image of child

Upcoming Events

at Support for Families of Children with Disabilities


CLINICS are small group trainings designed to accommodate individualized questions and are repeated monthly. All clinics occur from 4-6pm at Support for Families, unless otherwise noted.

Clinics are FREE. Childcare and interpretation (Spanish, Cantonese) services are available for most workshops, but ONLY with pre-registration. Register by calling 415-920-5040 or emailing with your contact information.

IEP Clinic Description: Learn about Special Education law, the IEP process, what to do when things aren't working, and how to become a more active and effective team member. Bring your questions and real life issues! Chinese: 1st Thursday; English: 2nd Thursday; Spanish: 3rd Thursday

Transition to Adulthood Clinic Description: Successfully navigate the transition from school to adulthood. Learn how to navigate special education transition services and how to effectively participate in the development of your child's transition plan. Appropriate for parents of children 12+. 4th Thurs. a month.

IEP Spanish (Clínica Programa de Educación Individualizada (IEP) - Español)

May 21, June 18; 4:00pm-6:00pm

Transition to Adulthood

May 28; 4:00pm - 6:00pm

IEP Cantonese(個別化教育計劃(IEP)諮詢會)

June 4; 6:00pm-8:00pm

IEP English

June 11; 4:00pm-6:00pm


Parent / Professional Workshops (PPW)

PARENT/PROFESSIONAL WORKSHOPS are larger group trainings that provide an opportunity for parents and professionals to network, share concerns and ideas, and learn about valuable information & resources.

Workshops are FREE and located at Support for Families unless otherwise noted. FREE Childcare and interpretation (Spanish, Cantonese) services are available for most workshops, but ONLY with pre-registration.

Register by calling 415-920-5040 or emailing with your contact information.

Social Security 101

Tuesday, May 19; 6:30pm - 8:00pm
SSI or SSDI? What public benefits are you or your children entitled to? The world of social security can be difficult to navigate. This workshop will overview the SSI and SSDI programs, eligibility for adults and children, and incentives to help you work. Presenter: Katie Spielman, attorney in the Office of Clients’ Rights Advocacy, a division of Disability Rights California. Flyer [pdf]

Basic Sign Language: Improving Communication at an Early Stage

Wednesday, May 27; 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Basic Sign Language: Improving Communication at an Early Stage, is a workshop designed to bring families and professionals together to learn and be able to understand language development using the benefits of American Sign Language for all disabilities. This workshop will also contain a hands on teaching of beginning sign language. Deaf speaker, Patrick Ip, will share his experiences. Flyer (English, Spanish, Chinese) [pdf]

Safestart: Child Safety Awareness Training

Thursday, June 11; 6:00pm - 7:30pm
SafeStart’s mission is to reduce the incidence and impact of violence on children in San Francisco. Living in a city, we often hear about violence occurring in homes, communities and on the news. Come learn about the many ways a child may be impacted by violence. The workshop will help you identify signs and symptoms to look for and understand how to help families support their children and reduce further exposure. The training will also review services available to support families provided by the SafeStart Program and other agencies in San Francisco. Flyer (English, Spanish, Chinese) [pdf]

Music Therapy: Using Music to Enrich the Lives of Individuals with Special Needs

Saturday, June 13; 8:30am - 12:30pm
What is music therapy? How does music therapy help your child? Music therapy utilizes music interventions to help people achieve individualized goals and objectives within a therapeutic relationship. Music therapists use music to achieve non-musical goals such as increasing vocalizations, improving language development, improving social skills, improving fine/gross motor skills, increasing attention span, etc. Not only is music highly motivating in a child’s learning, the use of music has been shown to be effective through research studies. In this workshop, the presenters will explain how music therapy can be an effective tool to help your loved one achieve his or her goals as well as providing helpful tips that can be used at home. Presenters: Ian Wilkerson, MT-BC, NMT and Julia Beth Runkle, MT-BC, Founder/Music Therapist, Bay Area Music Therapy. Flyer (English, Spanish, Chinese) [pdf]

Improving IEP Outcomes

Tuesday, June 16; 6:00pm - 8:00pm
A former Director of Special Education will teach you the ins and outs of the IEP process. Her experience will provide valuable insights into many aspect of the IEP process that previously unexplained. Some topic covered will be:" How to properly prepare for your IEP," "How to control the meeting so you are in charge," "The inside secrets of every district," "What you need to know but ‘they’ don't tell you," "Who to take with you" and many more. Presenter: Martina Sholiton, founder and CEO of PACES (Parental Advocacy for Children in Exceptional Situations). Flyer (English, Spanish, Chinese) [pdf]

