front that it is ok if their child plays on the equipment during the structured time.


The Peninsula Gym is also a good alternative on Leslie Street in San Mateo


My pony party, mobile ponies and petty zoo (408)847-6424 www.myponyparty.com


For park locations, Foster City has great parks for small parties.


Bring a jumper to your yard or to a park (you have to register with your local parks and rec to bring a jumper into a public park)

www.cosmojump.com   www.jumpforfun.com


You can also have a magician come to the park, more than one special needs parent said that Happy Birds is great and they'll come to any location.  www.happybirds.com


Swim parties (Peninsula swim school is especially good because you can reserve the whole pool, it’s covered, and there is a little yard and play house too).


Bumper Bowling (San Mateo Bowl at 42nd street (next to Long's/Molly Stones) -- though 4 years old may be a little on the young side for it - it may be better for 5-6 year olds and older

SF Zoo or other Zoo can be a good idea, many have party packages, party rooms, etc.


www.pumpitupparty.com is a great place for a kids party - really nice inflatable jumper/slides/courses, 3 activities per arena, you spend about 40 min privately (just your party) in each arena. You can ask them to turn the music down in your arena if your child is sensitive to sounds. 


see also, Conductive Education (related)

Pacific Chiropractic and Research Center
Pediatric care, also Thermal Imaging
Redwood City, California 94063 
William C. Amalu, DC, DABCT, DIACT, FIACT 
For pediatrics, upper cervical spine manual adjustment using thermography
Jaw alignment - TMJ


Compounding pharmacies

Los Altos Pharmacy
Los Altos, CA
Accepts insurance!
pharmacist: Jack or Becky

Santa Clara Drug
2453 Forest Ave. (near Valley Fair Mall)
San Jose, CA
pharmacist: Lionel Jara
 www.scdrug.com  Toll Free: (800) 646-2453


http://www.pleasantoncustomcare.com/  (was The Medicine Shoppe)
San Ramon, CA 94583. (925) 830-0555
and Pleasanton, CA


Preuss Pharmacy
John Celedon 
844 Santa Cruz Ave
Menlo Park CA 94025
(650) 321-8045


Sunnyvale Clinic Pharmacy 
Pharmacist George Armanini R.Ph. 
594 Carroll Street 
Sunnyvale CA 94086 
(408) 736-1443 

Abbotts Compounding Pharmacy
John Garcia R.Ph. 
Berkeley CA 94705 
(510) 548-8784 

Script Works - A Professional Pharmacy 
Bob Brensel R.Ph. 
Walnut Creek CA 94598 
(925) 934-4400 


more ideas http://www.tacanow.com/Resources/resources.htm 

More ideas: Find by zip code www.iacprx.org 

Conductive Education 


recommended for Cerebal Palsy, social groups to help with Effective functioning,  fine and gross motor skills, self-help skills ...

www.moveplaythrive.com  neurodevelopmental movement training - Integrative Movement

Access Movements
San Bruno, CA, 650-996-2476 
also Anat Baniel Method and Feldenkrais for infants and children

Step by Step Conductive Education Center
Millbrae, CA (650) 589-6899 

Movement Discoveries
Burlingame, CA 
TheraSuit, Intensive PT Program that includes Suit Therapy, Kids Gym, Therapeutic movement classes


Beginning Steps to Independence, Inc.
Los Gatos, San Jose, (408) 371-5620, 

POPS/CECC Peninsula Outreach Programs Inc. 
Conductive Education Centers of California 
Woodside, 650-454-0207, 

For more:locations check 
http://www.iacea.org/locations.htm#IL , the Inter- American Conductive Education Association 


Marci Schwartz  www.marcischwartz.com  

Cranial Sacral

Kathleen Kraskouskas at Cranial Sacral Therapy Center in Sunnyvale--408-720-1122. One parent said:  he's helped our ASD son a great deal. I believe his sensory issues, gait, and reflux have improved as a direct result of cranial work. His gait is better, too. She also does "visceral manipulation." 

Athena Kyle, PT
Advanced Physical Therapy 
San Francisco CA  415/563-1616 
Physical Therapy, Cranial-Sacral 

Osteopath who does cranial osteopathy (which is a type of cranial manipulation, similar to cranial-sacral). He's in Portola Valley (on the Peninsula). One listmember writes of Flagg: “seems pretty tuned in to ASD issues in general”

Bruce Flagg     650-851-0931    Portola Valley

Mark Rosen 650-813-1214 Palo Alto http://www.osteodoc.com   See special needs kids cases.  One parent said: We tried it and it didn't see any harm or gain. Another said, he has a one year waiting list, but you can bee seen by his wife/co-practitioner for  C-S, Inessa Lagen. One parent writes: We prefer Inessa Lagen as I think she is more in tune with kids. Office environment is not child friendly. 

Judy Ann Modderman in Mountain View 650-575-1408 works with some ASD kids, parents were satisfied

Meena Kalyanasundaram
Fremont, CA 94536
(510) 792-6992
Licensed Massage therapist and Cranial sacral therapist. Works with children (from 6 months old) with neurological disorders and women

cranial osteopath in Burlingame named Melvin Friedman - one parent said he's good so far

Claire Morgan cranio sacral therapist
One special needs mom reports that "she is phenomenal, she's so great with kids." 
Richmond Annex, 

Jennifer Logan and Destia Skinner at Cypress Natural Medicine in Palo Alto recommended by one parent for kids

(see also book "Your Inner Physician and You" by John Upledger )







Dr Yougman in Danville...one parent shares: he is totally mercury free, and totally kids friendly

Douglas Takeuchi, DDS, of San Jose
mercury-free adult dentistry practice One parent shared : "He is also an
excellent dentist for compliant children."
(408) 295-5651


Karen Fong, pediatric dentist

Walnut Creek, 925-934-4777

A special needs parent writes: she is super! She has 2 young kids and lots of experience with special needs. 

Dr. Gowey in Pleasanton 
totally mercury free, and Dr Meilke's husband!
One mom shared: "The staff and the dentist were fantastic and patient! The staff took the time to get him used to the office, to jolly him along, etc. By the time we left he was excited and telling the dentist "I used to be afraid, but now I LIKE the dentist!""

Patricia Seid, DDS, Assistant Clinical Professor, Pediatric Dentistry. Daly City. Sedation dentist.


A parent writes: good pediatric dentist in SF- The name is

Bergan James and her # is 415-668-3500


Pediatric dentistry, Katalina Ramirez, DDS, MS

Redwood Shores (650) 592-2100


A parent writes: We use Charles Spitz in San Mateo. He was recommended as specializing in kids with a variety of special needs and has been great with (our ASD 4 year old). Another parent writes: my son loves dr. charles spitz, 50 s. san mateo dr., #160, san mateo.  phone no. 375-8300.  he's a pediatric dentist, has a great office full of fun stuff (playstation, tv's at every dental chair/station, toys, etc.) and has many special needs patients.  we always have to go about 15 min. early just so he can play before the appointment.  the entire staff is really good about making it a positive experience.

A parent writes: Dr. Rolf Spamer in Hayward and he is also very fast and very good with kids with special needs

A parent writes: Dr. James Kelly in Los Altos is also excellent. Your child can be seen in a main room (3 chairs, large TV, lots of stim) or in a single quiet room on request. You need to ask for the quiet room when you make appt. He has lots of experience with special needs kids. 650-948-6884.

A parent writes: I have a pediatric dentist I like in Berkeley - Carole Miyahara. The biggest thing that helped us with the dentist was making a visit to the office the week before the appointment and "practicing." We took pics of this dry run and made a little book which we took with us to the actual appointment.


Adams, Vernon J., Jr. DMD

Palo Alto, CA  650-321-6448 http://www.php.com/agency/oneDetail.php?AgencyID=2416

In consultation with their physician at Children's Hospital at Stanford will treat dental concerns of pediatric patients with a variety of medical conditions. A parent writes: He's on staff at Packard Children's Hospital across the street and participates in surgery for facial reconstruction patients.  The office reserves special times for patients that need sedation and they actually welcome special needs kids, an experience I don't get very often.  They do everything gently such as demonstrate the moving toothbrush in the hand before putting it in the child's mouth.  There are TVs in the ceiling and kids can choose the movie.  They also have lots of sunglasses on hand for children (like mine!) that are sensitive to the bright lights.  Another dentist in the group, Dr. Sam Samudio, is also very good.


Barrera, Adolfo D.D.S. Pediatric Dentistry

San Jose, Ca, 408-286-2971, http://www.php.com/agency/oneDetail.php?AgencyID=2536

dental treatment for children with special needs


Sedation For Dentistry

San Jose, CA, 408-286-2971, http://www.php.com/agency/oneDetail.php?AgencyID=2130

Serve the population of children who may require a deeper sedation for behavior management to facilitate needed pediatric dental care. Dr.Barrera and Lenhart, both pediatric dentists and Dr.Salinger and Dr.Ligh anesthesiologist have worked together to provide this sedation option for their special patients in the office. This will effectively address situations where light sedation in the office is inadequate and general anesthesia in the hospital is cost prohibitive.


Shawn Taheri, D.D.S., MS Pediatric Dentist

San Jose, CA, 408-226-0323, http://www.taheridds.com

Welcomes patients with special needs


Dr Jason Renner, recommended by one parent "he and his staff are wonderful with my child
Dr Renner and Dr Rissell 689-2800 the have a huge pet tortoise! Ask for a first appt b/c it can get busy it's an open office."

Dr. Randall Chang
Walnut Creek 925-938-2392
recommended by one parent: He has worked with my child and is an excellent dentist, his office is for children only.  His entire staff is sensitive to the needs of the children and nervous parents!

Dr. Laurie Novinsky in Foster City. A parent writes: She is a general dentist and has been wonderful with (ASD son). She's done some outreach to the County special needs classes, ... and takes a very slow approach, working with you to make the child's dental experience as positive as possible.


Dr. Timothy Gallagher D.D.S.(408) 739-9050 Sunnyvale, a listmember/special needs parent recommends him for amalgam fillings removal. He is gentle and he uses dams, oxygen, etc.

Dr Yougman in Danville...one parent shares: he is totally mercury free, and totally kids friendly


http://www.meta-ehealth.com/site/office/index.jsp  naturopath dentist..one mom shared that he is very knowledgeable about toxicity and dentistry

sandor hites in berkeley, biological dentist, call and ask about if he sees kids.

suzan hahn in sf  biological dentist


Oral surgeon in Redwood City Dr. Martin Hoff  http://www.vitals.com/doctors/Dr_Martin_Hoff.html  one SNK mom reported a good experience

Dr david young in san carlos Orthodonist recommended by one SNK mom


Dr Adrain Vogt in San Mateo Orthodonist recommended by several SNK moms -  nice and patient.  He was very accommodating, multiple visits what is usually done in one visit, etc, will schedule you when the office is not busy


You can also contact IAOMT and ask for list in your general area http://www.iaomt.org

Other great ideas on looking for practitioners:



Diagnosis & Evaluation

Parents write: You may need a licensed clinical psychologist to diagnose an autistic spectrum disorder should you go to a legal hearing for eligibility or to try to get funding for services for your child, especially against regional centers.  Another writes: the only trained professionals who should make an autism or PDD diagnosis are a developmental pediatrician, a neurologist or a child psychiatrist with expertise in this area.  Most children move all over the spectrum as they get older, and some even drop off, that may be why a 100% accurate diagnosis is very hard to come by. You put 3 doctors in the room, have each them look at and test your child, you get 3 different opinions. Given that all of the diagnosticians have a long wait-list, consider making an appt with one or more. You can always cancel the appointment later. Locally, the cost for assessments in the Bay Area are $2.5K-$5K in 2003. 

Dr. Lori Bond at Mosaic Child in Los Altos is recommended by many parents as being kind, candid and thorough. She is well respected and liked in this geographic area.


Golden Gate Regional Center, GGRC: One parent asked ggrc to test for Autism and they did a 1 hour eval with the developmental pediatrician and a psych and me. They said he was not “autistic” (as qualifies for regional center services after age 3)  and they explained why ...They did stuff like call his name after he was playing with a toy intently. And said hello to him and he said hello back and made eye contact. The psyc brought out little blocks and stacked a few up then encouraged my son to do the same, and after a few coaxing requests, he did. They noted that (at 22 months) he was aware of his environment and always stepped over toys. He also willingly helped clean up...little stuff like that. I'm just explaining so you understand their approach.

Dr. Luisa Montaini-Klovdahl in Palo Alto 650-857-1200
One mom shared that she's very nice and her waiting list is not too long (yet)!


PlusFour Solutions

From http://www.thelighthouseproject.com/links.html  : “PlusFour Solutions is an organization whose focus is the assessment of children and adolescents. Neuropsychologist Steve Newton, Ph.D., has had years of experience working with children with NLD, Asperger’s, Autism, Depression, and other learning disorders.”

(650) 949-2440 Los Altos


Family Neurology, Sarah Cheyette, MD

Author of “mommy, my head hurts” . add.adhd, autism, aspergers, sleep issues, seizures, developmental delay, anixety, headaches

San Mateo, 650 558 6600, www.sarahcheyette.20m.com  also newly practicing with PAMP in Palo Alto


Dr. Paul Lebby Fresno 559-779-8639

A parent writes: is also very, very good. He is a neuropsychologist.


www.drugfreeadd.com Attention & Achievement Center at 925-416-140
San Mateo and several other cities

Teresa Bailey, Ph.D., Ph.D. 
Neuropsychological Assessments, QEEG-guided Neurofeedback Treatment 
Attention, Learning, Memory, Thinking, Feelings, Behavior 
Los Altos  650-967-3451


Dr. Ann Parker, from Albany – for parent comments ask http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bayareaprekasd (you have to join that yahoo group to read the messages)


Caroline Johnson

A parent writes: I also recommend Caroline Johnson, a pediatric

neuropsychologist in Berkley, she can diagnose too. I'd try not to get

hung up on the exact diagnosis as it may not fit perfectly especially on a young child.


CHO & (Oakland) Regional Center have diagnostic appointments on Wednesdays in

Oakland, usually with Renee Wechtel and a child psychologist. For parent comments see http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bayareaprekasd  (you have to join that yahoo group to read the message) Be sure that you make them qualify the IQ - ie that testing assumes neurotypical verbal gymnastics & is done without any accommodations.


Dr. Melanie Lenington Los Angeles

One parent writes “is one of the best if not the best”, another parent writes : “It's worth the 2-day stay in Los Angeles to get an assessment from Melanie Lenington. She has vast experience, and will testify in due process cases. She is thorough in her testing, explains the accommodations that she makes, and makes excellent recommendations”.… she is a psychologist. May 2003 Melanie charged I think $2,500, though it ranges based on age etc. Their insurance covered maybe $700 of it.


Children’s Health Council (CHC)

Palo Alto, Ca. (650) 326-5530
Many types of full features evaluations and assessments are done at CHC...

One parent consulted with Dr Bond of CHC with extensive notes of her son’s behavior and language development and she said that he likely would have qualified for an autism diagnosis at 18 months but would not qualify at 2 years, 8 months. She recommended an ot eval and a floortime consultant - and gave several good names of therapists (all included within this list).  (it's $150 for a 1-2 hour consult 2002.)


California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC)

Child Development Dept.

San Francisco, Ca. , (415) 750-6200

Assessment and treatment program for infants and children with or at risk for development disorders. Multidisciplinary staff. Medical consultation.


Dr. Clare Ames-Klein Ph.D.

(Child Psychologist for assessments/evaluations)

Lafayette, CA, 925-283-6300



Developmental pediatrician (Barbara Bennett of UCSF & CPMC)


Barbara Bennett of UCSF & CPMC
Dr. Bennett also has a private practice in Marin. 

www.prattcenter.com Educational, Psychological and Neuropsychological Evaluations. One parent shares, she initially called CHC and they were booked out too far and recommended Brendan Pratt. He was very thourogh, even site visited their son in his school setting. They were pleased with the process and the Dr's availability to answer their questions. 

