At the order of Governor Tom Wolf, The Arc of Chester County Preschool, ABBLES, Adult Transportation Services & Recreation events suspended until further notice. The agency will continue to operate, however effective immediately we will not hold meetings at our office or allow any visitors to come to our facility until further notice.

The Arc of Chester County is closely monitoring the changing and evolving information regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. We are working around the clock to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all those we serve in The Arc community. Our Program Directors are working closely with their teams to continue offering the uninterrupted services and assistance our population relies on, especially those with disabilities. We are following the directives issued by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), the US Department of State, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The Arc will continue monitoring advisories and government directives as they relate to the pandemic and keep you posted of any changes. Stay safe and be well.

Resources for more information:

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  
Support / Advocacy Groups  
Explore Your Resources  
Transition Resources  
Obtaining Wrap Around and Mental Health Services in Chester County  
Special Education Advocates and Mentors  


AUTISM ROADMAP:  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 tristate 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.

CHESTER COUNTY ADULT MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES MAP Download the service map for more information about mental services provided to adults in Chester County.

CHESTER COUNTY INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES SERVICES MAP Download the service map for more information about services provided by Chester County. MH/IDD.


Fitness for Diversabilities at the West Chester Area YMCA:

This eight week long program enables those who need adapted programming to be successful in physical education. Benefits include promotion of an active lifestyle, development of skills for sports and life, enhancement of self-esteem and self-development, increased physical independence, and decreased health complications. If your loved one needs more help feel free to bring an aide to class. *Space is limited. Cost: $120.00 Starts: Sept. 4, 2018, Tuesdays, 4-5 pm. Valid for participants 14 & over* Length: 8 weeks

For more information contact Brian Kish 610 431-9622 ext. 2233 or

Melmark Sibshops—Melmark has two exciting and active groups to support siblings, utilizing the Sibshop Model. The first group serves children approximately 7-12, who are siblings of individuals with a variety of disabilities (intellectual, medical, mental health). We generally meet the third Wednesday of the month on the Melmark Campus in Berwyn, from 6-8pm. There are two sessions: September to January and February to June. Each session is $100, and includes program materials and snack. We also have a Sibteen Group that runs the fourth Thursday of the month from 6-8:30pm, also in Berwyn. The cost for that program is $200 for the year, and includes dinner each session.

For more information, please contact Suzanne Muench, LCSW at 610-325-2937 or email at

Summer Camps and Adult Camps: Lasata Farm and Lasata Non-Profit Organization –    We offer week long summer camps for children 6 years old and older, those with disabilities and those without. Our camp curriculum is a well rounded horsemanship experience where no prior experience is necessary. We also offer before and after sitters for families who need it. Please visit our page for further details and a downloadable brochure.

MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AID – Do you know how to help? Become a certified mental health first aider. Adult Mental Health First Aid is a new public education program designed to teach everyday citizens the skills to help another person who is struggling with a mental health concern. Please see the attached fliers for the upcoming April sessions plus the recertification process. Presented by the COAD Group and Chester County MH/IDD, DHS.

Training:  MHFA Training Flier – Phoenixville Hospital                         Recertification: MHFA Recertification

BASEBALL: Challenger Division: Coventry Little League is starting a challenger division this year! For more information, please click on the following link: Challenger

More independence, greater financial security and a better quality of life – that’s the future ABLEnow is building. ABLE accounts are a new way to help individuals with disabilities save money and pay for qualified disability-related expenses. For the first time ever, that means tax-advantaged savings, usually without endangering eligibility for the means-tested benefit programs critical to the health and well-being of many with disabilities. For more information visit,


Families are invited for early access to the galleries and a variety of creative activities during this accessible program designed specifically for visitors on the autism spectrum or with sensory processing disorders. Created in conjunction with occupational therapists and local families, this inclusive program strives to provide a welcoming experience through providing pre-visit materials, gallery activities, and sensory break areas.

Free; space is limited and registration is required. For more information or to register, contact Laura Westmoreland at or 610.388.8120. 

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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 children’s 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, and so much more. Children do not need to be potty trained. Registration is rolling throughout the year, however, to reserve your placement now and for more information about The Arc’s Preschool programs, please contact Judy at 610-696-8090 ext. 219, or

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,

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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:

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

Transgender Therapy Training Webinar – For more information click here


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Ongoing Training Opportunities

ADHD: CHADD AD/HD TRAININGS AND SUPPORT– Local: and ADHD CHADD training conferences, magazine, parent-to-parent online/on-demand classes, support groups:


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:

DPW ODP (Office of Developmental Programs (ex. PUNS, Consolidated Waiver, IFSP, etc): Courses and webcasts: 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:


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: PIC Website:


SECONDARY TRANSITION: – 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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ART – ART PARTNERS STUDIO – Ages 6 – adult. Art classes & special events. Website: Call: Lindsay 610-384-3030,

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,,



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

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. 