Support Groups

All support groups are free of charge. Childcare is provided, unless otherwise indicated, and must be reserved in advance.  If you are interested in participating in any of these groups, call the Warmline at 415-920-5040 or e-mail us for more information. Pre-registration is required. All events are at Support for Families unless otherwise noted.
  • Conversation Club for AAC Users
    Every Monday of the month
    4:30pm - 5:30pm
    Noe Valley Public Library Meeting Room, 451 Jersey St, SF
  • Autism Support Group
    Fourth Tuesday of the month.
    Tuesday, May 26; 6:30pm - 8:30pm
  • Cantonese Speaking Parent Support Group
    Second Saturday of the month.
    Saturday, June 13; 1pm - 3pm
  • Down Syndrome Support Group
    Second Tuesday of the month.
    Tuesday, June 9; 6:30pm-8:30pm
  • Prader Willi Support Group
    Quarterly on Saturdays.
    Call 415-920-5040 for the date of the next group.
  • Parents of Transition Age Youth
    First Tuesday of the month.
    Tuesday, June 2; 6:00pm - 8:00pm
  • Preemie Support Group
    Third Thursday of the month.
    Thursday, May 21; 7:00pm - 8:00pm
  • Sibling Recreational Group
    Saturday, July 18; 10:00am - 1:00pm
  • Spanish Speaking Parent Support Group
    Second Wednesday of the month.
    Wednesday, June 10; 10:00am - 12:00pm
  • Tube Feeding Support Group
    Fourth Tuesday of the month.
    Tuesday, May 26; 7pm - 8:15pm
  • Tuesday Night Support Group
    Second and Fourth Tuesdays of the month.
    Tuesday, May 26; 6:45pm-8:30pm
    Tuesday, June 9; 6:45pm-8:30pm
    For Parents of Infants & Young Children with medical and/or developmental disorders. Bi-weekly meetings provide a means for parents to benefit from one another’s experience and exchange valuable information.

Family Special Events and More

Play, Learn, Connect! A 6-week series playgroup for caregivers and their babies/toddlers 0-3

Starting Monday, May 18; 10:30am - 12 noon
Support for Families, 1663 Mission St 7th Floor, San Francisco
6 week series most Mondays (5/18, 5/26, 6/1, 6/8, 6/15, 6/22). Pre-registration is required. To register, call 415-920-5040. This 6-week group will give parents/caregivers an opportunity to step out of busy daily routines, to play and learn with their children ages 0 to 3. It is an opportunity for you to meet with other families, to explore and discuss what our children tell us through play. We will watch together, be curious together, and we will learn about areas of children's social/emotional development and consider possible meanings of behavior. Every child is different! Caregivers and their typically developing children and children with special needs age 0-3 are most welcome. Flyer [pdf]

Movie Night: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2

Friday, June 5; 5:30pm - 7:30pm
Support for Families, 1663 Mission St 7th Flr, San Francisco
JUNE THEME: Spaghetti Night! Families are invited to watch a movie, munch on yummy snacks, and enjoy the playroom here at our main office. Held monthly on Fridays in January to June 2015 from 5:30pm-7:30pm. Call 415-920-5040 to register. Flyer: English, Spanish, Chinese [pdf]

July Sibling Recreational Group

Saturday, July 18; 10am - 1pm
Support for Families, 1663 Mission St 7th Floor, San Francisco
For 8 - 13 year old brothers and sisters of kids with disabilities or special health care needs. Based on the Sibshop model, this sibling group will include crafts, games, and other fun activities. Lunch included! Join us to: Meet other brothers and sisters of children with disabilities or special health care needs; Talk with other who “get it” about the good (and sometimes not so good!) parts of having a sib with special needs; Have fun!! Call 415-920-5040 or email to register. Flyer [pdf]

Wine+Design 2015

Friday, October 9; 6pm - 10pm
The Galleria, San Francisco Design Center
A fundraiser benefit for Support for Families. Join us for a great party for a great cause! Check back here for updates.


Community Advisory Committee for Special Education

The State Education Code mandates that each Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) have a Community Advisory Committee (CAC). The CAC advises the District in the development and review of the Local Plan for Special Education, and advocates for effective special education services for children in San Francisco. It is composed of parents, students with special needs, professionals and interested community members. More Information [pdf]

Repeats every fourth Thursday of the month unless otherwise noted.

Coffee Time with SFUSD Special Education Administration

Thursday, May 28; 5:45-6:30pm

(CAC) Community Advisory Committee Meeting

Thursday, May 28; 6:30pm - 8:00pm


Events Sponsored by Other Organizations

Workshop:  Special Needs Trusts
The Dale Law Firm
Wednesday May 6, 2015; 6:30pm-8pm
The Dale Law Firm 127 Aspen Drive Suite 100 Pacheco, CA  94533
This free presentation by Stephen Dale, Esq. will discuss how Special Needs Trusts can be established in order to project and provide assistance to the disabled while protecting their financial interests and eligibility.  To register contact Shelley at or 925-826-5585.

