Where to Find Support For Your Children with Disabilities
We all know that raising kids is a hard gig.
In addition to the usual trials of parenting, parents of children with disabilities have other unique challenges.
The term “disability” includes so many diagnoses and each comes with their own difficulties. Parents of visually-impaired children may find themselves learning Braille. Parents of an autistic child may need to navigate raising non-verbal children.
Then there’s the world of special education and advocating for your child. It’s overwhelming.
When my son was diagnosed with autism at age seven, I didn’t know where to start. When the shock of the diagnosis wore off, the first thing I did was track down local resources and community (and online) support groups for parents of children with disabilities.
When it comes to knowing where to go, we’ve done the research for you with a list of places where you can find the support you need.
There’s a shift happening when it comes to the language preferences of disabled communities.
Today, it’s okay to say ‘disabled’ or ‘disability‘, and the term ‘special needs’ is on the way out. (It’s a euphemism that doesn’t accurately convey the lived experience of a disabled person and can be offensive.)
Additionally, person-first language has the unintended consequence of minimizing the disability and it is also on its way out. (Person-first language implies that there is something wrong with the person’s needs when realistically, they are a person with needs that happen to be in the minority.
Words matter. A disability is not something to be ashamed of. A disability is the lived reality of that person. That is why, in this article, you will see terms like disabled people and autistic people used.
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8001 Patterson Ave SE, Caledonia, MI 49316
Everyone - all ages, physical, mental, and social (dis)abilities - are welcome at Karin’s Horse Connection!
Our experienced and certified staff works with 25 well trained, happy horses/ponies to meet a variety of needs. No matter if you want to nurture your mental health, build muscle and balance, healthy confidence, or to raise your quality of life, we can pick YOU up where YOU are individually.
In addition to traditional saddles, we use unique equipment which offers more security through big handles and a wider range of motion for the rider. You can also safely experience the different movements of the horse (slower/faster).
Horses are beneficial for your health and FUN!
Our goal is to connect you to the healing power of horses and bring a smile to your face.
“There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of man.” -Winston Churchill
“Karin’s Horses have been a life-enhancing experience for my nephew over the last 13 years. Through riding/vaulting he has improved strength, confidence, balance, self-worth, and quality of life.” -Pat
2505 Ardmore SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506
Established in 1982, your local nonprofit Comprehensive Therapy Center provides programs and services to meet the therapeutic and educational needs of children with disabilities.
Our professional staff help children and families through skill building, academic enhancement, and social emotional support.
Services include dance/movement therapy, myofunctional therapy, occupational therapy, sensory therapy, and speech-language pathology.
Programs include playgroups for children 0-5, social groups for school-age children, parent support and counseling services, our clinical summer program Therapy & Fun, creative arts classes, and more.
CTC is CARF accredited and part of the Kent County Ready by Five Provider Network.
“Levi has almost reached his goal, and I am speechless at his progress. We highly recommend [CTC] and talk about it’s benefits at our IEP meetings and with fellow parents.”
3292 North Evergreen Drive NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525
2900 East Beltline Avenue NE, Suite F, Grand Rapids, MI 49525
At BRAINS, we strive to change lives by identifying each individual's unique strengths and potential for growth and incorporating these traits into attainable goals.
BRAINS is an assessment and treatment center offering a variety of services to help children and families navigate the journey to better mental and physical health.
Our team of professionals offer expertise in psychological and neuropsychological assessments, counseling, speech therapy, occupational therapy, and applied behavior analysis.
Our multidisciplinary approach ensures a comprehensive and customized treatment plan.
Contact us today to discover how BRAINS can help your child thrive at home, at school, and in the community!
Our evaluation and recommendations were spot-on and life-changing for our family! We have recommended BRAINS to others and will continue to do so. - Cindy Meteyer
3737 Lake Eastbrook Boulevard Southeast Suite 218, Grand Rapids, MI 49546
Duncan Lake Speech Therapy, LLC is a small, private speech-language pathology clinic based in Grand Rapids.
Our goal is to provide client-centered, collaborative services, and to live into the values of representation, diversity, inclusion, and cultural responsiveness.
Our services include treatment for articulation/phonological disorders, apraxia of speech, expressive/receptive language disorders, stuttering, early language delays, orofacial myofuncational disorders, AAC, and speech disorders related ASD, Down Syndrome, ADHD, and Cerebral Palsy.
We also offer gender-affirming voice modification for folks of all ages.
Contact us today for more information about how we can serve you and your family.
