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Special Needs/Autism

Sensory Friendly Swim Hours at City Pools

Please click here for listing and hours

Social Security Dept.

A child might be eligible for 3 types of Social security benefits-
Social Security Dependents Benefits (SSDI)- for children of disabled or deceased parents
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)- benefits are payable to children under 18 years old who have disabilities (an impairment that is as severe as one that would keep an adult from doing any ‘substantial work for at least one year’, i.e. a disability that limits the child’s ability to do things and behave in the way that children of similar age group do.), and limited resources.
Medical Assistance- government funded health program (Medical Assistance and Medicaid are the same thing)-automatic for patients with severe impairments regardless of parental income. – 800-772-1213

The Special Kids Network

A free, statewide service for families with children who have special needs. They will connect parents with resources and support services in their communities, including: advocacy; home health; legal rights; support groups; summer camps; therapies; medical equipment; MA questions; private schools and more- Hours M-F 8:30-4pm-800-986-4550

Children with Special Health Care Needs (CSHCN)

A division of the Phila. Dept. of Public Health; Maternal, Child&Family Health Division. This unit can help both families and professionals who are looking for help in navigating the sometimes complex systems that address the needs of CSHCN (birth-21) in the Philadelphia area- call 215-685-5232

PEAL Center

The PEAL Center serves families of children with disabilities and special healthcare needs. Our qualified parent advisors assist parents in understanding their children’s disabilities, educational development, and healthcare needs. Families of children with disabilities or special healthcare needs can call PEAL between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday to speak with a parent advisor.  There is no cost to the family for reaching out to the PEAL Center and speaking with a parent advisor. We have parent advisors located in Western, Central, and Eastern Pennsylvania. Contact us toll free at 1-866-950-1040 or email us at

Easter Seals

Dozens of Programs throughout Philadelphia and SE PA for children with Special Health Care Needs. Call 215-879-1000 or go to website for info.

Parent to Parent of Pennsylvania

Links families and friends of children with special needs, provides technical assistance, training- 1-888-727-2706

Parents Involved Network of PA

Assists parents of children who have emotional or behavioral disorders, are receiving mental health system services, or are receiving special education services- advocates for these children, and provides information- 1211 Chestnut St.- 267-507-3860.

Philadelphia Dept. of Education Special Ed. Consult Line

1-800-879-2301 (Voice/TTY/TDD) Help for families and advocates of children with special needs about: Special Education Regulations, School Related Concerns, and Procedural Safeguards.

Office of Specialized Services of the School District of Phila.

The Office of Specialized Services (OSS) is committed to the educational, social, physical, and emotional well being of students within the School District of Philadelphia. The OSS provides comprehensive special education, behavioral health, school health, and prevention/intervention programs. 215-400-4170

Special Education Guide

The go-to resource for mastering the terminology, procedures and best practices in special education.
Click here for link to guide

CONNECT Early Intervention Hotline

Information and referral services to parents of children with disabilities who are less then 3 years old- 800-692-7288

COMHAR (Community Organization of Mental Health and Retardation)

Helps people of all ages and cultures in the community who have developmental disabilities, mental health concerns, physical limitations and other challenges- Children’s Service at 3825 Whitaker Ave- 215-427-5756

Variety Philadelphia

Variety Philadelphia has several programs for children with special needs and autism including: after school programs and camps; autism resources; and medical equiptment. 100 N 18th Street, Suite 300 Call 215-735-0803 for info

Vision for Equality

Mission is to assist and empower people with disabilities and their families to seek quality and satisfaction in their lives as well as equal access to supports and services. 718 Arch Street. Call 215-923-3349.

HUNE (Hispanos Unidos Para Ninos Excepcionales)

HUNE provides free bilingual English and Spanish training, technical assistance and individual assistance to parents of infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities and to professionals who work with children. 2215 N American Street Call 215-425-6203.

PA Assistive Technology Foundation

The Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation (PATF) is a non-profit organization that provides low-interest loans to people with disabilities and older adults so that they can buy the assistive technology devices and services they need. Call 484-674-0506.

