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The Referral Process

Child Find  (brochure)
If your child is not in a special education program and you suspect there is a disability, please contact your child’s teacher or your local school to discuss your concerns. A student may be referred by parents, Student Study Teams, teachers, and other school staff members, doctors, agency staff, or anyone else, including the student. As a result of this discussion, your child may be referred to a Student Study Team (S.S.T.) for additional review. The S.S.T. is represented by both general education and special education staff members who review student progress and suggest interventions and strategies assist students within the general education program. It is highly recommended that the S.S.T. meet to review a student’s progress prior to developing an assessment plan for suspected disabilities.
If your child is under 2 years 10 months of age, please contact the Regional Center of Orange County for an intake interview at (714) 796-5354 or email If your child is preschool aged (starting at 2 years 10 months), contact Dr. Rana Shah at (949) 234-9293 or  If you have questions regarding preschool programming, please contact Dr. Lauren Pattullo at (949) 234-9310 or  If your child is Transitional Kindergarten aged or older, contact your local school in order to be referred to the appropriate special education staff member who can advise you. Click here to find out which school is your homeschool.
When a referral for a special education assessment is recommended, you will meet with one or more members of the special education team at a local school to develop an assessment plan. You must receive a written notice from your school asking for your written, informed consent before any assessment begins, even if you have made a verbal request for an assessment. A copy of the parent’s rights will be included in the assessment plan. The assessment must be completed and a placement meeting conducted within 60 calendar days of the date of receipt of your written consent for assessment.