Parents Helping Parents is your special education resource!

Understanding and establishing special education for your child can be confusing. As a California Parent Training and Information Center, we can help you become an active participant in your child’s education.

Parents Helping Parents’ education staff serve California families living in Santa Clara, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, San Benito, and Monterey counties.  Find the parent agency in your area by visiting PARENT CENTER HUB, if you live elsewhere in California or in another state. 

When you contact us with education-related questions, you will be connected to an experienced Education Specialist.  Our Education Specialists are available to offer you information that increases your active participation in your child’s education planning.  They also offer training about special education rights, phone support and meet one-to-one with parents.  They can help brainstorm options to resolve a disagreement.

We are here to help you understand the many facets of special education including requesting assessment ages 3 through 21, what special education is, the components of an individualized education program, and planning for post-secondary education and transition to adulthood. Empowered with information, your child may receive an improved education program.

There is much to learn, including what special education is and all the acronyms involved! Our specialist will also help you understand your rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).  They will also help you understand your rights established by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability. This law applies to public elementary and secondary schools, among other entities.

Parents Helping Parents can meet with you one-to-one , either in person or over the phone. When you contact us, you will be connected with a professional and experienced Education Specialist, all of whom have children or family members with a disability.   You can also download helpful lists of websites on a variety of special education topics on our E-Packets page, linked to the left.  The E-Learning section of our website offers information in video format that can be accessed whenever and wherever you are searching for information. These resources are constantly being reviewed and added to, so keep checking back to see what is new! 

Our  Education Specialists will help you:

  • Understand your rights and responsibilities.
  • Answer your questions and provide resources and referrals related to special education.
  • Create a plan for your child’s special education by helping you set priorities and problem-solve, and reviewing special education options with you.
  • Prepare for Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP), Individualized Education Program (IEP), or other important education and/or transition meetings.
  • Develop active communication skills and ways to cope with stressful situations.

Two popular tools we offer are found in the Helpful Links:

  • A template letter to request a special education assessment for your child. 
  • Our IEP prep tool to help you prepare for your child’s first or next IEP team meeting. 

If you have questions about special education, please contact us.  Our education specialists are available to help you understand the process and become a better advocate for your child.