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Special Needs

Development Evaluation Programs


A developmental evaluation is a psychological assessment for children that looks at many areas of their functioning, like their ability to think, talk, behave, connect with others, move their bodies, and adapt to new situations. All children living in NYC can receive evaluations at no cost.
Please see below:


Early Intervention (EI)

The program provides free evaluation and case management assistance to families who are concerned about their child’s development. It is intended for younger children under 3. Ask your child’s doctor for a referral, and a social worker will contact you. Go to and type “early intervention” in the search bar to learn more.


Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE)

The CPSE provides free evaluation services to families who are concerned about their child’s development (3-4 years old). Services, programs, and instruction tailored to each student’s unique requirements are all part of special education.
To seek an evaluation for your child, email a letter to your local CPSE. Find your district and CPSE by visiting the page Find a School Tool.
Draft your letter following the linked examples below. It is very important that you specify the evaluation services that you seek (e.g., psychological, psychoeducational, occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech and language pathology, functional behavioral assessment, etc)
To find more information about CPSEs, visit the site and type in the search bar “Preschool Special Education”.


Individualized Educational Plan

NYC schools provide free evaluation services to 6- to 17-year-old children experiencing behavioral or academic issues. Evaluation results will help you and the school make a program of services and support that fits your child’s needs.
Ask your school’s principal to evaluate your child with a letter to seek an evaluation. In this letter, it is very important that you specify the evaluation services that you seek (e.g., psychological, psychoeducational, occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech and language pathology, functional behavioral assessment, etc).
Follow this template letter letter template to seek an evaluation and get what you need.

Quick links


Updated on February 9, 2024.


YAI: Seeing Beyond Disability
220 East 42nd St, 8th Floor, New York , NY 10017
(212) 273-6100

YAI is an organization striving to support the intellectual and developmental disabilities community, including those with autism, Down syndrome, and Cerebral Palsy. YAI offers support through clinical services, community & socialization, crisis & behavior support, day services, education, employment & family support, and residential services. Find what works best for you and your family here.
Individuals of all ages with an intellectual or developmental disability.
How To Apply
Interested in being a part of the YAI community? Please fill out this online form and you will receive a response within five business days. If you prefer to speak with someone, contact YAI at (212) 273-6182 for assistance.
Find more information at
Updated on July 18, 2021

Extreme Kids & Crew Clubs

Extreme Kids Clubs are weekly social groups for neurodiverse youth in New York City. Clubs emphasize confidence building, problem solving, artistic expression, and social-emotional growth.
Clubs focus on arts, culinary skills, gaming, anime, and photography. Many clubs are free, while others charge fees, allowing families to engage in programs while maintaining high-quality services and resources. Families select their own tier, with the Connector tier most closely representing program costs.
Clubs are offered in sessions of 8 weeks (about 2 months) by season. Club venues include the Brower Park Branch of the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, and the Oversea Mission Church in Chinatown.
For information about session dates, go to To join a club, visit For more information, reach out (347) 410-6050 or send an email to
To learn about other programs by Extreme Kids & Crew visit
Updated on July 11, 2024

Disability Rent Increase Exemption (DRIE) Rent Freeze Program

Department of Finance
Dial 311
Tenants that qualify for the NYC Rent Freeze Program for Tenants with Disabilities (DRIE) can have their rent frozen and be exempt from future rent increases. This does not lower your rent but only keeps it from increasing.
To be eligible for DRIE, you must meet the following requirements
► You must be at least 18 years old.
You must receive one of the following:
► Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
► Social Security Disability Income (SSDI)
► Disability-related Medicaid (if you have received either SSI or SSDI in the past)
► Veterans Affairs Disability Pension
► Veterans Affairs Compensation
► United States Postal Service (USPS) Disability Pension
► United States Postal Service (USPS) Disability Compensation
► You must live in an eligible apartment type.
► You must be named on the lease or the rent order or have been granted succession rights to the apartment.
► The apartment must be your primary residence, meaning you live there for most of the year.
► You must spend more than one-third of your monthly household income on rent.
► The total combined income for all members of your household must be $50,000 or less in the prior calendar year (DRIE records all income sources, taxable, and non-taxable. You can’t deduct your medical expenses and Medicare premium).
More information on eligibility at Disability Rent Increase Exemption.
Complete the DRIE Initial Application. You can submit your application online by signing up with the Department of Finance or by sending it to New York City Department of Finance Rent Freeze Program – DRIE P.O. Box 3179 Union, NJ 07083
More information about the application at Disability Rent Increase Exemption.
Updated on December 13, 2020

AHRC Middle / High School (Ages 12 – 21)

ahrc_middle_school_logo-removebg-previewAHRC Middle / High School
1201 66th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11219
(718) 259-4389

A program that provides services to adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and those classified with emotional disturbances, multiple disabilities, or other health impairments; as well as students with a learning disability and intellectual disability.
AHRC Middle/ High School, (also known as MHS,) is divided into two distinct programs: a middle school for students ages 12-14 and a high school for students ages 15-21. Within these two schools, there are classrooms with ratios of 8:1:2 and 10:1:2, depending on the support needs of the student. The classroom teachers are all New York State Certified.
Click here to download a pdf file including additional information about how AHRC Middle / High School can help prepare your child for adulthood.