Dr Ted Guarino 1 hour eval, $400, Los gatos

Rebecca Fineman (Y) Los Altos 

Carol Slotnick 650 322 6491

Ruth Sereca 650 321 6600


Stanford, LPCH, Packard’s Children Hospital

PDD Clinic; Dr. Linda Lotspeich

Palo Alto, CA, 650-723-5511, 650-497-8000


A parent writes: there is a long waiting list


The M.I.N.D. Institute:

UC Davis Medical Center

Sacramento, CA, 916-703-0285


M.I.N.D. Institute – UCDavis. A parent writes: “Of the four evals, the one at the MIND institute at UC Davis was by far the most comprehensive and useful.”


Dr. Brad Berman, MD

Neurodevelopmental Pediatrician

A parent said “We saw Brad Berman at 7, he had a 10month waiting list.” Another parent: Brad Berman is a developmental pediatrician in Walnut Creek probably can make a diagnosis. Families describe him as warm and caring. Another parent: Brad is excellent but I think you should try to get a diagnosis as soon as possible so services can start.


Walnut Creek, CA, 925-279-3480


Dr. Deborah Sedberry, MD

A parent writes :” Dr. Sedberry. She is moving her Pleasanton office to Walnut Creek. $600 assessment, but the eval with the child is just 1 hour.  Deborah Sedberry is a pediatrician specializing in Behavior Development. I am told she is qualified to officially "diagnose"”. Another parent writes: I have not seen Dr Sedbury but know people who have and like her.

Developmental Pediatrician

Pleasanton, CA, 925-295-2020


Dr. Catharine Ross, MD

Neurodevelopmental Pediatrician

Santa Rosa, CA , 707-545-2082


Children's Hospital Autism Intervention (CHAI)

Oakland, CA, 510-428-3792

Re Wechtel & Wensley at CHO. One parent writes: “they use the child autism scale (a parent checklist) and standard IQ tests. No accommodation in testing for non-verbal kids. OTOH, they'll give a brief list of recommendations, and that's what is used to get Regional to provide services.” For parent additional comments ask http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bayareaprekasd (you have to join that yahoo group to read the messages) Re: Candida Brown at Children's Hospital in Oakland. A parent writes: “I highly recommend her. She really helps encourage your insurance company to provide what she requests.”


Pacific Autism Center for Education

Sunnyvale, CA, 408-245-3408

Bradley Manning, Ph.D. 520 Kelly Ave #4, Half Moon Bay, CA, 94019 1000 Fremont Blvd, Suite 270, Los Altos, CA, 94024 650-704-1343 
psychologist - conducts evaluations for autism spectrum disorders and other conditions usually diagnosed in childhood. Also provides therapy for anxiety/depression for individuals with Asperger's.


The Diagnostic Center, Northern California

General info on transitions, also a diagnostic consultation if your child qualifies




See also the Tutoring section for more Educational evaluation resources

JumpStart Learning to Learn - intensive 1 week parent education program for families who have recently
learned that their child has an autism spectrum disorder.  They use a variety of perspectives (behavioral, play-based, speech therapy) to 1)
teach parents to understand their child's learning style and needs 2)support their child's learning naturally at home when he or she is not
in intervention and 3)how to choose ongoing services.  
Phone: 415-335-4931
Address 1100 California St San Francisco


Education Law - Autism special ed law info

Thank you to Linda Weinert for contributing this section!!!

The Legal Rights of Children With Autism: An Expert Interview With Jill G. Escher, BA, MA, JD
http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/508088 requires a free registration to view

Procedural Safeguards Violations and Complaints, Procedural Safeguards Notice


This is just an example.  Each district does their own, but they have include a specific list of topics.  Note that since this document is written by the district with the help of their legal team, it downplays parents' rights.)


The California Dept of Ed Procedural Compliance number:

1-800-926-0648  (weekdays, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm)


For Compliance Complaints, see:



http://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/se/qa/  (look at bottom)

Learning more about special ed law: Here are a few suggested lists given more or less in order of
sophistication and expense:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/COSEP/ (low volume)
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/IEP_guide/ (excellent file section, but you have to join 3 related Yahoo groups to see them all)

The Reed Martin website also has a "Power" message board fordiscussing special ed law:
http://www.powermembers.net/  (It has a yearly $35 fee.)

There is also a list called "Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates":
http://www.copaa.org/  (It has a $50 yearly fee.)

If you join any or all of these lists and read the questions and answers every day you'll soon come to understand a great deal.

Two other national but very useful sites:
Reed Martin also participates in a weekly Thursday evening chat room. See his site for details.

Here's an online version of the Protection and Advocacy special edmanual for CA in a useful Q & A format:

Quick Q & A for special ed law in CA:

IEP preparation checklist:

Excellent Advocacy Tutorial (although not CA specific):

Here's a very detailed advocacy workshop that uses online videos:
(I haven't tried the videos but there are some very good checklists.)

There are FETA (From Emotions to Advocacy) workshops at PHP:

PHP also has periodic IEP trainings:

Ca Dept of Ed Early Childhood Education Preferred Practices:

There's a good section on how to do a records search here:

Info about "Prior Written Notice"

Here is a good list of educational tests:

Education Law- special topics

Unilateral placement

Kindergarten continuation (repeating K)

STAR testing and accomodations
http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/sr/  Click on Matrix of Variations, Accomodations, and Modifications

Special diet at school

Case Community Alliance For Special Education

Energy Medicine

Brooke Baggett-Milbourne 
www.mosaichealingarts.com one mom was pleased with this treatment for calming her 5 year old

Environment Safety

www.refinishingonline.com/california.htm  if your bathtub has lead (many do)
http://www.buildingbiology.net/bbinco.html environmental inspectors (mold, lead, etc) recommended by Debra Lynn Dadd
www.leadcheck.com (you can buy the kits at OSH, etc)
www.benchmark-inspections.com  Benchmark Environmental Services - mold, energy efficency (home performance), San Jose, CA 408-448-7594    IAQ Investigators/Tester
http://wagescooperatives.org/eco-care.html  green non-toxic house cleaning 
www.bio-techan.com   carpet sofas cleaning etc
www.americanairtesting.com American Airtesting (contact is John Riera 415-333-8063) one parent used and was very pleased with the detailed analysis of the air quality in their home. Once they did find the moldy spots,then they hired PuroFirst (tel: 650-364-2432) and about 3 months later were living in a mold free environment. 
www.moldremedies.com in burlingame - work thruout the bay area
See also Vincent A. Marinkovich, M.D. Certified Allergist & Immunologist - mold's effect on health specialist
See also general info on the environmental page

Christopher Sweat 
Northern California Environmental Testing, LLC (NCET)
Placerville, CA.
www.NCETLLC.net recommended by one mom  
530 344 8100


Advance Look Building Inspections Environmental Testing 
Scheduling: (925) 371-1300, Information: (925) 989-8898 
Toll Free: 1-888-642-LOOK (5665) 
www.AdvanceLook.net  recommended by one local mom - for mold inspection and cleanup - they were very professional

http://www.ehponline.org/docs/2006/9120/abstract.html Autism Spectrum Disorders in Relation to Distribution of Hazardous Air Pollutants in the San Francisco Bay Area 

Feldenkrais and Cranio Sacral


Anat Baniel Method for Children – Find a practitioner specially trained by Anat Baniel to work with children with special needs. (415) 460-6621 www.anatbanielmethod.com

www.banielfeldenkraistraining.com  – 90 day professional training in Anat Baniel Method, Feldenkrais Method, Anat Baniel Method for Children.

Jackie JacksonDaley, M.A. 
Anat Baniel Method Practitioner 
Based in Alameda, CA

Joseph Feinstein
San Rafael & San Francisco
(415) 336 – 2884
Specializes in working with children and performing artists. Movement, Breathing, Speech


Search for providers


Aviva Bernstein 
Palo Alto CA 650/852-9009 
Kids too

Cheryl Eichner, MS PT 
Feldenkrais Method, Osteopatic Manipulations, Physical Therapy, CranioSacral Therapy  
Children too

Andrea Bowers (1997) 
Fremont CA 94539 
Children/Adults-Neurological difficulties. High Performers. Anti-Aging
www.FreeChildrensClinic.org  Oakland

Deborah Bowes, PT (1987) 
FELDENKRAIS¨ Center For Movement Education 
San Francisco CA 94131 

Timothy Brent, MEd (1997) 
Oakland CA 94610 
Children, Seniors, 

Naomi Schaeffer DraperMS, PT (1993) 
Woodacre CA 94973 
Fax: 415-488-4879 
Also in San Rafael, children, dancers, rehabilitation 

Suzie Lundgren (1997) 
Santa Cruz CA 95061 
Fax: 831/423-6760 
Infant motor development, dancers/musicians, repetetive stress

Maryon Maass (1996) 
San Francisco CA 94108 
510/233-3255 (East Bay) 

Gail F. Gordon, PT (1997) 
Oakland CA 94611 
510/653-9856 ext.2 
Child, Adult Rehabilitation 

Kent Jones (1997) 
FELDENKRAIS® Associates 
Berkeley CA 94703 
Fax: 510/845-1634 
Also Craniosacral Therapist and Massage Therapist 

Athena Kyle, PT (1993) 
Advanced Physical Therapy 
San Francisco CA 94109 
Physical Therapy, Cranial-Sacral

Song Nelson (2000) 
Santa Cruz CA 95060 
Dance, Voice & Movement Education for Individuals with and w/o Disabilities 

Celeste Leitch (1987) San Francisco CA 94107 415/546-3849 415/885-1984 celeste@celesteleitch.com 

Deborah Geneva Leoni (1994) Health, Movement & Learning Center Santa Rosa CA 95401 707/579-1470 707/528-6289 deborahgeneva@ap.net Babies & Children (including those with Niemann-Pick,TypeC(NP-C)

Beth Sidlow (1997) 
Movement Improvement 
San Mateo CA 94402 
Children, Senior Citizens, RSI and Musicians, Ericksonian Hypnotherapy 

Catherine N. Sigal (1996) 
Movement Education, LLC. 
Napa CA 94558 
Xtreme cases, babies, elders, athletes, dancers, and musicians

Sonja H. Sutherland (1997) 
Learning in Action 
Berkeley CA 94703 

Andrew Wright (1990) 
ABA Physical Therapy 
San Mateo CA 94401 
Fax: 650/558-1735 
craniosacral visceral mobilization, tai ji teacher, back injuries, personal growth

Arlyn Zones, MA 
San Francisco CA, 415/664-6353 
Also works with children



Gilfix & La Poll, experience with special needs trusts www.gilfix.com/practice_areas/special_needs.html , recommended by several parents
Ellen Cookman is one of the attorneys that is recommended

dale law firm  Walnut Creek   925-280-0172 
www.achievingindependence.com experience with special needs trusts

Lisa Hutar, attorney, 650-637-1773 Belmont, experience with special needs trusts, recommended by a parent


Finding MORE resources


http://www.php.com/agency/startpage.php amazing database of 1000s of resources – mix of bay area and nationwide. We’ve found that the “condition” search often yields the most useful links. For example, condition = pervasive development disorder or services = legal. Also, the county field is helpful, ie county = san mateo. And best of all, if you can’t find what you are looking for, call them and leave a message on their voicemail – they are very helpful!

http://www.autismfunbayarea.org/  resource for local events and fun activities that are "autism friendly". They also post friendly restaurants, hotels, travel locales, etc and encourage users to post their own reviews (positive only)


http://www.special-education.info/experts.html More bay area links


http://www.special-education.info/autism_res.html More bay area links


http://bayareaasresource.org More bay area links – great site, by creative sf bay area parents!

www.SPDBayArea.org sensory integration focus, bay area links




http://www.nichcy.org/stateshe/ca.htm  california state


Bay Area Parent magazine www.BAP-SF-Pen.com  includes some special needs resources








Lorraine Ehlers-Flint PhD

Psychologist, Senior Floortime/DIR clinician

San Francisco, (510) 864-0794

Also may be affiliated with Through the Looking Glass in Berkeley, (510) 848-1112


Barbara Kalmanson, PhD

Clinical Psychologist, Senior Floortime/DIR clinician DIR® Faculty

 Kenfield California (Marin county), 415-456-0111 E-Mail: BKalmanson@earthlink.net


Dr. Ilene Lee, Ph.D.

(Provides "floor time" intervention and coaching)



Sara Chapman



Oak Hill School
Contact: Karen Kaplan, Executive Director
441 Drake Avenue
Marin City, CA 94965
Phone: 415.331.7601
Email: kkaplan@myoakhill.org
Geographic area served: San Francisco area
Services offered:
Education, Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Creative Arts Therapy, Floortime and Psychotherapy through a transdisciplinary therapeuti/education model.

Lisa deFaria, MSW, LCSW
Private Practice and Consultation to Individuals and Agencies
Discipline: Clinical Social Worker, Psychotherapist and Child Development Specialist
DIR® Faculty 

Aptos, CA 95003
Phone: (831) 684-2281
Email: ldefaria@sbcglobal.net
Geographic area served: West Coast, primarily the California Central Coast, Santa Clara, Los Gatos, Santa Cruz, Monterey
Services offered:
DIR services, assessment and treatment planning "Floortime" parent and child coaching Program Development Clinical Training and Supervision

Lynette DiLuzio, M.S., CCC-SLP, DIR Candidate Level III 
Contact Information: The Creekside School San Jose, CA 
Phone: 408.933.8910 

Maria Less, L.C.S.W., Mental Health, DIR® Certificate Candidate, Level II 
Contact Information: 1402 B Fairview Street, Berkeley, CA 94702 
Phone: 510-482-4378 
E-mail: surial@aol.com

www.pacificautism.org preschool uses Floortime as one of it's methodologies according to their website

Dr. Yana Peleg (408) 431-0231  floortime therapist in the Cupertino area

Stephanie Pass, Ph.D., Clinical Psychology,DIR® Faculty 
Contact Information: 672 Second Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94118 
Phone: 415-752-6246  E-Mail: 

Misty Sorensen, MS, Marriage and Family Therapy, DIR® Certificate Candidate, Level III 
Contact Information: 135 Cambridge Ave., San Leandro, CA 94577 
Phone: 510-435-6789 

www.creeksideschool.org San Jose, looks really interesting, uses DIR floortime principles  

One more idea is that you can call or email the folks at 
www.floortime.org  and ask them for DIR certified clinician that will coach you remotely, by you video taping your play and the therapist coaching you over the phone. or check herehttp://www.icdl.com/staging/usprograms/clinicians/CALIFORNIA.shtml

Food - local (on special diets)



http://www.annettesglutenfreebakery.com/  Pleasanton

Crave bakery - san francisco  - brownies and small chocolate cakes at Whole Foods.  
will deliver custom ordered cakes to a local seller of crave baked goods (ie Whole Foods). Highly recommended by two mom's! Plus the crave treats that are sold retail are super yummy. 

www.kapcakes.com yummy baked goods - out of palo alto, but if you customer order, many can be delieverd locally. 

http://www.mariposabaking.com/ East bay / Rockridge, some gluten-free cakes and some casein-free items

"The Cake Lady" - Celeste Cooper, gluten free options  
http://cakeladyshop.blogspot.com  one mom reported that she order GF Soy Free CF Egg Free and they were delicious, all the kids wanted seconds and they were beautifully decorated

www.cafegratitude.com  6 Bay Area Locations - lots of GFCF baked goods and more - expensive but good - we got the tiramisu - not kid fav - more adult friendly. They offer other cakes


www.marshallshoney.com local honey - sells at WF
Small beekeeper: 3622 Telegraph ave Oakland, CA 94609 510-388-9112

Many great local ideas 

Whole Life Natural Foods at 744 Laurel St. in San Carlos

Integrity Foods 1777 S. Bascom Ave Campbell, CA (408) 371-0100 

Alameda Natural Grocery at 1650 Park Street in Alameda. 
Draeger's Markets in Menlo Park, Los Altos, and San Mateo. 
Open Sesame in Lafayette 
Harvest House in Concord.
New Leaf Markets in Felton, Downtown Santa Cruz, and Capitola.
The Country Sun in Palo Alto.
Piazza's Fine Foods in Palo Alto

Rainbow co-op - save money and get great quality

Whole Foods

Trader Joes


www.itsaboutfood.org  Pacifica area local produce (fresh from farm)

Sweet Peas Organic Produce 
Kerry Tate Hwy One at Eighth Street Montara, CA 650-728-9944 
Certified organic retailer with a family friendly atmosphere

Cidre Loche (Montgomery Creek, California) 
Cidre Loche is a small farm located in the foothills of Mount Shasta. focus on low impact, sustainable farming methods. 
 unique products such as duck eggs, apple cider and morel mushrooms 
 offer certain items on a subscription basis. 

http://www.farmfreshtoyou.com find local CSA's - many will deliver

Local farmers markets http://www.westonapricesanfrancisco.org/Farmer's%20Markets.html

http://threestonehearth.com/ amazing WAPF based community supported kitchen - they will deliver

Amazing site for eating local and fresh http://www.wisefoodways.com/bay/


Free play with other kids places:

YMCA: If you joined the YMCA in san mateo you could take your child to the  daycare center and it would feel like a free play group. I think they  would allow an assistant to be there with him. And you could go workout!!!! The Y also has a 2 day a week structure toddler movement  class, free to members kids, that would likely be good too. We only took my son to the class once because of schedule …but I could see that it was  good practice for him…although he was a bit intimidated by the group  and the motor coordination needed. Parents can join the class to help!


