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
Obtaining Wrap Around and Mental Health Services in Chester County
Special Education Advocates and Mentors

Special Announcements and Upcoming Family Activities

7/30/14 – 2:30PM : OPEN HOUSE FOR ARCADIA UNIVERSITY’S REAL Certificate Program. The REAL Certificate at Arcadia University is for students ages 18-25 with intellectual  disabilities in their final years of high school, or those who have already completed their secondary education. This two-year program offers students with disabilities the opportunity to participate in the same learning environments available to same-age peers in an academic-, vocational- and social inclusion-focused program. Arcadia University’s REAL Certificate Program will be conducting an open house for prospective students and families to learn more about the program. Location: 782 Limekiln Pike, Glenside, PA. Call 215-572-4095 if you have questions. Info/regis: Tiffany Bonnell, email: bonnellt@arcadia.edu, REAL Certificate Coordinator, Arcadia University Class of ’14.

STATEWIDE ART CONTEST … Open to Pennsylvanians of any age with a disability.  Submission deadline: August 25, 2014. ‘Art: The Universal Language’ − a partnership between The Arc of Pennsylvania, the Commonwealth and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. Categories for submissions include: Pen/Pencil, Watercolor, Acrylic, Oil, Sculpture, Jewelry, Photography, Textile, and Mixed Media/Other. A first, second and third place prize will be awarded in the following age divisions: 12 and under; 13 to 17; and 18 and older. Winners will be announced in October 2014. For official contest guidelines and the required entry form, visit www.thearcalliance.org/events/  or email questions to: artcontest@pa.gov.

9/13/14 – 10:30am-12:00pm – New Support Group “Moms Celebrating Neuro-diversity”  For parents of kids with Sensory Processing Disorder, Autism Spectrum, ADHD, dyspraxia, genetic variations, developmental delays or other joys. No formal diagnosis is required to be a member. Location: Saxby’s Coffee, Exton Square Mall, Exton. Join moms who understand the unique challenges of raising a child / children with a-typical needs. Children of our mom’s “enjoy” a variety of special needs. The goal of the group is to be understanding of moms who face similar struggles. While we occasionally host play-date type meet-ups that are child friendly events, we more often meet without our children so just the moms can vent, complain, encourage, laugh and enjoy each others awesome company.

REFURBISHED COMPUTERS: TeamChildren currently has over 800 highly functioning low cost refurbished computers that need a new home. Desktops $60, $110, or $160. Laptops $150- $225 when available. Each computer comes loaded with incredible learning programs.  For babies, toddlers, children, adults, senior citizens. TeamChildren is a local nonprofit organization which distributes low-cost, high quality refurbished computers to individuals, families and nonprofits. They pride themselves with ending the digital divide and transforming the achievement gap. For an application, click here: TeamKidsComputers  Learn more at www.brillkids.com. Info: 610-666-1795.

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.

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.

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.

 

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Events Held At OR Sponsored By The Arc of Chester County

ADVOCACY CLINICS at The Arc of Chester County. Weekdays or Saturdays – Advocates meet with parents, listen, and advise on next steps. Can help with letters and follow-up, refer parents to appropriate resources, answer questions about IEPs and evaluations, and help parents figure out what to ask. A consultation at the clinic can serve as a first step to getting the help you need for your child. Call 610-696-8090 x216 for an appointment. FREE!! All welcome. By appointment only.

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.

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.

“P.L.U.S.”   -  NEW PROGRAM AT THE ARC. For preschoolers who aren’t eligible for special education services, but who may have unique learning needs which make it difficult for them to succeed in a traditional preschool setting. Designed to support children who have been described as overly active, easily frustrated, anxious, bored, shy or have communication or physical challenges. P.L.U.S. will begin in September; two to five days per week. Cost to attend is $50 per day – includes music therapy and a free speech and occupational therapy assessment within the first two weeks. Class sizes: 5:1 child to teacher ratio For children aged three to five. Info: Anne at 610-696-8090, or abernstein@arcofchestercounty.org.

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 Anne at 610-696-8090.

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Volunteer Opportunities

 The Arc of Chester County is seeking volunteers to serve as education advocates and adult advocates.

If you have an interest in either of these volunteer activities, please call Connie at 610-696-8090 x220 or send an email to cmohn@arcofchestercounty.org. Thank you.

  •  Looking for a volunteer to compile the ARConnections listing every month. Time commitment of 4-5 hours a month. Email: cmohn@arcofchestercounty.org.
  •  Help educate elementary school children about disabilities. The Arc is now recruiting volunteer puppeteers for the Count Me In® Puppet Show. Training is provided. Daytime availability and reliable transportation required. Email Cathy Binz at cbinz@arcofchestercounty.org to learn more.

Upcoming Conferences, Workshops and Training Opportunities

ADVOCACY CLINICS at The Arc of Chester County. Weekdays or Saturdays – Advocates meet with parents, listen, and advise on next steps. Can help with letters and follow-up, refer parents to appropriate resources, answer questions about IEPs and evaluations, and help parents figure out what to ask. A consultation at the clinic can serve as a first step to getting the help you need for your child. Call 610-696-8090 x216 for an appointment. FREE!! All welcome. By appointment only.

 

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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.odpconsulting.net/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.

PARENT EDUCATION NETWORKworkshops, newsletter, webinars, archived webinars on You Tube, etc. STAY CONNECTED: Facebook: www.facebook.com/ParentEducationNetworkYork; Twitter: twitter.com/#!/PENYork; YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/ParentEdNet; Yahoo! Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/parentednet/ Website: www.parentednet.org.

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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Ongoing Activities for Children & Adults

ACTING – MOVIN’ & GROOVIN’ FOR PRESCHOOL/ELEMENTARY AGES with Instructor: Cindy Schneider, Director, Acting Antics Inc.  This is a theatre program designed for students with developmental and/or social delays. The program will focus on using music, movement, games & skits to teach the youngsters how to follow directions, motor plan, and interact successfully. Activities and songs will be showcased in a final performance for family and friends on the last workshop day. Cindy Schneider, Director, Acting Antics Inc. 3 Ravine Rd. Malvern, PA 19355, 610-942-4219, www.actingantics.org

ACTING – ACTING ANTICS YOUTH (AGES 7-13)Instructor: Cindy Schneider, Director, Acting Antics Inc. The Youth Acting Antics program is designed to help youngsters with higher cognition and social difficulties learn skills about interacting with peers, reading body language and other nonverbal cues, voice modulation, and understanding abstract language and inferences. Actors have a great time while building their self-esteem. The workshop will include theatre games and activities, scenes and skits with a final performance for family and friends on the last workshop day. Cindy Schneider, Director, Acting Antics Inc. 3 Ravine Rd. Malvern, PA 19355, 610-942-4219, www.actingantics.org

ACTING – INCLUSIVE MUSICAL THEATRE (AGES 7-16)Instructor: Cindy Schneider, Director, Acting Antics Inc. An inclusive program where youngsters with differences, siblings and friends will rehearse and perform a 30-minute musical production! Actors learn to work together, remember cues, do movement to music and perform a finished product. Actors participate in scene painting and making props. Youngsters with social differences work in tandem with neuro-typical peers to produce a finished musical play. Call: Cindy Schneider, Director, Acting Antics Inc. 3 Ravine Rd. Malvern, PA 19355, 610-942-4219, www.actingantics.org.

