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Sacramento Autistic Spectrum and Special Needs Alliance

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Volunteering Oportunities

Nonprofit Overview

Mission: We exist to make sure that every mentally-diverse child is nurtured and protected toward a life of self-defined happiness and health. Toward this goal, we provide comprehensive assistance to youth and their families so that every aspect of the young person's development is cared for.

Target demographics: autistic and other mentally-diverse youth, and their families

Geographic areas served: the Greater Sacramento region

Programs: case management; advocacy; social and recreational events; informational, educational, and support events; resource assistance (financial and material); and more

Community Stories

4 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


Client Served

Rating: 5

I've been dealing with the school district, and felt largely ignored. Since that time, and a few meetings accompanied by Dave, I feel like my concerns are being addressed, somewhat, albeit slowly, where the school is concerned. Dave is professional but a compassionate advocate, that seeks to address the realities of the world, inside and outside the school, for a child with different needs. He utilizes his knowledge about the whole child, and coordinates, with the parent, a plan of action.

Comments ( 1 )

dgaines We really like your second paragraph because it encapsulates exactly what we aim for and what we think makes our services unique. Practicality and comprehensiveness/holism are at the core of what we do and we are elated that you see these characteristics in our work with you. Thank you for taking the time to write this quality review.


Client Served

Rating: 5

SASSNA was very helpful with my daughters IEP as well as hosting social meetings and projects for all different levels of abilities. Dave, is also very knowledgeable in many areas to help the special needs community.


Client Served

Rating: 5

Dave Gaines is a very compassionate and caring person. He is very helpful with my 17 year old's cps case. If you need an advocate I would recommend SASSNA.

Comments ( 1 )


dgaines 03/07/2015

Thank you for providing your feedback, Tina. We are glad that you found SASSNA helpful.

4 Leisa95747

Client Served

Rating: 5

When I contacted SASSNA, I had already formed an ill opinion towards the organization. Quite frankly, I was already fed up, irritated and my head was spinning! For the past week, I had been making calls, on hold, sending emails of inquiry and writting letters attempting to obtain answers & assistance for my little boy...I was CLUELESS!

What happened next, I was NOT expecting. Mr. Gaines personally answered my phone call and dove right in collecting info! Once we started chatting about my concerns/issues with the school district, we scheduled to meet a couple of times prior to the IEP Meeting. Mr. Gaines is educated and thoroughly knowledgeable in the legal aspects and has an extensive background working professionally with special needs students.

Here are a few items that SASSNA assisted us with:
▪ My son's school records, special education records,
assessments, and evaluations were thoroughly reviewed.
▪ Inform us of our child's educational rights.
▪ Provide us with expert guidance and direction through the IEP
▪ Reviewed IEP goals to formulate appropriate goals,
accommodations, modifications, behavior plans, & related
services such as SLT & OT.
▪ Prepared for the IEP meeting by reviewing documents,
solidifying our meeting objectives, and answering questions
▪ Reviewed all IEP docs before signing - TWICE.

Ultimately, despite Dave's expertise to give educational options and advice, he respected that the final decision about my child's education belongs to me. (I am truly grateful and indebted to him)

Without a doubt, I would recommened anyone who's facing a battle, has any issues with obtaining services, or simply has a question...to contact SASSNA - you are not alone!