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Special Needs Resources

Caring for a child with special needs can be challenging as well as rewarding. We have created a list of some online resources and in-person centers that may be helpful to you and your family as you support your special needs child.


Eligibility requirements may vary.

  • Inclusion Collaborative - The Inclusion Collaborative leads the effort to provide every Santa Clara County child with a quality learning environment. Its focus is the successful inclusion of children with special needs in child care, preschool programs and the community through education, advocacy and awareness.

  • Parents Place – Located in San Mateo and Palo Alto, Parents Place offers consultation, counseling and parent education about everything to do with raising children, from infancy to young adulthood, including comprehensive services for teenagers and children with special needs.
  • Children’s Health Council Palo Alto – CHC specializes in ADHD, LD, Anxiety & Depression, Autism.  Serves kids from birth to age 18+.
  • Golden Gate Regional Center - Community-based, private, nonprofit corporation that is funded by the State of California to serve people with developmental disabilities in the counties of San Mateo, San Francisco, and Marin.
  • San Andreas Regional Center – Community-based, private, nonprofit corporation that is funded by the State of California to serve people with developmental disabilities in the counties of Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, San Benito, and Monterey.
  • Regional Center of the East Bay - Community-based, private, nonprofit corporation that is funded by the State of California to serve people with developmental disabilities in the East Bay.
  • Santa Clara County Office of Education Early Start Program - ESP serves children with many disabilities, including developmental delays, hearing impairments, vision impairments, motor impairments, autism and multiple disabilities. ESP builds upon and provides support and resources to family members and caregivers to enhance children's learning and development through every day learning opportunities.
  • Friends of Children with Special Needs - FCSN's mission is to help individuals with special needs and their families to find love, hope, respect, and support through integrated community involvement
  • National Center for Learning Disabilities – NCLD is committed to promoting the success and dignity of individuals affected by learning disabilities by providing programs and services to connect parents and others with resources in which every individual possesses the academic, social and emotional skills needed to succeed in school, at work and in life. 
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. NAMI advocates for access to services, treatment, supports and research and is steadfast in its commitment to raise awareness and build a community for hope for all of those in need.
  • PARCA - Parca provides residential programs, support for those living independently, respite care, before- and after-school child care, and family support and advocacy services.

Parent to Parent Support

  • Parents Helping Parents – Located in San Jose, PHP increases the quality of life for our most vulnerable by providing services, resources and support for children with special needs, their families, and caregivers.
  • Peninsula Parents of Special Needs Kids, an online yahoo discussion group through for families living on the peninsula.  On this parent-only forum, you can ask questions and build connections with other parents. To subscribe:
  • Parents Education Network Silicon Valley - Parents Education Network is a coalition of parents collaborating with educators, students and the community to empower and bring academic success to students with learning and attention differences.
  • Silicon Valley Down Syndrome Network is a group of families with children born with Down syndrome.  They come from all walks of life, and their common goal is to provide a community of support for individuals with Down syndrome and their families.
  • Stanford Autism Parent Support Group – located at Stanford, offers monthly support groups for parents of children on the autism spectrum.

School Resources

Therapy & Testing Resources

  • Morrissey-Compton Educational Center – Diagnostic, Treatment and Consultation Services for children and adults with learning disabilities as required by the Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Act.
  • Pratt Center – Psychological testing and therapy for children, teens and adults. 
  • Parents Education Network Silicon Valley – A list of local service providers that benefit those with learning and attention differences.
  • California Children Services Medical Therapy Program (CCS MTP) - The CCS Medical Therapy Program (MTP) provides occupational therapy (OT) and physical therapy (PT) to children from birth to 21 years old who have certain physical conditions or diseases. These are physical problems that affect the child's ability to control the movements of the body. 

This list is provided as a service only. The WorkLife Office and Stanford University do not endorse any of these references. These resources are not exhaustive but a sample of local resources.