Offering advocacy and support to families of children with special needs is something very important to me. As a sister of exceptional siblings, a licensed counselor and mother of two awesome children; I have an understanding and passion to provide information on services and resources for children of all abilities. In 2017 I wrote an article on supporting parents of children with abilities on the topic of going out in the community. I promised that I would compile a list of services, accommodating activities and other resources…and here it is! I have been working hard on this for months and hope that the list is helpful to many families and will keep it updated. This article provides websites, phone numbers and information on advocacy services, support groups, intervention and treatment, activities with accommodations, summer camp options and upcoming events for 2019.
ACTIVITIES WITH ACCOMMODATIONS
Charles County Special Olympics
Melwood Recreation Center
Spring Dell Center
ADVOCACY & SUPPORT SERVICES
Charles County Special Education Department
Decoding Dyslexia Maryland
Maryland Disability Law Center
National Alliance of Mental Illness Southern Maryland
The Parents Place of Maryland
Pathfinders for Autism
Southern Maryland Center for Family Advocacy
United Way of Charles County
CSS Summer Camp
Deaf Camp, Inc.
Dove Pointe, Inc.
Lions Club Camp Merrick
Mellwood- Camp Accomplish
Summer Camp for Children with Multiple Disabilities
Joni & Friends Family Camp
(My family attended Joni & Friends Camp every year and loved it, it’s great for respite care and spending quality time together as family in a non-judgmental and supportive environment)
Arc of Southern Maryland
Care for You, Inc.
Charles County Respite Care Department
Promise Resource Center
EVALUATION, INTERVENTION, TREATMENT SERVICES
Barstow Acres provides mental health services, developmental and enrichment programs for children, adults and families. Services are provided in a home-like environment by competent, compassionate, culturally diverse and client-centered staff. They are known for their creative therapy interventions such as play therapy and art therapy.
Child Find is a program for children from birth to age 21, that provides screening and evaluation designed to locate, identify, and refer as early as possible all young children with disabilities and their families who are in need of early Intervention Program or Preschool Special Education services.
Children’s Hospital- Division of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health
This Nationally recognized program offers; assessment, diagnosis, and care for children and teens with behavioral, emotional, and developmental disorders.
Center for Children
Provides comprehensive mental health services to children and their families.
Coordinated Movements, Inc. has been serving the Southern Maryland for over fifteen years. I can remember taking my siblings here and always feeling so supported. They specialize in pediatric occupational, physical and speech-language therapy.
Department of Health-Infant & Toddler Program
The Infant & Toddler program is great; they provide developmental intervention services for children age’s birth to three.
Head Start Programs
Head Start is in all three counties and provides programming in an educational setting that promotes school readiness of children ages birth to five from low-income families by enhancing their cognitive, social, and emotional development.
Provides a central location for early childhood education and support services for children from birth through kindergarten. Judy Centers promote school readiness by developing the child with communication skills, basic math ideas, understanding of stories and understanding of the world around them.
Kennedy Krieger Institute Behavioral Management Clinic
Kennedy Krieger is my number one recommendations to families when looking for early identification, intervention, and treatment of disabilities. Kennedy Krieger values maximizing potential and preventing major problems throughout a child’s life. It is a great place to start to get an evaluation and locate services near you.
The Promise Resource Center
Provides a variety of parenting, co-parenting and behavior management support programs, as well as classes on child development and developmentally appropriate practices for families and child care providers.
Tri County Youth Services Bureau
Tri County Youth Services Bureau serves children and families in all three counties by providing social, mental and behavioral therapy services through both school based and community based programs.
Early Childhood Resource Directory
Family Support Services
Maryland Community Connection
Maryland Community Service Locator
Maryland Special Needs Events
AUTISM SPEAK WALK
Join many at the National Mall on October 5, 2019 to advocate and take action for the diverse needs of the autism community. The event helps generate funds that fuel innovative research and make connections to critical lifelong supports and services.
BIG APPLE- AUTISM FRIENDLY DAY
(Big Apple Circus- National Harbor)
Date: February 23, 2019
Time: 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Details: This performance is designed to accommodate people with special needs. The show is sensory friendly and includes a calming center, volunteers and a social story.
B&O RAILROAD – SENSORY FRIENDLY DAY
(B&O Railroad Museum)
Date: March 24, 2019
Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Details: For the first time, B&O Railroad is offering a new series of Sensory Friendly Days for children and guest with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and sensory processing differences. The Museum will open one hour earlier at 10:00 AM on this special day to accommodate guests of all abilities and their families. Staff will modify museum lights and sounds and post extra signs to give guests a more accessible experience. Additional volunteers and staff will be available to support visitors throughout their visit. This event offers a great chance to explore the museum with less crowds. event link.
(St. Charles Town Center)
Date: April 7, 2019
Time: 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Details: Did you know that our local mall has partnered with Autism Speaks to host two special times that provide a more welcoming and quiet environment for children with special needs and their families! Make sure you register online event link.
CHUCH E CHEESE- SENSORY FRIENDLY DAY
Date: 1st Sundays
Time: 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Details: Chuck E. Cheese’s opens it’s doors two hours early the first Sunday of the month for a special sensory sensitive play time. Chuck E. Cheese’s is proud to support families who have children with autism and special needs. They now offer a sensory-friendly experience on the first Sunday of every month. Their trained and caring staff is there to make sure each guest has a fun filled visit. Event Link
SENSORY FRIENDLY FILMS
It’s exciting that AMC’s have partnered with Autism Society to provide sensory friendly films. It’s great that this exists because it increases public awareness of autism and advocates services in the community. The show times offer a more welcoming and subdued environment by keeping the lights on and volume at a lower level.
SKYZONE – SENSORY FRIENDLY DAY
Date: 2nd Saturdays
Time: 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Details: Enjoy the freedom of jumping in quieter, relaxing environment for those of special needs.Event link.