Arconnections is the source for parents and caregivers of children with special needs in Chester County and surrounding areas. Updated monthly, ARConnections helps parents and caregivers obtain the necessary services and supports to which their children are rightfully entitled. Check back often for details on support services.

The mission of the Arconnections advocacy effort is to support, empower, connect, and inform parents of special needs students in Chester County and to promote collaborative efforts toward attaining quality special education supports and services for children.

Click here to submit information for Arconnections.

PLEASE NOTE: We provide this information as a convenience for our community. It is not an all-inclusive list but rather a work in progress. Although we attempt to keep the listings up to date, we cannot guarantee that all links and phone numbers are current. This list is for information purposes only and is not intended to recommend or endorse any specific professional or therapeutic treatment or any person or organization.

Click below for current activities, conferences, workshops and events. 

Special Announcements and Upcoming Family Activities  
Events Held At or Sponsored By The Arc  
Volunteer Opportunities  
Upcoming Conferences, Workshops and Training Opportunities  
Ongoing Training Opportunities  
Ongoing Activities for Children and Adults  
Academic Support on the Web  
Tutoring  
Support / Advocacy Groups  
Explore Your Resources  
Transition Resources  
Obtaining Wrap Around and Mental Health Services in Chester County  
Special Education Advocates and Mentors  

SERVICE MAPS

AUTISM ROADMAP: www.carautismroadmap.org  This Roadmap is a website containing almost 400 articles about Autism Spectrum Disorder across the lifespan. Whether you are just starting out with a diagnosis or have been living with ASD for years, there’s something for you! The Roadmap also includes a searchable Resource Directory with over 1000 listings, so you can find therapists, support groups, and other resources in the tri-state area. 

CHESTER COUNTY EARLY INTERVENTION AND MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES MAP. Download the service map for more information about services provided to children in Chester County. http://www.chesco.org/DocumentCenter/View/19242

CHESTER COUNTY ADULT MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES MAP Download the service map for more information about mental services provided to adults in Chester County. http://www.chesco.org/DocumentCenter/View/19240

CHESTER COUNTY INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES SERVICES MAP Download the service map for more information about services provided by Chester County. MH/IDD. http://www.chesco.org/DocumentCenter/View/19238

 

CURRENT EVENTS

NIGHT TO SHINE”- PROM NIGHT FOR PEOPLE WITH SPECIAL NEEDS. February 10, 2017. Location: Willowdale Chapel. Night to Shine link: https://www.timtebowfoundation.org/index.php/stand-with-night-to-shine/

Registration link: http://www.willowdalechapel.org/events/event/night-to-shine-2017/

USA YOUTH MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AID- Is a FREE Public Education program designed to teach everyday citizens the skills to help another person who is struggling with a mental health concern or crisis.  February 4, 2017 (8 a.m.-5:30 p.m.) or February 7, 8, 9 (9:30-1 p.m.) To register visit: www.brandywinefoundation.org. Click on “Youth Mental Health First Aid” and click “Become a YMHFA “First Aider” or contact Linda Hershey at Linda.Hershey@holcombbhs.org or phone 610 304-7204

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 EVENTS HELD AT/OR SPONSORED BY THE Arc OF CHESTER COUNTY

PRESCHOOL GROUPS – “MUSIC, MUSIC, MUSIC”, an interactive, parent-child music group. The Arc of Chester County, West Chester. Groups for preschoolers. Class limited to 10 children. Info/regis: Bobbie at 610-696-8090, ext. 200.

Preschool Program at the ARC. Calling all preschoolers ages 3-5! Are you looking for a fun and nurturing preschool that celebrates the strengths of your child and their love of learning? Then the Arcs preschool program would be the perfect fit!  This facet of our preschool program offers typically developing children the opportunity to learn in an inclusive environment that fosters childrens natural curiosity and prepares them socially and academically for kindergarten.  Hallmarks of our program include: theme based curriculum in alignment with the PA Learning Standards, small class sizes, low staff to child rations, dedicated staff with decades of preschool teaching experience, children do not need to be potty trained and so much more. Registration is rolling throughout the year however to reserve your placement now and for more information about Arcs Preschool Programs please contact Judy at 610-696-8090 ext. 219, or jglass@arcofchestercounty.org.

PRIVATE MUSIC THERAPY, one-on-one therapy for children and/or adults with a licensed music therapist, Carin. The Arc of Chester County, West Chester. Info/regis: Bobbie at 610-696-8090, ext. 200.

FULL or PARTIAL SCHOLARSHIP AVAILABLE: ”Building the Basics through Learning Experiences” (A.B.B.L.E) Classroom for 2-year olds run by The Arc of Chester County and taught by a Special Education Teacher, using a unique blend of, “TEACCH” Total, Communication, Positive Reinforcement, Child Centered Learning. Classes Run Tuesday and Thursday 9:30 am – Thursday 12:30 pm in Downingtown. For scholarship information, call Judy at 610-696-8090.

RECREATION, SOCIAL SKILLS, AND RESPITEAges 18 yrs and up. Weekly activities. Community-based barbecues, zoos, outdoor games, dances, bowling, train rides, etc. Costs vary by activity. Call: Lori at the Arc of Chester County 610-696-8090, lmeyers@arcofchestercounty.org

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Upcoming Conferences, Workshops and Training Opportunities

 

TRAUMA TRAINING SERIES: Presented by Chester County DHS, Training offered by Drexel University. Continuing Education Credits offered.

Topics include: Trauma Informed Care, Trauma and Life Span, Gender and Trauma, Trauma and Families, Choices in Healing, Teaching is more than telling, Skills Teaching Methods, General Motivational Interviewing Spirit. For information on registration, dates, location, please go to DHS Schedule Me at: https://chescodhstrainings.schedulemeappointments.com/

NATIONAL SPECIAL EDUCATION ADVOCACY INSTITUTE (NSEAI)- Offers Special Education Trainings, Board Certification in Education Advocacy (BCEA), BCEA Training. Website: NSEAI.org. Phone: 610 241-4062.

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Ongoing Training Opportunities

ADHD: CHADD AD/HD TRAININGS AND SUPPORT– Local: www.chadd.net and ADHD CHADD training conferences, magazine, parent-to-parent online/on-demand classes, support groups: http://www.chadd.org/Content/CHADD/Conferences_Training/ParenttoParentProgram/Online_Parent_to_Parent_Class/default.htm

ASCEND EVENTS: http://www.ascendgroup.org/

AUTISM: TACA WEBINARS NOW AVAILABLE! TACA will be holding webinars with featured physicians, researchers, attorneys, therapists and knowledgeable providers to help educate and empower families living with autism. The four topics will include: Educational; Resources; Medical & Diet; and The Autism Journey by Age. Info: http://www.tacanow.org/webinars/

DPW ODP (Office of Developmental Programs (ex. PUNS, Consolidated Waiver, IFSP, etc): Courses and webcasts: http://www.my/The Gold Book (2013 Edition) is available on-line!Understanding the Office of Intellectual Disability Programs in Pennsylvania: Intellectual Disability and Autism Services, “The Gold Book,” is the revised and updated manual that introduces you to the Intellectual Disability system and Autism Services. You’ll learn how to register, what the waivers are, different service models and what to do if you have a problem. Also featured: commonly needed forms; lists of resources, contacts, and advocacy organizations; and a glossary of terms. You can download the book from the Partnership website: http://www.temple.edu/thetrainingpartnership/pub/

PaTTAN TRAININGS: http://www.pattan.net/profdev/trainingcalendar.aspx

PARENT WORKSHOPS, WEBINARS AND AUDIO CONFERENCES – Parent Information Center (PIC) offers workshops on a wide range of topics to help parents and educators better understand special education and related programs and services. For a list of the scheduled workshops, webinars and conferences: www.picofdel.org/services/seminars.asp. PIC Website: www.picofdel.org/index.asp.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT FOR EDUCATORS: CCIU COURSES –http://www.cciu.org and click “Professional Learning”

SECONDARY TRANSITION: www.secondarytransition.org – This website provides youth, young adults, parents, and professionals with secondary transition resources to facilitate a young person’s progress toward the attainment of post-secondary goals related to education, employment, and community living. It replaces the secondary transition folders and CDs that have gone out in the past.  Parents, please access this website for transition related information.

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RESOURCES FOR CHILDREN AND ADULTS

ART RELATED RESOURCES

ART – ART PARTNERS STUDIO – Ages 6 – adult. Art classes & special events. Website: www.artpartnersstudio.org/ Call: Lindsay 610-384-3030, lindsay@artpartnersstudio.org.

