Throughout her career, Dr. Pelangka has met a number of wonderful teachers and educators; however, it is often the case that parents of a child with different abilities are not informed of SPED laws, leaving them unprepared and at times, confused by their child’s IEP process. IEP meetings can be intimidating, due to the number of school personnel in attendance, as compared to one-to-two parents sitting on the opposite side of the table. Dr. Pelangka works to ensure parents walk into their child’s meeting with confidence, with the knowledge to make sound decisions and to ensure their child’s IEP team is working collaboratively, to meet the needs of their child.
No parent wants to experience confrontation or discord, especially at a time that is supposed to be positive; a time meant for supporting and encouraging your child. Dr. Pelangka works to establish a positive collaborative relationship between the family and the school district; however, in the event parents’ rights are in question, Dr. Pelangka will afford parents a voice. Dr. Pelangka accompanies families to their IEP/504 Plan meetings, however most importantly, Dr. Pelangka informs and educates families on their rights, providing them with invaluable information they can take with them for years to come.
Interested in seeing if Know IEPs? is the right service for you? Let’s talk and at the end of the 15 minutes, you can decide. If so, we can discuss next steps! Know IEPs? understands finances can be a challenge. Don’t let this stop you from pursuing needed supports for your child. Take advantage of the free 15-minute consultation.
Dr. Pelangka is available to advocate in both English and Spanish. Pricing for IEP services begins at $50. For more information on service pricing, please email or call
The following IEP services are available:
Trainings cover a variety of topics, including but not limited to:
- Parent Advocacy Tips
- Special Education Law
- Contents of an IEP/504 Plan
- Strategies for Enhancing the IEP Experience
- BIP, PBIP, CBIP: What is a Behavior Intervention Plan?
Behavior Consultation Services
Dr. Pelangka is available to consult with school districts, to provide the following services:
- Conduct Functional Behavior Assessments (FBA’s)
- Write and develop Positive Behavior Support Plans (PBIP) and Comprehensive Behavior Support Plans (CBIP)
- Attend IEP meetings, to review FBA and BIP’s, on behalf of the school district
- Assist in training of school staff and implementation of BIP’s
- Provide district-wide trainings on the following topics:
- Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Applied Behavior Analysis
- Implementation of Positive Behavior Supports
- How to Read and Adhere to Behavior Support Plans
Special Education Services
Case File Review
IEP Review and Discussion
Direct observation of your child
Meeting Attendance and advocacy services
● 504 Plan Meeting
● IEP Meeting
Attendance and Representation services
Statewide support services
BCBA Supervision Services
*Dr. Pelangka is registered through the BACB to provide BCBA supervision for individuals seeking a supervisor, to complete their BCBA hours. Please contact Dr. Sarah Pelangka for more information, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Info & Education
What is an IEP?
An IEP meeting must be held within 30 calendar days after it is determined, through a full and individual evaluation, that a child has one of the disabilities listed in IDEA and needs special education and related services. A child’s IEP must also be reviewed at least annually thereafter to determine whether the annual goals are being achieved and must be revised as appropriate.
Legal guardians have the legal right to request an IEP at any time. The school is required to hold the meeting within 30-days of the guardian’s written request. Parents have the legal right to bring anyone they feel fit with them, to an IEP meeting.
What is a 504 Plan?
Accommodations involve changes to how a child is learning/receiving content; they do not change what a child is learning.
Modifications are changes to what your child is learning. In some cases, a skill that would normally be taught at a certain grade level is changed, eliminated or postponed.
What is the difference between an IEP and a 504 Plan?
A 504 plan is less detailed. For example, a 504 plan does not include annual goals.
What is a “Manifestation Determination”?
• A parent’s request to hold a manifestation determination meeting, following a disciplinary incident
• A student being suspended for 5 or more consecutive days
• A student being suspended for more than 10 cumulative days in a school year (and for every suspension thereafter)
• A change in placement for more than 10 consecutive days is being discussed/recommended as an alternative, for disciplinary reasons
• Exclusion or expulsion is being considered
What is the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and how does it affect your child?
In addition to having a qualifying diagnosis, the student’s academic performance must be negatively affected, as a direct result of the student’s diagnosis. If, for example, a student has a medical diagnosis of autism however he is performing well in the school setting, he may not be covered by the IDEA.
IDEA calls for students with disabilities to have the right to access a free and appropriate public education in their least restrictive environment. This means that, whenever possible, a student should be placed in their general education setting. Per the IDEA, parents have a say at every point throughout the decision-making process; parents are covered by the law and given specific rights and protections (called procedural safeguards).
Tell me more about a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE)
Appropriate – Your child is entitled to receive an education that meets his or her needs. Your child’s education will be tailored to meet his or her needs, such that s/he will make the maximum amount of progress possible.