ACTING – ACTING IMPROV FOR TEENS & YOUNG ADULTS Instructor: Cindy Schneider, Director, Acting Antics Inc. Young men and women hone their communication and socialization skills through theatre games and improvisational activities. Actors must learn to collaborate, cooperate, and share ideas in order to perform successfully in Improvisation. Scripted scenes are also used to work on non-verbal and context cues as well as social appropriate responsiveness. Individuals build social confidence as they acquire new skills. A showcase of skits and improvisation games will be held on the last evening of class. Cindy Schneider, Director, Acting Antics Inc. 3 Ravine Rd. Malvern, PA 19355, 610-942-4219, www.actingantics.org 

ACTING – ACTORS IN ACTION FOR TEENS AND ADULTS – Instructor: Cindy Schneider, Director, Acting Antics Inc.  This is a music and theatre program designed for teenagers/young adults diagnosed with developmental delays. The program will focus on using music, movement and short skits to teach the teens how to follow directions and interact successfully. Teens with limited spoken language and/or reading skills will be successful in this program. Activities, scenes and skits will be showcased in a final performance for family and friends on the last class day. Cindy Schneider, Director, Acting Antics Inc. 3 Ravine Rd. Malvern, PA 19355, 610-942-4219, www.actingantics.org

ACTING ANTICS – BUILDING SOCIAL SKILLS – Drama workshops for students with Asperger Syndrome, non-verbal learning disorder, and/or social cognition deficits. Teaches power body language, voice modulation, and facial expressions. Call: Cindy Schneider, Director, Acting Antics Inc. 3 Ravine Rd. Malvern, PA 19355, 610-942-4219, www.actingantics.org.

AD/HD – CHADD TEEN SUPPORT GROUP 3rd Th. 7:30 – 8:30pm. Exton Community Baptist Church, 141 E. Swedesford Rd, Exton, Parents can stay on premises. Facilitated by CHADD board member. 610-429-4060, www.CHADD.net/222.

AFTER-SCHOOL CARE/HALF DAY KINDERGARTEN CARE AND CREATIVE ARTS PROGRAM (Best in Philly 2012 for Suburban Kids’ Classes). We pick your student up at school dismissal and bring them back to the Center until 6:00pm. Snack and homework time with group leader and games, free play, and outdoor time. “Pull Outs” sign up for what you want (extra fee): piano, guitar, voice lessons, drawing class, pottery, music, yoga, dance. Also OT, educational consulting, social skills groups, individual counseling. Held at: The Center on Central, Paoli. Website: www.thecenteroncentral.com Info/regis 610-710-1487.

ANIME/VIDEO – YOUNG ADULTS VIDEO GAME/ANIME CLUB in Havertown, Pa.  Info: www.facebook.com/groups/VideoGamesAnimeClub and click on the (about) to learn all there is to know about the club.  Questions: Aaron 610-613-2062, Josh 484-686-2891, VideoGamesAnimeClub@groups.facebook.com.

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.

ART – SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE FOR ADULTS USING MH SERVICES to take music and art lessons from Merge Education! Contact Mary Helen Rossi to receive scholarship application at 484-887-0377.

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 .

AUTISM AIRPORT TRAINING – New program available at the Phila. Airport. Students are taken thru the steps of going to an airport, boarding a plane, etc.  Includes a social story.  Website: www.phl.org/passengerinfo/Accessibility/Pages/AirportAutism.aspx

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:  Kathy Fox at 610-696-8090.

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.

BIBLE – ADVENTURES BIBLE CLUB for mild to moderate cognitively disabled teens (ages 12 – 18yrs) in Chester County. Sponsored by East Brandywine Baptist Church in Downingtown, this exciting outreach provides a truly fun, interactive social outlet for these teens (12-18 years of age).  Adventures Bible Club is especially designed to enhance social skills, spiritual awareness, and a desire to serve others in the community through several planned work projects slated throughout the coming school year. Why not come to East Brandywine Baptist Church soon and check us out?  We meet every Wednesday evening from 6:15-8:00 pm.  You can learn more about this exciting outreach on the church’s website:  http://www.eastbrandywinebaptist.com/AdventuresBibleClub.asp. Info: denisehowland3@gmail.com.

BOARD GAMES – THE PHOENIXVILLE BOARD GAMERS - For adults who enjoy playing board games!!  This informal group meets at Phoenixville Public Library on Mondays from 6:00 to 9:00 PM. Upstairs in the Harrop Room.  Board games that can be played in a single sitting and that encourage social interaction will be featured.  Attendees are welcome to bring their own games and either a dish to share or money to buy pizza.  The group is free and open to the public.  Info: Nick at nupanick@gmail.com. The library is located at 183 Second Avenue, Phoenixville.

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, http://CompeerChesco.org.

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, www.bestbuddiespennsylvania.org. Website: www.bestbuddiespennsylvania.org

CHILDREN’S LIBRARY FALL PROGRAMMING – Phoenixville Public Library. Toddlers and Preschoolers: “Fall Into Reading!” – started Monday, September 16. Includes story programs, yoga (for preschoolers), and ‘Learn with Me’ classes (ages 1 to 3). Age 7 and up: LEGO® Clubs (ages 5 – 7 may attend if assisted by a parent/caregiver). Grade 5 and up: After School Gaming. No registration is required. Info/regis: 610-933-3013, ext. 124. Website: www.phoenixvillelibrary.org. The library is located at 183 Second Avenue in Phoenixville.

PRESCHOOL MUSIC PROGRAM – “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.

DANCE – ADAPTIVE DANCE CLASS (AGES 8-15)Instructor: Cindy Schneider, Director, Acting Antics Inc. Dance instructors, trained to work with students with special needs, will teach hip-hop, jazz and more, with focus on individualized instruction. Call: Cindy Schneider, Director, Acting Antics Inc. 3 Ravine Rd. Malvern, PA 19355, 610-942-4219, www.actingantics.org.

DATING: “SAFE DATES”: Highly engaging and interactive 6 session evidence based program for middle and high school students is designed to stop or prevent the initiation of emotional, physical, and sexual abuse between individuals in dating relationships. Teens learn to recognize the difference between caring, supportive relationships and controlling, manipulative or abusive dating relationships. These classes are coordinated for organizations that serve middle and high school students, by Holcomb Behavioral Health: Organizations should call for information: Malorie at 610-363-1488, M.Showalter@holcombbhs.org, or Luis (Bilingual) at L.Benites@holcombbhs.org and ask for the Prevention Office.

DRIVERS TRAINING – Two courses: “Classroom (Highway Safety)” and “Behind the Wheel” offered by the CCIU. Info: www.cciu.org/site/Default.aspx?PageID=34 or call: 484-237-5189.

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).

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.

