Where to Start?


Differences in development may be related to personality, temperament, and/or experiences. Some children may also have health needs that affect their development. If you are concerned about your child’s development, and your child is younger than age 3, contact your pediatrician and Tri-Counties Regional Center. Tri-Counties Regional Center may refer you to Early Start. If your child is age 3 or older, and his or her needs are educationally relevant, contact Student Services at your school district. They will gather information, discuss possible interventions, and when needed, screen or test your child. If your child qualifies for special education then he or she will receive specialized services to meet specific needs. Special education and early intervention services are confidential and provided at no cost to the family. Contact information is listed below.
Special Needs Resources, Ages 0-5

First 5 Health Access Project is committed to increasing health access for children (with a focus on birth to five) and their families.
SLO HealthAccess.org
For information on accessing care and finding health providers, including mental health and dental care, click on the “Providers” tab and choose the type of care you are seeking. For information about Medi-Cal and other insurance options, click on the “Insurance” tab.


Parents know their children better than anyone. The first three years are very important in a child’s life. If a parent, family member, caregiver, or professional has a concern about a child’s development, it is best to identify the concern as soon as possible. Families whose infants or toddlers have developmental delay or disabilities, or are at risk for developmental delay or disabilities may qualify for developmental monitoring or early intervention services. Regional center staff can evaluate and assess an infant or toddler to determine eligibility for:
Early Start
Prevention Resource and Referral Services
The single point of entry to both programs is the regional center in your local area. All infants and toddlers potentially eligible for a regional center program will be evaluated by the regional center to determine eligibility for services.

Call Tri-Counties Regional Center San Luis Obispo at (805)543-2833 to find out more about Early Start services.


The Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA), per state mandate, provides county wide regional coordination and leadership in special education to insure compliance with state and federal laws relating to students with disabilities. Our SELPA provides an array of services related to special education to local districts, parents and the community. We provide support and information to parents and educators.
Does Your Child Need Special Education Services? Parents are invited to call with questions.

Deborah Cleere, Program Specialist
San Luis Obispo County SELPA
(805) 782-7306

For more information, visit www.sloselpa.org or contact SLO County SELPA at 782-7301.

Parent Orientation to Special Education Flyer

Parent Orientation to Special Education Flyer (Spanish)


Atascadero USD
4507 Del Rio Rd.
Atascadero, CA 93422
(805) 462-4200
Lori Thomas-Hicks, Director of Student Intervention Services/Special Education
(805) 462-4232
Bellevue-Santa Fe Charter School
1401 San Luis Bay Dr.
San Luis Obispo, CA 93405
Jamie Waistell, Special Education Director
(805) 595-7169
Cayucos ESD
301 Cayucos Dr.
Cayucos, CA 93430
(805) 995-3694
Anne Hubbard, Superintendent
(805) 995-3694
Coast USD
2950 Santa Rosa Creek Rd.
Cambria, CA 93428
(805) 927-3880
Adam Helfand, Director of Special Education
(805) 927-7148
Lucia Mar USD
227 Bridge St.
Arroyo Grande, CA 93420
(805) 474-3000
Cynthia Ravalin, Director of Student Services
(805) 474-3000 x1152
Paso Robles JUSD
Teacher Center
2900 Union Rd.
Paso Robles, CA 93446
(805) 769-1000
Marcia Murphy, Director of Special Education
(805) 769-1000 x33227
Pleasant Valley JUSD
2025 Ranchita Canyon Rd.
San Miguel, CA 93451
(805) 467-3453
Lisa Bushong, Principal/Senior Administrator
(805) 467-3453
San Luis Coastal USD
1500 Lizzie St.
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
(805) 549-1200
Diane Frost, Executive Director, Student Support Services
(805) 543-1218
San Luis Obispo County Office of Education
Hwy 1 & Education Dr.
San Luis Obispo, CA 93405
(805) 543-7732
DJ Pittenger, Asst. Superintendent,
Student Programs and Services
(805) 782-7321
Katherine Aaron, Executive Director
(805) 782-7343
San Miguel JUSD
1601 “L” St.
San Miguel, CA 93451
(805) 467-3218
Stephanie Schofield, Special Education/Vice Principal
(805) 227-1040
Shandon JUSD
101 S. First St.
P.O. Box 79
Shandon, CA 93461
(805) 238-0777
Roberta Leek, Special Education Director
(805) 238-1782
Templeton USD
960 Old County Rd.
Templeton, CA 93465
(805) 434-5800
Dee Dee Mello-Wisch, Director of Special Education
(805) 434-5853

A complete list of Student Programs and Services for all of the school districts in the county can be found at: http://www.sloselpa.org/mem_districts.htm


Tri-Counties Regional Center provides diagnosis of developmental disabilities and assessment of eligibility for Regional Center services. Once eligibility is determined, a case manager or service coordinator is assigned to help develop a plan for services, tell you where services are available, and help you get the services needed because of a developmental disability. Tri-Counties Regional Center helps plan, access, coordinate and monitor services and supports. There is no charge for the diagnosis and eligibility assessment. Most services and supports are free regardless of age or income.

To view TCRCs support services, please visit the website:
San Luis Obispo
3450 Broad Street, Suite 111
San Luis Obispo
(805) 543-2833
7305 Morro Road, Suite 101
(805) 461-7402


The Youth Family Partner program in San Luis Obispo County works as a team with the families and caregivers of minor children who have emotional and behavioral problems. Family Partners provide support, information, and referrals necessary to improve the quality of life for families and their children. Services are provided in both English and Spanish.
What Services Are Provided?
Support and education groups
Interaction with others who have similar challenges
Orientation for new families entering the mental health system
Referrals to additional programs and services that can offer assistance
Information from professional staff who attend regional and statewide meetings on current mental health policies and resources
Parent Project and Active Parenting Classes
Participation in planning programs and services
Who can participate?
Families, guardians, and caregivers with a minor child who has special mental health needs.
How Much Does It Cost?
The Youth Family Partner program is a free service to residents in San Luis Obispo County and is funded by San Luis Obispo County’s Department of Behavioral Health and the Mental Health Services Act.
For support and more information, call:
Patty Ramirez (North County) 805-458-2596
email: pramirez@t-mha.org
Letty Mendoza (South County) 805-458-6388
email: lmendoza@t-mha.org
Laura Gaisie (SLO) 805-503-0009
email: lgaisie@t-mha.org