ART – FREE 12-WEEK ART CLASS FOR PEOPLE WITH SPECIAL NEEDS ($25 FOR MATERIALS). Provided by and at the Wayne Art Center, 413 Maplewood Ave., Wayne, PA 19403, 610-688-3553, www.wayneart.org, info@wayneart.org.

 

AUTISM AND OTHER NEUROLOGICAL DISORDERS RELATED RESOURCES

AUTISM  – “Building the Basics through Learning Experiences” (A.B.B.L.E) Classroom for two year olds run by The Arc of Chester County and taught by a Special Education Teacher, using a unique blend of, “TEACCH” Total, Communication, Positive Reinforcement,   Child Centered Learning. Classes Run Tuesday and Thursday 9:30 am – Thursday 12:30 pm in Downingtown. Info/registration:  Judy Glass at 610-696-8090.

“AUTISM NOW” IS MOBILE AND MAPPED! – Autism NOW has a new mobile version available, allowing users to get to content faster on the go, and creating better accessibility overall. The second new feature is a local agencies directory in the form of a map which provides an easy to use way to find agencies in your state that can help with services, support and resources for living with autism and other developmental disabilities. Now also available: webinar sessions addressing popular topics from understanding laws and policy to handling relationships to navigating the job market; Center co-director Amy Goodman, an individual with autism, has filmed more than a dozen short You Tube videos as part of the Autism NOW Answer series, answering individual’s questions about issues such as understanding special needs trusts and the IEP process, among others. Check it out at www.autismNOW.org.

AUTISM AND SPECIAL NEEDS RESOURCES. Reliable, up-to-date information about resources in the Philadelphia area for children and families. CAP4Kids will help you find many community agencies that exist to improve or enhance the lives of children, teens and families with special needs. http://cap4kids.org/philadelphia/ 

AUTISM AND SPECIAL NEEDS PROVIDERS LIST. Click here for a list of providers and professionals in the Philadelphia area. Updated lists can be obtained from http://www.cap4kids.org/philadelphia/ under the Resources tab.

AUTISM – SPARC – Southeastern PA Resource Center in partnership with WCU. SPARC is a nonprofit clinic that serves both individuals on the autism spectrum as well as children with a variety of behavioral concerns. Although we primarily work with children and adolescents on the autism spectrum, we welcome all children, regardless of diagnosis, who are appropriate for our services. SPARC provides both center – and – community based diagnostic, therapeutic, and educational services.. Includes: Diagnostic Services, Behavioral Therapeutic Services, Feeding Evaluations and Treatment, Social Skills, Consultative Services. Located on the WCU campus. Website: www.wcupa.edu/sparc.  Info: sparc@wcupa.edu, 610-430-5678.

AUTISM – TACA WEBINARS NOW AVAILABLE! TACA will be holding webinars with featured physicians, researchers, attorneys, therapists and knowledgeable providers to help educate and empower families living with autism. The four topics will include: Educational; Resources; Medical & Diet; and The Autism Journey by Age. Info: http://www.tacanow.org/webinars/ 

AUTISM- TRANSITION PLANNING HANDBOOK for INDIVIDUALS with AUTISM – Online resource for families in PA. www.autismhandbook.org/index.php/Main_Page.

AUTISM WEBSITE – AUTISM NANNY – Sharing useful information and experiences. Suggestions and new resources welcome! www.autismnanny.com 

RESOURCE GUIDE FOR THE AUTISM COMMUNITY – Free internet directory highlighting autism-friendly businesses and locations. www.autismresources.com.

STEPS – Autism and other neurological disorders-STEPS at Main Line Rehabilitation Associates – offers a unique GROUP program designed to improve skills and success in various social and community settings. Cognitive strategies are developed and reinforced through direct staff guidance/ feedback and supported peer interaction/feedback. Goals are individualized with emphasis on organization strategies, effective communication skills, personal responsibility, community access/ integration and adjustment to life transitions. Exton, PA. MWF 1-4:30.Additional Info: Alison Menrich 610-280-0180, info@mainline-rehab.com, www.mainline-rehab.com

BEHAVIOR RELATED RESOURCES

BEHAVIOR SUPPORTS: ABA2DAY Behavior Services, LLC offers home and in school programming. Under Act 62 – insurance is accepted. Private pay accepted. www.myaba2day.com, 561-213-3738.

BEHAVIOR: EDUCATION: LIFE WORKS ACADEMY: Focusing on a program that includes innovative behavioral health and academic services to children and adolescents identified with ASD, Aspergers, PDD, IDD. Programs can include 24/7 clinical assessment, inpatient hospitalization, residential treatment, partial hospitalization and behavioral health rehabilitation services. Doylestown. Call 215-489-3028. www.fbh.com

BULLYING TOOLKIT – “Eyes on Bullying…What Can You Do? Toolkit to Prevent Bullying in Children’s Lives.” Developed by the Ed. Dev. Center in Mass. Free. www.eyesonbullying.org.

Chesco Life Program: serves Chester County families who have a child or adolescent that struggles with emotional, behavioral, social needs, intellectual disabilities, and/or have involvement with the dependency or delinquency systems. As a team of both experienced parents and professionals, we work closely with families to offer invaluable support. In addition to working with local child serving systems and partnerships with community organizations, we have many resources available to support your family’s emotional, intellectual, and physical well-being. Self-help parenting and educational supports, and social and recreational opportunities are all easily accessible within our program

WRAPAROUND RESOURCE GUIDE – Click here for a guide on “Understanding Wrap Around”

EDUCATION RELATED RESOURCES

CHILDRENS LIBRARY PROGRAMMING Phoenixville Public Library. Story programs, yoga (for preschoolers), and Learn with Me classes (ages 1 to 3). No registration is required. Info/regis: 610-933-3013, ext. 124. Check website for seasonal kids programs. Website: www.phoenixvillelibrary.org. The library is located at 183 Second Avenue in Phoenixville.

DRIVERS TRAINING/EDUCATION. Chester County Intermediate Unit (CCIU). Anyone who is a student under the age of 18 or still attending a high school, that has a contract with the CCIU, can attend. www.cciu.org/drivered. or call: 484-237-5189. Email: Delb@cciu.org

GAMES- FREE ON-LINE GAME:

GAMES- PAID ON-LINE GAMES:

HOMEWORK – BRIDGE ACADEMY & COMMUNITY CENTER – Ages 4 – 18 or 18 and up. 570 Olive Street, Coatesville. Homework club, arts & crafts, dance, sewing, carpentry, computer classes. Info/regis: 610-466-9505, email: info@thebridgeacademy.org. Website: www.thebridgeacademy.org

HOMEWORK – THE GARAGE COMMUNITY & YOUTH CENTER. Kennett Square and West Grove locations. A place just for middle and high school students. It’s free, it’s fun, and it’s for real. The Garage is a place to come after school to get help with your homework, use a computer, play a game of pool, or make friends! Participate in activities hosted by the groups that meet. There’s probably something at The Garage that will interest you. See the website for hours, schedules and events.  www.garageyouthcenter.org.

IEP GOAL BANK – http://www.bridges4kids.org/IEP/iep.goal.bank.pdf

MENTORING–CHESTER COUNTY FUTURES – Ages 14 – 18. School/community-based mentoring program. Info/regis: Krista 610-516-1050, website: www.ccfutures.org.

MUSIC – SING ALONG SESSIONS – Pre-K Music Classes. 6-week music program for toddlers and preschoolers ages 18 months to 5 years. Classes are lead by a musician with over 20 years teaching experience and a licensed pediatric speech language pathologist. A developmental music program where children and parents share the joy of music while incorporating activities to promote cognitive, communication, social, motor, and sensory skills. www.singalongsessions.com or call 610-363-6520.

MUSIC – TEMPO MUSIC THERAPY SERVICES Classes in Lionville, King of Prussia, Reading, Media, Reinholds and West Chester. Individual and groups for all ages as well as inclusive family music (Music Together) classes. Info: 610-344-7030, www.tempotherapy.com. Email: musictogether@tempotherapy.com

PEAK PRESCHOOL PROGRAM for THREE and FOUR-YEAR-OLDS. FREE! Pottstown and OJR school districts offering free programs for children who were three and four by 9/1/ of the current school year, and live in families at 300% or less of the federal poverty levels. Held at Warwick Child Care Centers. Info: Michelle (Pottstown) 610-323-1601, Tana (OJR) 610-326-4522.