Assistive Technology Resources- TechOWL

See links below for info on assistive telecommunications (free phones and other technology) for eligible persons. Click here

PA Elks Home Service Program

Consultation with Special Needs program to assist with: home care and equiptment; finding adaptive clothing and toys; and getting advise on educational and treatment issues. Call 814-781-7860. and

The SPARC of Philadelphia

Dedicated to ensuring that each person with intellectual disability will reach his/her potential and exercise his/her right to choose where and how to live- 2350 W. Westmoreland St.- 215-229-4550

Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR)

State agency that helps people with disabilities help themselves to prepare for, start, and maintain a career- 444 N. Third Street- 215-560-1900

Frankie’s World Day Care

Frankie’s World is a daycare for children with special healthcare needs. We provide skilled nursing care, OT, PT, and speech therapy for children that qualify ages infants through 8 years. Transportation is also provided for children that require it. 1011 Poplar Street. Call 215-763-0151.

Lauren’s House

Lauren’s House is a loving, caring Center for Special Needs Children.
Lauren’s House is a licensed Prescribed Pediatric Extended Care Center (PPECC) by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. 3 locations: North Philly 888-340-9430; Coatsville 877-589-0854; and Boothwyn, Delaware County 888-340-9420. Lauren’s House is a brand new state of the art center, operated by professional personnel with years of pediatric experience. Call 888-340-9430

Aveanna Healthcare – Wyncote Pediatric Day Health Care Center

Pediatria (Now Aveanna) Healthcare for Kids Day Health program is a day health center for special needs children from birth to age 8. Bus transportation is provided. Hours of operation are 6:30AM – 6:30PM, Monday through Friday. We set ourselves apart from others with our age appropriate classrooms, therapy gym, and both indoor/outdoor play areas. Meals are provided. Call 215-376-6801 for info. 8101 Washington Lane Wyncote, PA 19095.


Special Smiles Ltd.

Dental care for children with special needs. 2301 E. Allegheny Avenue, Suite 202 19134 267-639-6250

Legal Clinic for the Disabled Children’s Health Initiative

Helping low-income families of children with disabilities resolve health care coverage issues. Provides FREE legal services on a variety of issues, including the Medical Assistance grievance process. Call 215-587-3350.

Disabilities Rights Network of PA

Hotline to answer most questions concerning: special education, health, early intervention and the rights of a child or adult with special needs. Call 215-238-8070 for info.

Education Law Center

Promoting fairness and quality education in the public school system, and helping families understand and enforce their legal rights, from prompt early intervention services, children whose native language is not English, and children with disabilities- 1315 Walnut Street, 4 th Floor – 215-238-6970

Logisticare (now ModivCare) Medical Transportation

Logisticare provides transportation services for children with special health care needs or ANY child who receives medical assistance and Medicaid. Call at least 7 days in advance and up to 30 days in advance to schedule a pick-up- 877-835-7412 or download the app on the website for easy appointment scheduling

CHOP Transition Support Programs

CHOP’s “REACH” programs are designed to help families, and young adults with disabilities, learn how to transition to adulthood. REACH’s mission is to prepare youth 14 to 24, with special healthcare needs, for a successful transition into adulthood by providing peer support, guidance and resources. Click here for info or call 215-590-7444.

Epilepsy Foundation of Eastern PA

Amazing organization for families and providers caring for persons affected by Epilepsy. Go to for information.

Small World Special Needs

Small World Special, is a multi-cultural resource hub for people helping children with special needs to share resources and information. This site is for families, educators, clinicians, therapists and friends in Philadelphia PA, USA and beyond. Amazing resources and videos. Click

CHADD (Children and Adults with ADD)

The nation’s leading non-profit organization for children and adults affected by ADD/ADHD. Visit, call 301-306-7070, or email to find resources in your area. Call 866-200-8098 M-F 1-5 pm to speak with an ADHD specialist

Kelly Anne Dolan Memorial Fund

The Kelly Anne Dolan Memorial Fund is a non-medical resource center that provides advocacy, education, information, and financial assistance for needs not covered by insurance to families caring for terminally, critically, and chronically ill, severely disabled, or seriously injured children. Call 215-643-0763 for info.

Sunshine Foundation

Sunshine Foundation’s sole purpose is to answer the dreams of chronically ill, seriously ill, physically challenged and abused children ages three to eighteen, whose families cannot fulfill their requests due to financial strain that the child’s illness may cause. Call 215-396-4770 for info or go to website below.

National Center for Learning Disabilities

NCLD works every day to make meaningful change for individuals with learning and attention issues. Find out more about our work by calling (301) 966-2234, emailing, or visiting

Trisomy 21 (Down Syndrome) Program at CHOP

This program assesses the developmental, behavioral and health needs of children and adults with Down Syndrome. Also, they can coordinate community resources for families affected by Down as well as referral to parent support groups. Call 267-426-5283.

Special Olympics of Philadelphia

Many sports for children with special needs. 2900 Southhampton Road. Call 215-671-5069 for info.
Also runs Special Olympics Young Athletes Programs for kids 2-7 years old. Click here for details.

Pegasus Therapeutic Riding

Pegasus horseback riding works with individuals with disabilities. Check out their website for more info.
www.pegasusridingacademy.com8297 Bustleton Ave. 215.742.1500

Katie’s Komets

Sports programs for children with disabilities. Go to website for more info.

The Center for Autism

Specialized intensive training for autistic children- 3905 Ford Road, Suite 6, Philadelphia PA 19131

The Autism Society of America

The Autism Society of America, Greater Philadelphia Chapter was established in 1977 by a dedicated group of parents with a strong desire to band together and be a united voice to represent individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders and spread awareness.
Click this link for safety toolkit

Autism Navigator

Autism Navigator online courses offer free interactive video courses, covering topics from early detection of toddlers with autism at 18–24 months to evidence-based intervention strategies and supports for social communication, active engagement, and addressing challenging behavior. Visit or call 1-844-427-3457

Autism Centers of Excellence (ACE) in Philadelphia

For autism evaluations and enrollment in various autism research programs.
Center City-NE Treatment Center 499 Spring Garden Street 215-238-1426
NE Philly-SPIN 10541 Drummond Road 215-612-7625- For Autism evaluations and assessment for other behavioral health and clinical services
Havertown Child Guidance Resource Center at 2000 Old West Chester Pike, Havertown, PA 19083  (484) 454-8700
Also can Contact
The Center for Autism
Specialized intensive training for autistic children- 3905 Ford Road, Suite 6, Philadelphia PA 19131

The Center for Autism Research (CAR)

The CAR at CHOP/UPenn is looking for the causes of autism spectrum disorders and is developing new treatments for children and adults with autism. We study infants who have a brother or sister already diagnosed with autism. We also have research studies for toddlers, school-aged children, and adults. Families who take part in our research studies receive evaluation reports and are paid for their time and travel costs. Call 1-866-570-6524.

Drexel Autism Institute

The AJ Drexel Autism Institute pioneers research to better understand autism and drive impactful change in our communities and worldwide. Click here for info

Autism Cares Foundation

Autism Cares Foundation provides children, young adults and families with recreational activities, outings and events at no charge primarily in Bucks and Montgomery Counties as well as for Philadelphia residents. These events provide life-skills development and social interaction for those on the autism spectrum. They include:  bounce outings, bowling, social activities and dances, family movies, music events as well as physical fitness activities and arts and crafts from first diagnosis as toddlers into adulthood.


Philly Autism Project

Great resources for families broken down by neighborhood. Click here

Sesame Street Autism Initiative

See amazing resource from Sesame Street for families with autism that promotes understanding from all families/communities.

ASERT (Autism Services, Education, Resources, and Training) Collaborative

ASERT is a statewide initiative funded by the Bureau of Autism Services, PA Department of Public Welfare. The ASERT Collaborative is a partnership of medical centers, centers of autism research and services, universities and other providers of services involved in the treatment and care of individuals of all ages with autism and their families. The ASERT Collaborative has been designed to bring together resources locally, regionally, and statewide.
 877-231-4244 (Monday-Friday 8AM-5PM)

PMHC After-School Autism Program

PMHC’s After-School Autism Program is open Monday-Saturday with transportation and snacks included for kids ages 5-21.
Fun clinical activities are done by master level clinicians to improve language, communication, social interaction, and behavior.

Understanding Autism Videos-Asian Families

Click here for video to help Asian families with understanding developmental delays and autism. In Japanese, Nepoli, Indonesian, Chinese and English.

Autism Checklist for Toddlers (MCAT)

Click here >> for checklist m-chat  and here for scoring m-chat_scoring

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