Increasing Awareness and Understanding

ECF is pleased to share the following resources to help increase awareness and understanding about different community services, government agencies, terminology, and issues of interest related to children and adults with special needs.

California Department of Developmental Services
This State agency provides services and supports to individuals with developmental disabilities. These disabilities include intellectual disability, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, autism and related conditions. Services are provided in communities throughout the state via 21 nonprofit regional centers. Click here to learn more.

Regional Centers
Regional Centers serve as a local resource to help find and access the services and supports available to children and adults with developmental disabilities and their families. Consumers and their families contact regional centers directly for an assessment and then referral to service providers such as Exceptional Children’s Foundation. For an individual to be assessed in California as having a developmental disability, the disability must begin before the individual’s 18th birthday, be expected to continue indefinitely and present a substantial disability. For further information, contact your local regional center.To locate a Regional Center in your community, click here.

School Districts
When a school district cannot provide the appropriate educational services for a student with special needs, it refers the student to a nonpublic school, such as, the ECF Kayne Eras School. Our Kayne Eras School accepts referrals from a variety of districts and educational entities. If you have any questions about a referral, please contact the school at (310) 737-9393.

ECF’s Kayne Eras School is a California certified Non-public School (NPS). The school specializes in providing individualized education programs for children and adolescents with special education needs. Students are typically referred to Kayne Eras School by their local school district through the IEP process. The school accepts referrals from most local school districts and Charter Schools. If you have questions regarding your child’s possible need for an NPS, please contact your child’s current school. Information about Kayne Eras School and tours of the program can be arranged by contacting the school at (310) 737-9393.

Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health
ECF’s Kayne Eras Center is a contract provider of mental health specialty services for the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (DMH). DMH is dedicated to enriching the lives of children and their families who are 0 to 15 years old experiencing mental health challenges by providing a wide range of client-centered, family-focused services. In partnership with DMH, ECF’s Mental Health program seeks to provide quality, strength based mental health services to children; help children achieve success at school and in the community; and strengthen and empower family relationships by fostering hope, wellness and resiliency. Children and families with full-scope Medi-Cal are eligible for mental health services. Services may be delivered in the clinic or at your home. If you have questions about your family’s eligibility for mental health services at ECF, please contact the Kayne Eras Center at (310) 737-9393.

Information About Developmental Disabilities
The term developmental disability refers to a severe and chronic disability that is attributable to a mental or physical impairment that begins before an individual reaches adulthood. These disabilities include intellectual disability, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, autism, and disabling conditions closely related to intellectual disability or requiring similar treatment.

Intellectual Disability
Intellectual Disability is characterized by significantly subaverage general intellectual functioning (i.e., an IQ of approximately 70 or below) with concurrent deficits or impairments in adaptive functioning.

Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy includes two types of motor dysfunction: (1) nonprogressive lesion or disorder in the brain occurring during intrauterine life or the perinatal period and characterized by paralysis, spasticity, or abnormal control of movement or posture, such as poor coordination or lack of balance, which is manifest prior to two or three years of age, and (2) other significant motor dysfunction appearing prior to age 18.

Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder with multiple causes or origins. It is defined as a syndrome causing gross and sustained impairment in social interaction and communication with restricted and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests, and activities that appear prior to the age of three. Specific symptoms may include impaired awareness of others, lack of social or emotional reciprocity, failure to develop peer relationships appropriate to developmental level, delay or absence of spoken language and abnormal nonverbal communication, stereotyped and repetitive language, idiosyncratic language, impaired imaginative play, insistence on sameness (e.g., nonfunctional routines or rituals), and stereotyped and repetitive motor mannerisms.

Epilepsy is defined as recurrent, unprovoked seizures.

Other Developmental Disabilities
Other Developmental Disabilities are those handicapping conditions similar to that require treatment (i.e., care and management) similar to that required by individuals with intellectual disability. This does not include handicapping conditions that are solely psychiatric or physical in nature. The handicapping conditions must occur before age 18, result in a substantial handicap, be likely to continue indefinitely, and involve brain damage or dysfunction. Examples of conditions might include intracranial neoplasms, degenerative brain disease or brain damage associated with accidents.