Special Needs/Autism

State of Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services

Hope Program

The Hope Program provides assistance for children birth to age 21 who meet financial and medical eligibility guidelines. This program focuses on early identification of children with special needs; funding for preventive, diagnostic and treatment services; and provision of service coordination activities for families. Service coordination is provided through 13 contracts and by SHCN staff located in regional offices throughout the state.

Participants must meet both medical and financial eligibility guidelines and reside in Missouri.

Limited coverage includes outpatient tests and evaluations and/or up to five days of inpatient diagnostic evaluations. Extended coverage includes all of the above plus inpatient care, surgery, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, prescription medicines, equipment, and supplies.

Special Health Care Needs
Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services
PO Box 570
Jefferson City, MO 65102-0570
1-800-451-0669 toll free

Sunshine Center

Sunshine Center provides evaluation and assessment services to determine a child’s need for special education, speech therapy, physical therapy or occupational therapy. Evaluations may be completed at our center or in the child’s home.

Occupational Therapy (OT)
Occupational therapists develop personalized programs to help improve fine motor skills and perceptual motor skills. Occupational Therapy is available for children to the age of 21 years.

Speech and Language Therapy (ST)
Speech and language therapists provide individualized therapy on a regular basis. Special screenings to detect hearing problems are also conducted. Speech and Language Therapy is available for children to 21 years of age.

Physical Therapy (PT)
Individualized programs are developed for children who need assistance with gross motor skills. Physical Therapy is available for children to 21 years of age.

Preschool program
The preschool program provides special education classroom instruction for children from three to five years of age that are developmentally delayed. School districts may also contract for special education services to children.

School Program
Special education classroom instruction is available for children ages five to 21 years of age through their local school district.

Sunshine Center
607 West Lexington Avenue
Independence Missouri 64050

Turning Point

Every year, thousands of people in Kansas City are diagnosed with serious or chronic physical illnesses. Thousands more have been living with illness for years. Chronic illnesses extract a toll on those stricken far beyond the medical symptoms. Such illnesses impact the individual on psychological, emotional, economic, and social levels. Just as important is the impact on the individual’s family. Area hospitals are doing what they can to provide support services to their patients, but in most cases, it is not enough. While the sophistication of the area’s medical care is unsurpassed, there are not sufficient resources in the area to effectively deal with the issues beyond the physical aspects of the disease process. Consequently, this has left huge gaps in support services for patients and their families, often impeding the healing process.

Turning Point provides a gathering place which serves the community to fill in those gaps with its unique mission. It is the only organization in the Kansas City area that provides innovative education and comprehensive support services to enhance the lives of adults and families living with any serious or chronic physical illness. Thanks to the generosity of the community, Turning Point’s meaningful programs are able to be offered free of charge, with donations being appreciated.

Turning Point
8900 State Line Road, Suite 240,
Shawnee Mission, KS 66206-1936

Accessible Arts

Accessible Arts, Inc. (AAI) unlocks the arts for children with disabilities and advocates access to the arts. Advocacy, education and collaboration are essential components in accomplishing our objectives. Through the arts, children develop critical thinking skills, take risks in a safe environment and experience successes.

Accessible Arts, Inc.
1100 State Avenue
Kansas City, KS 66102

Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired

The mission of the Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired is to prepare children with visual impairments, including those with multiple disabilities, to function at their highest potential in the sighted world.

The doors are open for any infant to school-age child whose visual impairment is significant enough to adversely affect his or her educational performance. Children and their parents come here to discover a truly unique, positive environment with innovative and stimulating programs customized for each student.

CCVI offers a comprehensive program, including individualized therapy, consulting services and supportive family education. Services are provided beginning in infancy through our home-based Infant Program, and continue on with our Preschool&Kindergarten classes, preparing children for entry into the public or private school systems. Specialized services include braille instruction, orientation and mobility, deafblind services, assistive technology, low vision training, speech, occupational, physical and aquatic therapies and family support. CCVI also provides itinerant and consulting services to area school districts.

Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired
3101 Main Street
Kansas City, Missouri 64111

Children’s Therapeutic Learning Center (TLC)

Center-based preschool programs are provided in an environment where children are involved in play-based learning activities. These activities are designed to center on each child’s individual strengths. In the center-based program a team of professionals work together collaboratively in the classroom to address all of the child’s needs. Children with and without disabilities learn and play together at Children’s TLC.

Children’s TLC provides early intervention for infants and toddlers, early childhood special education, early childhood assessments, physical and occupational therapies, speech and language therapy, aquatic therapy, extended school year, outpatient therapy, social work services, and parent education and support.

Children’s TLC offers a deaf classroom. Children as young as one year of age begin to develop gestures to communicate and can learn sign language and early speech production, depending on the extent of the hearing loss, practice and exposure to the language. Many children receive their first hearing aids or cochlear implants at a young age and parent education is critical for successful use of any device to improve communication. Most children are able to integrate into a center-based classroom at age two.