You can call around to local preschools (I think that Kindercourt in San Carlos and Edison Montesorri allow this) ask about free play times and if a shadow aide is allowed.


Churches may also offer a free play group, especially for younger kids during services.


Some local parks are good too. Like on busy Saturday afternoons, you would probably see some of the same kids every week. In Foster City, Boothbay park is kid popular like this. And in the fall and spring during sports, Sea Cloud park's playground will be full of kids free playing every Saturday, most of the day. Of course parking can be a challenge!


Junior Gym has an open gym/free play time most every day.

San Mateo, (650) 548-9901



Fun activities – just fun for special needs kids and typical kids, too:


Autism Ribbon, AMC Entertainment (AMC) and the Autism Society have teamed up to bring families affected by autism and other disabilities a special opportunity to enjoy their favorite films in a safe and accepting environment on a monthly basis with the "Sensory Friendly Films" program. In order to provide a more accepting and comfortable setting for this unique audience, the movie auditoriums will have their lights brought up and the sound turned down, families will be able to bring in their own gluten-free, casein-free snacks, and no previews or advertisements will be shown before the movie. Additionally, audience members are welcome to get up and dance, walk, shout or sing...


School of Rock www.BandWorks.com (one starting in San Carlos)


Le Petit Baleen swim classes http://www.swimlpb.com/  Only 4 kids to a class. All kids grouped by skill level. All teachers are professional swim teachers, they are the best, they are great with special needs kids. Swimming is a very good activity for kids in OT too.


YMCA recreational swim time: http://www.peninsulafamilyymca.org/schedules_recreational.htm


Serra swim school (summer sessions only/) 1-3 or 1-4 swimmers per class (650) 345-8207 x181 or contact Serra High School (private)  in San Mateo  $8 per lesson (2003)


Peninsula Jewish Communiity Center is opening a “gym” with 2-3 pools (indoor & outdoor) in Foster City in Spring 2004, maybe they will offer open swim time! 
They also offer: Kids Fitness Tue/Thu 3:45 - 4:45pm This afterschool fitness class is all about fun fitness for ages 6- 10. Jumping, running, obstacle courses, balance and coordination drills, light resistance training.


Betty wright swim center, palo alto: some special needs kids have had private lessons paid for by regional center their once per week at about 3-4 years old.  The staff works with kids and adults with disabilities.


Joinville Swim Club in San Mateo (summer only, outdoor pool). One parent asked her in home developmental/behavioral specialist to come and assist her son in the water, very day M-Th for 1/2 hr. Group is about 5 kids...and Joinville staff has been accommodating to this plan. Each class runs for 2 weeks. It's a great pool, because its outside.


Aitkin's peninsula swim center: this pool is open year round. One parent signed up her son for group lessons during the winter, their slow season, and he was the only one in the class! so, private lessons at group rate. a good choice if you want year round. Another parent said that the instructor is great with her son (HFA) and the people are nice.


Carlmont swim classes (summer only), about $6 per lesson (2003), but class size can go up to 5 at level 3. instructors are usually members of the swim team. they're young, lots of fun, and one parent’s ASD boy really enjoys the lessons. She includes a note about her son’s autism when she registers, and always tells the instructor prior to class. so far, no problems. For class lessons, a child must be able to wait his  turn and follow directions.


Carlmont has "free swim" every afternoon from 1-3 p.m. for $2.50 per person (2003). Kids can practice their strokes and play with the other swimmers.



YMCA preschool fun movement class – twice a week in the mornings, similar to Gymboree, but free if the parent is a Y member. At the Peninsula YMCA


Motor skills camp

Kona Kai Swim & Tennis Center www.trennertennis.com

Review from http://www.thelighthouseproject.com/links.html  “Coach Rick is both a trained physical education teacher, and an accomplished tennis professional. His motor skills camps are fun and he and Assistant Coach Dana Bargas have experience working with kids with learning differences. The camps provide a natural setting in which unique children and “typical children” (if there is such a thing) can mix and match and play and get stronger and more coordinated in a beautiful natural environment.  We consistently receive rave reviews from parents we’ve sent to see Rick and Dana.  Note of warning:  If you sign your child up for a week of camp, they’re going to beg for another week, so be prepared.”

Santa Clara, CA 95051



3.5-6 year olds, each child has his own ball, uses pretend play and non competitive games

various playgrounds in San Francisco

415 608 2608 www.sfsoccerkids.com


Mini golf: http://www.malibugrandprix.com/redwood/ not specific to special needs kids, but a great place to visit during the year round school breaks. No lines, and you can take your time practicing hitting the ball, etc.


Tunnels and ball play at Chucke Cheese… This is a fun place to visit on a rainy day during year round school break http://www.chuckecheese.com/cec2002/restaurants/locator.html . My son and I particularly enjoy the Redwood City one as it has a big "tube" section. Parents, for yourself, bring a book to read or a friend to talk with as the kids can stay ip in the tubes a long time. If your child is on a special diet, you can bring in their own food.


Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo


www.spencerhardymusictherapy.com Palo Alto - SNK mom referral: "engaging, creative, flexible"

Beth Robinson > > Board Certified Music Therapist > > 415.637.7281
Several special needs mom's have said that she is patient and encouraging, and had very positive experinces
She also teaches some classes in other areas like San Mateo


Music  www.KindermusikwithYvonne.com mother of a special needs child


The Music School located upstairs from Little Wonders is parent participation at younger ages and has Circle time and other preschool-type activities.


Piano teacher, Ella, $20 for 1/2 hour  650-372-9364 One parent of a special needs kid writes: she is really patient and lively.  One parent's daughter likes her a lot.  Another reports that she does a great job with her son - lot of fun ...big affect. Another says that Ella is patient, kind, funny and FUN! 

Music Therapist: Theresa M. Srch-Nelson, MT-BC, a Board Certified Music Therapist with 24 years of experience including the areas of the Autism Spectrum, Developmental Disabilities, and Early Childhood Development. Walnut Creek


Music Together classes  
www.momusic.org  are recommended by several parents

Susan Rancer  in Piedmont.

One mom says "very good music therapist"  works well with special needs kids

San Francisco Zoo (especially the children’s section on a weekday morning)

Niles Canyon Heritage Railway Museum (Sunol) Offers trains rides on all
Sundays but the last of each month during the summer. The train is
accessible. Call (925) 862-9063 for more information, 


The Junior Gym

San Mateo, (650) 548-9901

Open gym times and structured classes



Gymboree www.gymboree.com


Gymnastics at Menlo Park Park and Rec dept for special needs kids (all kinds) …great

Camping ie 

Art Forms in Foster City. - structured class, one parent's child attended with an aide and had a good experience. 

Family trips: sf zoo - esp children's zoo (take a wagon and snacks), walk across golden gate bridge, discovery museum, wild thing, cal train, ferry

McNair Beach in San Rafael - take a scooter, beach toys (tiny beach), kids tent (wind/cold/shade), warm and cold clothes, snacks, small plates, toys, etc

Monterey aquarium
One parent reports that her son's favorite place is the lower tank of the Outer Bay exhibit. The entrance to it is by the member's entrance. When things get too hairy, they hang out there. Much less crowded and you get to see the Great White pretty often. Go mid-week if possible to avoid the crowds. Another parent reports that her son likes the aquarium a lot, they go often. You can also buy your tickets in advance on-line or over the phone. Then you go to the Members entrance/Will-call booth around the corner from the main entrance, pick up your tickets and walk in. Another parent says Go early or go during the week for sure because the crowds can really be overwhelming. There are a lot of outdoor areas to escape to in case of overstimulation. Her son loves the jellyfish.

Environmental Traveling Companions, offers outdoors adventure 
opportunities including kayaking, river rafting for children 10+. Call (415) 474-7662 
for more information. 

E-soccer http://e-soccer.info

Exceptional Children’s Soccer: starts with age 3. Free. Typical and Special Needs kids together. 


Exceptional kids karate, for a mix of both typical and special needs kids, Volunteer driven program like soccer. Kids 5 and up


Redwood City

Tai Kawndo - Golden State Tai Kwando, One parent recommends Kris Jensen

Bonafonte Gardens. One parent writes: "There are no lines and it’s beautiful. ... new water attractions. We went about a dozen times last year and stayed till the park closed. Bringing (special, ie gfcf) food for (child) is no problem and we only used the line pass for special needs a couple of times because there is almost never any wait"


Skating - http://www.redwoodcity.org/parks One parent and her special needs son enrolled in a Mommy, Daddy, and me class years ago at Ice Oasis through Redwood City Parks and Rec when her son was probably 4 or 5 that worked well for them- called the Parent and Tot class for 3-5 year olds. Taking a class with your child might be a good intro for the younger children and get them ready for a class by themselves.


Playgroups that are managed by City Colleges: search on-line and get to the city college course listings -- it will be listed 
under "Child Observation Class"...there are several locations offered throughout the city 
You can just "drop in" at the time/location specified in the course listing and sign up with the teacher 
(it's just a non-credit class at no cost). Remember that playgroups don't run thru the summer (they're 
on the same schedule as city college) The groups only go up thru age 5 and some teachers can be strict 
about enforcing this, but it may be worthwhile to check with the teacher if your child gets along w/ younger kids.


And, visit your most popular local park playgrounds at a regular time each week, get to know more kids!

There are indoor Play structures at some malls, ie the Tanforan and Valley Fair malls--in case you need something for a rainy day

See more idea in the 
birthday party section , ie bumper bowling is available at most bowling alleys. 

Little League T ball is fairly good for special needs kids. Even if all they do is take a turn "at bat" (at the T) ...
there is no score keeping at this age.


http://www.pickyourown.org/CAsanfran.htm fun to go pick fruit in season


Yoga for kids www.yogakids.com 
Youth and Family Enrichment services
San Carlos
(650) 591-9623 x 128 Mariana Doig, 


www.starfeetyogaandplay.com For more information please contact: rion    starfeetyogaandplay.com

Rion Hoffmann, RYT has practiced and studied yoga for over 10 years and has worked with children on the autism spectrum for almost as long.  She believes that each of us has a right to feel comfortable and grounded in our own bodies and that yoga can help us to connect more deeply to both to ourselves and each other. She has studied Integrated Movement Therapy with the Samarya Center, Yoga for the Special Child with Sonia Sumar, and most recently, with San Francisco’s own Its Yoga Kids!    

Hiking in the Marin Headlands - near the visitor center

Mr. Barry,kids' gymnastics instructor at San Carlos Rec and the Foster City PJCC. (Barry Ruttenberg)
His contact info 
www.sanmateogymnastics.com 591-8734
Mr. Barry also offers a special class for kids 3-5. It's a fun, nurturing environment for speech-delayed/ASD kids, with only ~8 kids in the class. We also have siblings in the class which makes it fun!

May parents say the class is fantastic


Joell Dunlap
Executive Director
Square Peg Foundation
Mission: to turn "I wish" into "I can."


Fun activities - special needs programs:


E-soccer www.e-soccer.org  we LOVE e-soccer, this is the program that we joined when he was 3 and we've been with it ever since. His is now (proudly) an assistant coach Even with his challenges, he is able to help other kids!!!  A mix of both typical and special needs kids, Volunteer driven program



Exceptional kids karate, for a mix of both typical and special needs kids, Volunteer driven program like soccer. Kids 5 and up


Redwood City

BOK Ranch  http://www.bokranch.com therapeutic horseback riding lessons for individuals with special needs. Located in Woodside – beautiful location, great horses and therapists. We have really enjoyed our 2 years plus so far of hippotherapy 

Assisted Animal Happiness in Los Altos www.animalassistedhappiness.org


Disabled Sports - www.dsusafw.org


Special olympics - www.sonc.org/regions/siliconvalley

http://www.angelsonstage.org/ A theater Troupe of Children with Differing Abilities


Zohar dance in Palo Alto - 650-494-8221 www.zohardance.org

Dance program for children considered developmentally delayed. This program is offered at 10 sites throughout the school year reaching an additional 200 children annually.

San Carlos Children's Theater (SCCT) Friends Play Group for socially delayed children.  
The program is a theater-based social skills play group and is geared for children ages 6 - 9 years. 
Shelley Frost, SCCT Drama Teacher 

SNAP ( Special Needs Aquatic Program) 
Individual and small group sessions 
ranging from 30-60 minutes. Contact Dori Maxon, (510) 527-0446 for more information. 
One parent shared that she is very happy with this program, they were very patient with her son 
There is a radio of 2 adults per child. Held at several locations: ie Palo Alto YMCA and , Berkeley

Adaptive Aquatics, City of Antioch Leisure Services, disabilities. Pool 
is heated to 80*+. Call (925) 776-3070 ext 3076.

Challenger Little League: Baseball for children with special needs.
Pinole Hercules: Joe Toms, (510) 758-4715 or Janey Franklin, (510) 
Walnut Creek: Fred Flint, (925) 685-4394
Clayton Valley: Jim Brophy, (925) 1801
East County: Katrina Early, (925) 625-3895

Swim and Gym at Berkeley YMCA has special needs program

Special Olympics is a free program for children ages 8+ with mental
retardation, with or without physical disabilities. Activities include
swimming, tennis, track and field, softball, power lifting, gymnastics,
basketball. Call (925) 939-2555 ext 24 for more information.
Special Olympics in the Oakland area call : (510) 553-9833 

Special skaters - Ice Oasis - Redwood City - class on most Saturdays 1:30 to 2:00 pm. Cost is $8 per class which includes instruction and skate rental. They also have some typical kids as helpers. For more info and to reserve a spot, call 650.364.8090 x16 www.iceoasis.com


Special needs ice skating on Sunday mornings

at the Winter Lodge in Palo Alto starting in January

The rink is outdoors.



Oakland Ice Center Skater Program  The ice center offers a special-needs session at 4 pm Fridays. Cost is $6/session and includes skate rental for your kid and you. Volunteers and employees help the kids learn to skate. 
http://www.oaklandice.com  The ice rink is open for skaters who use wheelchairs, walkers, on Friday 4-5p.m.  Call 510-268-9000.


Shared Adventures - www.sharedadventures.com  Santa Cruz, cool adventures for special needs


Special Needs Gymnastics class through Cupertino Recreation.


Twisters Gym

Mountain View, CA 94043, 650-967-5581

Gym has easy wheelchair access and private entry exercise rooms, in addition, we have van transport, and our fully equipped "Tumble Bus" is available to come to your site. Twisters Gym is organizing a school-age motor skills class for kids who want to be in gymnastics. They will probably work on the trampoline, obstacle course, and bars, and more. We are hoping to organize a class with a 4 to 1 ratio taught by an advanced teacher with experience in teaching motor skills and kids with special needs. Acting and Modeling classes are available


AYSO VIP soccer (special needs) San Jose, Cupertino, Saratoga or Prunedale to Monterey



United Studios (karate), Regina PinPin

Foster City, (650) 577-9234

One parent recommended private classes for special needs kids with Ms PinPin

Disabled Sports USA, Farthwest offers : water skiing in Sacramento, 
white water rafting on the South Fork of the American River, adaptive cycling 
on bike trails in Sacramento as well as 4-wheel drive adventures. Call :
530-581-4161 for more information.