READING – COATESVILLE AREA LIBRARY Ages birth – 12. Reading programs, story-time, play groups, family groups, special events. Info: 610-384-4115.

READING  – PHOENIXVILLE PUBLIC LIBRARY – Learn how to browse, checkout, and download digital media from the Chester County Library System website anytime, anywhere in monthly classes held at Phoenixville Public Library.  One-hour “Download! eBooks & eAudiobooks” classes are offered on the second Wednesday of the month at 2:00 PM and the second Friday of the month at 10:00 AM.  The class is free and open to the public.  Reservations are required on the Adult Events Calendar at www.phoenixvillelibrary.org or at 610-933-3013 x132.  The library is located at 183 Second Avenue, Phoenixville, PA.

TEEN – THE GARAGE COMMUNITY & YOUTH CENTER – Kennett Square and West Grove locations. Open Hours: MONDAY – FRIDAY 3:00pm – 6:00pm and Homework Only Hours: MONDAY – THURSDAY 6:00pm – 7:00pm. It’s the only place in Kennett and West Grove that is open just for middle and high school students. It’s free, it’s fun, its for real. The Garage is a place to come after school to get help with your homework, use a computer, play a game of pool, or participate in activities hosted by the groups that meet here. Check us out! There’s probably something at The Garage that will interest you. Info: 610-444-6464, Maggie@garageyouthcenter.org, www.garageyouthcenter.org.

EMERGENCY RELATED SERVICES

EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS – The Regional Vulnerable Populations Outreach Project (RVPOP) reaches out to organizations that serve vulnerable populations, providing them with information, education and trainings on emergency preparedness as well as materials. For more information on the RVPOP contact robyn@phmc.org. www.chesco.org,www.redcross.org, www.nod.org (key word: emergency preparedness materials), www.bt.cdc.gov/mentalhealth/

EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS MATERIALS available from the Regional Vulnerable Populations Project. Includes whistle/flashlight, mini-go kits, hand sanitizer, Everybody Ready Handbooks, and other outreach material. Contact Chester County Dept. of Emergency Services, rslater@chesco.org, 267-746-0685, 610-344-5022. Materials can be dropped off at your location.

EMERGENCY – VEHICLE – PA’s YELLOW DOT PROGRAM This is a new program to assist citizens following a traffic crash when they may not be able to communicate themselves. Placing a yellow dot in your vehicle’s rear window alerts first responders to check your glove compartment for vital health information to ensure that you receive the critical attention you need. For more information and to request a kit, go to www.YellowDot.pa.gov.

FORECLOSURE CONSULTATIONS – CONSUMER CREDIT COUNSELING SERVICE OF DELA CTY – Office in West Chester. 800-989-2227, www.cccsdv.org.

REGIONAL VULNERABLE POPULATIONS OUTREACH PROJECT (RVPOP) – Providing material and training for agencies and groups on how to better assist or respond to individuals with special needs in emergency situations. Info: robyn@phmc.org

 

EMPLOYMENT RELATED RESOURCES

CONSUMER PEER SUPPORT CENTER, 825 Paoli Pike, West Chester, PA 19380. 610-429-1702. Support groups, recovery resources and CareLink, Inc. for employment counseling, etc.

EMPLOYMENT

EMPLOYMENT – FREE JOB ASSISTANCE OPENINGS AND WORKSHOPS – Unemployed and underemployed persons seeking education and training in career planning, along with employment assistance for veterans, ex-offenders and persons with disabilities, can take advantage of a series of monthly workshops offered by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor CareerLink at its Chester County office in Coatesville. These trainings provide a wide range of information, including a PA CareerLink services orientation, and various basic and advanced job seeking skills and information. A full calendar of PA CareerLink-Chester County workshops is available at www.pacareerlinkchesco.org/calendar. Persons interested in seminars may register at (610) 384-9393. A several-page monthly consolidated list of area job openings and statistical information on the local labor market are available at www.chesco.org/index.aspx?nid=159. Daily position openings updates are available through www.cwds.state.pa.us.

EMPLOYMENT – JOB ASSISTANCE FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES. Caseworkers review individuals’ specific situations and provide guidance to resources to help find a job, obtain training, retain health insurance, obtain assistive technology, or find other support that may be needed, without losing benefits. Information is available at www.worksforme-pa.org. Provided by the PA Dept of Public Welfare (DPW).

JOB LOCATOR SERVICES: PA Career Link for Chester County job seekers. Website: www.pacareerlinkchesco.org. Phone PA CareerLink-Chester County 610 384-9393.

VOCATIONAL/GED – CHESTER COUNTY OPPORTUNITES INDUSTRIALIZATION CENTER (OIC) – Ages 16 – 24. GED, Computer, Employment and Certified Nursing Training. Info: 610-692-2344, Joyce Chester, jchester@cc-oic.org or Gina Venuti, gvenuti@cc-oic.org.

 

FAITH BASED RELATED SERVICES

WORSHIP SERVICE MH CONSUMERS ATTEND TRADITIONAL SERVICES. Residents of long-term structured residence (LSTR) in the northern part of Chester County are welcomed for worship, food, and fellowship by the congregation of Marsh Creek Church in Exton, 101 Crump Rd. Exton, PA 19341. Phone: 610 594-9277

WORSHIP SERVICE My Service Sundays – Sundays – 11:00 a.m. Avondale Presbyterian Church. Designed particularly for individuals with disabilities, caregivers, youth, young adults, families and others. 420 Pennsylvania Avenue (Route 41), Avondale. EPIC (Experience Personal Intimacy with Christ) service will include the EPIC PRAISE band. Info: www.avondalepc.org/EPIC.htm or (610) 268-2919.

WORSHIP – REJOICING SPIRITS WORSHIP SERVICEInnovative inclusive ministry that reaches out to enrich the spiritual lives of persons with developmental disabilities, together with their families, friends and other supportive community members. The ministry is designed to acquaint and educate congregations about individuals with developmental disabilities, resulting in an accepting atmosphere. Services typically include lots of music and joyous singing, along with brief, meaningful messages conducted in a shush-free environment. Special Sunday worship services at various locations. Lots of music, refreshments, and fellowship follow the service. Info: 610-363-6264, info@rejoicingspirits.org, www.rejoicingspirits.org. All faiths are welcome!

  • Exton – St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 104 South Village Avenue, (610) 363-6264, 4:00 p.m., on the second Sunday of each month.
  • Media – Reformation Evangelical Lutheran, Church, 102 West Rose Tree Road, (610) 891-0600, 4:00 p.m. on the second Sunday of each month.
  • Pottstown – St. James Lutheran Church, 1101 East High Street, (610) 326-2810, 7:00 p.m. on the second Wednesday of each month.
  • Gilbertsville – New Hanover Lutheran, Church, 2941 Lutheran Road, (610) 326-1335, 3:00 p.m. on the third Sunday of each month.
  • West Chester – Calvary Lutheran Church, 730 South New Street, (610) 696-2475, 4:00 p.m. on the third Sunday of each month.

 

HEALTH RELATED RESOURCES

ASTHMA MANAGEMENT PROGRAM – HEALTHY HOOPS – Using Sports to Promote Health Management and Education. Asthma screenings, parent education, family fit program, environmental home check-up, etc. For a video explanation of the program: http://www.healthyhoopsprogram.com/solution/video.asp. Contact: Flora Castillo, flora.castillo@amerihealthmercy.com, 888-765-4194.

EYEGLASSES – Program provides prescription eyeglasses for low-income individuals. http://www.neweyesfortheneedy.org/utilities/contact.html, phone: 973-376-4903.

EASTER SEALS – Easter Seals provides exceptional services, education, outreach, and advocacy so that people living with autism and other disabilities can live, learn, work and play in our communities. Easter Seals has been helping individuals with disabilities and special needs, and their families, live better lives for more than 90 years. From child development centers to physical rehabilitation and job training for people with disabilities, Easter Seals offers a variety of services to help people with disabilities address life’s challenges and achieve personal goals. http://www.easterseals.com 

FEEDING – SPARC- Southeastern PA Resource Center in partnership with WCU – Evals and treatment in clinic, home, and community/school. At: 1160 McDermott Dr, West Chester. Info: 610-430-5678, sparc@wcupa.edu

FREE CLINIC IN PHOENIXVILLE – providing medical care to those without insurance. Located: 143 Church Street, Phoenixville, PA 19460 http://www.theclinicpa.org.

FREE & LOW COST HEALTH INSURANCE FOR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES – Now almost all children in PA can get some kind of health insurance! Call PCCY (Public Citizens for Children and Youth): 215-563-5848 ext. 17, www.pccy.org. 