GAMES- FREE ON-LINE GAMES:

GAMES- PAID ON-LINE GAMES:

HOMEWORK – BRIDGE ACADEMY & COMMUNITY CENTER – Ages 4 – 18 or 18 and up. Homework club, arts & crafts, dance, sewing, carpentry, computer classes. Info/regis: Jordan 610-466-9505, Jordan.crans@gmail.com.

HOMEWORK – THE GARAGE COMMUNITY & YOUTH CENTER. Kennett Square and West Grove locations. Kennett Square Hours: MONDAY – THURSDAY 3:00pm – 7:00pm; FRIDAY 3:00pm – 6:00pm. Info: 610-444-6464, info@garageyouthcenter.org. West Grove Hours: MONDAY – THURSDAY 3:00pm – 7:00pm. Info: 610-869-4400, westgrove@garageyouthcenter.org. It’s the only place in Kennett and West Grove open 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 participate in activities hosted by the groups that meet here. Check us out! There’s probably something at The Garage that will interest you. Website: www.garageyouthcenter.org.

KARATE – TAE KWON DO CLASSES FOR KIDS WITH SPECIAL NEEDSRegular, private or semi-private classes offered, and kids are included with kids without special needs, as appropriate. Special needs group classes can be offered Wednesdays at 3:00pm for a minimum of 6 children. 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. Info/regis: Mr Fox at 717-469-5876, www.unitedsportstkd.net.

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 complementary free week trial. Info: 610-640-9232, website: www.karaterox.com

MENTORING–CHESTER COUNTY FUTURES – Ages 14 – 18. School/community-based mentoring program. Info/regis: Kathy 610-516-1050, kmclaughlin@ccfutures.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.

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

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

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 9/1/2013, and live in families at 300% or less of the federal poverty levels (i.e., family of four earning up to $66,150/year). 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.

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.

RECREATION – FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT! 1st Fri, 6:30pm at The Journey Church in West Chester. Movies shown on 9 ft x 13 ft big screen. Soda & popcorn provided! Info: www.thejourneywc.org/events/ Contact Brodie Smith at brodie@thejourneywc.org.

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: Allegretto Therapy Services, Exton. Regis/info: Cris at (610) 457-2199, pcfick@verizon.net.

RECREATION, SOCIAL SKILLS, AND RESPITEAges 18 yrs and up. Meets several times monthly. Community-based barbecues, swim parties, zoos, outdoor games, dances, bowling, train rides, etc. Costs vary by activity. Call: Lori or Rob at the Arc of Chester County 610-696-8090, rmalone@arcofchestercounty.org.

RESPITE – The Arc of Chester County offers one-on-one respite assistance to families by the hour, day, or week. All ages. Info: Janine 610-696-8090 ext. 239, jcaldwell@arcofchestercounty.org.

RESPITE – MEDICAL DAYCARE – Lauren’s House – 795 Fox Chase, Coatesville, Pa 19320. Medical daycare can be a lifesaver for some parents and it is free to those with MA.  Nurses on duty up to 7 days/week as needed. Lee Irwin, RN Administrator. 877-589-0854.

RIDING – THERAPEUTIC HORSEBACK RIDING – REINS of LIFE. Non-profit corporation in Landenberg, PA providing therapy riding services for children and young adults with special needs. Disabilities served are varied and include: Down Syndrome, autism, spina bifida, cerebral palsy, ADD, emotional challenges, learning disabilities, and speech, hearing, or visual impairments. Program operates Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. After school hours on weekdays, Saturday 9am-3pm. Ask about our new program “Sibling Riding”. Info: Judy Hendrickson. 610-274-3300 or 610-724-5305. Website: www.reinsoflife.com

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.

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 – SNACK AND PLAY: A PLAYGROUP FOR CHILDREN 3-5YRS WHO ARE “FUSSY EATERS” One group of five children will meet 3x/wk. for four weeks, led by an instructor and an OT. Call for more details: Karen Schillinger, Easter Seals, 610-873-3990.

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.

SOCIAL GROUP FOR TEENS & YOUNG ADULTS – SOCIAL NIGHTS (AGES 13+) – This group meets weekly to enjoy interaction through a variety of social activities including: movie nights, karaoke, playing board games, dancing and other activities decided on by the group. Call: Cindy Schneider, Director, Acting Antics Inc. 3 Ravine Rd. Malvern, PA 19355, 610-942-4219, www.actingantics.org.

SOCIAL GROUP FOR TEENS with ADHD – FREE MEETING. No Registration Needed. Third Thursday of each month during the school year. Time: 7:30-8:30. Location: Exton Baptist Church, 141 E. Swedesford Rd, Exton, PA. Topic: Open meeting. There will be pizza! Teens with ADHD face challenges that friends and family might not understand. This discussion group provides a rare opportunity to meet other teens with ADHD and to learn from their experiences. Parents must stay on the premises during the group meeting. While the Teens meet a CHADD board member is present to talk to parents and share resources.

SOCIAL SKILLS – GROUPS – THERAPLAY, INC.,638 Brandywine Parkway, West Chester. 610-436-3604, ext. 12, mhugel@theraplayinc.com, www.theraplayinc.com.

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 THINKING – SEQUOIA KIDS SUNDAY. A social skill development, recreational program for children ages 8-16 who need help improving their social skills. Utilizing Michelle Garcia Winner’s Social Thinking framework. Meets 2 Sundays/month, 2:00pm – 5:00pm. Location: Temple Sholom, Broomall. Info: www.sequoiakidsprogram.com or 610-771-0111. Email: office@sequoiakidsprogram.com

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.

WORSHIP SERVICE – “NO SHUSHING” – Saturdays – 6:30pm – 7:30pm 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.

YMCA – ABILITY PROGRAMS at the YMCA – designed for children with disABILITIES who benefit from reduced class sizes and a more structured / less stimulated environment.  This program offers classes for children ages 3 – 10 in the areas of Sports, Art, Social Skills, Aquatics, and Gymnastics. Programs are supervised by professionally trained staff.  PHOENIXVILLE YMCA - Info: Dana at (610) 933-5861 x5772. UPPER MAIN LINE YMCAsInfo: Charlie at 610-647-9622 x2511.

YMCA –FREE MEMBERSHIPS FOR 7TH GRADERS.  Area YMCAs offering free memberships for 7th graders, with current 7th graders being eligible through August 31, prior to entering the eighth grade. The YMCA of the Brandywine Valley, (Coatesville, Kennett Square, West Chester, Jennersville, Cochranville, and Elverson); Upper Main Line YMCA (Berwyn, Lionville, and Eagleview); and the YMCA of Philadelphia and Vicinity (Media and Ardmore), are part of a national focus on healthy lifestyles for youth. Info: at the local YMCAs or www.ymcabwv.org/7GI/index.html, www.umly.org, and www.rockyrunymca.org.

YOGA FOR ADULTS – sessions for adults will be held every Friday, beginning August 23, from 12:15 to 1:00 PM, at Phoenixville Public Library.  The sessions will be led by Alycia Scarito. Enjoy yoga for all practitioner levels, learning basic stretches and breathing exercises to help keep you balanced and relaxed. Participants may bring a yoga mat and should wear comfortable clothing to move in. Cost is $5.00 per session, and registration is required on the Adult Events Calendar at www.phoenixvillelibrary.org or at 610-933-3013 x32. The sessions are open to the public.  Phoenixville Public Library is located at 183 Second Avenue, Phoenixville, PA.

