Children with Special Needs
An estimated 13.3 million children, or 18% of all children in the U.S., have special health care needs. Children who are at risk for or have been diagnosed with a disability or other special need that may affect their development are best helped when they start receiving services as early as possible. Early Intervention (remedial or preventive) is designed to improve outcomes for children with developmental disabilities: to enhance development, provide family support, and maximize the child’s and family’s benefit to society. WIC Can Help families get critical services for their children with special health care needs.
What Local Agencies Can Do:
- Get to know the resources on this page and the Child Care page.
- Refer families to web-based resources and phone numbers or provide printed resources as needed or upon request.
Toll-free: (800) 515-BABY (2229) or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Teams of specialists evaluate and assess infants or toddlers and provide appropriate early intervention and family support services for young children (birth to age three).
- Reasons For Concern brochure can help parents see if their child needs special help.
Available in English | Spanish | Chinese | Hmong | Vietnamese | Korean (2020)
- Early Start Family Introduction brochure in English, Spanish, Native American, Chinese, and Vietnamese (2019)
- Central Directory of Early Intervention Resources (2019)
- Family Resource Centers Network
Staffed by families of children with special needs, family resource centers offer parent-to-parent support (listserv, newsletters, websites, support groups, and more) to help California families locate and use needed services.
California Department of Developmental Services
(916) 654-1690 or TTY: (916) 654-2054
Services and support for persons (over age 3) with developmental disabilities via state-operated developmental centers and community facilities and 21 nonprofit regional centers
- Caring 4 Our Kids
A Resource for Parents of Kids with ASD, CFS, or Fibromyalgia
- Family Voices
Toll-free: (888) 835-5669
Resources, e-newsletter, and advocacy for family-centered care for all children and youth with special health care needs.
- Parents Helping Parents
Toll-free: (855) 727-5775
Lifetime guidance, support and services to children with any special need, their families and the professionals who serve them. Includes an alphabetical Resources Directory (searchable by keyword) and Support Group Info sorted by Special Need/Disability.
- Support for Families of Children with Disabilities Resource Guide
Warmline: (415) 920-5040 or e-mail: email@example.com
- Zero to Three: National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families
- California State Council on Developmental Disabilities
(916) 263-7919 or toll-free: (833) 818-9886 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Independent state agency ensures that people with developmental disabilities and their families receive the services and supports they need.
- Financial Planning for Parents of Children with Disabilities
Financial planning guidance for children with disabilities costs therapies, medical procedures, equipment, caregiving, and more.
- Travel Guide for Parents of Children with Disabilities
Experts and parents encourage families to approach traveling with children who have disabilities with planning and preparation. Dr. Emily King, a psychologist and mother of a child with a disability, suggests traveling is like any skill you teach your kids; it can get easier with practice.
- Finding Financial support for Families with Children Diagnosed with Chronic or Terminal Illness