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 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:  Info:, 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: 


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

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

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,,


BEHAVIOR SUPPORTS: ABA2DAY Behavior Services, LLC offers home and in school programming. Under Act 62 – insurance is accepted. Private pay accepted., 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.

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.

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”


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: 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. or call: 484-237-5189. Email:



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: Website:

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.


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

MUSIC – SING ALONG SESSIONS – Pre-K Music Classes. 6-week music program for toddlers and preschoolers ages 18 months to 5 years. Classes are led 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. 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, Email:

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 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, 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 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,,


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,, (key word: emergency preparedness materials),

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,, 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


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:



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 – 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 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 Daily position openings updates are available through

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 Provided by the PA Dept of Public Welfare (DPW).

JOB LOCATOR SERVICES: PA Career Link for Chester County job seekers. Website: 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, or Gina Venuti,


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,

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,,

OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY – Hope Springs Equestrian Therapy,, 610-827-0931, Malvern,

RIDING –  Lasata Farm and Lasata Non-Profit Organization –  Lasata Farm provides balanced seat riding instruction for beginner through advanced riders, using our horses or yours. Our facility is capable, qualified, and certified, to work with riders with disabilities. We hold certifications in Centered Riding, PATH International and Thorncroft Equestrian Center’s Certification for Riders with Disabilities, with extensive studies in horse communication and natural horsemanship approaches. At this time, we are capable of accommodating many populations of riders with disabilities. Please contact us to see if our facilities can serve your riding needs.  Phone: 484-459-5585 email:

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,


RIDING – QUEST THERAPEUTIC SERVICES, INC. – Full-range of pediatric therapy services, including hippotherapy 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,

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 weekdays 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:   Email:


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: 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,, 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. 


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: Contact: Flora Castillo,, 888-765-4194.

EYEGLASSES – Program provides prescription eyeglasses for low-income individuals., 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. 

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,

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

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, 

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

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



CHESTER COUNTY HOMELESS HELPLINE 2-1-1: 24-Hour Help Line, Assessment, Resources, Referrals.

211 is a free, confidential referral and information helpline and website that connects people of all ages and from all communities to the essential health and human services they need, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

211 can be accessed by phone or computer. A toll-free call to 211 connects you to a community resource specialist in your area who can put you in touch with local organizations that provide critical services that can improve—and save—lives.


“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:


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

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

MEDICAL ASSISTANCE: “How to Apply for Medical Assistance for your Autistic Child” Guide –

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.   


PA HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES CENTER RESOURCE: 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:,, 215-563-5848 ext. 17.

SOCIAL SECURITY AND HEALTH BENEFITS WEBSITES IN SPANISH. See Similar to the English version, 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 or, includes available applications for retirement, Medicare and Extra Help with prescription drug costs in Spanish.


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:

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.

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

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,,

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,

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,

SUBSTANCE ABUSE – OMHSAS – PA Office of MH & Substance Abuse –

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


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:


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


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:



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:  

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

MAINLINE Chess and  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: 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,

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,

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 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. Located in Springfield. Phone: 610-853-2898. Email:

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

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: 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.

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,

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: or 610-771-0111. Email:

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:, Website:

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: For more info: Debbie DeBenedictis, at (610) 649-1080, x1, or at



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 or

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

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:

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,

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, 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 7-21 yrs. 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 Sign up at 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:



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.


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.



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.

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

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Academic Support on the Web


  • AUDIBLE (A division of Amazon) has audio versions of books & textbooks available for purchase
  • BOOKSHARE – District Membership Available – FREE for school district this year & next year – App for iPod, iPhone & iPad.
  • CHESTER COUNTY LIBRARY has free audiobooks you can download to MP3, iPod, IPhone & iPad & Android devices.
  • LEARNING ALLY – District Membership available (formerly RFB&D) App for iPod, iPhone & iPad.
  • PaTTAN – Accessible Instructional Materials –
  • RFB&D – RECORDING for the BLIND & DYSLEXIC – FREE access to the nation’s largest audiobook library of textbooks and literature.
  • 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 if you are using a PC.

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

Support / Advocacy Groups


AUTISM ASA PHILA LISTSERV – for families of adults with ASD and related disorders. Restricted to family members in PA. Join at

PARENT AUTISM SUPPORT GROUP   a monthly meeting of parents, married or single who have a child/adolescent with autism. Meets at First Presbyterian Church in West Chester. For more information and to register, click here.

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.

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,,

AUTISM website: The Help Group Downloads and articles.

AUTISM – DELCO FAMILY “PASS” (PDD/Autism Spectrum Support). Monthly support meetings, newsletter, scholarships, and parents-only listserv. or 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:, 610-430-5678.



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 – or Wendy

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


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: or, or visit the face book page at: