5 Helpful Resources For Kids With Special Needs

There are children around the world who need a little more assistance than others. Kids with autism, ADHD, mobility issues, or other special needs deserve the extra care, education, and skills-training required to live a fulfilling life. This list, in no particular order, shares some organizations making a difference in the lives of kids with disabilities.

The #1 entry on our list is Kinark. With locations throughout Ontario, Canada, the organization provides services and supports for children and youth with complex needs, stemming from diagnoses such as mental health issues, autism, and youth justice advocacy.

The Kinark Outdoor Center serves as a site for skill development, family enrichment, social recreation, respite, and adventure-based experiences. It hosts a special program for children with autism, through which hundreds of families meet and stay at the center and can enjoy activities such as high ropes, rock climbing, archery, guided hikes, and sensory gardens.

Next up, at #2 we have The Warren Center, a nonprofit agency that works to advocate for, serve, and empower the children and families impacted by developmental delays and disabilities. It has several locations throughout Texas, in cities such as Garland and Carrollton.

Warren's Early Childhood Intervention program provides evaluations and personalized therapy sessions to children from birth to three years of age. The sessions include occupational and physical therapy, speech and language work, feeding and nutrition assistance, and more. The center also serves parents whose children are in a program with family education and support services, including monthly workshops, respite care, and support groups.

Coming in at #3, we have Tech Kids Unlimited. This New York City-based organization teaches computer science thinking and technology to kids who learn differently, some with disabilities such as autism. Its program model includes a 3-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio and a social worker and occupational therapist present in the classroom.

TKU aims for its workshops to be infused with social and emotional learning through a combination of strategic pedagogical approaches and staff training. During lesson planning, teachers complete a curriculum template that includes a checklist of SEL benchmarks to incorporate into instruction.

For #4, we present the Latika Roy Foundation, an organization in Uttarakhand, India, that provides specialized, localized services to children with disabilities and their families. Its Early Intervention Center is for very young children with developmental delays; the programs are activity-based, emphasizing learning through play.

The nonprofit also runs the Karuna Vihar Center for Vocational Training, which is meant to assist young adults as they transition to the working world. Trainees are taught a range of skills, such as cooking, housekeeping, gardening, technology, and more.

Last but not least, at #5, we have the Siskin Children's Institute. Founded in 1950 by Mose and Garrison Siskin, the organization works to improve the quality of life for children with special needs and their families. It has locations in Chattanooga and Nashville, Tennessee.

The Siskin Early Learning Center provides a preschool education to young children with and without disabilities, including children with developmental delays, autism spectrum disorder, chromosomal abnormality, and brain injury. The nonprofit also runs outreach services, offering a lending library, family support, professional training in fields related to special needs, and more.