SOCIAL CLUB – YOUNG ADULT SOCIAL CLUB/TEEN CLUB OF CHESTER COUNTY sponsored by Easter Seals of SE PA for teens/young adults w/disabilities. Have lots of fun exploring the community, singing karaoke, dancing, cooking, and socializing. Meet 2x/mo. usually 1st & 3rd Fri. Info: Kim 610-565-2353.

SOCIAL SKILLS – THE SPECTRUM by DRAGONFLY FOREST. Recreation matters. Fun matters. At the end of our life, we look back on the moments we loved. Our program enhances lives. Program open to all but designed to be autism-accessible. Our program is designed to help people appreciate social situations, meet interesting people, and be open to social coaching. 828-458-0313, www.DragonflyForest.org.

SOCIAL SKILLS – GROUPS – led by licensed speech path and physical therapist.Dynamic, interactive, and fun sessions at Little Wonders Child Growth & Development Center, Inc. Info: 610-275-KIDS.

SOCIAL SKILLS – PROMPT AND PLAY CENTER – Ages3 – 18 in need of social skills, life skills, counseling. 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, or Luis (Bilingual) LBenites2@holcombbhs.org.

SOCIAL SKILLS – SPECTRUM KIDS CAN!!! – Play with peers in a non-judgmental setting and use and improve socialization skills. All ages welcome! First Sunday/month. 2-4pm. Held at The Annex of the Henrietta Hankin Library, 215 Windgate Dr., Chester Springs. No registration required. Info: 610-321-1724, hhyouthservices@ccls.org.

SOCIAL SKILLS – YOUNG CHILDREN GROUP – 4-6yrs. (WAYNE) – 2nd Sat. of the month from 8:45am – 10:00am. Info: Dale Fisher, dalefish2000@aol.com, 610-668-8890.

SPORTS – SPECIAL OLYMPICS – Don’t miss the fun! Winter: Basketball, Gymnastics, Ice Skating, Skiing, Swimming, etc. Info/schedule: 484-320-9401, SOPAChesterCounty@Comcast.net, www.pasocc.org,

SPORTS – COATESVILLE AREA LITTLE LEAGUE – Ages 5 – 18. Little League Baseball Program. Info: Pat 610-384-5689.

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

SPORTS – 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!

SWIMMING – SPLASH – A free water safety experience, presented by: Dansko for Children in 1st – 8th grade. Held at Kennett Area Community Pool, Walnut Street, Kennett Square. 4:45, 5:45; or 6:45. Transportation provided. Info/regis: Kennett Area YMCA: Lolly Hallman, 610-444-9622 x2319, or Lenda at x2317.

SWIMMING – Y-KNOT OTTER SWIM TEAM 4-18 years of age with physical and physiological challenges. Helps build confidence and self esteem. Main Line YMCA. Info/regis: Jennifer 610-854-1625, Jennifer.Whalen@UMLY.org.

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: Meghan Cahallan 610-280-0180, info@mainline-rehab.com, www.mainline-rehab.com

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, or Luis (Bilingual) LBenites2@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, or Luis (Bilingual) LBenites2@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, or Luis (Bilingual) LBenites2@holcombbhs.org.

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.

TEEN – SUPPORT GROUP – GLBTQA – SUPPORT GROUP for GAY, LESBIAN, BISEXUAL, TRANSGENDER YOUTH. Meets weekly, Th. from 6:30pm – 8:30pm at Unitarian Fellowship of West Chester. Sponsored by Planned Parenthood with Unitarian Fellowship of West Chester. Info/brochure: 610-692-1770 ext. 108, lfraser@ppccpa.org or wgrinwis@ppccpa.org.

THEATER – CHILDREN’S THEATER – Ages 11 – 14. Children’s Theater Program. Info: Rev. Sherry 610-384-4771.

VIDEO – YOUNG ADULTS VIDEO GAME/ANIME CLUB in Havertown, Pa.  Info: www.facebook.com/groups/VideoGamesAnimeClub and click on the (about) to learn all there is to know about the club.  Questions: Aaron 610-613-2062, Josh 484-686-2891, VideoGamesAnimeClub@groups.facebook.com.

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.

VOCATIONAL/GED – CAREER LINK – Ages 16 – Adult. GED Preparation, vocational training, resume writing, computer workshops, Job Corp. Info: 610-384-9393.

VOCATIONAL/TRANSITION – EARN CENTER – Ages 18-24. Job readiness, occupational training, employment activities, and retention. Info: Lila 610-384-6900, lsingleton@chesco.org .

YOUTH OUTREACH UNION. Peer-drivensupport and advocacy network of young adults for young adults. Website: www.youthoutreachunion.com. 

SCOUTING – GIRL SCOUTS OF EASTERN PA – Girl Scout Troop for disabled girls and non-disabled girls who would like to join in as buddies. Ages 6 – 13. Meeting in an accessible home on the Honey Brook/Coatesville border with 3 cats and 1 dog as honorary members of the troop. Info: Meira 610-273-7858, meira-harvey@att.net.

SCOUTING – BOY SCOUT TROOP 599, Hawk Mountain Council – for boys & young men with special needs 11 yrs. old and up. Location: St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Old Swede Rd., Amity Township. Cost $40/yr. Contact: Chris or Kim Murray cm6klr@dejazzd.com, 610-404-1206, 484-638-4906, or 484-638-2002 (Kim’s cell).

SCOUTING – CUB SCOUT PACK 599, Hawk Mountain Council – for boys ages 7-11 with special needs. Location: St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Old Swede Rd., Amity Township. Cost $40/yr. Contact: Chris or Kim Murray cm6klr@dejazzd.com, 610-404-1206, 484-638-4906, or 484-638-2002 (Kim’s cell).

SCOUTING – CUB SCOUT PACK 64 – Chester County, for boys on the autism spectrum. St. Phillip/James Church, Exton. www.cubscoutpack64.com.

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.

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 $30. 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.

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Academic Support on the Web

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Tutoring

  • ALTERNATIVE CONNECTIONSChristine Madden302-475-1141
  • CARE CENTER FOR CHRISTBlondell Parsons - 610-436-6226
  • CLUB Z! TUTORING, www.clubztutoring.com/avondalepa or call 610-268-5363
  • EDUCATIONAL SERVICE, INC. – Tina Maida Madington, Director, 302-655-6283, www.educationalservice.org.
  • FICK EDUCATIONAL SERVICESTutor, Special Ed Teacher, and Certified Educational Advocate. 610-457-2199, Email: pcfick@verizon.net
  • FREE – THE GARAGE YOUTH CENTERKennett Square and West Grove locations. Drop in anytime! Mon-Thurs 3-7pm. Info: 610-444-6464 (Kennett) or 610-869-4400 (West Grove).
  • JEN ARCHIBALD, TUTOR EXTRAORDINAIRE - Achievemoretutor@aol.com, 610-644-7811
  • SPECIALIZED TUTORING SERVICES -  Janet B. Tehie, PhD, 610-209-4233, Email: tutorneeded6@gmail.com, Website: www.specializedtutors.com
  • STRIVE – Ages 14 – 18. School-based academic support. Info: Coatesville Rotary 610-384-9196.
  • WYZANT – (877) 999-2681, Website: www.wyzant.com/Chester_County_PA_tutors.aspx

Support / Advocacy Groups

RIGHT TO EDUCATION TASK FORCE – Chester County –Usually meets the 2nd Th. – 10:00am – 12:30pm 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,  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!

