Students who meet the criteria listed below are eligible to be referred by their school district for assessment:
- Student is a resident of California, and is between the ages of 3 and 21.
- The student lives, or is receiving public education services within the thirty-five Northern Californian counties.
- Student must be receiving public special education services; or eligibility for special education is an issue.
- Demonstrates a complex learning and/or behavioral profile, and local assessment services have not addressed the student’s needs.
- The local educational agency has exhausted its resources and diagnostic questions/issues remain unanswered.
- Referral issues are not more appropriately addressed by a specialty or agency other than the educationally focused services of the Diagnostic Center (i.e., Regional Center or Department of Mental Health).
- Students whose primary handicapping condition does not involve loss of vision or hearing. These students are more appropriately served at the assessment centers located at the California School for the Deaf or the California School for the Blind.
Once the completed application has been submitted and is screened by the Admissions and Review Committee, the local education agency and family are notified of the status of the application.
Application packets are available online here. The application must be completed by the school district; parent referrals are not accepted. School district personnel may obtain an application packet by telephoning 510-794-2500. We welcome the opportunity to discuss any referral or to clarify any part of the referral process.
The Referral Process
The decision to refer a student often originates from the student’s IEP Team. However, a formal application for admission must be made by the local educational agency and signed by the Director of Special Education. Parent referrals are not.
The application packet takes some time to complete. The local educational agency is responsible for completing and submitting the application package. The application package includes:
- Completed LEA Application specifying district concerns, diagnostic questions to be addressed and district attempts at remediation.
- Completed Parent Application.
- Release of Information forms dated and signed by parent/guardian.
- Current Individualized Education Plan (IEP).
- Current psycho-educational and Service providers assessment reports. (Reports older than 2.5 years will not be accepted.)
- Authorization by LEA Director of Special Education.
Once the completed application is received, the Diagnostic Center’s Admission and Review Committee will do a comprehensive case review of the referral and the application will be accepted or denied.
If the student is not accepted for assessment, a letter will be mailed explaining why the case was denied, and if appropriate, suggestions for other agencies or resources will be made.
If accepted for either assessment, both the district and the family will receive written notification. The assessment team will contact the school district to clarify the diagnostic questions, request additional information and to schedule the assessment. The family will also be contacted. An assessment plan will be developed and mailed to the family. Following the receipt of the signed assessment plan, the assessment will be conducted.
Referrals for assessment services must be made by the students school district, County Office of Education, or SELPA.
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