We have loved our experience with Duncan Lake Speech Therapy! Tamiko and her team have always been super flexible, especially during the uncertainty of a global pandemic.
2428 Burton SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546
Lake Michigan Academy is a private day school designed specifically for students with learning differences as well as ADHD.
Founded in 1985 by a group of parents who were seeking a local alternative for their children, Lake Michigan Academy continues to provide children with a sound education and appropriate remediation.
Students leave the school with a renewed sense of worth, insights regarding their learning needs, and the ability to advocate for themselves.
2922 Fuller Ave NE , Suite 107, Grand Rapids, MI 49505
Building Blocks Therapy Services mission is to provide professional speech and language services from infancy to adulthood for a variety of disorders.
We are dedicated to offering the highest quality, research based, speech and language treatment plans that are individualized to each client.
Every therapist at Building Blocks is passionate about providing knowledge and skills that will enhance the daily lives of the clients and their families.
3300 36th Street SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49512
When life gets difficult, Wedgwood can help.
We offers a unique continuum of care of grace-filled counseling services for children, teens, adults, and families.
Whether you are dealing with life changes, mood or anxiety issues, or other difficulties with behaviors or relationships, our experienced clinicians can offer the understanding, support, and practical guidance you need.
Our therapists have the skills, experience, and compassion to help you create meaningful and lasting change.
"Life changing - for the better! Counseling taught both our child, and us, skills to grow, improve, and help our daughter embrace her future." - Parent of Counseling Client
1260 Ekhart St NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Wedgwood provides comprehensive early intensive behavioral intervention services for young children with autism spectrum disorders.
Exceptional, high-quality, individualized, center-based therapy is offered in a fun, engaging environment that sets kids and families up for brighter futures.
5751 Byron Center Ave SW Suite S, Wyoming, MI 49519
The Tutoring Center's mission is to empower children to reach their potential.
As a nationally recognized education services provider, we offer 1:1 instruction in Math, Reading, Writing and Enrichment.
The Rotational Approach to Learning, designed for children with ADD, rapidly builds academic skills and improves concentration and confidence.
Students enjoy attending. Families see immediate results!
95% success rate getting students to grade level
FREE diagnostic assessment, custom learning plan, high-quality materials
Affordable tuition from $349/month
2251 East Paris Ave, Grand Rapids, MI 49546
Family Tree Therapies is a private clinic that specializes in occupational and speech therapy.
Our unique approach combines the best of all current research-based therapy techniques and individualize a program for your child.
We work together as a team to understand your child’s sensory system and communication skills.
3181 Prairie St SW, Suite 110, Grandville, MI 49418
We specialize in the treatment of pediatric speech sound disorders, language disorders, and literacy skills for children ages 2-18 throughout Michigan.
Our therapists are ASHA-certified Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) who have the knowledge and expertise to help your child reach milestones and advance their language skills.
Our whole world has improved over here. My son has built so much confidence and is living a better quality of life within just a few months of beginning speech.
3010 Wilson Ave. SW, Grandville, MI 49418
Apogee Therapy Center is a family owned business offering speech therapy, physical therapy, and nutrition therapy to patients from infancy to adulthood.
Our friendly, knowledgeable clinicians are committed to providing individualized treatment plans to treat the whole patient.
Apogee is here to help you reach your peak performance!
300 68th Street SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49548
Providing testing & assessment for ADHD, autism, learning disabilities and cognitive impairment at the Psychological Consultation Center and Parent Support and Counseling Services through the Outpatient Clinic Network.
Down Syndrome Association of West Michigan
160 68th St. SW, Ste. 110, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
DSAWM programs and services are designed to address barriers and support opportunities for people with Down syndrome and their families.
All programs and services for families are free with In-Area Family Membership. Some programs and services are free with Out-of-Area Family Membership.
Conductive Learning Center
2401 Camelot Court SE, Suite J, Grand Rapids, MI 49546
The Conductive Learning Center serves children birth to age 26 with motor disorders related to complications of prematurity, Cerebral Palsy, Spina Bifida or brain injury.
Cerebral Palsy Guide
Cerebral Palsy Guide provides free educational materials, financial options and support to help those across the country affected by this disorder.
Cerebral Palsy Guidance
Cerebral Palsy Guidance provides vital guidance and assistance to parents of a child with cerebral palsy through symptom information, financial assistance and daily living articles.
Paper Plane Therapies
710 Kenmoor Ave SE, Suite 110, Grand Rapids, MI 49546
At Paper Plane Therapies, we create an engaging, warm, and creative atmosphere that considers the needs of the entire family. It is our goal to identify barriers and construct a functional plan to help the child and their family reach their fullest potential and lead happy and healthy lives.