Brooklyn Blue Feather Elementary

bbf_logoBrooklyn Blue Feather Elementary
2335 Gerritsen Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11229
(718) 834-0597

Brooklyn Blue Feather Elementary, (also known as BBF,) accepts children between 5 and 12 years of age who reside in the five New York City boroughs. Children must exhibit behavioral characteristics associated with autism and must have an educational classification of autism. Students must be recommended for a Non-Public School (NPS) placement by the New York City Department of Education. The school aims to help students achieve the level of functioning that will allow them to transition to less restrictive environments.
Virtual tour on pdf or video.

Neighborhood Charter Schools

ncsAutism Spectrum Disorder at Neighborhood Charter Schools (NSC)
Neighborhood Charter Schools provides a rare opportunity for students to access both social-emotional learnings as well as rigorous academics. Our program is described as ‘inclusive education’ which means our students with ASD are fully included in their classrooms, learning alongside their ‘neurotypical’ peers.
Videos of Parents Talking About the ASD Program
If you feel your child would be a good fit for NCS, access the application process.

Developmental Disabilities City Programs

NYC_children_logoDevelopmental Disabilities
NYC Children
Administration for Children’s Services Offices
Parenting a child with developmental disabilities requires patience, planning, information and resources. Learn more about resources offered by the city including:
-Child evaluation services
-Medicaid waiver programs (OPWDD)
-Assistive technology and equipment
-Resources for children with autism
-Assistance with serious emotional problems
Visit the Developmental Disability website to learn more about each program and how to get started.

INCLUDEnyc (Navigation Support for Educational Resources & Programs for Children with Disabilities)

520 8th Avenue, Suite 2503 New York, NY 10018
(212) 677-4650; Text 646-693-3175 | Español: 212-677-4668; Texto: (646) 693-3157; Whatsapp (212) 858-0795

INCLUDEnyc is the leading provider of training and information for children and young people with any disability (age 0-26) in New York City, their families, and the professionals who support them.
Connect with INCLUDEnyc to get support and learn about: education resources and programs, preschool and younger, navigating NYC schools and applications, special education, developmental disability services, busing/specialized transportation, bullying and behavior, family issues, child socialization, recreation, financial support, health, legal services and more.
To access resources visit or call the helpline at (212) 677-4650 to get connected with the best programs that fit your child and family needs.
Updated on November 2, 2023

Access to Child Education Advocacy Services


AFC, or Advocates for Children of New York, is a community organization that helps students in New York City who are having problems with school, have special needs, or are being treated unfairly by providing them with education and knowledge.

AFC helps children from low-income families from the moment they are born until they are 26 years old. To get services, call their education support at (866) 427-6033 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday, or email
In addition, AFC also offers free workshops and training sessions to help parents develop the skills to advocate for their children successfully. Check out their website for event information at
Information about supports, services, and the special education process
English (212) 677-4660
Español/Spanish (212) 677-4668
Laws and Regulations Related to Special Education and Students with Disabilities
Resolving Disputes with Your School with Due Process Hearings
Legal Help
— Assistance with Legal Services NYC
The legal assistance hotline is open Monday through Friday from 9:30 am to 4 pm. Call 917-661-4500 to speak to an intake officer in any language.
— Assistance with Legal Aid NYC
You can reach any Legal Aid staff member by calling their main number, 212-577-3300.
— Legal NYC Services
Legal NYC Services provides free legal assistance and information on a broad spectrum of legal rights to individuals across New York.
Their Legal Assistance Hotline is available Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call 917-661-4500 to speak with an intake officer in any language.
Learn more at
Updated on May 29, 2024

Assistive Technology by ADAPT

AdaptCommunityNetwork_Logo_BlueGray_RedADAPT TechWorks
175 Lawrence Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11230
(718) 436-7979 ext. 711
Assistive Technology by the ADAPR Community Network finds solutions to enable individuals to adapt to their environment with a wide range of options when they have special needs.
ADAPT Community Network provides evaluation, selection, instruction, and introduction customized to each individual’s needs. Their Assistive Technology includes vision, hearing, communication, daily living, and environmental control modifications.
Examples of devices or resources that the organization facilitates to children with special needs are: adapted toys and switches, adapted computers and peripherals, wheelchairs and inserts, augmentative communication systems, daily living devices, home and workplace modifications, environmental control units, and adapted telephones.
Please contact the ADAPT TechWorks Centers for information or to schedule an appointment by sending an email to or calling (718) 436-7979 ext. 711
Learn about more services provided by the ADAPT Community Network here.