HEARING HELP for LOW-INCOME FAMILIES. The Starkey Hearing Foundation’s “HEAR NOW” program provides top-of-the-line digital hearing aids that are customized to their hearing loss. For information, call 800-328-8602 or email hearnow@starkeyfoundation.org.

REFER WEB – website maintained by Chester County to aid in identifying health and human service providers for county residents. www.referweb.net/chesco.

 

HOUSING RELATED RESOURCES

CHESTER COUNTY HOMELESS HELPLINE: 24- Hour Help Line, Assessment, Resources, Referrals, website- www.connectpoints.org, Phone: 1 800 935-3181

HOME REPAIR – GOOD WORKS – Repairing Homes and Restoring Hope. Faith-based, nonprofit organization assisting low-income homeowners with home repairs at no cost. Focus is making homes warmer, safer, and drier. Most repairs completed by volunteers. Must own your home, and live in the home. Call 610-383-6311. www.goodworksinc.org.

HOUSING – Emergency Housing Assistance for homeless people who are engaging in MH treatment through Open Hearth, Inc, and Gateway Housing Group. Short-term emergency rent payment assistance for hotels, motels, boarding houses, or transitional housing programs, and zero interest/zero payment security deposit loans. Call 610-792-9282, x 201. openhearthinc@verizon.net.

RENTAL ASSISTANCE for qualified MH consumers – 484-947-5643.

IDD RELATED RESOURCES

“AGENCY WITH CHOICE” PROGRAM for IDD WAIVER SERVICES – Offering more control/choice over the services your family member with IDD receives via his/her ISP and/the provider of IDD services. Call 610-696-8090.

SERVICE DEFINITIONS for FY10/11 for IDD Programs: http://gallery.mailchimp.com/19e8ee8c57999492d1f109d2b/files/FY10_11DRAFTSvc_Defs_Bulletin.pdf

LEGAL/MEDICAL SYSTEM RELATED RESOURCES

LEGAL AID NETWORK, CHESTER COUNTY, Mon – Fri, 9 – 1pm, 877-429-5994, www.palegalservices.org.

MA and WELFARE APPLICATION ASSISTANCE AND ADVOCACY is available through Public Citizens for Children and Youth, www.PCCY.org.

MEDICAL ASSISTANCE: “How to Apply for Medical Assistance for your Autistic Child” Guide – http://www.dpw.state.pa.us/servicesprograms/autism/help/003676289.htm

MEDICAL ASSISTANCE (MA): A GUIDE FOR DETERMINING YOUR ELIGIBILITY FOR FREE HEALTH CARE COVERAGE THRU MEDICAL ASSISTANCE (MA). Available through the PA Health Law Project. 800-274-3258, 215-625-3663, PA Health Law Project Help Line: 800-274-3258. http://www.phlp.org.   

MA–GETTING MEDICAL ASSISTANCE FOR A CHILD (UNDER 21) WITH A SEVERE DISABILITY, MENTAL ILLNESS OR BEHAVIORAL DISORDER UNDER THE “LOOPHOLE” (2008 EDITION)- Guidebook from the PA Health Law Project, www.phlp.org.

PA HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES CENTER RESOURCE: www.facebook.com/HelpinPA with weekly updates from Dept. of Insurance, Health, Public Welfare, and Aging. Please join the community 

PUBLIC CITIZENS FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH (PCCY) – Help get children health insurance or find a place to get health care services. Email: dzubow@pccy.org, www.pccy.org, 215-563-5848 ext. 17.

SOCIAL SECURITY AND HEALTH BENEFITS WEBSITES IN SPANISH. See www.CuidadoDeSalud.gov. Similar to the English version www.HealthCare.gov, the website offers an insurance finder, explains the Affordable Care Act in step-by-step detail and offers information for families with children, senior citizens, individuals with disabilities and others. The Social Security site, at www.segurosocial.gov or www.socialsecurity.gov/espanol, includes available applications for retirement, Medicare and Extra Help with prescription drug costs in Spanish.

MENTAL HEALTH RELATED RESOURCES

BUDDY / FRIENDSHIP PROGRAMS: MENTAL HEALTH – Compeer Chester County serves adults over 18, with a primary diagnosis of serious psychiatric illness and potential for Recovery, defined as ‘a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life and strive to reach their full potential. Info: COMPEER of Chester County – 610-436-4445, website: www.compeerchesco.org

Chesco Life Program: serves Chester County families who have a child or adolescent that struggles with emotional, behavioral, social needs, intellectual disabilities, and/or have involvement with the dependency or delinquency systems. As a team of both experienced parents and professionals, we work closely with families to offer invaluable support. In addition to working with local child serving systems and partnerships with community organizations, we have many resources available to support your family’s emotional, intellectual, and physical well-being. Self-help parenting and educational supports, and social and recreational opportunities are all easily accessible within our program

MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCE – Newsletter from COAD now available online. http://www.coadgroup.com/mentalHealth.asp#MHRnewsletter

SIBSHOPS and SIBTEEN – Pottstown. For ages 6-12 and 13-17. Groups gather 2nd Sat of the month (Spring and Fall sessions). Call Jamie at Creative Health Services, 610-326-2767 or jtyson@creativehs.org.

SUBSTANCE ABUSE – BABES (Beginning Awareness Basic Ed Studies): A 7-lesson program on ATOD (alcohol, tobacco and other drugs) for K-2 grade students uses interactive dialogue among hand-puppets. BABES is implemented in elementary schools and after-school/community programs via trained presenters and coordinated by Holcomb. Info/regis Chrissie 484-444-0412, cdziembo@holcombbhs.org,

SUBSTANCE ABUSE PROGRAM – PROJECT ALERT: A nationally recognized 7-lesson program gives middle school students insight, understanding, and actual skills for resisting substance use. Holcomb Behavioral Health Info/regis Chrissie 484-444-0412, cdziembo@holcombbhs.org

SUBSTANCE USE – CHILDREN’S PROGRAM – Four-session program for middle and high school students who have been identified as having substance use issues in the family. Educational and reflective activities help children cope with stresses of family problems and strengthen their resilience. Holcomb Behavioral Health Info/regis Chrissie 484-444-0412, cdziembo@holcombbhs.org

SUBSTANCE ABUSE – OMHSAS – PA Office of MH & Substance Abuse – www.parecovery.org.

 WRAPAROUND RESOURCE GUIDE – Click here for a guide on “Understanding Wrap Around”

RESPITE RELATED RESOURCES

RESPITE CARE FROM CHILD AND FAMILY FOCUS- Respite care supports families without resources or natural supports to help care for a child with a mental health diagnosis. Provided by trained individuals. For more info: www.childandfamilyfocus.org.

RIDING (THERAPEUTIC) RELATED RESOURCES

RIDING – THERAPEUTIC HORSEBACK RIDING – REINS of LIFE. Non-profit organization located in Landenberg, PA provides therapeutic horseback riding services for children, young adults, and adults with special needs and life challenges. Disabilities served are varied and include: Down Syndrome, autism, spina bifida, cerebral palsy, ADD, emotional challenges, learning differences, speech, hearing, or visual impairments. Social situations, such as school bullying, starting in a new school, family situations involving a loss of a loved one, or pet, or divorce.  Program operates week days from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm. and weekends. Call for specific times which may vary due to season. 610-274-3300. Ask about our “Sibling Riding Program”. Reins of Life has a fee for its therapeutic horseback riding program. For Information: Judy Hendrickson, Founding Director. Office:  610-274-3300 or Mobile: 610-724-5305. Website: www.reinsoflife.com   Email: reinsoflife@verizon.net

RIDING – HOPE SPRINGS EQUESTRIAN THERAPY – equine therapy for autistic and challenged riders. Weekly group and individual sessions and summer camps with special education professionals combining riding and classes (June and July). At: Green Lane Rd, Malvern. Info: Jeannie Knowlton 610-827-0931, greyhorse22@gmail.com, www.Hope-Springs.org.

OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY – Hope Springs Equestrian Therapy, www.hope-springs.org, 610-827-0931, Malvern, director@hope-springs.org.

RIDING – MAKING STRIDES HIPPOTHERAPY & THERAPEUTIC RIDING programs and instruction for both typically developing children and adults as well as those with disabilities. Individual programming and flexible schedule with physical therapist. Location: Brinton’s Bridge Rd., West Chester. Call: 610-656-8438, Robin.Langerhans@comcast.net.