SF Recreation and Park Department: Assisted Services Division

Jackson Park,

San Francisco, CA (415) 554-8920

Programs for adults, teens and children with developmental, emotional and physical disabilities.

Little League Challenger Baseball (for special needs)
Offered in Foster City, Menlo 
www.m-all.org, Palo Alto and more 

www.rideawave.org  Great support for kids and any disability. Lots of fun activities in the water kayaking, surfing, etc

http://www.surfershealing.org/  surfing - more Southern California and other states though


www.dayinthesky.org Disabled and terminally ill children (ages 8-17) will receive plane rides over the spectacular coastline, while a simultaneous large festival and accessible activities expo entertains everyone on the ground. 


Dawn Iwamasa, MA, MT-BC

Board Certified, music therapist

Walnut Creek, CA, 925-952-9921


Susan Rancer

Reg. Music Therapist

Piedmont, CA, 510-654-5882

http://www.tacanow.org/family-resources/lets-get-moving/  more active sports  ideas


Absolute Vibration

415-435-7939, http://www.absolutevibration.org  San Francisco, CA

non-profit music therapy organization that works with children with disabilities, as well as any individuals who wish to utilize music at its fullest potential, as an empowering and healing art form.  Call or e-mail for more information about service in other counties. Will come to

your home, too!!!

One parent of a special needs child writes of Beth Robinson, a music therapist from Absolute Vibrations, teaches piano. “My son really liked her.”

http://www.nceft.org  (Hippotherapy) therapeutic horseback riding lessons for individuals with special needs. Woodside


Year round horseback riding program for kids with disabilities of all ages located in West

Marin County. The rides are every Saturday at three different times throughout the day. There is a guide who is assigned to the child and parent. It is free and this program works on donations. It is worth the drive and a fun thing to do for the day.

Halleck Creek Riding Club (4-H Affiliate)

Julie Cassel -coordinator

Inverness, CA , (415) 662-2488



Hartl Hill Farm

(Therapeutic horseback riding)

Tish Callos, Martinez, CA, 925-228-3936,



South bay - http://www.osctr.org/

Berkeley - http://www.halleckcreekranch.org/index.html

Other options - http://www.incirclepets.com/articles/show/146-our-comprehensive-list-of-bay-area-animal-assisted-therapy


Many more therapeutic riding programs throughout the entire bay area http://results.bayequest.info/handi_pn.php


Therapeutic Recreation Services

Santa Clara, CA, 408-984-3257,

Recreation and leisure services for individuals with special needs. Includes Adult Social Club (ages 25-up) Children's Recreation (ages 4-12) Saturday Activities for Teens (ages 13-up) The Social-Lites (Ages 21-up) Teen Club (ages 13-up) Young Adult Club (18-up) Movin' (ages 13-up) beginning aerobics. Gotta Dance (ages 16-up) Co-Sponsored Programs Cooperative Dances (Ages 13 and up) Special Olympics (Call for 267-2734 for schedule) Special Olympics Basketball Training (Call 267-2734 for eligibility and starting dates)

Look for more local Hippotherapy or therapuetic horseback riding: 
http://www.americanhippotherapyassociation.org see education page, listing of specialized centers. In another area of the site there are listings of state liaisons


Redwood City, CA 94061 (650) 363-6181

Special Education Art Program/Classes for children with disabilities offered at allARTstudio. Study art with experienced European artist/mom of two hearing impaired children.


Environmental Traveling Companions


San Francisco, CA,  (415) 474-7662

Sea Kayaking, River Rafting, Cross-Country Skiing and Youth Leadership School adventures for people with disabilities and other special needs



PHP has an integrated playgroup in Santa Clara on weekends 


Organization of Special Needs Families
Cupertino, CA. Special needs fun/enrichment programs, Summer Special Needs Swimming Lesson.
see more here


https://mailman.stanford.edu/mailman/listinfo/kwdevents Kids with Dreams events with Stanford Students


Redwood City Parks and Rec is piloting a Friday night "hangout" for "neurodiverse" tweens/teens


Hair cuts Haircuts

Just Kids Cuts in Burlingame. They have TVs at each station and play a kids movie--it changes periodically





IEP related:

see also the education law section on this page


http://www.cde.ca.gov/spbranch/sed/om072898.htm  What related services & "designated instruction and related services" CA schools must provide.

See also http://www.cde.ca.gov/spbranch/sed/   California Department of education, links to the laws, Regulations, Policies

See also http://www.cde.ca.gov/spbranch/sed/intracdb.htm California Special Education Programs Hearing Office Database, SEARCH Due Process Hearing Decisions and Orders 

http://www.cec.sped.org/law_res/doc/law/regulations/topicIndex.php US special ed law, for example §300.502 Independent educational evaluation


http://www.dds.cahwnet.gov/statutes/laws_main.cfm more California special ed related laws


http://www.sfusd.k12.ca.us/dept/sped/forms/faqIEP.html SFUSD interesting FAQ on IEPs

Here is a helpful article about iep goals


California Department of Education Special Education Laws and Regulations Database

Education Code -- Part 30, Other Related Laws, and California Code of Regulations -- Title 5




California Special Education Rights & Responsibilities

Web: http://www.pai-ca.org/pubs/401601.htm   http://www.pai-ca.org/pubs/504101.htm


IEP related – SELPAs http://www.dds.cahwnet.gov/EarlyStart

It’s a good idea to contact your local SELPA…see below…


Contra Costa SELPA

Concord, CA , 925/827-0949 x10

Area Served: Alamo, Antioch, Bethel Island, Brentwood, Byron, Canyon, Crockett, Danville, Knightsen, Lafayette, Martinez, Moraga, Oakley, Orinda, Pittsburg, Port Costa, Rodeo, San Ramon, and Walnut Creek


Marin County SELPA

San Rafael, CA, 415/472-1969


Mid-Alameda County SELPA

Castro Valley Unified School District

Castro Valley, CA, 510/537-3000 x1220

Area Served: Castro Valley,Hayward, San Leandro, and San Lorenzo


Mission Valley SELPA

Fremont, CA, 510/659-2569 x12461

Area Served: Fremont, Newark, and Union City


Mt. Diablo Unified SELPA

Concord, CA, 925/682-8000 x4048

Area Served: Bay Point, Clayton, Concord, Martinez, Pleasant Hill, and Walnut Creek


Napa County SELPA

Napa, CA, 707/253-6807


North Region SELPA

Alameda Unified School District

Alameda, CA, 510/337-7190

Area Served: Alameda, Albany, Berkeley, Emeryville, and Piedmont


North Santa Cruz County SELPA

Capitola, CA, 831/464-5677

Area Served: Live Oak, San Lorenzo Valley, Santa Cruz, Scotts Valley, and Soquel


Oakland Unified SELPA

Oakland, CA 510/879-8220


Pajaro Valley Unified SELPA

Watsonville, CA, 831/786-2130


Area Served: Aptos, Corralitos, Freedom, La Selva Beach, Las Lomas, Pajaro, and Watsonville


San Francisco Unified SELPA

San Francisco, CA, 415/242-2670



Santa Clara County SELPA

Areas I-IV and VII

San Jose, CA, 408/453-6566

Area Served: Alum Rock, Berryessa, Cambrian, Campbell, Cupertino,

East Side, Evergreen, Franklin- McKinley, Fremont, Gilroy, Lakeside, Loma Prieta, Los Altos, Los Gatos, Luther Burbank, Milpitas, Montebello, Moreland, Morgan Hill, Mountain View, Mt.

Pleasant, Oak Grove, Orchard, Palo Alto, San Jose, Santa Clara, Saratoga, Sunnyvale, Union, and Whisman

Note Selpa II – Cupertino and Sunnyvale site is here http://www.fuhsd.org/CAC/ 


San Mateo County SELPA

Redwood City, CA, 650/802-5464

http://www.smcoe.k12.ca.us/selpa/index.html helpful site, calendar of mtgs too


http://www.smfc.k12.ca.us/level2/dodirectory.html  San Mateo/Foster City School District contact info for Director of Student Services (includes special education)


Sonoma County SELPA

Santa Rosa, CA, 707/524-2750


Tri-Valley SELPA

Pleasanton, CA, 925/426-4293

Area Served: Dublin, Livermore, and Pleasanton


Advocate – Joanna Jaeger


initial consultation was free, $500 retainer to attend IEP, hourly rate
She was very helpful to us in helping us get more services for our pre-K son.

Kim Goldman 925-256-6607 advocate
Walnut Creek, works mainly in Mt. Diablo, very knowledgeable

Joanne Cordova: CASPER- Special Education Advocacy

San Jose, CA 95125 http://www.php.com/agency/oneDetail.php?AgencyID=3753

$50./hour. First 50 minutes of consultation is free. $500. to attend IEP and mediation. $1000. to attend due process hearings. Fee's can be negotiated 8/2003


Susan Foley, JD

Half Moon Bay, CA, (650) 712-8239,

Legal advocacy services for families in the San Francisco Bay and San Jose Areas. Sliding scale fee schedule. Free initial consultation.



Advocacy For Life Ramona, Ca 92065 (760) 415-4872 
Services provided include: representation, consulting, testing, tutoring, CAHSEE preparation and training in self-advocacy. Espanol available.

Kids in Crisis (KIC) Project
Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County
San Mateo, CA 94402
(650) 558-0915

Free legal services, resources and referrals for children with disabilities.Special education assistance limited to low-income, young children of San Mateo county

www.php.com call them and ask for a referral to an advocate


A Closer Look - Judith Stubbs – see Tutor section


More advocates

http://www.iser.com/essneradvo-CA.html  San Jose

www.advocatesforspecialkids.org/faqs1_10.htm  http://www.advocatesforspecialkids.org/iep_tips.htm   great tips for California IEPs


Protection & Advocacy, San Francisco Bay Area, 800/776-5746, www.pai-ca.org


Professional Advocates for Special Students, Northern California Representative, (510) 309-0057 , Legal representation and parent/organization trainings http://www.yellowpagesforkids.com/help/ca.htm


FREE online Book that address California law in particular http://www.autism-law.com/ 


Disability Rights Advocates

Oakland, CA, (510) 451-8644,



http://www.edlaw.net/service/attylist.html  special ed attorneys


Advocates for Education, Elizabeth Essner

San Jose, CA , (408) 979-9964,



Advocacy tips (not local, but very good):



Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF)

Berkeley, CA , (510) 644-2555,


Parent Training and Information Center (PTI) for Alameda, Contra Costa, and Yolo Counties providing training in special education law. We also do statewide and national civil rights advocacy for children (and adults) with disabilities


Community Alliance for Special Education (CASE)

San Francisco, CA  , (415)431-2285

Legal support, representation, technical assistance consultations, and training to parents of special needs kids throughout the greater San Francisco Bay Area


Julia Wilson of Legal Aid in San Mateo, gave an IEP training. You are entitled to a free consultation w/ Legal Aid. http://www.baylegal.org/


Lawyer: Mike Zatopa in San Francisco, 415-896-1400 http://www.php.com/agency/oneDetail.php?AgencyID=3479


Lawyer, Ralph Lewis in Corona 909-734-4631. He has 11 years' experience with this kind of law, autism and ABA therapy. One parent writes “I really like (him).” http://www.php.com/agency/oneDetail.php?AgencyID=3504


Katherine Dobel,

(Specializing in IEP advocacy) http://www.php.com/agency/oneDetail.php?AgencyID=3476

Berkeley, CA, 510-548-2004

C.A.G. - Consultation & Advocacy Group, Inc. 
Los Alamitos, CA 90720 
(562) 430-3763 
Advocating for children with special needs.


 San Francisco, CA 94111 (415) 819-3071; (

Representation of parents of students with disabilities at IEP meetings, mediation and due process hearings throughout the state of California.


Negotiating the Maze


Berkeley (510) 528-8942

will attend meetings from Santa Rosa to San Mateo


Sherman & Ziegler (Special Ed Law)

David Sherman

San Francisco and Marin, CA, (414) 924-1300,

www.Special-Education.info  fantastic website, many resource links


David Nearon Jr., 
(Special Needs Trusts & Estate Planning) 
Walnut Creek, CA, 925-933-6764, 

Reed Martin, JD
(Special Ed Law)


Sarah Clarke, JD http://www.php.com/agency/oneDetail.php?AgencyID=3478 
San Francisco, CA, 415-928-5374


California Special Ed Law  http://eit.otan.dni.us/speced/laws_search/searchLaws.cfm 
"A composite of Laws", 2003 
To order a hardcopy call- 800-995-4099

Special Education 
"Rights and Responsibilites"
http://www.pai-ca.org/pubs/504701.htm chapter 7 is online for free reading


Insurance reimbursement for services (in California)

www.therapyinla.com/news/news0401.html State Bill 88 mental health parity



http://www.sandiegoautismsociety.org/autismreferences/faq.htm#11 “How do I obtain coverage for services through my medical insurance?”


http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/autism_inlandempire_socal/files/ see Chris’ letter to an insurance company (specific to California) (you have to join that yahoo group to read the message)



 getting insurer to pay (specific to California) (you have to join that yahoo group to read the message)


http://www.hmohelp.ca.gov/library/faq/mental_health/  State Bill 88 and hmo



Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes (see entries in Reading section)


Medical - Biomedical

David Traver, M.D.

Foster City, CA (650) 341-5300 www.dptmd.com

Very good speaker, he came to our parent group to speak and was impressive. 1/04.

Caring and knowledgeable ...Many parents on the discussion groups respect and enjoy working with him. 4/05: He is a very knowledgeable and caring doctor - I highly recommend him

Great all-in-one location with several excellent and well respected practitioners www.wholechildwellness.com 
Dr. Elisa H. Song, Dr. Ann D. Wolf, Kandice Stellmon, Certified Nutritional Consultant

Lynne Mielke, M.D. 
Developmental Spectrums (for ASD kids). Recommended by many moms!

Pleasanton, CA, 925-846-6300

Annette Hickson at Developmental Spectrums in Pleasanton (925-846-6300) is  another nutritionist with special expertise in autism and ASD diets, IgG food  issues, etc. She is also the mother of a son on the spectrum, so is good at helping with all those special tricks we need to get these kids to eat! 

Julie Matthews, Certified Nutrition Consultant
www.healthfulLivingSF.com  also has a radio program and a email newsletter, heard her speak 7/04 and found the talk very informative
San Francisco, CA, 415-437-6807 see her book too 

Miriam Jang, M.D.

for comments, you can ask parents  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bayareaprekasd 
San Rafael, CA, 415-457-3193, she is well informed, very knowledgeable

Kathy Kaufmann, R.D., C.C.N.
San Jose, CA, 408-358-5540, one parent shared that she is very knowledgeable. Another explained that she is particularly helpful with tips fr starting gfcf.



Dr. Vincent Marinkovich, M.D.
(650) 482-2800, Redwood City

One parent writes “We have had success with (him). He follows the DAN protocol.”

He is extremely knowledgeable about mold related allergies/sensitivities


More local professionals  can be found here: 



Robert Cathcart, M.D.
Los Altos, CA, 650-949-2822

Richard Kunin, M.D.
San Francisco, CA , 415-346-2500

John Toth, D.O., one parent shared that he speaks often on detoxing for adults at harvest house in concord. He is an environmental allergist/toxicologist  
Concord, CA, 925-687-9447

Julie Griffith, M.D., M.S., C.M.T.
Greenbrae, CA 94904, 415-925-1616

Denise A. Tarasuk, R.N., N.D.
Heritage Village Offices
Campbell, CA, 408-370-5291

John Wakefield, M.D.
Saratoga, CA, 408-366-0660

Robert Rowen, M.D.
Santa Rosa, CA, 907-571-7560


Immune Matrix ( was Delicate Balance Health Care Center )

Milpitas, California, 408-262-6900  

http://www.immunematrix.com Acupuncture, Biological Age Regression, BioSET™Allergy Elimination, Chinese Herbal Medicine, Enzyme Therapy, Food Allergy Elimination, Massage, Neuro-Emotional Technique (N.E.T.)

