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. Last month 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. 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 2017.
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 AWARENESS FAIR
(THE PLAYFUL PARENT IS EXCITED TO BE AT THIS EVENT!!! I CANT WAIT TO SEE LOTS OF PARENTS AT THIS!)
April 1, 2017
9:30 AM -12:00 PM
St. Charles High School
Join Charles County Public Schools in celebrating Autism Awareness Month. This event has a morning of events planned for children, parents, and other caregivers! Participate in interactive sessions designed to address the needs of children with Autism in the classroom and at home! Session topics include strategies and materials to support learning at home, busy box activities for the child on-the-go, and sensory strategies and supports for children of all ages. Spend time in our Parent Lounge, connecting with other parents and learning about community resources. Children will participate in their own sessions, with trained staff and sensory-friendly craft, music, and movement activities!
AUTISM SPEAK WALK
Join many at the National Mall on October 7, 2017 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.
(St. Charles Town Center)
Two Special dates: March 26, 2017 & April 2, 2017
9:00 AM – 11:00 AM
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 March
Date: April 8, 2017
Time: 2:30 registration, 3:30 Race Begins
Location: Edward T. Hall Aquatic Center
Details: Sponsor one or more ducks for a chance to win awesome prizes! Any and all donations will be put towards helping campers with special needs attend a CCPR 2017 summer camp.
Event Type: Family Fun/Fund Raiser
Age Group: All Ages
Cost: $5 per duck
Information: 410-535-1600 ext 8204
EARLY CHILDHOOD DAY
This annual event offers kids a great start to the school year! This event usually occurs the first Saturday in August from 10AM to 1PM at the Capital Club House in Waldorf, MD. 2017 date and time to be announced.
PARENTS PLACE OF MARYLAND
Check their page for parenting workshops and events the next one on the agenda is “Special Education: What Parents Need to Know, and Answers to Frequently Asked Questions” on March 17, 2016 @ 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM.
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.
- March-11, 2017 -Rock Dog
- March 14, 2017 – Kong Skull Island
- March 25, 2017 – Disney’s Beauty and The Beast
- March 28, 2017 – Power Rangers
- April 8, 2017 – Dream Works: Boss Baby
- April 11, 2017- Gifted
- April 22, 2017- Smurfs The Lost Village
- April 25, 2017- The Fate of The Furious
- May 9, 2017- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2
- May 13, 2017- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2
SPRING FLING BARSTOW ACRES CHILDREN’S CENTER
Time: 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Location: Barstow Acres Children’s Center
Details: Fun filled activities for the entire family, including grilled hamburgers and hotdog lunch specials for donations of $3. Come out and get information on the various groups and activities hosted by Barstow Acres.
Event Type: Open House
Age Group: All Ages
CHILDREN’S THEATER OF ANNAPOLIS
Performance of James and the Giant Peach- Saturday, April 29, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. Sensory-Friendly Performance & American Sign Language (ASL) Interpretation
Children’s Theater of Annapolis offers sensory-friendly performances for all three of their main stage productions each season. These performances are designed to create a performing arts experience that is welcoming to families with children who are autistic or have other sensory sensitivities. Accommodations for these performances include
– Lower sound level, especially for startling or loud sounds
– Lights remain on at a low level in the theater during the performance
– A reduction of strobe lighting or lighting focused on the audience
– Patrons are free to talk and move about during the performance
For more information click on the link below to visit our Accessibility webpage or call 410-757-2281.
Maryland Discovery Days At Port Discovery Children’s Museum
Tuesday, May 9 – Friday, May 12, 9:30 AM – 5PM
Admission is free with museum entry, which is $14.95 for individuals two and up. Members and children younger than two are admitted for free. Groups of 15 or more who book ahead are eligible for Port Discovery’s group rate. Contact Kristie Gulick at 410-864-2664 for group pricing.
Every year, Port Discovery sets aside days for children with special needs and their caretakers as part of the museum’s dedication to inclusive learning. The Museum staff lowers volume, sound effects, and lights, so that children with physical and cognitive abilities can truly enjoy the museum experience. Activities are designed for children with special needs, but all children are encouraged to join this fun-filled week. Children with IEP’s are welcome at this week’s events. Visit PortDiscovery.orgfor more information about Maryland Discovery Days. Find out more about each day’s activities:
Portability Autism Day
Tuesday, May 9, 9:30 AM – 5PM
Kickoff Discovery Days with Portability Autism Day, designed for children with Autism and their peers. Enjoy a can’t-miss puppetry performance from the Kindersinger, get up close and personal with wildlife at the Wildlife Adventures Petting Zoo, become a scientist during the interactive Eric Energy show, and much more!
Wednesday, May 10, 9:30 AM– 5PM
Get ready to sing, dance, and move on day two of Maryland Discovery Days! Join programs designed for children with special needs, Pre-K to 2nd grade. Learn about different sound techniques at the interactive Percussion Garden, meet wildlife at the Wildlife Adventures Petting Zoo, and watch a lively performance from the Kindersinger!
Thursday, May 11, 9:30AM – 5PM
Join Port Discovery for an exciting day of interactive activities designed for special needs children, 3rd grade and above. Don’t miss a live performance from the one and only Kindersinger, our lively interactive Jingle Jangle Music Time, or our award-winning literacy program, Mother Goose on the Loose.
Be a part of the Arts Day
Friday, May 12, 9:30 AM– 5PM
Celebrate the last day of Discovery week with Be a Part of the Arts Day, featuring an inclusive fun-filled schedule for children of all abilities! Listen to Mr. Norman fill the halls with classic music, enjoy Face Painting by Landre SFX, learn sign language with Shakey K, and more art activities the whole family will love!