Resources for Families with Special Needs in Philadelphia
You can rely on the support and services of these area organizations that not only advocate for children with special needs, but the people who care for them.
These local programs provide support and resources for families with special needs children in our community:
Kids at Play is a state of the art indoor multi-sensory playground and therapy center based in East Falls. Their pediatric therapy services, including speech therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy, are provided in a setting most conducive to positive outcomes.
The Pennsylvania Branch, International Dyslexia Association (PBIDA) champions individuals with dyslexia and all students learning to read. They provide education and resources to increase awareness about dyslexia and promote best practices for teaching reading based on scientific research.
Sibshops acknowledges that being the brother or sister of a child with special needs comes with it’s own unique challenges. This sibling support project revolves around the idea that sibling have so much to offer one another. Through games, discussion, and new friends, Sibshops strengthens the bond between siblings through a positive, and encouraging environment.
The Special Kids Network at CAP4Kids is a statewide service that connects parents with resources and support within their communities. Summer camps, therapies, MA questions, and support services are all included. They also provide insight on private schools and education plans throughout Pennsylvania.
The Vanguard School offers comprehensive student-focused special education and related clinical services. Students receive individualized academic, behavioral and vocational programming with a focus on functional, emotional and social skills development. The Vanguard school is committed to helping each student reach their greatest possible independence.
Prompt and Play Wellness is a place for kids and teens to learn and develop social skills through exploration and play. This playhouse provides both individual and group classes including mentoring, life skills, therapy, adapted PE, and creative expressions. They also have family support with parent-facilitated support groups and “welcome to the neighborhood” sessions. They are constantly adding new groups and programs to fit the needs of the local community, so if you’re looking to start one — they want to help.
The Greater Philadelphia Autism Society promotes lifelong access and opportunities for persons within the autism spectrum and their families, to be fully included, participating members of their communities through advocacy, public awareness, education and research related to autism. They have an active ASA Philly Facebook page worth checking out too!
Sunshine Therapy Club, Inc. is a service that provides early intervention, occupational therapy, speech therapy, physical therapy, and special instruction for kids ages 0 to 3. Their mission is to empower families, so that they in return can empower their children. They have a “For Parents” area on their website, where parents can talk to other families, ask questions, read stories, or post their own.
Overbrook School for the Blind serves students with visual impairment and blindness.
Find more resources from across the Delaware Valley Region on Main Line Parent.
Elizabeth Fisler contributed to this article.