Relationship Development Intervention 2-Day Summit
CATCH Clinic
Sunday May 17 – Monday May 18, 2015
Wells Fargo Center for the Performing Arts, 50 Mark West Springs Rd, Santa Rosa, CA 95403
This presentation will offer the most up-to-date research on autism and Dynamic Intelligence and will provide a thorough overview of the RDI program. Veteran RDI consultants and featured guest speakers, including the founder of the RDI program Steve Gutstein, will help you understand this groundbreaking intervention. More Information

Special Needs Trusts with a Focus on Mental Illness
Dale Law Firm
June 17; 6:30pm – 8:00pm
The Dale Law Firm, 127 Aspen Drive Suite 100, Pacheco CA 94533
To register contact Shelley at or 925-826-5585. This free presentation will discuss  how Special Needs Trusts can be established in order to protect and provide assistance to the disabled while protecting their financial interests and eligibility. 

Other Opportunities for Input

Call for Applicants: IHSS Stakeholder Advisory Committee
California In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) Statewide Authority
The California In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) Statewide Authority is seeking applicants for a new state-level IHSS Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC).  The SAC will provide ongoing advice and recommendations regarding the IHSS Program to the IHSS Statewide Authority and the state Departments of Social Services and Health Care Services. The 13-member SAC will consist of consumers, IHSS providers, union representatives, and advocates. Applications due by May 1. More Information

Cerebral Palsy Survey on Treatments and Interventions
CP Daily Living & PCORI
Parents/caregivers of children 2-17 years: by completing the following survey you will be providing insight about your treatment decision-making experiences. This anonymous information is critical to our CP community leaders, doctors and researchers who are preparing to apply for a large research grant on behalf of the CP community. This particular non-government granting agency called PCORI, is focused on including the perspectives of patients and their families, and has been established to foster research working toward meaningful patient outcomes. More Information

National Survey About Siblings of Individuals with Disabilities, their Support Needs, and their Families
More Information

UCSF TARA Study seeks teens with depression or anxiety
The UCSF TARA study is recruiting adolescents with symptoms of depression or anxiety. Participants will learn yoga, breathing, and meditation skills that can help them slow down, feel more safe and calm, regulate emotions, and improve attention and focus. Participants will continue their current mental health care while participating in the study and will also be paid $200 for 4 study assessment visits and 12 study classes over 6 months.  The study classes will start on January 15, 2015. If you would like more information about the study, please contact Vierka Goldman at or (415) 353-7561. 

Parent/Caregiver Survey about Children Mental Health Services
The National Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health (FFCMH) & the REACH Institute
Please take 10 minutes to complete this anonymous survey. We will use the information we gather to develop strategies for helping families get the best mental health treatment for their children. We believe that parents need to be fully informed about the type of treatment their child is receiving so that they can make informed decisions on the effectiveness of that treatment. More Information

Stanford Study on Severe Problem Behavior
The Center for Interdisciplinary Brain Sciences Research (CIBSR), Stanford University
The study will evaluate how environmental and biological factors affect the display of severe problem behavior in adolescents with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  Eligible participants will travel to Stanford for a comprehensive behavioral assessment.  All travel arrangements and expenses will be provided free of charge.  Families will also receive a report summarizing the results of the assessment and a $100 honorarium. More Information

Free Advocacy Classes/Group for Youth with Disabilities: Young Independent People (YIP)
Center for Independent Living
1st and 3rd Mondays of the month; 4:00pm – 6:00pm
CIL, 3075 Adeline St, Ste 100, Berkeley CA (near Ashby BART station)
Take action on issues that affect youth with disabilities! Meet other young people with disabilities, speak confidently about the issues that matter to you, learn to organize peers and other community members, and find your voice, be heard, and influence policymakers. Call (510) 841-4776 ext. 3133 for more information.

CDE Survey: Partnering with Parents
California Department of Education - Special Education Division
More Information

San Francisco Unified School District

Board of Education Meeting

Meetings are held every 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month. All Regular and Committee meetings are open to the public.

Irving G. Breyer Board Meeting Room
555 Franklin Street, First Floor
San Francisco, CA 94102

Webcast - You can view a live Board Meeting webcast online external link. (Note, this is only available during the meeting. You can view past meetings below.)

Children supervised by an adult, are welcome to attend meetings of the Board of Education.


Support for Families strives to present families and professionals with a wide range of views and options in its materials and trainings. The materials and trainings are not necessarily comprehensive, are not meant to be exhaustive, nor are they an endorsement of the author and/or presenter. If you would like to offer feedback or if you know of additional resources, speakers and/or materials that may be helpful, please contact us at

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