ADDICTION – WEST CHESTER AREA PARENT SUPPORT GROUP – For parents whose children have been impacted by addiction. A place to find support and encouragement. Every Tues. 7:00pm – 9:00pm at Westminster Presbyterian Church, West Chester. Lyle and Deidre F. 610-793-3446, or Bob or Sue W. Wilsonvbc@aol.com, 610-563-1706.

ADDICTION – DRUG AND ALCOHOL SUPPORT LINE FOR FAMILY MEMBERS OF ADDICTS – 215-736-1643.

ADOPTION – POST-ADOPTION SUPPORT GROUP meets on alternate Wednesdays in the Spring (March to May) and the Fall (September to November). 7:00-8:30pm at the Government Services Bldg., 601 Westtown Rd., West Chester. Teen and children’s activities provided. Info/Regis: Kathy Boyd, 610-344-5890, kboyd@chesco.org, or 610-344-5800.

ADOPTION SUPPORT GROUP - Meeting Monthly on the Third Thursday of every month from 7-8:30 PM. One group for parents and a concurrent group for children/teens. Location: Church of the Saviour, Wayne, building “C” 2nd Floor- Room C208 for Adults, Room 205 for Teens/Children. Run by Bethany Adoption Agency partnering with Open Hearts Open Homes ministry at Church of the Savior. See map/directions at: http://www.cosnet.org/resources/cat/maps-and-directions/ Info/regis:  Elaine  (how many attending) at econner@comcast.net

ADOPTION – SHARING OUR ADOPTION RESOURCES (SOAR) – parent support group discussing joys/challenges of raising post-institutionalized, school-age children adopted internationally. Lvandivner@aol.com.

ADULTS WITH PHYSICAL DISABILITIES SUPPORT GROUP – for young/older adults to share information, support, socialization, and resources. 610-524-5850, LindaR@ccdisability.org.

ADOLESCENT SUPPORT GROUP. Info: Lvandivner@aol.com, and CHILDREN’S SUPPORT PROGRAM. Info: pkfunk@verizon.net.

APRAXIA Support Group. Info/dates: Lia – jimliagorman@comcast.net. Wendy wenobrooks@aol.com.

ASCEND (Asperger’s and Autism Support) – Info: Deirdre 610-449-6776, dcwright@ascendgroup.org, or www.ascendgroup.org.

ASPERGER SUPPORT GROUP OF WEST-MONT – 3rd Wed. at St. Luke’s United Church of Christ, Collegeville. Support, info, resources. Info: Valarie, 610-454-7217, VBeckius@Yahoo.com.

ATTACHMENT DISORDER NETWORK ONLINE SUPPORT nancy@radzebra.org, julieb@radzebra.org.

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 ALLIANCE MEETING – Monthly at the CCIU, Downingtown. Info: www.autismallianceofchestercounty.org. Ask about Parents’ Night Out events! Email: aacc@autismallianceofchestercounty.org.

AUTISM – TACA (TALK ABOUT CURING AUTISM). National non-profit now holding monthly meetings in PA. 1st Fri./mo at 16 Campus Blvd, Suite 200, Newtown Square. 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 – CHESTER COUNTY AUTISM SUPPORT GROUP – Parent luncheons around the county and families-only listserv (chesterco-supportgroup@yahoogroups.com). Open by invitation. Get connected! Jane: 610-345-1156, JaneLeet@aol.com.

AUTISM – CHESTER COUNTY AUTISM SUPPORT GROUP – For over 20 years, the Chester Co. ASD Support Group has been helping families to access information/resources for their loved ones living with autism. Families share information, experiences, ask questions, engage in collaborative problem solving and, most importantly, support each other and celebrate each success.  Families communicate by participating in our large, supportive listserv and/or by attending monthly parent gatherings (Wed. breakfast in West Grove; Fri. dinner in Downingtown). All ideas, questions, experiences and recommendations are welcome. Info: CCASDsupport@aol.com or JaneLeeT@aol.com

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.

BETTER LIVING BETTER LIVES – A group of families who meet monthly to work toward a more independent life for their family members who need 24/7 support. We meet the 4th Wed./mo at 7:00pm at The Arc of Chester County. JOIN US! Info: dcarey@arcofchestercounty.org.

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

CARING COMMUNITIES COALITION MEETING – Meets at COAD in Exton. Info on date/time: Kathleen, gyphy@kennett.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,www.chestercountychadd.org. For specific dates and topics www.chadd.net/222, CHADD Message Line 610-429-4060.

CHESTER COUNTY HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES Websearch Search for services provided in Chester County by category, keyword, or agency/program name. http://www.referweb.net/chesco/.

CHESTER COUNTY COLLABORATIVE BOARD – Service providers, community, parents addressing issues involving children/families. Kathy Brauner – 610-344-5262.

CHESTER COUNTY FAMILY AND COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP – Families, funders, providers, and community organizations working together to build awareness, share information, and improve efforts on behalf of children/families in Chester County. 610-783-1788 ext. 223, kbrenneman@childandfamilyfocus.org.

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.

COMMUNITIES THAT CARE (CTC) GROUPS – in local school districts to promote healthy youth development and prevent and reduce negative youth health and behavioral issues including substance abuse, delinquency, teen pregnancy, school drop-out, and violence.

  • WCASD CTC – 2nd Wed./mo at various locations. Info Christina, mobilizer, 610-696-8262.
  • DASD CTC – 3rd Tues./mo at Lionville Community YMCA. Info: Elena Seeman, mobilize, 610458-9090 x2827, dtownctc@umly.org.
  • GVSD CTC – Great Valley Partnership for Healthy Youth – 3rd Wed./mo at GVSD offices, 46 Church Rd., Malvern. Info: Shanna Cornuet, PHY mobilizer, 484-886-8437.

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.

CPPASD – Concerned Parents of Phoenixville Area School District – Info: CPPASD, Box 633, Phoenixville, PA 19460, or forconcernparents@yahoo.com.

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

DASD – Downingtown Area School District’s SPECIAL EDUCATION PARENT SUPPORT GROUP. Do you think your child may have a disability that requires special education services? Do you wonder how to make sense of the world of special education? Do you wish you could network with other parents who are involved in the special education process?You are not alone! We provide a network in which parents of children with special needs have access to relevant information, training and emotional support; and encourage an atmosphere of effective communication, understanding, and mutual respect among all students, parents, educators and the community-at-large. Call for meeting dates: 7:00-9:00pm at the DASD Administration Building, 540 Trestle Place, Downingtown, Room B. Sign up for our yahoo group to receive regular info about this group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dasdspecialedsupport, dasdspecialedsupport@yahoogroups.com. Questions? Paulette lomarro@yahoo.com, 610-363-0127.