Dr. Raj Patel with Medical Options for Wellness
treats autistic kids that may have food allergies, high levels of mercury, etc.

Dr. Graeme Shaw, M.D.  
5050 El Camino Real, Suite 110
Los Altos, CA 94022
One parent wrote "We like Dr. Shaw. We went thru all the stool and urine tests/
chelations/ enzymes etc..then gluten free/ casein free diet"

http://www.american-physician.com/allergy/CA  www.allergyresearchgroup.com 

Dr. Elson Haas and Preventive Medical Center of Marin (PMCM) 

Dr. Suzann Wang, Naturopathic Doctor. 
One mom shared: she is doing a lot of good things for us, clearing up yeast, healing the gut, etc

Ellen Cutler Mill Valley. 


Biomedical support group – see Parent Support area


http://fourfoldhealing.com/ Dr Tom Cowan holistic




Sabina Sonneman in Redwood City. www.sabinacare.com  traditional



See Diagnosis section too


Kiki Chang, Psychiatrist at Stanford http://www.stanford.edu/group/bipolar.clinic/about/chang.html

is highly regarded as an expert on bipolar


Developmental Pediatrician - Dale Jacknow in San Mateo -650-342-3137



Pediatric Neurologist - Dr Candida Brown - recommended by a local DAN doc for EEG



Pediatric Neurologist - Ted Guarino in San Jose - 408-271-5271


Mittelstad, Patricia PHD - Neuropsych exams

Menlo Park, CA, (650) 322-5321


Bowers, Cheryl A PHD - Neuropsych exams

Scotts Valley, CA, (831) 430-0100


Serepca, Ruth PHD - Serepca Ruth PhD - Neuropsych exams

Menlo Park, CA, (650) 321-6600


Family Neurology, Sarah Cheyette, MD, see Diagnosis

Neuropsychological Assessments, Teresa Bailey, Ph.D., Ph.D. , see Diagnosis

www.brightmindsinstitute.com The Bright Minds Institute is now open in San Francisco (in the Presidio) and offers an array of services to patients from infants to young adults. Clinic is directed by a cognitive behavioral neurologist, Dr. Fernando Miranda. ABA (applied behavioral analysis) therapy, a European approach to physical therapy, traditional physical, occupational and speech therapy, cognitive
behavioral neurology, neuropsychology, clinical psychology, educational tutoring, individual/family therapy, and pharmacological intervention (if necessary)


Dr. Paul Lebby

neuropsychologist, see Diagnosis


Dr. Ann Parker, see Diagnosis


Caroline Johnson

pediatric neuropsychologist, see Diagnosis


Dr. Melanie Lenington Los Angeles, see Diagnosis


Children’s Health Council, see Diagnosis


California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC), see Diagnosis


Dr. Clare Ames-Klein Ph.D.

Child Psychologist, see Diagnosis



Developmental pediatrician (Barbara Bennett of UCSF & CPMC), see Diagnosis


Stanford, LPCH, Packard’s Children Hospital

PDD Clinic; Dr. Linda Lotspeich, see Diagnosis (Note: Dr Lotspeich is joining Kaiser)


The M.I.N.D. Institute:
Recommended by several parents

UC Davis Medical Center, see Diagnosis


Dr. Brad Berman, MD

Neurodevelopmental Pediatrician, see Diagnosis


Dr. Deborah Sedberry, MD

Developmental Pediatrician, see Diagnosis


Dr. Catharine Ross, MD

Neurodevelopmental Pediatrician, see Diagnosis

Dr. Charlotte Drew at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation in Palo Alto, regular pediatrician. A parent writes "She is willing to work with you"

Dr. Rick Lloyd at PAMC  regular pediatrician. A parent writes "he has just been wonderful. He spent time with us and made recommendations as to where to go for evaluations (he served on the board of the Children's Health Council in the past). He also passed on information about new medications"

Dr Subha Aahlad at Foster City Pediatric, regular pediatrician. A parent writes that "she had several Autistic patients and was willing to help me with things like breaking the MMR into 3 separate shots for kindergarten." Another shares "she was willing to postpone boosters based on a discussion of titers." (650) 574-2774 We love her!

Dr. Naveen Mahmood (as well her colleague Dr. Lynch)of the Redwood Shores branch of the Palo Alto Medical Foundation  
(650) 598-3160 
A parent shares "is completely tolerant of parents who approach vaccinations atypically. ...When I took my youngest in for her six month wellness check, Dr. Mahmood merely had me sign a form declining the shots. "

Mark Showen, regular pediatrician near Mills in San Mateo. A parent writes "he also had/has autistic patients. He is kind and patient and very good about writing referrals to specialists if there is a concern about anything. He never dismisses a parent's concern."

Dr. Anders Dahlstrom 408-358-3573. 
pediatric GI at Good Sam in San Jose who has gone to the DAN conference. . 
One parent writes: he is very nice, and he's scoped thousands of kids, and he gets it. Another writes that he is a Pedi GI specialist who is thorough and professional and has good manners also. He seems to be sensitive to children with special needs also.

Dr. Julianne O'Malley
Sunnyvale, part of the El Camino Medical Group. 
A parent writes "We have been taking our son to her since he was born and we've been very happy. In fact, she's the one who brought autism to our attention and gave us the contact # for SARC. She is very intuitive."

Dr. Elisa Song Whole Child Wellness 950 Woodside Rd. Ste 5 650-369-KIDS (5437)
holistic pediatrics practice that opened in 2006 in Redwood City. Dr. Song is a board certified pediatrician. On parent writes: "She strikes me as very kind and knowledgeable, particularly about homeopathy, nutrition, and traditional Chinese medicine."



clinic: http://www.noeclinic.com/sf/about_us  They have a pretty comprehensive staff and offer alternative services (acupuncture, chinese medicine etc) as well.


Nanny/respite care/Aide/Shadow

A Special Nanny and they are in Los Gatos, full/part time, special needs qualified?. www.specialnanny.com



Sheila Fuller
Support Aide for Special Needs Infants & Toddlers (respite)

medical and childcare background
San Carlos, 650/361-1705 (home) 

Often neighborhood kids who are 12-15 years old are great at drawing the kids into fun play time while babysitting (at least this works for many 2-4 year old special needs kids)


See also Parent support, regional centers


Contact PHP - they have many leads on respite workers http://www.php.com/taxonomy/term/136  if this link doesn't work just go to www.php.com amd call or email them

You can advertise on or check 
www.craigslist.com  Two parents of Autistic kids have said that they put an ad in the "parenting kids" or "babysitting" section with good results looking for combo nanny/helpers....or try the "education" section for tutors/shadows/aide (of course training is then up to you)...

See also the ABA section - many aba providers also supply school aides/shadows (already trained!)


Neurofeedback and Biofeedback

Dr Klear in San Jose www.klearyourmind.com 


http://www.brainwavetherapy.com  Lilian Marcus, PhD, LMFT, is certified by the California Biofeedback Society, the Biofeedback Certification Institute of America, The Neurofeedback and Biofeedback Certification Board, and the American Board of Certified Quantitative Electroencephalography.

Palo Alto


http://www.marinbiofeedback.org/  San Rafael 

Dr Carolyn Robertson, recommended by a special needs parent

http://www.cognitive-connections.com  Walnut Creek and onsite at Milestones

Dr. Lise DeLong from Cognitive Connections offers onsite at Milestones, a provider of ABA and social skills groups. She is recommended by one snk mom who says : My son who presents with auditory discrimination deficits, gross motor/planning challenges, and impulsivity has made tremendous strides in all areas after only fifteen treatment sessions.


http://www.janekingstontherapy.com Half Moon Bay


Kathy Kermit, Ph.D. http://www.brainwavedoc.com Los Altos


Harry Verb MD is located in San Mateo at the Behavioral Medical Clinic. Neurobehavioral treatment of ADHD essentially requires patients to learn to normalize their EEGs http://harryverby.org/

Teresa Bailey, Ph.D., Ph.D. ,
Neuropsychological Assessments, QEEG-guided Neurofeedback Treatment 
Attention, Learning, Memory, Thinking, Feelings, Behavior 
Los Altos  650-967-3451


San Mateo Biofeedback center http://terrizucker.com/    


Ali  Hashemian

Attention & Achievement Center

866-881-8820 San Mateo, CA in USA



Ruby Ng, M.D., MPT, M.S., Pediatric Biofeedback Specialist

CPMC Sutter http://www.cpmc.org/advanced/pediatrics/team/ruby_ng.html


Find certified practitioners here:

Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback http://www.aapb.org

Biofeedback Certification Institute of America http://www.bcia.org



www.zoo-phonics.com   cool computer game and video to learn the zoo phonics signals….(signals are good prompts for early articulation issues, like letter L). Complements the zoo-phonics system they are learning in the classroom

Dr. Masgutova and the Institute of Neurokinesiology work, which is another program focused on regulating the body. 
http://www.kinesiology.pl requires parent involvement, about 15 min a day.


CAT Center for Accessible Technology:

Resource/Education Center for computer  keyboarding and software

Berkeley, CA 94710, 510-841-3224



Barbara Bell Photography

Burlingame, CA 94010, (650) 544-4456,


Certified to photograph children with special needs. Former elementary school teacher


Kitty Petty ADD/LD Institute

Palo Alto (650) 329-9443


A clinic for those with Attention Deficit Disorder and/or a learning disability, offering a teen network and a therapeutic 2-week summer camp. Preschool, day care and a K-12 school available. Monthly support group meetings and referrals for tutors and disability attorneys.


Dr. Jeanne Barta

Chiropractor, (NAET specialist for children with Autism)

Clayton, CA, 925-682-4941


The Markwell Cognitive Learning Center located in Belmont

PACE (Process and Cognitive Enhancement) 12 week program



Synergistic Interventions

Kim Stokes, CMT

Vicki Wells, MA

Oakland, CA 94602, 510-914-0322,


Debra Ullmann, CET

Board Certified Educational Therapist/Diagnostician

San Jose, CA, (408) 927-5891,

Psychoeducational testing and educational consultations for ages 3 through adult. 20 years experience in the public school system plus 5 years in private practice.




Julia Morgan Center

(Therapeutic drama classes)

Beth DonahueTempleton

Berkeley, CA 94704, 510-845-8542 ext.378,


Yvette N. Tazeau, Ph.D.


Los Gatos, CA, (408) 977-7117

Psychological Testing, Neuropsychological Testing, Developmental Evaluations, Psychoeducational Assessments, Spanish Language Testing/Evaluations/Assessments


Here's a site for an organization that can come to your child's school and teach a program of respecting other students:


Anti-bullying. Santa Clara County has had a budget for providing this to some schools each year.  Maybe other counties have something similar.

Bright Solutions for Dyslexia
San Jose, CA 95124
(408) 559-3652 
Free information and resource center on dyslexia. 
Offers free telephone consultations with parents, teachers, and other professionals. 

Davis Dyslexia Association International Headquarters:  Burlingame, CA 94010

 http://www.dyslexia.com/  (888) 999-3324 (Books & Materials); (888) 805-7216 (Workshops & Certification); (650) 692-7141

Center for Accessible Technology (CforAT) 
Berkeley, CA 94710 
(510) 841-3224; (510) 841-7956  
Pioneer of consumer-based technology resources and demonstration centers for adults and children with disabilities, families, teachers, and professionals, since 1983. Art studio provides art materials, tools, access support, accessible studio space, and classes for disabled children and adults.


Parent support:


God is my most reliable support, I seek God through prayer and reading the Bible :-) Please consider this a personal invitation to join me or some of my friends in bible study or to attend church with our family one Sunday at www.bacc.cc .   www.biblegateway.com  Searchable, online bible www.childrenofdestiny.org  Daily scripture for special needs families www.bacc.cc  Bay Area Christian Church 

http://www.php.com Great local  nonprofit resource for special needs families
http://www.gatepath.org/ Another great nonprofit resource

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/PPSNK Local Parent Support discussion board

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/rwsparentgroup redwood shores (actually all peninsula) parent group - support group for parents of kids with special needs, 

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bayareaprekasd east bay area parent Support discussion board for parents of kids with special needs. 

http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/Autism-Biomed-BayArea/  local group for parents interested in biomedical and diet interventions! Meets monthly at PHP in Santa Clara, also a great online discussion group!

See also 
Counselors (on this page)

Life coaching  for special needs 

For services specific to San Francisco, try call Helen Rossini at the child development center at CPMC, 750-6200. She is a social worker who moderates a monthly autism support group

autismprojectpta Santa Clara county special autism PTA serves 48 autism classrooms within Santa Clara County. Preschool-High School. Mountain View to Gilroy. On that  website you can go to "family resources" then click on "download forms". There are also great forms for "classroom observations" for parents to use if you are looking for placement for your child. They have speakers bi-monthly. Always 1st Thurs. of the month.

Special Parents Information Network of Santa Cruz County

Santa Cruz, Ca

(831) 722-2800 (831) 423-7713


Bay Area Special Needs Kids Group 
Fremont, CA 
 Internet Support group is for adults and for parents and caregivers of children with Cerebral Palsy, Microcephaly, Lissencephaly, Muscular dystrophy, Muscular atrophy, other Physical challenges in the BAY AREA, CALIFORNIA and it's vicinity.


California Resource centers http://www.dds.cahwnet.gov/EarlyStart


Family Resource Center 650-259-0189


Burlingame, CA 94010

For families who include a child with special needs. Parent-to-Parent Support, Workshops, Parent Groups, Lending library, IEP assistance, names of private therapists


Parents Helping Parents:

www.php.com  lots of great info
Santa Clara (408) 727–5775
Provides information and referral, support, and educational trainings about special needs


Parents Helping Parents -- San Francisco

San Francisco, , (415) 841-8820,



Matrix Parent Network and Resource Center

located in Marin, Napa, Solano and Sonoma. http://www.matrixparents.org  helpful website

Novato, CA 94949, 800-578-2592


Support for Families at Open Gate, for Families of Children with disabilities

San Francisco, CA, 415/469-4518,


www.familyvoices.org/st/CA.htm Family Voices of California at Support for Families of Children with Disabilities


Family Resource Network (FRN)

Oakland, CA 94618 , (510) 547-7322


Family support, referral, resources, education & training to families of children with disabilities


The Epilepsy Network

Santa Cruz, CA 95060, (831) 423-6110,



Jeena Inc

Los Gatos, CA 95034, (408) 265-8153,


Support Group for Asian Indian families who have children with special needs.


Resources in Special Education (RiSE):

RiSE Library is a great resource in San Jose.  Parents can check out Special Ed Law books Free of charge for three weeks at a time (they are mailed to you). 707-206-0533 ext. 103

408-727-5775, ext. 110


Audrey L. Smith Developmental Center

San Francisco, CA 94117, (415) 863-0909

Child-focused early childhood education programs, including mental health component. Provides play therapy, family therapy, support groups, resource and referral services.


Schwab Learning

Web: http://www.schwablearning.org/  in San Mateo, but I’m not sure if you can visit them for info…The site encourages email questions only. A nonprofit service of the Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation


Friends of Children with Special Needs (FCSN) .. majority of the members are Chinese American but there are no restrictions on ethnicity

http://www.fcsn1996.org/programs.html activities in Fremont, Milpitas, Almaden San Jose, Cupertino, Los Gatos, Saratoga


Learning Disabilities Association of East Bay

Berkeley, (510) 433-7934,


Learning Disabilities Association - Golden Gate/Marin

San Anselmo, CA, (415) 721-7096


Learning Disabilities Association of San Mateo

San Mateo, CA 94401, (650) 341-6767


Social Security Administration:

(To address eligibility issues and disability benefits)



Contact your SELPA (see the IEP section) and ask them for the calendar of CAC (Community Advisory Committee) meetings, you can network with local parents at these events


Organization of Special Needs Families

A family resource and support center for parents of children and individuals with special needs that is committed to providing regularly scheduled activities for individuals with special needs. Cupertino, CA. Special needs fun/enrichment programs. Summer camp! After school care! Integrated social group. Weekend integrated childcare. Multilingual programs in Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, Korean, Vietnamese. Summer Special Needs Swimming Lesson. 

www.osfamilies.org  yahoogroups osfamilies (408) 996-0858 


Autism Society of America - San Francisco Bay Area Chapter 650-637-7772


Belmont, CA 94002

Joint meetings with Parents Helping Parents (PHP) & PARCA. PARCA In San Mateo County new group forming for Parents of Children with Autism


Through the Looking Glass

Berkeley, CA 94710,(510) 848-1112; 1-800-644-2666


Research, training, and counseling services for families in which a child, parent or grandparent has a disability or medical issue.