RIDING – QUEST THERAPEUTIC SERVICES, INC. – Full-range of pediatric therapy services, including hippo therapy with flexible scheduling of OT/PT/Speech for children with special needs. Indoor arena heated and ventilated for year-round use. Some insurance reimbursable. Location: 461 Cann Rd., West Chester. Info: 610-692-6362, www.QuestTherapeutic.com.

RIDING – BARN AT SPRINGBROOK FARM– Animal-assisted activities for children with disabilities. Children can have fun while interacting with farm animals. Gains in knowledge, confidence, and self-esteem. Location: Locust Grove Rd., West Chester. Info: 610-793-1037, www.springbrook-farm.org.

SENSORY AND LANGUAGE RELATED RESOURCES

SENSORY AND LANGUAGE TOOLS – Child therapy products/special needs toys to build skills/empower children of every ability. www.funandfunction.com.

 

SENSORY FRIENDLY FILMS: NEW!!!!! AMC theatres offer a sensory friendly place for children with special needs to enjoy a film, follow the link below for locations,

https://www.amctheatres.com/programs/sensory-friendly-films?utm_medium=Email&utm_source=email-marketing&utm_campaign=20170127_MEP_NEW_NEW_N-A_Newsletter&utm_content=20170127_21007654&dst=AMC1-21007654-303-2971270-1827555872&utm_launch=2017-01-27

 

SOCIAL SKILLS/ FRIENDSHIP/ RECREATION RELATED RESOURCES

BUDDY / FRIENDSHIP PROGRAMS: INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES (IDD) –  Best Buddies Pennsylvania and e-Buddies matches people with intellectual and developmental disabilities with those without to create one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with IDD. Info: (610) 992-9400 . Website: http://www.bestbuddies.org  

FITKID ACADEMY- NEW!!!  Fitness for Children with Special Needs. Adapted/Individualized sessions for children of any age and level of ability. Website: www.impact-sports.org, email: macy@impact-sports.org, Phone: 703 861-1275

MAINLINE Chess and Games.com.  For young adults, learn a cool card game, Magic the Gathering. Location: 7 South Valley Rd. Paoli, PA 19301. Questions: Aaron 610 613-2062.

RECREATION – ACCESS PASS – FREE LIFETIME PASS TO NATIONAL PARKS for permanent residents with a permanent disability. Links/Info: www.store.usgs.gov/pass/access.html. Phone: 888 275-8747

RECREATION FRIDAY NIGHT OUT! 2nd Fri, Ages 5-12, 6:00pm – 8:30pm Cost: Your child won’t even realize that through the games and various activities they are LEARNING! Executive Functioning activities and academic activities. $40/child. Location: FICK Educational Services, West Chester. Regis/info: Cris at (610) 457-2199, fickeducation@gmail.com.

RECREATION, SOCIAL SKILLS, AND RESPITE – Ages 18 yrs and up. Weekly activities. Community-based barbecues, zoos, outdoor games, dances, bowling, train rides, etc. Costs vary by activity. Call: Lori at the Arc of Chester County 610-696-8090, lmeyers@arcofchestercounty.org.

SELF-ADVOCACY – PA YOUTH LEADERSHIP SELF-ADVOCACY – monthly conference calls to explore topics of interest to young self-advocates. 1st Sunday of each month from 7:00pm – 8:00pm. Call 1-309-946-5255. Access code 376191#. Visit the PYLN website at www.pyln.pbwiki.com for additional information.

SOCIAL ENRICHMENT CENTER. Supports individuals, families, schools and community organizations. Objective is to build children’s and adolescent’s self-confidence and social connectedness through summer camps, hourly sessions, or Back-to-School readiness. Provides social skills groups, occupational therapy, individual therapy, academic tutoring, arts & crafts, games & skill building, speech therapy, reading specialist.  Website: www. socialenrichmentcenter.com. Located in Springfield. Phone: 610-853-2898. Email: Michelle@socialenrichmentcenter.com

SOCIAL SKILLS GROUPS THERAPLAY, INC., 1345 Enterprise Dr. Suite 100A, West Chester PA 19380. Maureen Hugel 787-2268, mhugel@theraplayinc.com, or main number at Theraplay, 484 787-2200, www.theraplayinc.co

SOCIAL SKILLS – 2 BE SOCIAL, LLC. – Tutoring in reading and writing, social coaching for ages 10 through adult, group session for family members, large group consultation services.. Website: www.2besocial.org Phone: 610-883-3320.

SOCIAL SKILLS PROMPT AND PLAY CENTER Ages 3 – 18 in need of social skills, life skills, counseling. Phone: 302 691-5658. www.promptandplay.com

SOCIAL SKILLS SIS SAY IT STRAIGHT: An interactive, energetic, 10 lesson evidence based program for elementary, middle and high school students, focusing on empowering communication skills and behaviors. Great anti-bullying strategies! Holcomb Behavioral Health . Info/regis Chrissie 484-444-0412, cdziembo@holcombbhs.org

SOCIAL THINKING SEQUOIA KIDS Social Skills Program.  Sequoia Kids Sunday Program is a social-recreational program for children ages 8-15, who need help developing their social skills. Combining two recreational periods with a social thinking group, Sequoia kids is the first program in the Philadelphia area to integrate, Michelle Garcia Winner’s social thinking framework with recreational activities. Sequoia Kids Sunday Program is designed for children with average to above average verbal abilities. Location: 221 Williams Ave., Narbeth, PA 19072. Info: www.sequoiakidsprogram.com or 610-771-0111. Email: office@sequoiakidsprogram.com

SPECIAL ADAPTIVE DANCENEW!! Diane Matthews School of Dance Arts, Dance facility   of Shining Stars Adaptive Dance, Thursdays from 5-5:45 p.m. for individuals ages 13 to Adult. 315 Westtown Rd. Suite 9, West Chester, Pa 19382 Phone 610 692-3398, Email: studio@dianematthewsdance.com, Website: www.dianematthewsdance.com.

THE ART of FRIENDSHIP”:  Preschool (ages 4-5 yrs.)- Social practice art and play-based. Elementary School (ages 6-11 yrs.)- through individual/group art projects, games, imaginary play. Middle School (11-14 yrs.) – individual, group art projects, conversation practice, game playing, role play, team building activities. High School(15-19 yrs.)- essential practice of conversation, hanging out skills, life skills.

Locations: Center City Philadelphia, Plymouth Meeting, Paoli, and Ardmore. The Art of Friendship and its sister program, Camp Pegasus are under the direction of founder, Mike Fogel. Additional information can be found at: www.ArtOfFriendshipSocialSkills.com. For more info: Debbie DeBenedictis, at (610) 649-1080, x1, or at Debbie@ArtOfFriendshipSocialSkills.com.

 

SPORTS RELATEESOURCES

BOCCIA LEAGUE at ALFRED I. duPONT HOSPITAL. Boccia is a Paralympic sport intended for, but not exclusive to, players with Cerebral Palsy and other neurological impairments. Location: Nemours/Alfred I. DuPont Hospital for Children, Wilmington, DE. Wednesday nights, all abilities, ages 8-21. Information: Boccia Flyer. For questions, call: Brie or Katherine at 302-298-7490 or email brianne.sheppard@nemours.org or   ke0013@nemours.org

COATESVILLE MIDGET FOOTBALL – Ages 4 – 14. Little League Football, Cheerleading Program, and Flag Football. Info: www.kidraiders.org.

KARATE – KENPO KARATE CLASSES. Non-competitive classes in a fun and friendly atmosphere. The only martial arts school in the area that employs a full-time Occupational Therapist. Serving Malvern area since 2003. Class for children 5 to 8 and 9 to 13. Includes one free uniform, no testing fees, no long term contracts to sign, and a  complimentary free week trial. Info: 610 640-9232, website: www.karateroxblog.com

KARATE TAE KWON DO CLASSES FOR KIDS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS Regular, private or semi-private classes offered, and kids are included with kids without special needs, as appropriate. Provides a structured program for kids who love to run, jump, and play who would benefit from peer interaction, but are less likely to have success with team-oriented sports. Benefits self confidence, self control, focus, coordination, social skills, body control, core strength, FUN. Held at United Sports, Downingtown. Families may have BT, TSS accompany children. Classes Monday through Friday for ages 4-6 years at 5 p.m. ages 7-11 years at 6 p.m. Saturday Classes, ages 4-6 years at 9 a.m., 7-11 years, at 10 a.m. Info/regis: Mr Fox at 717-469-5876, www.unitedsportstkd.net

SOCCER – WEST BRADFORD YOUTH ATHLETICS CHALLENGER SOCCER – Soccer league for children with special needs so all children can have the fun and experience of playing soccer. For children 7 – 21 years of age. Held at the WBYA Soccer fields in West Bradford. Starting in April with games on Saturday for one hour. Info/regis: John Gallagher 610-486-6842, Johnfgall1@verizon.net. Volunteer and sponsorship opportunities are available!

