Special Beginnings

  Chris Hill
  Program Manager, Infant and Preschool Itinerant Program
  (707) 445-6006

Welcome to the Special Beginnings program at the Humboldt County Office of Education. Our dedicated team of teachers, paraprofessionals, and support staff members serve preschool children ages birth to five years with special needs. The Early Start component of the program partners with the Redwood Coast Regional Center to provide service to infants and toddlers under age three in home and daycare settings. We also work closely with other agencies such as North Coast Children Services (Head Start) and private and state preschools in providing high-level support for children who attend their programs. The goal is to prepare them to transition successfully into district Kindergarten programs on regular school campuses.

Children aged three to five years may be referred to HCOE Special Beginnings by parents, teachers, physicians, community agencies or other concerned individuals with the parents' consent. For students who are eligible for special education services, an Individual Education Plan will be developed based on the child’s identified needs.

Children under age three may be referred to the Redwood Coast Regional Center Early Start Coordinator or to the HCOE Special Beginnings Program Manager. We work closely with the Regional Center to provide special education services to forty infants and toddlers who are eligible for the California Early Start program.

Autism Special Day Classes

  Genevive Macias
  Program Manager, Autism Special Day Class Program
  (707) 540-5692

The Special Beginnings Prekindergarten Special Day Class Program is an intensive intervention program for children with mild and moderate learning challenges associated with autism. The goal of the program is to target pivotal areas of development most affected by autism. Students in the program progress to less restrictive settings as they acquire and independently use social communication, language and play skills. Students may transition from special day class placements to more general education placements as their skills improve.

Children as young as eighteen months can access intensive skill building programs. The program specifically utilizes a developmental framework embedded with evidence based teaching strategies that are individualized around a student’s strengths and needs. Families are an integral part of the intervention and can participate in our developmental/curriculum based assessment and group parent coaching/training.