1115 Ball Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505
Arbor Circle helps clients build coping skills through more than 50 counseling, education and prevention programs and services addressing everything from school readiness and child abuse prevention to substance use and homelessness.
Arrowsmith Program at St. Stephen School
740 Gladstone Ave SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506
The Arrowsmith Program is based on the application of neuroscience research and the premise that it is possible to address a range of specific learning difficulties by identifying and strengthening cognitive capacities.
Mary Free Bed Pediatric Rehabilitation and Therapy
235 Wealthy St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
An inpatient rehabilitation hospital where pediatric doctors, nurses, and therapists treat young people who have experienced brain injury, brain related illnesses and concussion, cancer, neurological conditions, stroke, spinal cord injury, fractures, chronic pain conditions, surgery, burns and other debilitating illnesses and injuries.
Michigan Alliance for Families
A statewide resource for families of children with disabilities to help improve educational services and outcomes.
All locations are open, providing center, in home, and telehealth treatment options.
Through ABA therapy and comprehensive clinical services, we provide everyone we serve with an opportunity to thrive.
1353 Van Auken St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49508
Students who reside within Grand Rapids Public Schools are provided services in a continuum of settings including home or school buildings located throughout the district.
Programs include: Early Childhood Special Education, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Emotional Impairment, Moderate Cognitive Impairment, and Resource Programs.
Ken-O-Sha Early Childhood Center provides services to children birth through age five with developmental delays.
Horizons Developmental Resource Center
3120 68th Street SE, Caledonia, MI 49316
Horizons works with individuals and families who have a variety of neurological, psychological, physical, and relational symptoms.
Includes assistance for children with Bipolar Disorder, Cerebral Palsy, Epilepsy, Traumatic Brain Injury and many more.
Kent ISD Oral Deaf Program
4300 Costa Ave. NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525
Committed to helping children who are deaf and hard of hearing develop spoken language and literacy through listening.
Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services
3680 44th St SE, Ste 201, Kentwood, MI 49512
Our mission is to provide equal communication access, education, and advocacy to the Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing in pursuit of all life’s opportunities
BabyHearing.org is brought to you by a team of professionals at Boys Town National Research Hospital. We are: Audiologists, Speech-Language Pathologists, Teachers of the Deaf, Geneticists, and Parents of Children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing.
American Society for Deaf Children
PO Box 23, Woodbine, MI 21797
Since 1967, ASDC has been supporting parents of children who are deaf and hard of hearing.
It’s our mission to ensure that every deaf child can learn sign language from the very start.
National Deaf Children’s Society (UK Based)
We are the National Deaf Children’s Society, the leading charity for deaf children. We’re here for every deaf child who needs us – no matter what their level or type of deafness or how they communicate.
The National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management (NCHAM)
2615 Old Main Hill, Logan, MI 84322
The EHDI NTRC helps EHDI programs ensure that children who are deaf or hard of hearing (DHH) are identified through newborn, infant, and early childhood hearing screening and receive the diagnostic and early intervention services they need.
Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI)
Find recommendations and guidelines related to universal newborn hearing screening and early hearing detection and intervention programs.
Life Therapeutic Solutions Inc.
Provides children with personalized recreational therapy sessions including in home therapy, aquatic play, or community outings.
Our Recreational therapists work on facilitating inclusion into activities your children enjoy, despite their disability.
American Foundation for the Blind
A national nonprofit, we champion access and equality, and stand at the forefront of new technologies and evidence-based advocacy.
We address the most pressing needs of people with vision loss and their families.
Bureau of Services for Blind Persons (BSBP)
BSBP provides training and other services that empower people to achieve their individual goals.
The Bureau of Services for Blind Persons will work with you to define your goals and identify appropriate training and other services.
Vision and Sensory Center
4467 Byron Center Ave SW, Wyoming, MI 49519
We believe that we have the ability to retrain the brain or create “new software” for essential skills, or enhancement of those we already have.
Each patient’s needs are addressed individually with special attention to the person as a whole.
Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired
456 Cherry St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Helping people with limited vision or no vision thrive in a sighted world.
2930 Knapp St NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525
Kent ISD’s program empowers parents with the skills and tools they need to be their child’s first and best teacher.
They serve children birth to kindergarten with free home visits, playgroups and screenings.
2930 Knapp St NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525
Kent ISD Early On program assists families with infants and toddlers, from birth until 36 months, who have a delay in their development or a diagnosed disability.