DEPRESSION/BI-POLAR Support Group for MH Consumers –Weekly, Tues. PM in West Chester area. 610-420-7330.

DEPRESSION – Learn from ME about teen depression. The ME Project: encouraging, supporting, and educating teens, their families, and the community about mental health issues. Resource center located in Ridge Village Shopping Center, Suite #21, Chadds Ford. www.meproject.org.

DIFFICULT/CHALLENGING TEEN-PARENT SUPPORT GROUP –at Willowdale Chapel, Rt. 82. 610-274-2248.

DIVORCE – CHILDREN IN THE MIDDLE (CIM): a skill-based program to help middle school youth and their parents minimize a child’s 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 Chrissie 484-444-0412, cdziembo@holcombbhs.org, or Luis (Bilingual) LBenites2@holcombbhs.org. Ongoing.

**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.

DOWN SYNDROME INTEREST GROUP of Chester County – Meets 1st Thu./mo at 7:30pm 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 DSIG.

DRUG AND ALCOHOL INFORMATION AND REFERRAL –CHESTER COUNTY – 1-877-286-3767.

DYSLEXIA – DECODING DYSLEXIA PA SUPPORT GROUP, Phoenixville: Meets 4th Thursday of every month. 7:00PM. This group is about educating, creating awareness and providing support to families and educators. Meetings will be held at Phoenixville Hospital Campus, 826 Main St., Medical Office Bldg #2, 3rd floor conference center, rooms A and B in Phoenixville.  Info: Tina Marie 484-650-3690, or email decodingdyslexiapa@gmail.com. Invite others and spread the word! Chambersburg: Meets the 2nd Tuesday of every month for those with struggling readers, children labeled with a Specific Learning Disability, with a diagnosis of Dyslexia or is currently seeking one. Become educated, enjoy parent support, create bonds, gain strength. You are not alone! 6:00pm until 7:30pm. Location: Grove Family Library, 101 S Ragged Edge Road, Chambersburg, PA. Info: Tina Marie at decodingdyslexiapa@gmail.com.

EARLY INTERVENTION – CHESTER COUNTY LICC. Meetings for professionals and parents with children with special needs in the early intervention years. Mission: support families and enhance the quality of services. Meetings held Sept. through June at The Intermediate Unit, room #300, 455 Boot Rd. (CCIU). For info/newsletter/event listing: co-chair Patty 610-436-3600, pmiller@theraplayinc.com or co-chair, Lynne Goetting 610-344-5946, lgoetting@chesco.org.

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.

EMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE  - Vocational Rehabilitation Assistance (OVR). OVR will provide assistance to individuals with disabilities in finding work, maintaining employment and supplemental services. FREE. Mondays and Tuesdays. Location: Phoenixville Public Library, 183 Second Avenue. Info: www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/vocational_rehabilitation/10356. By appointment only. Call 484-250-4340, X136.                                      

OVR ADVOCATES – THE CLIENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAM - www.equalemployment.org. Helps navigate the OVR process, ensuring that vocation habilitation is open and responsive to your needs. Info: Margaret 215-557-7112, email: margarget@equalemployment.org                                                              

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

FAMILIES OVERCOMING OBSTACLES TOGETHER, The FOOT ministry is now forming IN SOUTHERN CHESTERCOUNTY to help families walk through these challenges together. The ministry is based out of the Christian Life Center – New London Township, Pa. Info: Allison Rafferty at 610-467-0064, www.clcfamily.net.

FATHERHOOD – EVERY THURSDAY – 5:30pm – 7:00pm FOUNDATIONS OF FATHERHOOD WORKSHOP – sponsored by Phoenixville CTC

FOOT Ministry a SUPPORT GROUP in SOUTHERN CHESTER COUNTY. The FOOT ministry (Families Overcoming Obstacles Together), Meetings held 3rd Mon/mo., 6:30pm – 8:00pm. Tohelp families walk through these challenges together. The ministry is based out of the Christian Life Center – New London Township. Serving families in and around Southern Chester County. Info: Allison Rafferty at 610-467-0064, www.clcfamily.net.

FOSTER CARE – Orientation/info. Sessions held for those interested in becoming foster parents. Held at Friends Association, West Chester. Info/Regis: Melrena Flowers at 610-431-3598 ext. 209.

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.

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

GRANDFAMILY SUPPORT GROUP: Grandfamilies are households headed by grandparents or other relatives sharing their home with nieces, nephews, grandchildren, or other related children (also called kinship families). Meets on alternate Wednesdays in the Spring (March to May) and the Fall (September to November)  7:00 – 8:30pm at Government Services Bldg., 601 Westtown Rd., West Chester. Teen and children’s activities provided. Info/Regis: Kathy Boyd, 610-344-5890, kboyd@chesco.org, or 610-344-5800.

H.O.P.E. – Helping by Offering Prayer and Encouragement – Christian support for parents of children with special needs. Downingtown. Karyn, 610-873-4698, musictchr@earthlink.net or Debbie, 484-888-5443.

HARD OF HEARING CHILDREN – Parents meet every 4th Tue. at CHAD in West Chester. Info/Regis: Janine Ruch. 610-918-6250, ruchjm@comcast.net,

HOPEWELL SPECIAL PARENT SUPPORT GROUP – All welcome. Relaxed/informal time of devotions/prayer. 1st Wed. Sept. through April, 6:30pm – 7:30pm at Hopewell United Methodist Church, Downingtown. Info/regis: Rose: garyrose@verizon.net or Vicki: Vicki@hopewellumc.org.

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

INTELLECTUAL AND PHYSICAL DISABILITIES – COUNSELING SERVICES. Serving families and children with disabilities and special needs for 25 years. Services include youth, teen and adult counseling. Practice is centered on the use of cognitive behavior therapy and solution-focused therapy. Joseph Lipiarski, LSW – Concord Springs Counseling Center, Glen Mills, PA. Info/appt: 610-348-6192, email: concordsprings@verizon.net.

LA LECHE LEAGUE There are five La Leche League Groups in Chester County (610-363-6206):

LOVE AND LOGIC TRAININGS – for parents of all children and those who work with children. Karen at kbrenneman@childandfamilyfocus.org.

MH – BRIGHT FUTURES – Helping those in recovery access their educational and employment goals. Open to any Chester County resident who is in mental health recovery. No cost for classes or materials. Funded by the Chester County Dept of MH/IDD. Classes: 9 wks., 2 days/wk., 9:00am – 12:00pm. Contact Carelink 610-429-1702 or Chester County MH/IDD 610-344-6265.

MH – COMMUNITY SUPPORT PROGRAM “CSP” (Consumers, family members and MH Professionals together to improve MH system) – Meets 1st Wednes., 12pm – 2:00pm, @ Peer Support Center, West Chester 610-344-7049.

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

MH – CONSUMER “PEER SUPPORT CENTER” Recovery resources, WRAP, CPS & Common Ground Trainings, Employment Counseling, Support Groups, etc. 825 Paoli Pike, West Chester, PA 19380, 610-429-1702.