CARE Parent Network

Martinez, CA  (925) 313-0999  www.contracostaarc.com

Providing resource and referral information, parent support, and parent education to families of children with disabilities


Physical Therapy:

Dr. Asha Baja (Physical Therapist)

Walnut Creek, CA 94598, 925-935-4866


Julie Freschi (Physical Therapist, with sensory integration training, also offers hippotherapy)


Julie is our therapist - we love her! She is great with kids and very caring 

Palo Alto


Westcott PT
Chris Rowell is the treating PT and she has been in practice for over 15 years, much of the time with LPCH 
Los Altos.  650-941-7600. 

www.brightmindsinstitute.com see medical-traditional, Therasuit

See also Conductive Education


Playdates – facilitated

Maisie Soetantyo



I learned a lot about playdate facilitation from Barbara Kalmanson, who is also a psychologist though floortime focus and also farther away from here :-) RDI has much in common and Maisie is also very knowledgeable - I've attended her presentations and recommended her to others who were happy with the results.


Maisie Soetantyo

CATCh (Comprehensive Autism Treatment for Children)

Sunnyvale, CA 94086, 408.245.2100

Maise and her husband Peter offer a great team approach to RDI coaching

Highly recommended


Karen Glass, OTR/L


Stairway to Friendship Therapy Services

Sunnyvale , CA 94087, 408.910.8182



Reading, spelling, comprehending


Educational Consultant http://victoriamoos.ws/  tutoring and consultation from special ed teachers with heart and experience

Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes

many locations 

Info: Programs for individuals with learning difficulties

LiPPS therapy in particular made a huge difference for our son. He is now a reader! 


Linda Mood Bell Tutor:

(Specialized in instruction for learning disabilities)

Shannon Jenkins

Walnut Creek, CA 94598, 925-952-4724


The Reading Clinic 
Burlingame, Saratoga
One parent recommends Lars. Another said - We love TRC - my son has moved from reading only a few sight words at 7.5 yo to reading complex Level 2 books in 1.5 ears with their tutoring (LMB Lipps)


Active Reading Clinic

employs Reading Revolution's kinesthetic approach

http://www.iser.com/arc.html http://www.php.com/agency/oneDetail.php?AgencyID=1360

Walnut Creek, CA 94596, (925) 944-5559


Lars Guthrie tutor, learning specialist

Literacy and Language: 
http://www.literacyandlanguagecenter.com San Francisco


Fast Forward and Vibrant Brains offered for teens (12 +) 

Schwab (founded by Charles Schwab) see 
Parent support section


Respite Care

Raji House
out-of home respite, vendorized by several Regional Centers
(650) 344-3652 Burlingame

Regional Center for the East Bay

Oakland, CA 94621, 510-383-1214

Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Services Act guides all CA Regional Centers. To acquire a copy of this Act on line visit: http://www.dds.ca.gov 


Regional Center of the East Bay Clients Rights Advocate: 510-383-1200. This service provides free consultation to RCEB clients to address RCEB client issues.


Intro to California’s Regional Centers http://www.dds.cahwnet.gov/RC/RCInfo.cfm  and the 0-3 early start program in California http://www.dds.cahwnet.gov/EarlyStart/ESQuestionAnswers.cfm


Lists most of the autism-related Regional Center vendors, mostly but not all Silicon Valley based. 


Golden Gate Regional Center, (415) 546-9222

(San Mateo, San Francisco, and Marin Counties)

You can request “respite” care…also a social worker who will visit your house and talk with you on the phone. And services like speech and OT paid for by GGRC if your child’s special need qualifies. Especially if your child is under 3 years. Over 3 years the requirements to qualify are more stringent.


San Andreas Regional Center

serves the counties of Monterey, San Benito, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz.

Campbell, CA 95008, (408) 374-9960




Easter Seals Bay Area

Oakland, CA 94612, (510) 835-2131, ext. 126,

Early Intervention program offers home-based, play-based, family-centered services designed to meet the individual needs of children from birth to age 3, who have a disability or are at risk for developmental delays. Serving Contra Costa, Solano and Alameda Counties



Schools - Special Needs:


Mid-Peninsula Christian Academy.for children who have mild to moderate to some

severe (depending on the need) learning differences

traditional methods (lecture, note taking, etc.) and multi-sensory approach.  Class sizes are 10:1(teacher).


Orion Academy - high school east bay

www.creeksideschool.org San Jose, looks really interesting, uses DIR floortime principles


Achieve (formerly PCC/Zonta), Palo Alto, (650) 494-1200, San Jose, (408) 857-6560

(Special education for individuals with developmental, emotional,  behavioral and learning handicaps, age 2 1/2 to 22)



Hope Technology School


Info: Inclusion based school – currently preK-4, overall school ratio is over 50% typical

School has an excellent reputation – 3 plus list members kids attend and recommend.

Palo Alto


Charles Armstrong School

Belmont, 650/592-7570

Specializing in education for dyslexic learners grades 1 - 8

Recommended by several parents


The Springstone School

Concord, CA, 510-466-5405


independent middle school for students with Asperger's Syndrome and Non-Verbal Learning Disabilities.


Jean Weingarten Peninsula Oral School for the Deaf


Redwood City , 650/365-7500

to meet the educational and developmental needs of hearing impaired children


Arbor Bay School 

www.allsinc.com  preschool to 6th grade

ALLS is geared specifically for kids with autism/developmental/speech issues.

As of Fall 2003, Arbor Bay School elementary has 2 classes, each with 6 kids. One class is grades 1-3; the other is grades 4-6. Unlike the preschool and kindergarten classes that are taught by speech pathologists, these classes are taught by credentialed teachers because curriculum is more important with older kids. It's a beautiful, new facility but it has a bit of an office feel.Another parent is very happy with they child's teacher there.

Redwood City, CA, 650-631-9999 


The Children's Health Council 650-322-3065  school and group classes



Kitty Petty ADD/LD Institute 650-329-9443



Sand Castle Academy

Campbell, CA 95008, 408-873-1558


for children who are experiencing communication difficulties or learning differences.

incorporates speech and occupational therapy into the daily curriculum. multi-sensory approach

Raskob Institute and Day School 
For non-verbal learning disabilities • Asperger’s Syndrome • Tourette Syndrome • hearing or visual disorders
 grades 2-12, also offers educational therapy
Oakland, CA. 94619 Ph: (510) 436-1275


Russell Bede School


San Mateo, 650/579-4400

for students grade 2 - 6 with communication, speech, or language difficulties


Stanbridge Academy


San Mateo 650/375-5860

Specializes in children with learning differences (K-12) 
Several parents have recommended


The Bridge School


Hillsborough  650/696-7295

Specializes in serving motor, sensory, and speech impaired students


Wings Learning Center


San Mateo 650/342-8753

school for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder 

high school, who also supports concurrent enrollment  


DIR/Floortime school

Oak Hill School

Sausalito CA, 415-331-7601


Spectrum Center:

Special needs schools – several bay area locations, Oakland, Concord, Pittsburg, San Pablo, Suisun, CA, Berkeley, 510-845-1321, 510-729-6384



STARS School:

(Elementary School)

Walnut Creek, CA, 925-210-9370

http://www.behavioranalysts.com  online classes too, verbal behavior, see Behavioral section


Raskob Learning Institute

(Middle School), Full academic program for children in grades 4-8 with learning disabilities or academic difficulties


Oakland, CA 94610, 510-436-1275


Children's Learning Center

(two schools)

Alameda, CA



The Morgan Center (K-8)

Santa Clara, CA, 408-241-8161


The Springstone School

(Middle School)

Concord, CA 925-825-0965



The Orion Academy (high school)

Moraga, CA, 925-377-0789



Cornerstone Therapeutic Preschool http://www.cphc-sf.org/cornerstone.shtml

special education, early childhood education & psychotherapy to children ages 2y9m to 7y with emotional disturbance and/or autistic spectrum disorders and is a California-certified nonpublic school (NPS)

San Francisco, CA 94115, 415.474.1955


San Francisco Hearing & Speech Center

San Francisco, CA 94115 Tel: (415) 921-7658

Private, non-profit. audiologic/speech/language evaluations and therapy. Non-public school for hearing/language handicapped children. 

new school in Burlingame specific to CP. 
The Avalon Academy 
818 Mahler Road , Burlingame 650 777 9133


PACE www.pacificautism.org 
San Jose
School for K-12 and also preschool

Sonrise Academy

Sarah Sonrise

Santa Cruz, California (831) 469-8576,

Sonrise Academy welcomes children with special needs to our preschool and quality afterschoool care programs. We also provide evening support for adults, advocacy and educational therapy.


Spectrum Center Schools operates six certified nonpublic schools which are situated in the cities of Oakland, Concord, San Pablo, Fairfield, Pittsburg and Union City, California. In addition, Spectrum Center Schools operates a WorkAbility I vocational program and several collaborative classrooms in the San Francisco Bay Area. We also participate in local and national workshops, conferences and seminars. Several of our staff members are published researchers in the fields of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), Autism and special education.


http://www.smfc.k12.ca.us/  san mateo foster city special education 650 312-7777 ext 7783


http://www.smcoe.k12.ca.us/specialed/index.html  San Mateo County SELPA


http://www.smcoe.k12.ca.us/msd/do/staff.htm  Millbrae special education 650 697-4275




Social-cognitive classrooms at Vargas public school in Sunnyvale


Cupertino school district – all SDC classrooms, including social-cognitive

http://cupertino.ca.campusgrid.net/home/Instruction/ select pupil services-special ed, then select special school site programs


Schools- “Inclusive”  (schools that are supportive of both typical and special needs kids in the same classroom):


Hope Technology Schoolwww.hopetech.org overall school ratio is approx half or more typical kids This is an amazing, wonderful school. If your child is ready for inclusion in a small group setting, I highly recommend looking at this school. All the other parents and kids I've talked with love the school. Palo Alto


www.aimkids.org AIM Prep is an inclusion preschool in San Jose


Synapse Institute
Palo Alto  http://synapseschool.org/


Early Learners Preschool
Community Gatepath, Burlingame School District and the City of Burlingame’s Park and Recreation Department joint effort
inclusive preschool 
contact Gatepath at 
www.gatepath.com  or 650-259-8500

San Jose
preschool uses inclusion and also some floortime principles

Liberty Academy
Very exciting - includes some great programs like Tomatis and Making Math Fun. 
Contact Victoria Moos : vicmoos at yahoo dot com 
Special education , Private, Home School Environment , Calming curriculum at your child's pace 
Preparation to re enter classroom, Specializing in Multi-sensory, all inclusive teaching approaches


San Mateo
Christian family in home preschool
One of the teachers is completing a California Special Education Teaching Credential for Mild to Moderate Disabilities and has many years of spec ed experience


C.A.R. in Palo Alto, which provides early intervention services is opening a new 
preschool at their facility which will offer an integrated classroom (10typical plus 5 special needs children) 

Daisy Preschool in Oakland Hills will allow shadow aide. One parent shared that the director was supportive.


Tulane Montessori Children's House in San Mateo (342-0447). choice of younger preschool kids in the larger classroom and the kids entering K and 1st grade in the smaller classroom. They teach a general theme (astronomy, sea life, etc.) and also have fun activities, crafts, and music. There's academic time each day for language arts, math, etc. using Montessori materials. One mom explains that The director, Mrs. Maureen Monte was always supportive of families with special needs. Parents always welcome to observe and bring in outside resources for observation and consultation. 

Whitney Young Child Development Center

San Francisco, CA 94124, (415) 821-7550

Fully integrated preschool program. Teams consisting of classroom teachers and specialists provide special group and individual activities for children falling below developmental age norms. Also provides an extended day program for SFUSD students with disabilities. 

"...Young 5's class at the PJCC (transitional K) in Foster City. It's private, but every year they have 1-2 kids in that class from our population, so they're very experienced with our kids." (Peninsula Jewish Community Center)

Seabreeze in Foster City has a transitional K and some experience with Autistic kids/dev delay 

Temple Beth Jacob in Redwood City has had spectrum kids there with aides - One mom reports;  Structured classes and VERY welcoming to special needs kids.

Abilities United Milestones preschool in Palo Alto was recommended as inclusive and a good program by one parent

Learning Links Preschool in Burlingame was recommended as inclusive and a good program by one parent
www.waldorfpeninsula.org welcomes special needs (ie asperger's kids etc) into their program

Cipriani Elementary.(public school in San Mateo?) - parent of a child mainstreamed at Cipriani since Kindergarten with a part-time aide shares "Kindergarten teacher Mrs. Myres is one of the finest teachers on the planet in my opinion. " Another mom seconded that! 

The Little School
private inclusion preschool in SF


www.serendipityschool.com  a friend has her dev delayed child there since K and is happy with the program


The schools below are typical pre-schools but have some experience dealing with kids with autism. Note: many people had great experiences with co-ops, but others cautioned that they are more challenging because there are so many more people to educate about your situation. 

www.brightdayspreschool.com in Campbell, mom with a special needs child in a DIR/Floortime program highly recommends this school.


UMC Co-op Nursery School in Burlingame

The 18 mo old class is 1 day a week and you stay w/ your child. You have a station but it's very flexible.  Starting at 2 years, it's 2 days per week - 1 working in the classroom and the other is drop off. Some children there that register for the younger class due to separation issues.

Carlmont Parents Nursery School (CPNS) is a co-op - one parent said that they were very supportive and patient of ASD kids. CPNS is completely play based, but also very unstructured. It is also a great community for parents and children.


Little Wonders coop


Little Hands coop


Bunker Hill coop


Milbrae Nursery School coop


Edison Montessorri (said on the phone they would be OK with an aide, and a non potty trained 3 year old).


Kindercourt in San Carlos (OK with an aide, and a non potty trained 3 year old)


Hoover (Milbrae one was recommended by one parent of a special needs child)


Happy Halls


Curious Kids preschool

San Mateo, CA, (650) 570-5615

LInda Miron, Owner/Director, special needs experience

Recommended by a behavioral consultant as a potentially good inclusive preschool


Peninsula Jewish Community Center - Foster City location may more flexible with special needs kids (but 3 year olds should be potty trained)

Los Altos United Methodist Church 941-5411 nice program, waitlist

Children's House of Los Altos 968-9052 Small room, open to special needs with shadow aide but requires interview with director

Children's Corner, Los Altos 948-8950 both AM (20 kids) & PM (15 kids; 2:12 teacher-child ratio) classes

Montecito School, Los Altos

Thistle Garden in Redwood City (preschool) director's name is Sandi McCreadie. 650 368-5016 One parent shared that they seemed very warm and caring...

Mountain View Parent Nursery School 969-9506 play-oriented; experienced with special needs who've had shadow aides.


Here is a helpful site and message board for reading and asking about private bay area schools http://www.baprivateschools.com


San Francisco School District interesting FAQs on inclusion and aides http://www.sfusd.k12.ca.us/dept/sped/forms/faqInc.html



Sensory Integration:

The Sensory Center in Pleasanton, (925) 264-4198
www.sensorycenter.com addresses vestibular, visual and auditory sensory systems using an oscillating motion bed, phototherapy and modulated music. Offers a 30-day program that consists of 11 days in their office (two 1/2 hour sessions/day) followed by a 19-day home program. There is an option to do the treatment over 22 days with only one 1/2 hour session/day followed by the same 19-day home program.


Developmental Pathways (see contact info in speech and OT section)

OT 4 Kids (see contact info in speech and OT section)

Development Is Child's Play!