 SOCCER – CHALLENGER SOCCER IN SEPTEMBER – West Bradford Youth Athletics second season of Challenger Soccer for children with special needs. For ages 7-21yrs. No previous soccer experience necessary. Children grouped based on ability, not age. Fosters fun and inclusive atmosphere. Saturdays at noon beginning Sept 10th. Info/regis: John G. 610-486-6842 or johnfgall1@verizon.net. Sign up at www.WBYA.org and register under “Challenger Soccer” Regis, fee $35. Scholarships available. Come for the fun!

SOCCER – HIGH 5 SOCCER for Players with Special Needs ages 5–19 yrs. Sponsored by the Glenmoore Eagle Youth Association Program based on US Youth Soccer’s TOP Soccer model. A community-based training and team placement program for young athletes with disabilities, organized by youth soccer association volunteers. No cost. For ages 5-19yrs. Regis: www.geyaspoprts.org/soccer

 

TECHNICAL RESOURCES

CELL PHONES – 42 minutes/month FREE to qualifying individuals in selected area codes. Visit Lifeline at www.safelink.comor call toll-free at1-800-977-3768 for more details.

 COMPUTER – INTERNET ESSENTIALS BY COMCAST – Will provide eligible families affordable home internet service ($9.95/mo), a low-cost computer ($149.99 plus tax), and access to free internet training – online, in print, and in classroom (at established community training sites). Available everywhere Comcast offers its high-speed internet service. Will accept participants for at least three years and those accepted will stay with the program until that child graduates from high school. http://www.internetessentials.com/

TRANSPORTATION RELATED RESOURCES

FREE TRANSPORTATION TO HEALTHCARE APPOINTMENTS! Do you need transportation to Medical, Counseling/Mental Health, WIC, Dental, Eye and other health related appointments?? Call or visit one of these partner agencies to see if you qualify for the Ride for Health Initiative of Southern Chester County: The American Cancer Society, Human Services Inc., Catholic Social Services, Kennett Area Community Service (KACS), Chester County Community Dental, Kennett Consolidated School District, Chester County Department of Youth and Family, La Comunidad Hispana, Chester County Family Literary Program, Maternal and Child Health, Consortium: Family Center, Family Benefits & Healthy Start, Chester County Head Start, Mission Santa Maria, Domestic Violence Center of Chester County, Neighbors in Action, Holcomb Behavioral Health Systems, Oxford Neighborhood Service Center, Home of the Sparrow, United Way of Southern Chester County.

MOBILITY EXPRESS DOWNINGTOWN – www.Abilitools.com , email: pmelcher@comcast.net.

 MISCELLANEOUS???

CHILD HEALTHCARE SERVICE GRANTS AVAILABLE FOR UP TO $5,000 (medical services/ equipment.) Child must be 16 yrs. or younger. Online app. at UHCCF website. http://www.uhccf.org.

FAMILY GUIDE ON EVIDENCE-BASED PRACTICES AVAILABLE. Title: Choosing the Right Treatment: What Families Need to Know about Evidence-Based practices. For copy: 717-238-1514, 800-223-0500, or www.namipa.nami.org.

ORGANIZATION – The Organized Parent.  A lifestyle company that offers stylish products and smart ideas to help moms streamline and simplify busy family life. Save 15% when you sign up for their newsletter at www.theorganizedparent.com

PA HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES RESOURCE GUIDE: www.state.pa.us, keyword: “resource guide.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Academic Support on the Web

DIGITAL BOOKS: ACCESSIBLE INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS

  • AUDIBLE (A division of Amazon) has audio versions of books & textbooks available for purchase http://www.audible.com/anon-home
  • BOOKSHARE – District Membership Available – FREE for school district this year & next year – App for iPod, iPhone & iPad. http://www.bookshare.org/
  • CHESTER COUNTY LIBRARY has free audiobooks you can download to MP3, iPod, IPhone & iPad & Android devices. http://overdrive.ccls.org
  • LEARNING ALLY – District Membership available (formerly RFB&D) App for iPod, iPhone & iPad. http://www.learningally.org/
  • PaTTAN – Accessible Instructional Materials – http://www.pattan.net/category/Resources/AIM%20Center/
  • RFB&D – RECORDING for the BLIND & DYSLEXIC – FREE access to the nation’s largest audiobook library of textbooks and literature. www.rfbd.org
  • NOTE: Audio, digital or online versions may be available directly from textbook publishers. Digital versions on a CD or online versions can be used in conjunction with free screen readers such as the text-to-speech feature built into all Mac computers – see “Speech” in System Preferences to turn on this feature or check out www.naturalreaders.com if you are using a PC.

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Tutoring

  • For a list of tutors please contact Jodi Dill, Director of Advocacy, Arc of
    Chester County 610 696-8090 ext. 220 or email: jdill@arcofchestercounty.org

Support / Advocacy Groups

AUTISM

 AUTISM ASA PHILA LISTSERV – for families of adults with ASD and related disorders. Restricted to family members in PA. Join at http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/FamiliesOfAdultsAutismASAphilly/.

AUTISM GROUP FOR FAMILIES AND CAREGIVERS OF ADULTS ON THE SPECTRUM, coordinated by Adult Services Committee of the ASA of Greater Phila. Chapter for those with loved ones on the autism spectrum 17 years old and above. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/FamiliesOfAdultsAutism-ASAphilly.

AUTISM TACA (TALK ABOUT CURING AUTISM). National non-profit now holding monthly meetings in PA. 1st Fri./mo at Saint Alban Episcopal Church, 3625 Chapel Rd., Newtown Square, 19073. Co-coordinator: Honey, 610-405-5388, honey.rinicella@tacanow.org, www.tacanow.org.

AUTISM website: The Help Group http://www.thehelpgroup.org/autism-info.htm#programs. Downloads and articles.

AUTISM – DELCO FAMILY “PASS” (PDD/Autism Spectrum Support). Monthly support meetings, newsletter, scholarships, and parents-only listserv. www.delcofamilypass.com or barbzimmerman@delcofamilypass.com. 610-626-9511.

AUTISM – SPARC – Southeastern PA Resource Center in partnership with WCU. Non-profit clinic serving children, adolescents, and young adults with ASD. Includes: Diagnostic Services, Behavioral Therapeutic Services, Feeding Evaluations and Treatment, Home Programs, Academic Tutoring, Social Skills, Consultative Services, Daycare/School/Service Providers Consulting Services, Babysitting/Respite Care. Located on the WCU campus. Info: sparc@wcupa.edu, 610-430-5678.

 

COMMUNICATION/SPEECH

APRAXIA Support Group. Info/dates: Monthly meetings with guest speaker addressing pertinent topics of interest, happens on a weeknight at 7 p.m. To be added to our email list or for more information, please contact either, Lia – jimliagorman@comcast.net or Wendy wenobrooks@aol.com.

COMMUNICATE PA COMMUNITY – Online community for individuals with complex communication needs and their families, advocates, service providers, policy makers, and other stakeholders. Website: http://communicatepa.wikispaces.com/. To join the listserv: http://communicatepa.wikispaces.com/ListServ. Contact: Jennifer M. Seale, MS, CCC-SLP, seale@temple.edu, voicemail at 215-204-3032.

EARLY INTERVENTION

EARLY INTERVENTION CHESTER COUNTY SPECIAL NEEDS SUPPORT GROUP. Parents who have children utilizing Early Intervention Services are invited to attend the parent support group that meets each month. For more information, email: juray1119@yahoo.com or pamela_silverman@yahoo.com, or visit the face book page at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/e.i.familiesofcc/.

   

MEDICAL CONDITIONS/PHYSICAL HEALTH

BRAIN INJURY – ACQUIRED BRAIN INJURY NETWORK – SUPPORT EVENTS AND NEWSLETTER, www.abin-pa.org, Mailing list 215-699-3391, b2272@prodigy.net.

CELIAC – MALVERN R.O.C.K. (Raising our Celiac Kids) For parents, families, and friends of kids on the gluten-free diet because of celiac disease, gluten intolerance, autism, ADD/ADHD, allergies, or personal preference. Info/Regis: www.malvernrock.org or email Jen Manzi Jennifer_manzi@yahoo.com.