The classroom on the Children’s TLC classroom concentrates on emerging lanuage ability. The Emerging Language and Literacy Project serves children who are identified as language impaired and who are potentially at-risk for difficulties in literacy development during the school years. The learning emphasis is on the language substructure important for development of reading and writing.

Children’s TLC
3101 Main Street
Kansas City, MO 64111


Communityworks, inc. is a nationally recognized service provider for individuals with disabilities. The staff assists people with disabilities to live, work and play in the community by setting up support systems that gives control back to the consumer. Teams consist of Case Managers, Transitional Living Specialists, Personal Care Attendants and Therapists that work together collectively to best serve consumers in their homes. Communityworks, inc. believes in designing lifetime systems that will continue to work long after professional services are no longer needed.

Overland Park Office
7819 Conser Place
Overland Park, KS 66204
1-866-429-6757 toll free

Families Together

Families Together is the Parent Training and Information center serving Kansas families who include a son/daughter with disabilities.

Parent Centers are funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs. Parent centers serve families of children and young adults from birth to age 22 with all disabilities: physical, mental, learning, emotional, and attention deficit disorders. They train and inform parents and professionals, help families obtain appropriate education and services for their children with disabilities, work to improve education results for all children, resolve problems between families and schools or other agencies, and connect children with disabilities to community resources that address their needs.

Parent centers are funded by the U.S. Department of Education, under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Each state has at least one parent center.

Kansas City Parent Center
1333 Meadowlark Lane, Suite 103
Kansas, City, Kansas
1-877-499-5369 toll free
For a parent center near you, consult the website

Joshua Child and Family Development Center

The Joshua Center is a vital resource for both children and adults who are affected by Tourette Syndrome, Asperger Syndrome, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and other associated neurological disorders and diseases.

The Joshua Center and the Web site combine to provide custom programs for individuals and families, clinical care, counseling, social skills development, staff development, support groups for affected individual and families, children’s summer camp, full-featured discussion forums, articles, research, terminology definitions, publications, links to relevant resources, and volunteer programs.

Joshua Child and Family Development Center
7611 State Line Road, Suite 142
Kansas City, MO 64114

Kansas City Regional Center

The Regional Office is the community-based services delivery agency administered by the Department of Mental Health, Division of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities. Our primary mission is to provide, within the limits of available resources, a comprehensive array of services for persons with developmental disabilities living in Bates, Cass, Clay, Lafayette, Jackson, Johnson, Platte and Ray counties in Missouri.

Kansas City Regional Center serves as the primary access point to the mental health system and provides assessment services, service coordination, individual habilitation planning, purchase of prescribed services (POS), and client advocacy.

Eligibility for services

  • Developmental disabilities, such as mental retardation, cerebral palsy, head injuries, autism, epilepsy, and certain learning disabilities
  • Conditions must have occurred before age 22, with the expectation that they will continue
  • Persons with these disabilities must be substantially limited in their ability to function independently
  • Live in Bates, Cass, Clay, Jackson, Johnson, Lafayette, Platte, or Ray counties

Kansas City Regional Office
821 East Admiral Boulevard, P.O. Box 412557
Kansas City, MO 64141

Mattie Rhodes Center

Visions with Hope

Visions with Hope 360′ was created to help Latino children with developmental disabilities and their families achieve their own future. It brings hope for children and their families.

A variety of biligual services are provided to help families grow stronger as they help their child develop successfully. Visions with Hope 360′ can help families understand their children’s disability and find the resources they need (jobs, housing, legal assistance, etc.). Families can get support from other Latino families who also have a child with a developmental disability.

Any Latino family who has a child with a developmental disability and who lives in one of the following Missouri counties: Jackson, Platte, Clay, or Cass. The program is free of charge and there is no documentation required.

Mattie Rhodes Center
Visions With Hope 360′
148N Topping Ave.
Kansas City, MO 64124


MPACT (Missouri Parents ACT) assists parents to effectively advocate for their children’s educational rights and services.

MPACT is a statewide parent training and information center serving all disabilities. Our mission is to ensure that all children with special needs receive an education that allows them to achieve their personal goals.

MPACT staff and volunteers are located throughout Missouri working together with educators and others for children’s education. The dignity of individuals with disabilities is promoted and their right to participate in all aspects of the community.

MPACT serves parents of children with all disabilities and works with public and private agencies, parent groups, professional organizations and advocacy groups.

MPACT provides up-to-date information online, as well as through our toll-free telephone numbers and training sessions throughout the state. You can also locate information through Missouri’s education agency or your local school district.

8301 State Line Rd
Suite 204
Kansas City, MO 64114
1-800-743-7634 toll free