Harlem Child Development Center

(212) 690-7234
34 West 139th Street New York, NY 10037
The Harlem Child Development Center is a program that is part of The Jewish Board and has different services that will help children of many ages with many developmental, neurological, emotional, and behavioral problems.
There are individual and group services for the children, their families, and those who take care of them.
The services include a Therapeutic Nursery School, Special Education Itinerant Teaching Program, Early Childhood Consultation, and an Outpatient Clinic.



Therapeutic Nursery School


For children 3 to 5 years of age presenting with developmental delays, communication problems, social/emotional/behavioral difficulties, or attention and learning deficits.
Early Childhood Consultation

Specialists in child/family development provide ongoing, on-site consultation to private and public preschools. Consultants observe children, meet with directors and teachers, conduct workshops, and offer parent guidance, including child development referrals for assessment and services when needed.
Virginia and Leonard Marx Outpatient Clinic


Serves families with infants, toddlers, and children through elementary school age (up to age 8). The clinic offers evaluations and treatment planning; parent-child psychotherapy; individual, family, and group therapy; and family guidance. Learn more about the Virginia and Leonard Marx Outpatient Clinic.

For more information about programs and services offered by The Jewish Board click, here or call (212) 690-7234.

El Centro de Desarrollo para Niños en Harlem es un programa que hace parte del Jewish Board, el cual tiene muchos servicios que asisten a niños de todas las edades con problemas de desarrollo, neurológicos, de comportamiento y emocionales.
Los servicios incluyen una enfermera de terapia en la guardería, consultas de niñez temprana, y servicios médicos ambulatorios. Para mas información acceda esta hoja informacional o llame o visite al número o dirección escrito arriba.

Updated on May 5, 2022

Association to Benefit Children (ABC)

ABC (Association to Benefit Children)
Administrative office: 419 East 86th Street (between 1st and York Ave.), New York, NY 10028
ABC Schools’ addresses
(212) 845-3821

ABC offers distinctive programs and extensive services that respond to the unique and changing need of a child and family. Their goal is to offer compassionate programs in urgent response to the needs of New York City’s most vulnerable families.

Early Childhood: programs that offer therapy and lessons at the centers or at home for children of low income families, with disabilities, or those that have gone through trauma or homelessness. ABC Schools and program details at

After School Programs and Youth Services: available at Echo Park, ABC offers to children 5-21 years old academic round support for school with the Therapeutic Afterschool Program. In Afterschool, students also participate in “Study Buddies Connect”, a free, virtual tutoring program where students are connected one-on-one with a volunteer tutor who can help them achieve their academic goals. Camp Calvin is a 6-week Therapeutic Summer Day Camp. Learn more at

Echo Park Children and Family Center
1841 Park Avenue (between Park and Lexington Ave.), New York, NY 10035

All Children’s House: serves children from birth to age 5— those at highest risk for morbidity and mortality resulting from abuse and neglect. All Children’s House builds child-parent attachment to help shield children against the extreme strains of poverty and complex trauma. To learn more visit

La Asociación de Beneficios para los Niños (ABC en inglés) ubicada de la Parte Alta Este de Manhattan tiene programas que benefician a niños y familias como:

-Niñez Temprana: programas que ofrecen terapia y clases en los centros o en las casas de niños de bajos recursos, sin hogar, con discapacidades o que han experimentado traumas. Encuentras escuelas ABC y detalles de los programas visitando

-Apoyo para la Familia: programas para todos los miembros de la familia como entrenamiento de computadoras y trabajos, clases de inglés, ayuda con el examen de ciudadanía, ayuda den inmigración, grupos de apoyo para sobrevivientes de violencia doméstica y más. El programa de los sábados ofrece un refugio seguro para niños y familias con comidas para todos los participantes. Aprende más

-Servicios de Juventud: Disponibles en Echo Park, ABC ofrece apoyo académico completo para niños desde los 5 hasta los 21 años con el Programa Postescolar Terapéutico. Después de la escuela, los niños también pueden participar en “Buddy Connect”, un programa virtual donde ellos se conectan con voluntarios amigos que les ayudan a alcanzar sus metas académicas.

All Children’s House: El programa sirve a niños desde el nacimiento hasta los 5 años que se consideran en alto riesfo de morbilidad y mortalidad por abuso y negligencia. All Children’s House crea lazos de apego familiar que ayudan a proteger a los niños de los efectos más graves de la pobreza y el trauma complejo. Aprende más acerca del programa visitando

Updated on November 20, 2023

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