Cupertino, CA, 408-865-1365
Teri Wiss, M.A., O.T.R./L., Director

Occupational Therapy Clinc: Specializing in the sensory and motor needs of children.

highly recommended by several parents, owner is very up-to-date and knowledgeable about sensory integration

Bay Area Sensory Learning Center 
South San Francisco , CA 94080 


Shadow aide – paraprofessionals

Post an advertisement on 

Ask other parents (see the yahoo groups in the Support section) for recommendations. Or ask at your church. 

community colleges in California are participating in the Community College Paraprofessional Preparation Project…

Merritt College 510/436-2596, Oakland, CA 94619

San Francisco College, San Francisco, CA 94117, 415/239-3172 x3

Mission College, Santa Clara, CA 95054-1897, 408/855-5176

Ohlone College, Fremont, CA 94539, 510/659-6047

DeAnza College, Cupertino, CA 95014, 408/864-8215


Local colleges and universities in California offer accredited education specialist programs with an area of specialization in Early Childhood Special Education

Mills College, Oakland, CA 94613, 510/430-2255, www.mills.edu

California State University, Hayward, Hayward, CA 94542, 510/885-3000, www.csuhayward.edu

San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA 94132, 415/338-6353, www.sfsu.edu

San Jose State University, San Jose, CA 95192, 408/924-3700, www.sjsu.edu

Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, CA 95053, 408/554-4119, www.scu.edu


Foothill College - special ed classes -    www.foothill.edu  


Social skills and Social cognitive

www.socialstrides.com  650.533.8533 Redwood City
One parent explained that she couldn't be happier - her daughter loves going and is learning so much


Durdach, Paula  650-306-9277

Redwood City, CA

Program Description: Social skills for kids with LD, ADD, ADHD. On-going psychotherapy group. Social Skills, self-esteem, assertiveness, anger management, relaxation techniques, self-advocacy. Grouped according to age. Saturday sessions. Parent support groups.


Michelle Garcia Winner's support group (see contact info in the Speech area). One parent said: My son definitely benefited from attending weekly group sessions at Michelle Garcia Winner's office in San Jose. ...I saw a huge growth in his ability to make (and keep) friends. 

Elizabeth Sautter, M.A., CCC-SLP 
Hillary Kissack, M.A., CCC-SLP
Communication Works
Speech* Language* Social Learning
Oakland, CA 94605  , 510.639.2929 phone

CHC (see contact info in the Speech area)
One parent shared: We now do the SPOT class at CHC which is fantastic.


See Floortime section


RDI certified (see RDI section)


Developmental pathways (see speech., ot section) highly recommended for integrated play groups with typical peers

Hope Technology School, 
www.hopetechschool.org highly recommended for integrated play groups with typical peers


Search on integrated play groups on this web page for more resources


Friendship Club;

Sandie Frawley, Ed.D

San Ramon, CA  925-846-2413



Peninsula Associates 650-349-8717


Speech, language and learning services in several categories. Summer camps, play groups

San Mateo/Menlo Park 
Social Lights class


Autism Institute on Peer Relations and Play:

Dr. Pamela Wolfberg, Ph.D

San Francisco, CA, 415-753-5669


Focus; integrated play group


See the Schools section for schools with a social cognitive focus


Dr. Maria Antoniadis, Ph.D.

Social skills groups

Berkeley, CA , 510-540-5389


Dr. Bernadette Evans-Smith, Ph.D.

Social Skills Groups

Oakland, CA, 510-865-9202, 510-873-0500

One parent adds: I've also seen school psychologists and/or inclusion specialists set up
"lunch bunches" at school to help with social skills.

Palo Alto, CA 94306 
(650) 494-1396, 

The Talking Playhouse, A Place for Social Learning 
www.talkingplayhouse.com  or: 650 678-9769, Redwood City
One parent reports that her 7 year old really likes it. They do a fun variety of activities that make the kids use their words and think about the other child's point of view. Another parent is very pleased with her approach, the methods she uses, and her rapport with the children and parents. And feels that she's very knowledgeable about all areas of need for children on the spectrum.

Laurie Leventhal-Belfer (Palo Alto) also has a preschool social skills 
group (Friends Program for children dx with Asperger's Syndrome or PDD-NOS). She ran groups for Childrens' Health Council before going into private practice. Her email is 

ALLS also runs Social Pragmatics groups. See Associated Learning and Language Specialists in the speech area for contact info. 

Milestones in Walnut Creek has a "Friend's Club", which is a facilitated play group with two age groups. 

“We Care” in Concord (691-7044, ask for Jenny) has a child/parent play group
that meets twice a week for 2 hours each time similar to a pre-school.

"Tiny Talk" at Cal State Hayward. It meets 2x a week for 1 1/2 hours.
Tiny Talk is run by the speech and language clinic and the masters program 
S&L students are the teachers. 510-885-3233

www.fireflycenter.com  San Mateo


Emily Rubin

SCERTS program (social communication, emotional regulation, transactional support). 
One parent shared that she was very helpful in writing reports that helped with ideas and assessment. 

Organization of Special Needs Families
Integrated social group. Weekend integrated childcare. 
Cupertino - see contact info 

Mills Hospital (Mills Pennisula) hosts occasional social skills classes in the pediatric SLP/OT/PT department


Speech, OT, or integrated play:


Kim Scott, M.S., CCC-SLP 
www.SpeechTherapy101.com   415-713-9011 
Speech Therapy + innovative Focus on Parent Training -  DVDs of therapy sessions


Peninsula Associates 650-349-8717


Speech, language and learning services in several categories. Summer camps, play groups

San Mateo/Menlo Park


Mills Peninsula Pediatric Rehabilitation (650) 696-4926    (note: fax is 696-4453)

Speech, OT, and cotreat speech/OT, “Fitting in” and “Handwriting without tears” groups

San Mateo, CA. Wow, they raised their rates to $240 an hour as of May 2003. Ideal if some one else will pay (ie GGRC, school district, or insurance).

Lara Martinez MS CCC-SLP Pediatric Speech pathologist (650) 696-4522



Associated Learning and Language Specialists 650-631-9999


Language difficulties and problems addressed.

Redwood Shores, ca 

http://www.route2language.com/  San Mateo
Mitra Ahani M.S. CCC-SLP



(I think it’s free if you get in)

San Francisco-Burlingame Scottish Rite Center for Childhood Language Disorders

Specific Reading Disability/Dyslexia, Speech and Language Disorders

San Francisco, CA, (415) 664-4646


San Jose Scottish Rite Childhood Language Disorders Clinic

(I think it’s free if you get in)

San Jose, CA, (408) 448-4357


Scottish Rite Clinic for Childhood Language Disorders

Scottish Rite Temple

(I think it’s free if you get in)

Oakland, CA , (510) 839-1513

Communication Works , Oakland, (see contact info in Social skills area)


Center for Communication Disorders at SJSU

San Jose, CA, 408-924-3688, http://www.php.com/agency/oneDetail.php?AgencyID=235

Speech and Language and Hearing Therapy. We are staffed by students that are supervised. Hours vary but usually, Monday thru Thursday, 9am - 7pm. September thru December and February thru May limited services. Available in the summer.

Just Kids Learning Center
Jennifer Lopez, MS CCC-SLP
Karin Carratura, MA CCC-SLP
1626 A Union Street (between Franklin & Gough)
San Francisco, CA 94109
415 775 5511
Provide assessment and treatment of speech and language disorders.  
Individual speech and language therapy as well as social/pragmatic 
groups for children with PDD, Asperger's and high functioning Autism


Hamaguchi & Associates


Cupertino, CA 95014, 408-366-1098,

pediatric speech-language therapy Including:  Oral-motor, Dyspraxia, Autism/PDD, Auditory processing (including Central Auditory Processing Disorders) CAPD. Hamaguchi is the author of the book, Childhood Speech, Language, and Listening Problems: What Every Parent Should Know. And she created two programs related to Metacognitive Programs for Treating Auditory Processing Disorders in the Classroom.


Innovative Therapy Services - Pediatric Speech and Language

San Jose, CA 95128, 408-241-2229,


speech/language therapy Including: Oral motor Feeding 

Saratoga Instruction and Diagnostic Center
Hanen speech therapy program, a special program. Read the "Hanen More Than Words" book for background


Marian S. Tabuchi, MA, OTR

San Jose, Ca, see “auditory” section for details


Michelle Selber, MOT, OTR

San Jose, CA 95128, 408-247-6634

Occupational therapy services provided predominately in the home, in addition to a school site when appropriate. Specialization in interdisciplinary collaboration on comprehensive, individualized ABA behavioral programs. Interventions combine the latest in traditional and nontraditional approaches to address fine motor and gross motor coordination, sensory processing, oral motor functioning, brain integration, and optimal attention or arousal concerns. These services may complement already existing therapy services by developing a sensory diet in the home setting. Parent and tutor training are a large focus of the program



San Francisco, CA 94109 (415) 563-6541

Pediatric speech, language and pragmatic skill remediation. Provides individual treatment plans, 1:1 data based therapy sessions with 3 month goal periods. Coordination with other professionals on child's team. 


St. Luke’s Hospital

San Francisco, CA 94110

Early intervention services, providing speech, occupational and physical therapies on a one-to-one basis for children 0-3 who are developmentally delayed or at risk for delay. For information about speech therapy: (415) 641-6720. For information about occupational and physical therapy: (415) 641-6604.


San Francisco Hearing & Speech Center

San Francisco, CA 94115, (415) 921-7658

Private, non-profit hearing and speech facility. Offers a full range of audiologic/speech/ language evaluations and therapy. Non-public school for hearing/language handicapped children



integrated play groups, and speech therapy



OT 4 Kids, Patricia Volpe


Sensory integration


Developmental Pathways

integrated play groups and OT, speech, summer camps

One parent writes: The play groups are run by Becky Berry and Glenda Fuge, who travel the country teaching....they train ALLS, school districts, etc. They are fabulous, as are the speech pathologists, Lisa Greene and Diana Smith. Becky and Glenda have self-published a book about play groups and sensory integration with wonderful illustrations (photos of children in the activities being illustrated), see their website. Their OTs may also work privately with clients in their homes.

452 Grand Street, Redwood City 366-0486



Leslie Davis, OT  650 868-2683 (also teaches at Developmental Pathways)


OT's - Development is Child's Play - Cupertino- 408-865-1365

OT's - The Lighthouse Project - San Jose - 408-882-0100

www.thelighthouseproject.com   wonderful site

Pediatric Interventions, Inc.

San Jose, CA, 408-271-0800,

Speech, OT, PT, family and individual counseling.

"Sensory Play And Communication Experiences" (SPACE) for 2-4 year olds in a group

Pediatric Play Therapy 
Milpitas 408-262-2022
One parent reported that they love the OT there.


Kathy Christianson OT (415) 385-0144

Works at Communigatepath, but may also work privately 

Monique Greenmun OT that may work privately (ie home visits, San Jose), 408/306-9422, recommended by one parent.


Myra Kramer, SLP

Works at Communigatepath, but may also work privately, call Communigatepath for contact info


Mid-Peninsula Speech and Language, Palo Alto, (650) 321-8111

Speech and Language Therapy


Kelli Takushi-Geyrozaga, M.S., CCC-SLP 

Foster City, (650) 357-1159,

speech therapy some mornings and also 2x a week small language preschool (Slingerland) class, and Social Skills Group for children 4-5 years old for HFA and Asperger's. Lots of speech homework (worksheets) and parent communication. Also works at CHC.


Hope Technology School


overall school ratio is 50% typical kids

OT. SLP, Sensory Integration therapy, Integrated Playgroups, PT

Wonderful PT, great “homework” to extend the therapy. School has a fantastic reputation. We love it! and we love the therapists.




Palo Alto

Speech and Language Therapy and Autism evaluation/diagnosis, and school

Children's Health Council has an intake process. You talk to the intake person and they help determine what type of evaluations should take place depending on age and issues:



Institute of Language & Phonology

Offers assessments and clinical speech therapy for children with speech impediments and disorders.

San Francisco, CA 94105, (800)526-4824


Michelle Garcia Winner CCC-SLP

 Integrated play groups, social thinking products

San Jose, CA, 408-557-8595




Pamela Wolfberg , leader in integrated play

model: www.autisminstitute.com

Autism Institute on Peer Relations and Play:

Dr. Pamela Wolfberg, Ph.D

San Francisco, CA, 415-753-5669,

Focus; integrated play group


Child Development Center at California Pacific Medical Center in S.F


Lydia MacKay MA, CCC-SLP

Albany, CA, 510-295-8423



The Speech Pathology Group:

Walnut Creek, CA, 925-945-1474



The Center for Speech, Language and Occupational Therapy (CSLOT)

Clinics in Los Altos, Fremont, San Jose, Pleasanton

Fastforward, SOCIAL-PRAGMATIC SKILLS GROUP 9-12, Clinic to diagnose Autism etc, Hanen Program,



Happy Talkers

Speech and Music and preschool

Pleasanton, CA 925-600-0925



Nancy McGhee, OTR

(PEP: Perceptual Enrichment Program)

Pleasanton, CA, 925-484-9749



Elizabeth Isono MS OTR

Orinda, CA 925-258-9935, 510-717-1300



Learning on the Move:

Kendra Convery, MS, OTR

Livermore, CA, 925-373-8900



Therapy Links for Children

Pleasant Hill, CA 925-933-5870



Development Is Child's Play!

Cupertino, CA, 408-865-1365
Teri Wiss, M.A., O.T.R./L., Director

Occupational Therapy Clinc: Specializing in the sensory and motor needs of children.



Children's Therapy Center

Gilroy, CA, 408-842-1121

Occupational Therapy, Sensory Integration Certified, Oral Motor/Feeding



Coastside Pediatric Therapy Center

Half Moon Bay, CA, 650-560-9428, 650-560-9470

Speech and OT


www.brightmindsinstitute.com see medical-traditional

Pediatric Motor Playground (PMP) 
in Lafayette. 
One parent shares; It is run by 2 OTs who are fabulous and both used to work for school districts. ...They do OT in small groups (3kids).



God has made a huge difference in our lives. Daily prayer and time reading the bible are keys to a relationship with God that in turn will give you faith, hope, and healing.

Ap store

www.biblegateway.com    Searchable, online bible

www.childrenofdestiny.org Daily scripture for special needs families

www.bacc.cc  Bay Area Christian Church


And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.  Romans 5:5, NIV


Summer camp and After school programs - all kids, but open to special needs

School of Imagination in Dublin - one parent shares that it is a really a great inclusion school with day care option and other therapies too. 

Summer camps (day camps) all over the SF bay area
One parent shared: "what I especially like about TechKnowHow was that they seemed very open to having students with special needs 
and they have some half day offerings such as Lego Robotics which seemed perfect as a starting point and I was impressed with everything about their program" 
www.techknowhowkids.com  classes are usually 6 students with one counselor, though the camps themselves are large

ID Tech Camp at Stanford
One parent shared: "My 13 year old son with Asperger's absolutely loved the video game creation class" 
"This camp is by far the best I've seen but it is expensive even just for the day camp"
They offer sleepover and extended day options

Many of the social thinking skills places offer summer camp like sessions, and this year The Reading Clinic is also offering


Camp Galileo recommended by many SNK parents whose kids were mainstreamed at least part of the school day


Summer Camp and AFTER school programs- Special needs:

Reach: after-school and camp program for ages 5-12 for children with disabilities and peers without disabilities. It's called Reach and it is a program run through Parca. They are next to Crestmoor Elementary School in San Bruno. See www.parca.org  and click on the link for the Reach summer program. May be  run year-round. Phone # 871-8402.

The Talking Playhouse, A Place for Social Learning 
www.talkingplayhouse.com  or: 650 678-9769
SUMMER PLAYHOUSE programs, include a unique approach to learning called Playhouse Theater Games, to help facilitate social language needs for kids throughout the spectrum. They also provide traditional speech and language therapy for children of all ages. The founder, Jennifer Bulka, is a speech therapist who has worked at places like The Morgan Center, Peninsula Associates, and the San Carlos School district


Quest Camp (summer & after school programs for ASD kids)

Dr. Bob Field, Ph.D.