Public – This refers to the public school system. Any student, no matter the severity of their disability, has the right to be educated under public supervision.
Education – Your child has the right to be educated, in the public school system. Your child’s education must follow their individualized education plan (IEP) and should prepare them for further education, employment, and independent living.
What is a Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)?
1. Your child should be with kids in general education to the “maximum extent that is appropriate.” This means to the maximum extent that your child’s ability to learn will not be negatively affected.
2. Separate classes or separate schools should only happen when your child’s learning or attention issue—his “disability” under IDEA—is so severe that supplementary aids and services cannot provide him with an appropriate education.
Testimonials / Reviews
The first time Dr. Sarah Pelangka attended an IEP meeting for our daughter, we left absolutely amazed at how little we knew about ours and our daughter’s rights as they relate to what the school district tries to get away with, which as it turns out is often less than the bare minimum they should be providing. We had no idea how much we were missing for our daughter in all the years we had been attending these meetings on behalf of her.
First of all, it’s quite an overwhelming feeling walking into a room with 8-10 school district representatives, and then trying to follow their clinical lingo as they speed through the agenda and, without knowing any better, we typically just agree with whatever they recommend. After all, don’t they have her best interests and the state and federal requirements in mind at all times? The answer is a resounding no. But we would have never known this without Dr. Pelangka.
She is a godsend. Dr. Pelangka knows every state and federal requirement and will not let anyone try and sneak something through that doesn’t meet those requirements. She ensures each and every goal and service is provided for our child before we move on to the next topic. No stone is left unturned, and because Dr. Pelangka is so knowledgeable and passionate about every aspect of the IEP, you feel certain when you leave that meeting that you’ve received every available service your child needs. We owe so much to Dr. Pelangka – she cares so much about the children – and she will fight for everything they deserve.
After several frustrating IEP meetings over the years, we reached out to Dr. Pelangka for advocacy assistance. She has now accompanied us in an advocacy capacity to our daughter’s last 4 IEPs. The results were outstanding! We had been fighting for services for our daughter with autism and were getting nowhere…until Dr. Pelangka attended.
For example, several IEP team members agreed at one IEP that our daughter needed counseling services but after the evaluation, the school psychologist only offered indirect consulting services. We told them that was not satisfactory but they kept pushing back…until Dr. Pelangka. Our daughter now gets 30 mins of counseling, every other week!
The school district was trying to push our daughter out by saying they had no programs in place for her…until Dr. Pelangka “reminded” them that they are to legally provide services until the age of 22. Our daughter is now in a transition program for 18-22-year-olds.
This is just a small example of what Dr. Pelangka has done for us and we are so thankful for the advocacy help that she has provided.
As a young single mother, I had repeatedly found myself frustrated by the limits the school district and doctors set for my autistic son. As his advocate, I had a voice in my heart that knew that he could break through any autistic wall… But I had very little knowledge of the overwhelming laws, language, and effective behavioral anecdotes.
And then I had the most fortunate experience of crossing paths with Dr. Sarah Pelangka. Her passionate drive to help my son reach his fullest potential was so pure as she herself is a sibling of a sister with autism. She took her own personal time and assisted me with IEP preparation. She accompanied me into IEP meetings where she not only challenged those who set limits but also gave her professional experiences and knowledge to help the district fill in the gaps.
A huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders by having Dr. Sara Pelangka to help me navigate through all of the difficulties of autism. As my son now continues on his high school academic adventure and we embark on the young adult I have a calming peace knowing that Dr. Sarah will be there to help me along the way.
I reached out to Dr. Pelangka for my daughter’s first IEP. I had no idea what to expect and was so nervous, and to be honest I had no confidence during the meeting. Now that I have Dr. Pelangka in my corner as my child’s advocate I feel more confident and ready for the next year’s IEP!
Before the meeting, Dr. Pelangka took the time to reach out to me and ask me what my concerns were and what I wanted to accomplish.
During the meeting, Dr. Pelangka examined the documents and found more than one discrepancy, and took immediate action to have the district correct them.
She knows how to approach each situation so that every child receives what they need to be successful. She is very professional and respectful. I am truly appreciative for all her help and knowledge.
I truly recommend Dr. Pelangka to anyone who has a child in the special education system!
Nobody knows your child better than you. Let’s meet and discover how endless your child’s possibilities can be. You talk, I listen. I’ll share what I know. I’ll work with you to support your child’s needs.
For a free 15-minute consultation to discuss your child’s endless possibilities: please email via the contact form below – or – if you prefer a chat, click the “Book an Appointment” button.
Dr. Sarah E. Pelangka
Camarillo, CA 93010
Mon-Fri • 8:00 AM — 5:00 PM
Sat-Sun • Upon request
Know IEPs? is now a vendor of Inland Regional Center (IRC). Please contact your Service Coordinator for referral information: inlandrc.org