Getting Started with Special Needs – On the clock – the key to the bureaucracies

This is a quick one. You are going to need to work with at least 3 large bureaucracies (here in California anyway):

  1. The state (in my case the Golden Gate Regional Center)
  2. The school system (the Special Education department at your district, for me this is the San Mateo Foster City school district)
  3. Your insurance provider (for my family, Kaiser)

Every interaction you have with them is controlled by laws and regulations.

They all have clocks.


Those clocks only tick along when you trigger them by making a service request or filing an appeal or delivering a piece of paper or form or following up.

If you don’t keep the process moving, the clock will stop and your child’s services will be delayed.

You must be a shameless advocate for your child.

A key part of that is aggressive persistence:

  1. Finish the paperwork.
  2. Deliver the forms (by hand)
  3. Make the phone calls (don’t be afraid, don’t wait).

Keep the clock moving.

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