Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to pay for your services?

No, all of FRN’s services are free. FRN gladly accepts donations to help us provide quality services to families.

What is the difference between an IEP and 504?

An IEP is a Special Education document that includes goals, accommodations, modifications and services that a child needs to benefit from their special education. A 504 plan is for general education students who have - or are perceived to have - a disability. The plan often contains only accommodations for the child to access their education program.

The front office clerk says my child is too smart for an IEP. Is this true?

If you have concerns that your child needs Special Education services you may request an assessment. The assessment will help the IEP team determine whether your child is eligible.  =The district must assess your child or provide Prior Written Notice that will explain why they don’t think they need to provide the assessment.

How do I request an IEP assessment?

You can write a letter to the special education department requesting an evaluation for your child in all areas of suspected disability. You should include in your letter all of your concerns to get a complete assessment. Drop of a copy at the district’s special education office (and keep a copy for yourself). The district will respond with either an assessment plan or notice of why they don’t believe your child needs assessment.

What are IEP timelines?

The district has 15 days to get you an assessment plan after you request it. You should return the assessment plan within 15 days. Once the district has received the signed plan, they have 60 days to evaluate and hold an IEP meeting to discuss the results of the evaluations.

How can I get more speech therapy for my child from school?

The first step for your child receiving any  special education services is documenting your child’s need for those services in your child’s individual education plan (or IEP).  To get additional services, you will need to document that your child needs them. If your child has an IEP, you can request a new assessment from the school, or an IEE (independent educational evaluation) at school district expense if you disagree with the school’s evaluation.  Remember, you may also be able to access speech therapy services through your insurance if they provide this benefit. Your pediatrician can refer you to get a speech evaluation.

What is Regional Center?

Regional Center provides services for eligible people with a developmental disability and early intervention (Early Start) for eligible infants and toddlers. Regional Center of the East Bay serves all of Alameda and Contra Costa counties. To qualify after 3 years of age, a child needs to be diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, Epilepsy, Autism, Intellectual Disability. In some cases a consumer may be eligible if they need services similar to someone with an Intellectual Disability. The disability must have been present prior to the consumer’s 18th birthday.

What is Early Start?

This is a program for children 0-3 who are at risk of - or who have already been diagnosed with - a developmental delay. These children are served by the Regional Center of the East Bay. Children with orthopedic, vision or hearing impairment receive early start services through their school districts.

What is an IFSP?

An individualized family services plan is the document developed by the child’s Early Start caseworker. It lists all the services that will be provided by Regional Center or the School District.

What happens when my child in early start turns 3?

Before your child turns three, both the Regional Center and the school district will evaluate your child. The school district will determine whether the child is eligible for special education. The regional center will determine whether the child remains eligible for Regional Center services. If the child is eligible for CCS, they may continue to provide the child with medically necessary physical and occupational therapy.

What is California Children’s Services?

CCS is a state program for low income children 0-21 with complex medical needs to get the services and treatment they need. CCS also provides physical and occupational therapy to children with certain physical disabilities regardless of income.