San Ramon, CA, 925-743-1370

Quest Therapeutic Camp (Athenian School, Danville) for children 6-14 
with mild to moderate behavioral, emotional and social problems. Camp 
provides intensive therapeutic intervention; 3 week minimum; camper to staff 
ratio is 5:1.  

Friends of Children with Special Needs (FCSN)  basketball camp, martial arts, art,
yoga, music, social skills groups, etc.



summer camps - at most large OT or SLP clinics (Michelle Garcia

Winner, The Lighthouse Project, etc.) see the SLP and OT section


Camp Krem - www.campingunlimited.com 
residential summer camp near Santa Cruz, California that has served campers with differing abilities since 1957


Berkeley area http://www.oski.org/html/scra_sst.htm  for special needs

Strawberry Canyon Recreation Area - Social Skills Track Camp 2004

Strawberry Canyon Blue Camp is running a one-of-a-kind social skills camp

for children with Nonverbal Learning Disabilities, High Functioning

Autism, Aspergers Syndrome, and children with similar social skills deficits.


Peninsula Associates 650-349-8717


Speech, language and learning services in several categories. Summer camps, play groups

San Mateo/Menlo Park


Developmental Pathways

integrated play groups and OT, speech, summer camps

see the SLP and OT section



Kitty Petty ADD/LD Institute

Palo Alto (650) 329-9443

See description in Other section 


Creative Learning Center, NPA, NPS

Los Altos Hills, 94022 www.clcsped.com

CLC is offering week long summer camps this year at  the Bullis site in Los Altos Hills for children with ASD and other related disorders, ages preschool through 10 years. 
Each camp will be specifically developed to promote social skills, peer play, RDI, language development, expressive feelings, learn friendship skills, and encourage fun, fun, fun

Communication Works , Oakland, (see contact info in Social skills area)


YMCA summer camp? 
Some camps  provide a 1:1 aide (at no additional charge) for special needs children.

Summer program at Tulane Montessori Children's House in San Mateo (342-0447). choice of younger preschool kids in the larger classroom and the kids entering K and 1st grade in the smaller classroom. They teach a general theme (astronomy, sea life, etc.) and also have fun activities, crafts, and music. There's academic time each day for language arts, math, etc. using Montessori materials. One mom explains that The director, Mrs. Maureen Monte was always supportive of families with special needs. Parents always welcome to observe and bring in outside resources for observation and consultation.

The ones below may or may not be local....


Camp lots a fun

www.camplotsafun.com Nevada

Kris Camp

Easter Seals

Kaleidoscope Unlimited

can be vendored through Regional Center.
Berkeley, CA 94704, (510) 845-8542

Ability First Sports Camp (Chico)
For children ages 8-18 who could benefit from a wheelchair sports 
program. Camp is one week in June and includes water-skiing, wall climbing,
basketball, tennis, rugby, swimming, track and field, and soccer. Camp 
staff is ratio 4:1; skilled nurse on staff. Regional Center vendor. Call (530) 868-5733

Camp Arroyo
Livermore, CA 94550
The camps accommodate up to 60 children with special needs. The ratio of
children to counselors is 1:1 or 2:1, depending on the specific requirements
of the child. We use the Camp Arroyo facility provided to us by the 
Taylor Family Foundation. This site is in the hills overlooking Livermore wine
country and is equipped with cabins, a dining facility, and an activity
center. The camps have been a rewarding experience for everyone 
(925) 443-3396

Berkeley Tuolumne Family Camp, (near Yosemite National Park). For 
families with children needing wheelchair accessible campground. Some tents are
ramped and a wheelchair accessible shower, but some terrain may be 
difficult without assistance. Camp is sponsored by the Berkeley Office of 
Recreation. Call (510) 981-5140 for an application.

Building Bridges Camp, (Camp Harmon, Santa Cruz Mountains), for children
6-18 who use Augmentative & Alternative Communication (AAC) devices. The
goal is to enable campers to learn and do more with their communication
systems. Campers who use AAC system, usually come to camp with a 
teacher or other professional who knows them. Call the Bridge School at (650) 
696-7295 ext 112 for more information.

Camp Bothin, (Fairfax)
For girls ages 1-12, offering a wheelchair accessible residential camp
integrating with typical girls on a case by case basis. Camper to staff
ratio is 5:1. Camp is sponsored by the San Francisco Bay Girl Scout 
Council, call 800-447-4475.

Camp Concord, (S. Lake Tahoe, El Dorado)
A rustic "Club Med type" family camp offering traditional program including
rafting, canoeing, and archery. Limited wheelchair accessible facilities
available. Call: (925) 671-3273 for more information.

Camp Costanoan, (Santa Cruz Mountains, Stevens Creek County Park)
For ages 5+ with developmental and/or physical disabilities. The camp
Easter Seals of Central California Camps, Regional Center vendor. Call (831) 684-2380 ext 107 .

Camp Chickasaw (Sequoia Kings Canyon National Park, Sequoia Lake, Camp
Millwood) for children ages 7+ with special needs. Activities include
boating and hiking. Camp is not wheelchair accessible. Camper to staff 
ratio 3:1. Easter Seals of Central California Camps, Regional Center vendor. Call (831) 684-2380 ext 107

Camp Cloverleaf, (Santa Rosa) for children 10+ with developmental
disabilities. Camp with a western theme and bunkhouse-style 
accommodations by a lake. Activities include swimming pool, arts and crafts, horseback
riding and sports. Camp is not wheelchair accessible. Camper to staff 
ratio is 3:1. Easter Seals of Central California Camps, Regional Center vendor. Call (831) 684-2380 ext 107

Camp Eagle Lake, (Camp Ronald MacDonald, near Susanville) for children 
10+ with physical and or/developmental disabilities. Camp activities include
hiking, nature study, swimming, basketball, archery, arts and crafts. 
Not designed for children who require close supervision and/or special care.
Camper ratio to staff 3:1. Easter Seals of Central California Camps, Regional Center vendor. Call (831) 684-2380 ext 107

Camp Harmon, (Boulder Creek, Santa Cruz Mountains, 800.)
For children 8+ with physical, or developmental disabilities. Camp
activities include arts and crafts, swimming, horseback riding, boating,
fishing, archery, hiking, and nature study. Camper to staff ratio is 
2:1 and 1:1. This site offers sessions with 1:1 staff ratio for children who 
need extra care. Easter Seals of Central California Camps, Regional Center vendor. Call (831) 684-2380 ext 107

For the last two years, this camp has taken place at SSU. Similar camps 
have been held in Wisconsin since 1999. The camps have had tremendous 
success-75% or more of the participants at each camp have learned to ride a two  wheeler
during the week of camp. The camps were inspired by Dr. Richard Klein, Ph.D., a retired engineer 
from the University of Illinois, Champaign, who has been studying,  designing, and
teaching about bikes for many years. The purpose of the camp is to 
provide an *immersion* experience in bicycling for children with special needs,
using specially designed equipment and teaching methods. The equipment 
and methods allow children who have had difficulty learning to ride a
two-wheeler to learn to do just that, usually within the one-week camp
session. The equipment consists of progression of increasingly 
challenging bikes that provide extra stability, a long the same dynamic qualities 
of a standard two-wheeler. The children thus have additional time to master 
the skills needed to balance and steer a two-wheeler bike. They are less
fearful, more confident, and more willing to practice-self-esteem soars!
Staff consists of Adapted PE teachers from nearby school districts,
university APE specialists, and high school college assistants, who 
work one on one with each child. This is a day camp. In addition to one biking
session per day, children participate in swimming and recreational
activities.  (If you are coming  from a distance, there is a KOA nearby, as well as numerous motels. Also, ask  about other camps that may be taking place in other areas.
Children with a variety of disabling conditions have had success at the
camps-some of this conditions include Downs Syndrome, mild to Moderate
autism. If you would like to discuss the appropriateness of the camp for your 
child, or if you have additional questions, contact Dr. Elaine McHugh by phone 
at 664-2660 Regional Centers have paid in some cases. No one will be
turned away because of limited financial means.

Strawberry Canyon Recreation Area - Social Skills Track Camp 
Strawberry Canyon Blue Camp is running a one-of-a-kind social skills 
camp for children with Nonverbal Learning Disabilities, High Functioning 
Autism, Asperger's Syndrome, and children with similar social skills deficits. A
specialized Group Leader provides stability and guidance as the campers
apply what they are learning to real-life situations. A campers daily
schedule includes mini-social skills sessions throughout the day as 
they are fully integrated into the camp experience. A social skills track will consist of 3-4 campers and 1 staff member.  They will stay together in that group and move throughout a set camp 
schedule, fully integrated with all the campers at Blue Camp. There are over 20
different sports and recreation activities running at Blue Camp and a
schedule will be customized for each social skills track. Blue campers,
including those on the social skills track, have a set schedule with 6
activities that are set for the two weeks of camp. These activities 
will be selected to provide the maximum amount of success and learning. We will 
take into account the motor coordination of the campers as well as the
instructors teaching the activity. This program is designed for children ages 9-12 with NLD, HFA, AS, or 
other similar social-cognitive deficit profile. Children must be verbal, of
average intelligence, and able to function on the playground and 
throughout most of the school day without the need a 1:1 aide. This program is not
designed for children with significant non-compliant or aggressive 
behavior. 510-642-7648, 

Monterey Bay Horsemanship & Therapeutic Center 
"Hang with the Horses" -working horse facility! Help to feed and water horses, to grooming, to turn out and everything in between. Onsite playroom, small computer lab, and a snack shack. full inclusion  located oceanside in La Selva Beach. call (831)761-1142  to make an appointment. to visit. 

Organization of Special Needs Families
Summer camp, After school care
Cupertino, see contact info 

for children with Asperger's and HFA, for children that are gifted and talented, and for children who are simply bored and disillusioned with regular school. 
www.6seconds.org/synapse  palo alto 

Thinking, reasoning

Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes (see entries in Reading section)


Floortime (see floortime section)


Search on cognitive within this page or document


Tutoring and Shadow aides

Morrissey Compton Educational Center 650-322-5910


educational evaluations for students in school (elementary, high school, college) and other young adults with educational concerns. The Center offers tutoring to elementary and secondary students in basic academic subjects as well as strategies for learning.



Pacifica, California (650) 557-0230

one on one cognitive training with clients aged 7 to adult. We feature PACE and Master the Code programs

Julie Tucker is the Director and Owner of The Learning Enhancement Center



Dewilde, Lisa -- Tutor

Los Gatos, CA, 408-866-0327

Using Orton-Gillingham multi-sensory approach to gaining independence in reading, writing,and spelling.


Find a tutor for dyslexia http://www.dys-add.com/backiss.html#hiretutor


Educational Bridges

Doug Killin (Director)

San Jose, CA, (408) 929-1515


Educational Bridges provides Educational Consulting, Counseling, Therapy and Tutoring to the children of the Bay Area. Located in San Jose, Ed Bridges offers one on one sessions to students of all ages as well as classes in study skills and SAT preparation. While all students could benefit from our programs, we specialize in working with students who my be struggling with Leaning Disabilities such a Dyslexia, ADHD, and other learning differences.


A Closer Look – a learning center

Santa Clara, CA, 408-496-1660

Judith Stubbs, L.H., is an educational therapist and liason advocate who works with individuals who exhibit learning disabilities, differences or problems.

She is also the director of the learning center, A Closer Look, where the diagnostic testing and prescriptive follow-up prescriptive teaching is done.



Ability Resource Center

http://www.abilityresourcecenter.com  Berkeley, CA

Launch Program - Eight week program that promotes self-knowledge, self esteem and skill development for 11 & 12 year olds with learning and attentional differences

X-Treme Team Program - Designed for 13-15 Year olds. This program is similar to the Launch Program, and deals with study, organizational, social and time management skills

Parent Support and Education Meeting - 2nd Sunday of the month


M. Denise Kaufman

Special Educator

Oakland, CA, (510) 763-3654

Experienced, and fully credentialed Special Ed teacher provides tutoring services in your home and assists homeschooling parents with selection and implementation of curriculum.


Barbara Arnold

San Mateo

MA in Special Ed, and both general and special ed teaching credentials, Singerland, Lindamood Bell, 650 356 0224

Many of the 
ABA providers also offer shadow aides. 

You can advertise on or check 
www.craigslist.com  Two parents of Autistic kids have said that they put an ad in the "parenting kids" or "babysitting" section with good results.

Educational Bridges
San Jose, CA 95127
(408) 929-1515
Educational Bridges provides Educational Consulting, Counseling, Therapy and Tutoring - specialize in working with students who my be struggling with Leaning Disabilities such a Dyslexia, ADHD, and other learning differences.


Saratoga Instruction and Diagnostic Center
Offers psychoeducational evaluation, and tutoring, learning strategies 


See the section on Reading Writing Math - my son has benefited very much from The Reading Clinic




Check with local high schools - my high schooler tutored a special needs boy after a request came via his school office. My husband is a math teacher and he tutors special needs kids too. Ask your local high school and middle schools for tutor lists or ideas of local tutors with experience w special needs


Monterey - Lighthouse motel 
National parks
Disneyland see the Passporter Disney with Special Needs book
Lego Land 
Train ride with an overnight 
See Fun activities section


Visual Motor

Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes (see entries in Reading section)


Occupational Therapy (see OT section)


Site that gives Brain Gym consultants:


(Brain Gym is a specialized form of sensory integration for improving bilateral

coordination, crossing the mid-line, etc.)

Pam Whitman
Licensed Brain Gym Consultant
Orinda, CA 94563
pwbraingym@comcast.net, 925-253-1223
To speak at a local parent group meeting!

www.handle.org is supposed to help regulate vision. One mom reports that her son's OT goals were all met after 3 months of this therapy. requires parent involvement, about 15 min a day.


Visual / Vision

LPCH  eye clinic with Dr. Alcorn who is a pediatric opthalmologist
One parent reports that she is fast and thorough, nice,quick and the child watches a screen that looks like a TV for distraction.

UC Berkeley's Optometry clinic also offers vision therapy & prisms via the Binocular Vision clinic and the Infant/Toddler Clinic. They have experience with spectrum kids. Lots of toys & movies. 3rd-year students work closely with optometrists/professors. They also make referrals. 

Special Visual Assessment Clinic at UC Berkeley. 
One mom of nonverbal child said - they are great! 
teaching clinic so there is a team approach


Visual Eyes Optometry

Dr.'s Susan Kim & Ed Laubach O.D.

(some ASD experience)

Pleasanton, CA 94588, 925-463-7330, 925-463-7337



Special Visual Assessment Clinic for the Handicapped (SVACH)

Optometric Eye Center

University of California, 200 Minor Hall

Berkeley, CA, (510) 642-2020

Specialized visual examination/assessment, including pediatrics


Spectrum Eye Physicians

Los Gatos, CA, 408-354-9510


Visual acuity assessment-diagnosis and treatment of amblyopia sensory-motor evaluations (fusion, depth perception) ocular motility examination-diagnosis and treatment of strabismus dyslexia referral. Accommodation anomolies diagnoses and treated convergence problems diagnosed and treated double vision problems diagnosed and treated.


Vision therapy (and evaluation for same): Bradford Murray OD,
Recommended by several parents

San Jose, 408-445-2020

Dr Laurie Chaikin
Castro Valley 
Developmental optometrist with experience in vision therapy for visual processing problems.

Developmental Spectrums
person trained in the Irlen lens techniques who can do an evaluation of visual sensitivities, and recommend the appropriate colored over-lays, etc.

Hong & Stasko Optometry 
Board Certified in Vision Therapy San Carlos, CA 
http://www.myfamilyeyedoc.com , 650-593-1661
1234 Cherry Street 
One mom recommends Carol Hong

Dr. Robert S. Christensen 
Developmental Optometrist Mill Valley, CA 


Sites for finding developmental or behavioral optometrists and vision






Here's lots of good info on behavioral or developmental optometrists: 

One parent reported a good experience with Dr. Fabian in San Jose...did 15 months of vision therapy when child was in kindergarten and 1st grade. 

A good place for a second opinion is the Vision Clinic at UC Berkeley, it is very inexpensive and thorough according to one parent. 

Lianne Rice 
www.visiondiva.com San Jose