They create a plan and provide services and support to help your child reach their full potential.
Family Futures: Connections
678 Front Ave NW #210, Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Support for West Michigan parents, teens and families through education and prevention-based programming.
Connections helps families track their child’s growth and identify any developmental delays from birth to age five.
Grand Rapids Public Schools Early Childhood
1331 Franklin ST SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49501
Preschool and Kindergarten Registration, including The Great Start Readiness Program, a state funded free preschool program for qualifying four-year-old children.
Great Start to Quality
Statewide rating and improvement system to help families find quality early childhood programs and providers.
HeadStart for Kent County
2626 Walker Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49544
HeadStart for Kent County’s early childhood programs focus on education, nutrition, medical and dental care, parent involvement and social service.
Programs include home visits and free preschool for children ages three and four.
3292 North Evergreen Dr. NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525
MomsBloom’s programs provide hands-on, nonjudgmental practical and emotional support to women and their families while rebuilding a sense of community and connecting people to each other after having a baby.
Spectrum Health Maternal Infant Health Program
665 Seward Avenue NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504
A team of nurses, community health workers, counselors, and nutritionists who make home visits and telephone calls throughout your pregnancy and your baby’s first year, with the goal to help you to be a healthy mom who has a healthy baby.
790 Fuller Ave. NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Network180 connects individuals and their families to services for mental illness, substance use disorders or developmental disabilities.
977 Ada Pl Dr SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546
A non-profit organization dedicated to assisting churches and community organizations in providing superior counseling care.
Children’s Special Health Care Services
A program within the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services that provides certain approved medical service coverage to children and some adults with special health care needs.
Medicaid - Michigan Department of Health and Human Services – Kent County
Essential health care coverage available to those who otherwise cannot afford it.
Michigan has many health care programs available to children, families and adults who meet eligibility requirements.
Child Link GR
We are a speech/language therapist and a special education teacher who joined forces to help link parents with tutors, therapists and other educational specialists (including consultation services and IEP support).
Compassionate Heart Ministry
404 Centerstone Ct, Zeeland, MI 49464
Compassionate Heart Ministries is a fun, Christ-centered, and safe place for people ages 14 to 45 with mild to moderate disabilities to come, hang out, and make friends!
Autism Family Network
Autism Family Network... enhancing the lives of families affected by autism.
Michigan Autism Parents
This page was made for Michigan Moms, Dads, and caregivers to connect, share, ask questions, get advice/opinions, and make friendships.
Grand Rapids Area Autism Moms and Dads
For the greater Grand Rapids area. This group can be a place to connect with other parents with autistic kids, vent (we all need that at times), offer tips and encouragement to one another, plan days out as well as play dates for our kids and more.
Autism Support of Kent County
160 68th Street SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49548
Inside the Special Olympics Unified Sports & Inclusion Center, Room 5
Autism Support of Kent County (ASK) works to provide services that make it possible for individuals with autism to lead healthier and more productive lives.
ASK funds programs, worth over $75,000 annually, for individuals affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder and their families.
Autism Support of West Shore
PO Box 39, Spring Lake, MI 49456
Autism Support of West Shore (ASWS) is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization advocating and supporting meaningful participation in all aspects of life for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their families throughout the West Michigan area.
ASWS provides informal social groups, workshops, family activities, scholarships for services and teacher training and more.
Our behavior analytic professionals develop, apply, and share the latest advances in the science of ABA, always focused on data and outcomes.
Acorn Health providers combine proven best practices with pioneering, evidence-based next practices, engaging whole families.
Testing & Assessment Center - Counseling Center of West Michigan
360 East Beltline Ave NE Suite 100, Grand Rapids, MI 49506
Counseling Center of West Michigan provides a wide range of psychological testing and assessments, each led by psychologists with extensive experience and training in neuropsychological and psychological testing and interpretation.
Testing is offered in Grand Rapids and at our Muskegon Campus.
Autism Services & Resources in West Michigan
It used to be that kids with neurological disorders were often criticized by society – both at home and at school. Parents would be frustrated with their children and their children had no clue why they were misunderstood.
Nowadays we understand that kids with neurological disorders just navigate the world differently than us. Parents now have resources available to both help them understand their neurologically different kid, and for the child to understand how their brain works.
ADD / ADHD Services & Resources in West Michigan
Even though it’s common, ADD & ADHD are a struggle. It’s hard for kids (and adults!) to sit still and focus and they often feel misunderstood.
You can help yourself or your child harness the parts of ADHD that can take you off course, and bring out the gifts that people with ADHD can offer the world.