MH – CRISIS – CONSUMER WARM LINE – 877-846-2722.

MH – CRISIS – VALLEY CREEK CRISIS CENTER – 877-918-2100.

MOM’S CLUB – Big calendar of activities w/playgroups. Chester Co. Chapter, 610-719-0816. Local groups: Landenberg, 2nd Tue. – 9:30am, West Grove UMC, 610-255-3975; Chadds Ford, last Tue. CFmomsclub@hotmail.com, 610-455-0137; Oxford, 1st Tue.- Oxford Nazarene Church, 610-932-6122.

**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.

**NAMI CHESTER COUNTY – 484-947-5643, 825 Paoli Pike, 3rd Floor, West Chester, www.chester.nami.org, namichesco@comcast.net.

**NAMI CHESTER COUNTY HELPLINE – 610-430-0177.

**NAMI CHESTER COUNTY BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING – 2ND Wednes/mo. 7pm-9pm, 825 Paoli Pike, 3rd Fl, West Chester, 484-947-5643.

**NAMI – CHESTER COUNTY GENERAL MEETINGS, 3rd Thu. 7:00pm – 9:00pmat Christ Memorial Lutheran Church, Paoli Pike & Line Rd., Malvern. Guest presenters. ALL WELCOME! 484-947-5643/  http://chester.nami.org.

**NAMI – DOWNINGTOWN AREA FAMILY SUPPORT GROUP (Family & Friends) – FOCUS ON GRIEF AND LOSS 2nd Thu. – 7:30pm – 9:30pm at private home. MH facilitator attending. For MH family members who have experienced death of a loved one with mental illness. Call ahead! 610-269-3476.

**NAMI – FAMILY-TO-FAMILY – MH Family Member Education/Coping Course 12 wks. @ 1x wk. Instructors are trained NAMI family members. MUST call ahead: 484-947-5643.

**NAMI – PAOLI /EASTERN CHESTER COUNTY – FAMILY SUPPORT GROUP – 4th Wed.- 7:00pm – 9:00pm. Call ahead: 610-296-8036.

**NAMI – PHOENIXVILLE/NE CHESTER COUNTY – FAMILY SUPPORT GROUP – 2nd Thu. – 7:00pm – 8:30pm at new location in Phoenixville. MH facilitator attending. Call ahead! 484-947-5643.

**NAMI – KENNETT SQUARE/SOUTHERN CHESTER COUNTY – FAMILY SUPPORT GROUP– 1st Thu. – 7:30pm – 9:00pm at Friends Meeting House, Rt. 82, Kennett Square. 610-444-5993.

**NAMI- WEST CHESTER AREAFAMILY SUPPORT GROUP 1st Wed. – 7:00pm – 9:30pm Call ahead and for location. 484-947-5643.

MENDING HEARTS- Support group for those dealing with prodigal kids (or grandkids) or adults whose life choices are causing disruption and chaos in the family. 2nd & 4th Tues., 7:00pm, Sept. through June, at Calvary Fellowship Church, Downingtown, room 103. Info/regis: wanamaker1@comcast.net.

MH RE-INTEGRATION: Local site: Stepping Stones Clubhouse. stepping_stones@verizon.net.

OJR – PSNS – Parents of Special Needs Students3rd Wed. 7:30pm – 9:00pm at the OJR High School, LGI room. Speakers, open forum, support. Banks207@aol.com.

PA EDUCATION FOR ALL COALITION, INC. Chapter meetings, online, parent consultant network. Diane Perry, 215-204-3031

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

PA FAMILY SUPPORT ALLIANCE – Support and education group meets at CYWA in Coatesville. 610-384-9591.

PARENT SUPPORT GROUPS:

  • DOWNINGTOWN SCHOOL DISTRICT – Gifted.  Downingtown Area Gifted Parents Association.  A support and advocacy group for the parents of Gifted children in the Downingtown Area School district. Email Deanie Gauntlett at downingtowngifted@gmail.org for meeting information. 
  • 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.

SUPPORT GROUP – for parents who would like to discuss the positive and challenging sides to raising children with special needs. Location: YMCA at Phoenixville. Info: Dana Emery, (610)933-5861 x5772

PARENTS HELPING PARENTS – A group of parents with children with special needs. Meets 3rd Thursdays. 5:30pm – 7:30 pm. Dinner provided. Location: Devereux Community Services, Phoenixville. Regis/info:  Alex, adannunz@devereux.org, (610)933-8110 ext. 2216 or Becky, rmartin5@devereux.org, 610-933-8110 ext. 2401

PARENT NETWORK – Workshops held 2nd Tue. 6:30pm – 8:00pm at E. Brandywine Twp Bldg, 1214 Horseshoe Pike, Downingtown. Call: Martie Muzzy 610-696-8211 or trmfoundation@gmail.com

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 Chrissie 484-444-0412, cdziembo@holcombbhs.org, or Luis (Bilingual) LBenites2@holcombbhs.org. Ongoing.

PARENTS OF PREMIES – Support for parents of pre-term babies in the NCIU or at home. 4th Thu. 7:00pm at 74 Pottstown Pk., Suite 1001, Chester Springs. Info: Melissa Anstine 610-715-5253, Support@ThePreemieLife.com.

PARENT TO PARENT OF 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.

PHYSICAL DISABILITIES – SUPPORT GROUP FOR PARENTS OF CHILDREN WITH CP AND OTHER PHYSICAL DISABILITIES to share information, knowledge, resources, and support. Exton.Jen at CPA of CC– 610-524-5850, JEshenbaugh@ccdisability.org.

REACTIVE ATTACHMENT DISORDER/DIFFICULTIES PARENT SUPPORT GROUP in Lincoln University. Nancy 610-255-3664, nancyjhg@followingadoption.com.

RECOVERY INTERNATIONAL – Support group for adults seeking self-help addressing nervous symptoms and fears. Meets every Wed. 7:00pm – 9:00pm – Phoenixville Area, 610-415-0920.

“RECOVERY WORKS” CONSUMER SUPPORT GROUP – Formerly “Schizophrenia Support Group.” Meets every Tue. 6:30pm – 7:30pm at Community Crossroads Peer Support Center, 825 Paoli Pike, West Chester. John 610-429-1702 or email: community.crossroads@hhinc.org.

SCHOOL DISTRICT-BASED SUPPORT GROUPS (contact info is located elsewhere in this document and listed alphabetically by support group abbreviation)

  • PASD – Phoenixville Area SD
  • DASD – Downingtown SD/Lionville
  • Great Valley – Great Valley SD
  • GVSD – Great Valley SD
  • OJR PSNS – Owen J Roberts SD
  • TE/SD – Tredyffrin-Easttown SD
  • WCASD – West Chester Area SD

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.

SEVERE AND PROFOUND SUPPORT – For parents of children with severe/profound disabilities incl: genetic disorders, neurological impairments, seizures, IDD, and physical limitations.Meets the 2nd Tue. at the Exton Specialty Care Center, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, 7:30pm – 9:30pm. Info/regis: Barbara Beck, RN, CPNP, CHOP, Neurology Dept., 215-590-4583.