CHADD – CHESTER COUNTY CHILDREN AND ADULTS WITH ATTENTION DEFICIT DISORDER –PARENT/TEACHER MEETINGS. Support/education meetings for teens with AD/HD; parents, teachers, and caregivers; and adults with AD/HD. Meets at Kesher Israel Congregation, West Chester,. For specific dates and topics www.chadd.net/222, CHADD Message Line 610-429-4060.

 DOWN SYNDROME INTEREST GROUP of Chester County Meets at The Arc of Chester County, West Chester. RSVP to hotline: 610-889-0291, www.ccdsig.org. Newsletter is going to email format only, so send in your email address to: Board@ccdsig.org.

 EPILEPSY SUPPORT GROUP– Meets 3rd Wednesday from 6:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m. at Riddle Hospital in Media. Info: mainlinehealth.org/events. More info: call Phyllis Heppard, 484- 227-3560 or heppardp@mlhs.org.

FRAGILE X SYNDROME SUPPORT at The Elwyn Fragile X Center, 111 Elwyn Road, Elwyn, PA 19063, 610-891-2349, www.elwyngenetics.org, mary_delany@elwyn.org.

LA LECHE LEAGUE: There are four La Leche League Groups in Chester County (610-363-6206) http://www.beanmom.com/laleche/

§  La Leche League of Downingtown Judy (610) 363-6206 (Evening Group)

§  La Leche League of Exton-Lionville Judy (610) 363-6206 (Evening Group)

§  La Leche League of Glenmoore-ElversonJennifer beanmom@beanmom.com or Kristina (610) 321-0319 (Morning Group)

§  La Leche League of Kimberton Kristina (610) 321-0319 or Jill (484) 999-0848 (Morning Group)

La Leche League of West Chester  Shelly (484) 883-0572 or Kara KaraLLLWC@yahoo.com(Morning Group)

STARFISH ADVOCACY ASSOCIATION – Online community for families of children with neurological disorders (ADHD, ASD, Bipolar, PDD, SID LD, OCD, Tourette’s, etc). 216-283-2377, www.starfishadvocacy.org, starfish@starfishadvocacy.org.

 

MENTAL HEALTH

COMMUNITY CARE FAMILY ADVISORY COMMITTEE – Community Care manages mental health & substance abuse treatment services for individuals with MA under Health Choices program. The advisory committee meetings are held quarterly. For times, locations, and to RSVP: 1-866-771-1259.

COMPLAINT OPTIONS:

  • File a complaint for MH County Funded Services – 610-692-1100 x6265.
  • File a medical assistance (Health Choices) – 866-622-4228.

CONSUMER “WARM” TALK LINE – 1-866-846-2722.

CRIME VICTIMS’ CENTER OF CHESTER COUNTY INC. -Victim Advocacy Agency, 24 hour hotline, provides free and confidential services to victims and their family members and significant others who reside in or were victims in Chester County. Sexual Assault Call- 610 692-7273, Other Crimes Call- 610 692-7420

CRISIS – Valley Creek Crisis Center – 1-877-918-2100

DIVORCE CHILDREN IN THE MIDDLE (CIM): a skill-based program to help middle school youth and their parents minimize a childs negative reaction to divorce. CIM aims to reduce the parental conflict, loyalty pressures, and communication problems that can place significant stress on children. Holcomb Behavioral Health Info/regis: Ariel Waters 484-444-0412 ext. 1001, awaters@holcombbhs.org.

DOUBLE TROUBLE – Consumer support group for those recovering from addiction and mental health problems. Meets every Tue. & Thu.- 3:30pm – 5:00pm at Community Crossroads Peer Support Center, 825 Paoli Pike, West Chester. John at: 610-429-1702 or email community.crossroads@hhinc.org.

GRANDFAMILY/ADOPTION GRANDFAMILY/POST-ADOPTION SUPPORT GROUP meets on alternate Wednesdays in the Spring (March to May) and the Fall (September to November). 6:30-8:00pm at the Government Services Bldg., 601 Westtown Rd., West Chester. Teen and children’s activities provided. Info/Regis: Jenna Giersch, 610-344-5770, jgiersch@chesco.org, or 610-344-5800.

HELP FOR GRIEVING FAMILIES. Peter’s Place is a center for grieving children and families. Peer support groups are offered for children ages 4 -17 and their adult caregivers, and for young adults ages 18 -25. The Ryan’s Hope Program at Peter’s Place is a grief support group for parents whose child has died as a result of substance abuse. Peter’s Place also provides continuing education opportunities for professionals and trainings for community groups upon request. Peer support groups are free to attend, offered on a donation basis. Call 610-687-5150 or visit www.petersplaceonline.org for more information.

NAMI – COMPEER of Chester County – MH Volunteer/Consumer Friendship Program 610-436-4445, http://compeerChesco.org.

NAMI-NATIONAL ALLIANCE ON MENTAL ILLNESS – Vast info/resources: www.nami.org. Children and adolescent issues: www.nami.org/caac. Medications, stigma, faith net, family to family, peer to peer, veterans, resources, networking, membership, persons missing, etc.

NAMI-PA www.namipa.nami.org.

Parenting Prodigals/Mending Hearts:-Support group for those dealing with wayward children, grandkids or adults whose life choices are causing disruption and chaos in the family. Meets the  2nd & 4th MONDAY, 7:00pm at Calvary Fellowship Church, 95 Devon Dr. Downingtown. For more info: wanamaker1@comcast.net.

PARENTING WISELY (PW) Two-session program available in two versions for parents of young children (3-8) and adolescents 10-18yrs. PW provides multiple solutions to common problem behaviors, and critiques effective and ineffective parenting methods. Holcomb Behavioral Health Info/regis Jenna Giersch 610 344-5770 jgiersch@chesco.org

 POWERFUL VOICES/DEPRESSION and BIPOLAR SUPPORT GROUP. For ages 14-25 living with a mood disorder. Meetings held every Tuesday evening from 6:30 to 8:00 PM at the Community Crossroads Peer Support Center located at 825 Paoli Pike, West Chester. Peer led group that offers a safe space for youth to be themselves and receive support from peers who understand. Info: Adessa Perez by phone or email at: (484) 706-2110 or awashington@childandfamilyfocus.org

STARFISH ADVOCACY ASSOCIATION – Online community for families of children with neurological disorders (ADHD, ASD, Bipolar, PDD, SID LD, OCD, Tourette’s, etc). 216-283-2377, www.starfishadvocacy.org, starfish@starfishadvocacy.org.

SUICIDE PREVENTION COUNCIL – FEELING BLUE A non-profit community service organization serving PA and the tri-state area. Box 7193, St. David’s, PA. 1-800-273- TALK, www.feelingblue.org. Now offering trainings.

SUICIDE – Chester County Youth Suicide Prevention Task Force – Held at COAD, Exton. Call 610-594-9740 for date and time. www.ccysp.org.

SURVIVORS OF SUICIDE SUPPORT – 2nd Wed. 7:00pmatPaoliMemorial Hospital (Potter Room) 215-545-2242.

SURVIVORS OF SUICIDE SUPPORT GROUP – Bette Coatsworth, 215-736-1643.

SYSTEMS ADVOCACY

BETTER LIVING BETTER LIVES A group of families who meet, as needed, at the ARC of Chester County, to work toward a more independent life for their family members who need 24/7 support. at The Arc of Chester County. Contact: jmeikrantz@arcofchestercounty.org. for meeting dates.

EDUCATION FOR ALL COALITION OF PA. Working together to promote education that includes all children. Online community, parent consultant network, training/technical assistance. Diane Perry 610-522-0698, dperry300@paedforall.org, website: www.paedforall.org.

ESPECIALLY FOR PARENTS –Online support group for parents of children with special health care needs. Visit us by going to www.pamedicalhome.org and clicking on the “Parents” button!

Family and Community Partnership Service providers, community, parents addressing issues involving children/families. Kathy Brauner 610-344-5262

FOR THE LATEST ALERTS, ADVOCACY, AND EMAIL NEWSLETTERS:

GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS/ADVOCACY COMMITTEE of The Arc of Chester County, 610-696-8090 ext. 220.

INCLUSION SUPPORT KIDS TOGETHER, INC Volunteer, non-profit providing information on inclusive communities/education. Advocates, listserv, email, newsletter, and website.staff@kidstogether.org, www.kidstogether.org.

PA EDUCATION FOR ALL COALITION, INC. Chapter meetings, online, parent consultant network. Diane Perry, 267 232-0570. Email: info@paedforall.org.

PA  FAMILIES INC – Statewide family network. 1-800-947-4941, pafamilies@comcast.net.

PARENT TO PARENT  PENNSYLVANIA – Linking families of children and adults with disabilities or special needs. Free/confidential help locating a support group, technical assistance, connection to the nearest regional office, resources, or a volunteer peer supporter. 1-888-727-2706,www.parenttoparent.org.

PARENT SUPPORT GROUP: WCASD – West Chester Area Parent/Caregiver Special Education Support Group. Meets Sept through May with speakers –
second Thursday each month at 7 pm
. Call to get on mailing list. Info/date/support: Judi at sd-jd@ix.netcom.com or Lori at lleathers1@verizon.net

RIGHT TO EDUCATION TASK FORCE Chester County –Usually meets the 2nd Tuesday. – 10:00am – 12:00pm at the Chester County Intermediate Unit, Rm. 300, 455 Boot Rd., Downingtown. (Meets Sept through June). Get involved and improve your skills as an advocate. For info/activity schedule/resource manual: www.righttoed.org or call: Lauren LaFountain, LaurenL@cciu.org, 484-237-5057, voicemail: 610-696-8090 ext. 348. Task force monitors and advises local special education services, provides training and networking opportunities for parents, and informs the public about state/national special education issues. Time set aside at every meeting to address individual concerns.

RIGHT TO EDUCATION TASK FORCE – DELAWARE COUNTY. Del Cty. Intermediate Unit, 200 Yale Ave, Rm. 171, Morton. Training opportunities. 610-938-9000 ext. 4037.

RIGHT TO EDUCATION STATE TASK FORCE video-conferenced. Meetings for 2017 will be held on 1/17, 3/15, 4/17 from 10:00am to 12:00pm at Pattan, 333 Technology Dr. Malvern 19355. Info: Sharon Kennedy, Pattan West :1-800-441-3215. Get involved!

RIGHT TO EDUCATION STATE TASK FORCEvideo-conferenced,  1/16, 3/6, 5/22 from 10:00am to 12:00pm at Pattan. Info: Pattan, King of Prussia:1-800-441-3215. Get involved!

SELF ADVOCACY COURSE FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES: – AN ONLINE PROGRAM, The Research and Training Center on Community Living (RTC) at The University of Minnesota and The Arc have partnered to support an innovative website specifically for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) to help them advocate for themselves and take charge of their lives. Self-Advocacy Online (www.selfadvocacyonline.org) is a content rich, accessible online educational and networking tool developed by the RTC and promoted by The Arc. This online tool is targeted to those who are just learning about their own rights and responsibilities as well as to those who participate in organized self-advocacy groups and activities. This site will provide a hub for individuals and groups to gain information that is meaningful to them and can be used by them to advocate for themselves and all people with IDD, collaborate and share ideas, and boost computer literacy skills in the process.

SELF-DETERMINATION ACTION TEAM – Help implement changes to the IDD system through education, identification of needs, and challenging barriers that limit funding and community resources. Meets 1st Wed. at Government Services Bldg, 601 Westtown Rd., West Chester, PA. Info/Regis:Sue at 610-344-6265 or sberg@chesco.org.

SPECIAL KIDS NETWORK SYSTEM OF CARE – Making connections for Pa’s Children with Special Health Care Needs.  Resources for advocacy, accessibility, inclusion, recreaction and leisure activities, assistive tech, respite, etc. Website: www.gotoskn.state.pa.us, 800-986-4550.

SYSTEM OF CARE ADVISORY TEAM – at Government Services Center in West Chester.kbrauner@chesco.org.

T/E SD’s B.U.I.L.D. (Better Understanding of Individuals with Learning Disabilities) – Call for date/time.Regular meeting at the Education Services Center, 738 First Ave., Berwyn. Cindy, 610-202-4371, www.tesd.k12.pa.us

TRANSITION COUNCIL MEETING – Quarterly meetings. Is your child 14-21 yrs. old and preparing for transition from high school to employment, independence, further education? Call: Sharon Shoemaker at 484-237-5000.

 

 

 

 

 

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Transition-Related Resources, Activities and Workshops

COLLEGE-LIKE EXPERIENCE: Camphill Soltane offers a college-like experience for young adults with special needs. Students begin the 5-year program between the ages of 18 and 21 and participate in over 25 different liberal-arts based classes, including academic skill building, social studies, history, drama, painting, ecology, fitness, woodworking, and more. Prospective families are invited to attend one of our monthly Soltane Shines Tours at our main campus just outside Ludwig’s Corner. Visit www.camphillsoltane.org/soltaneshines for dates and registration information.

COLLEGE PREPARATION PROGRAM. “Bridge to College.” For high functioning autism / asperger’s students. July 6 – Aug 15. Location: Central Campus of Montgomery County Community College in Blue Bell, PA. Six week college-readiness program intended for college-bound, academically-capable students with High Functioning Autism/Asperger’s Syndrome and other special needs. The program is designed to help students develop the skills necessary to make a successful transition from high school to college.  Flyer: http://www.mc3.edu/images/pdf/campus/bridge-flyer.pdf. Contact: Denise at 215-619-7403, dgarrigu@mc3.edu

DRIVERS TRAINING/EDUCATION. Chester County Intermediate Unit. Anyone who is a student under the age of 18 or still attending high school can attend. www.cciu.org/site/Default.aspx?PageID=35 or call: 484-237-5189. Email: Delb@cciu.org

EMPLOYMENT – FREE JOB ASSISTANCE OPENINGS AND WORKSHOPS – Unemployed and underemployed persons seeking education and training in career planning, along with employment assistance for veterans, ex-offenders and persons with disabilities, can take advantage of a series of monthly workshops offered by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor CareerLink at its Chester County office in Coatesville. These trainings provide a wide range of information, including a PA CareerLink services orientation, and various basic and advanced job seeking skills and information. A full calendar of PA CareerLink-Chester County workshops is available at www.pacareerlinkchesco.org/calendar. Persons interested in seminars may register at (610) 384-9393. A several-page monthly consolidated list of area job openings and statistical information on the local labor market are available at www.chesco.org/index.aspx?nid=159.  Daily position openings updates are available through www.cwds.state.pa.us.

SECONDARY TRANSITION: www.secondarytransition.org – This website provides youth, young adults, parents, and professionals with secondary transition resources to facilitate a young person’s progress toward the attainment of post-secondary goals related to education, employment, and community living. It replaces the secondary transition folders and CDs that have gone out in the past.  Parents, please access this website for transition related information.

WORK INCENTIVE COUNSELING PROGRAMFor work incentive counseling services for students ages 16-21 who receive benefits from the Social Security Administration and plan to work in the near future, further their education, is currently employed, or want to work.   To schedule an appointment, contact 215-885-2060, ext. 54018 or Michele.boardman@ahedd.org

                                                       

 

 

 

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HOW TO GET MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES IN CHESTER COUNTY

  • Chester County Dept. of MH/IDD 610-344-6265, 800-692-1100, www.chesco.org.
  • Crisis/Emergency Services: Call MH Crisis Intervention: 877-918-2100, 610-918-2100.
  • For Community Mental Health Services:
    • If you have Medical Assistance: call Community Care Behavioral Health 866-622-4228, Espanol: 866-229-3197.
    • If have private insurance: call the number on the back of your insurance card.
    • If have no insurance/need outpatient services: Call Core MH Service provider:
  • ADULTS:
    • Human Services, Inc (WC, Downgtn, Coates, Parkes. areas) 610-873-1010.
    • Human Services, Inc (Oxford) 610-998-1807.
    • Fellowship Health Resources (Phoenixville area) 610-415-9301.
    • Creative Health Services, Inc. (Pottstown) 610-326-9250.
  • CHILDREN:
    • Child Guidance Resource Centers (Coatesville) 610-383-5635 x3303.
    • Community Services of Devereux (Phoenixville) 610-933-8110 x2841.
    • Creative Health Services (Spring City) 610-948-6490.
    • Human Services, Inc. (Downingtown) 610-873-1010.
    • Human Services, Inc. (Oxford) 610-998-1807.
    • Holcomb Behavioral Health (Kennett Square) 610-388-7400, ask for ‘Intake’

ADVOCATES/MENTORS: FREE SERVICES,

FEE-FOR-SERVICE ADVOCATES,

LAWYERS

  • For a list, please contact Jodi Dill, Director of Advocacy, Arc of
    Chester County 610 696-8090 ext. 220 or email: jdill@arcofchestercounty.org

 

Resources