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 SURVIVORS – SHARING THE SILENCE SUPPORT GROUP – at The Carriage House, St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, 400 King of Prussia Rd., Radnor, PA, 7:00pm – 8:30pm. Contact Carrie Miluski 610-687-5150.

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.

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

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

TOURETTE’S SYNDROME SUPPORT GROUP – Meets 2nd Tues. 7:30pm – 9:00pm.Individual advocacy/IEP support available. Lesley 610-409-0833, lgeyer@comcast.net or Eileen 610-222-4870, acklerfamily@verizon.net. Web: www.patsainc.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: Cindy-484-237-5000.

TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY (TBI) – For survivors, families, caregivers. Meets the 2nd Tue. 7:00pm at Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital, 610-251-5400.

VALUE – Vision and Leadership Uniting Education. Coalition of PA advocacy groups for children w/special needs. Ellen, emancuso@ppainc.org.

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 Michele at 215-885-2060, ext. 54018 or Michele.boardman@ahedd.org

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.

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Explore Your 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 the AWC Program Director, Kari Burdeau, at 610-696-8090, ext. 241 or kburdeau@arcofchestercounty.org.

“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 – 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 

AUTISM – HEALING THRESHOLDS – Connecting Community and Science to Heal Autism. Healing Thresholds is a free website dedicated to healing the lives of families touched by autism. It provides comprehensive therapy fact sheets, daily updates of research and news, and a global directory of autism therapists. Info: http://autism.healingthresholds.com/

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.

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.

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.

COMPUTERSLow-cost, refurbished computers available for $60 to $200 for qualifying families. Download an application from the website: www.TeamChildren.com. Phone: 610-666-1795, email: TeamChildren@aol.com

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/

DIGITAL BOOKS: ACCESSIBLE INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS.

  • BOOKSHARE – District Membership Available – FREE for school district this year & next year – App for iPod, iPhone & iPad. http://www.bookshare.org/
  • LEARNING ALLY – District Membership available (formerly RFB&D) App for iPod, iPhone & iPad. http://www.learningally.org/
  • CHESTER COUNTY LIBRARY has free audiobooks you can download to MP3, iPod, IPhone & iPad & Android devices. http://overdrive.ccls.org
  • AUDIBLE (A division of Amazon) has audio versions of books & textbooks available for purchase http://www.audible.com/anon-home
  • PaTTAN – Accessible Instructional Materials – http://www.pattan.net/category/Resources/AIM%20Center/
  • 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.

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 

EDUCATION – MATH – 101 RESOURCES FOR MATH TEACHERS. Karen Petersen is passionate about math education and has created a website and blog to help teachers and parents find great resources for reaching their students. Resources: www.onlinemathdegrees.org/leading-sites-for-teachers/

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.

CRISIS – Valley Creek CRISIS CENTER 877-918-2100.

CONSUMER WARM LINE – 866-846-2722.

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.

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

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.

EMPLOYMENT

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.

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

FOR THE LATEST ALERTS, ADVOCACY, AND EMAIL NEWSLETTERS:

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.

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

HELP IN PA – HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES HELP – http://www.helpinpa.state.pa.us/default.aspx.

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.

INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES: SELF ADVOCACY ONLINE – 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.

Valuable IEP 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.

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

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

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.”

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.

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

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

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

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

RFB&D – RECORDING for the BLIND & DYSLEXIC – FREE access to the nation’s largest audiobook library of textbooks and literature. www.rfbd.org

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

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

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.

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

 

WRAPAROUND RESOURCE GUIDE –

Click here for a guide on “Understanding Wrap Around”

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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

(BCEA = Board Certified Education Advocate)

  • The Arc of Chester County, Connie Mohn, MEd, BCEA, Director of Advocacy, 610-696-8090 ext. 220.
  • The Arc of Chester County, Lisa Lightner, BCEA, Education Advocate for Southern Chester County, llightner@arcofchestercounty.org, (610) 299-2195, 610-696-8090.
  • The Arc of Chester County, Blake Emmanuel, BCEA, Education Advocate for Northern Chester County, BEmmanuel@arcofchestercounty.org, 484-928-0087.
  • The Arc of Chester County, Joyceann Husted, MEd, BCEA, 610-696-8090, joyceann925@gmail.com
  • The CCIU: Mary Ann Amici, Parent Mentor 484-237-5123, MaryannA@cciu.org;
  • Bureau of Sp. Ed. Consultline, A Parent Helpline: 800-879-2301.
  • Child & Family Focus, Family Mentors – 610-783-1788 ext. 223, www.childandfamilyfocus.org
  •  Kim Booz, kbooz@childandfamilyfocus.org; (610) 741-8084, kbrenneman@childandfamilyfocus.org, and Debbie Willett, Family Support Advocate for Chester County Juvenile Probation, 484-238-4594, dwillett@childandfamilyfocus.org; Ed McKenna, 610-783-1788 ext. 238, emckenna@childandfamilyfocus.org;.
  • Disability Advocacy Support Hub (DASH) 800-692-7443 /877-375-7139 (TTY) (listserv + helpline)
  • Disability Rights Network PA: Sp. Ed. legal advice, technical assistance, publications/info:800-692-7443, www.dmpa.org/publications.
  • HUNE – Hispanos Unidos para Ninos Excepcionales – Special Ed Helpline – 215-425-5112.
  • Jill Santiago, Family Voices Advocacy Services 610-563-7802, hxsantiago@juno.com.
  • Mental Health Assoc. – 800-686-4226, www.mhasp.org.
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness Help Line (NAMI-Ches.Co.), http://chester.nami.org, 610-430-0177.
  • PA ELKS Home Service Program, www.paelks.com, 814-781-7860, 724-225-1395.
  • PA Health Law Project Help Line (Questions about Medical Assistance): 800-274-3258, http://www.phlp.org/
  • PA Tourette Syndrome Assoc., 800-990-3300.
  • PA Education for All Coalition, Inc. Chapter meetings, online, parent consultant network. Diane Perry, 215-204-3031
  • Parent Education Network, Carol Dugery, BCEA, Parent Support Coordinator, 800-522-5827 or 717-600-0100; Serving Bucks, Chester, Montgomery Counties.
  • Parent to Parent of PA-800-9860-4550; Special Kids Network – 888-727-2706.
  • Public Interest Law Center of Phila. (PILCOP) Consultation Services – $225 (Scholarship available) www.pilcop.org.
  • Social Security Disability Benefits Consulting, free of charge through Goodwill in Lancaster, PA, Todd@passabco.com, 866-541-7005 extension 3, www.yourgoodwill.org.
  • Special Kids Network – Helps individuals find resources and helps groups develop, and maintain programs and supports, 800-986-4550.
  • Susan Rzucidlo, SPEAK Unlimited, 610-659-3145, srz@dol.net
  • Vision for Equality – Helps individuals access supports and services. 215-923-3349, resources@vision for equality.org.

 FEE-FOR-SERVICE ADVOCATES

(BCEA = Board Certified Education Advocate)

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Resources