Useful Resources for Parents of Adult Special Needs Children


Post-Secondary Programs for Adult Special Needs Children

The following is a list of programs and resources that might be of value to parents of adult special needs children. Some of these appear in the book in greater detail. Apologies for the geographic limitations of the listings.

Supportive College Programs


Center for Adaptive Learning

Theresa Ortega, Executive Director

3227 Clayton Road, Concord, CA 94519

(925) 827 3863

email: [email protected]



Cape Cod Community College, Project Forward

Peter Daley

2240 Iyannough Road; West Barnstable, MA 02668

(508) 362-2131 ext. 4763

email: [email protected]



College Internship Program

Mike Gunther,

Director of Admissions,

National Office

119 South Street, Lee, MA 01201

(877) 566 9247 ext 30

(Six Programs in CA, FL, IN, MA and NY)

email: [email protected]



College Living Experience

Six Locations: Austin TX, Costa Mesa CA, Monterey CA, Rockville MD, Ft. Lauderdale. FL, Denver CO


Email: [email protected]

Description: For more than 20 years, CLE has been helping students with varying disabilities prepare for life as independent adults. Offering individualized supports, CLE services are tailored around students pursuing their academic or vocational program of choice. CLE provides each student with the supports needed to meet their goals, create meaningful relationships, and increase their confidence.



Independent Living Experience

Locations: Austin TX, Denver CO


Description: Independent Living Experience (ILE) is a customized support service for adults with disabilities desiring a life of independence. The ILE staff works to improve the independence of clients by designing services to align with the agreed-upon goals from the client and their family, then offering the right supports through skill acquisition and maintenance in their living, working, and social environments.



College Transition Connection

Donald Bailey

P O Box 31656, Charleston, SC, 29417


email: [email protected]

(Carolina Life, Clemson Life, Coastal Carolina Life, and REACH at the College of Charleston, Winthrop University)




Kathy Titus, Todd Hebert

551 Route 6A; East Sandwich, MA 02537

(508) 888-0489

email: [email protected]



Lesley College / Threshold Program

Helen McDonald

29 Everett Street; Cambridge, MA 02138-2790

(617) 349-8184

email: [email protected]



Maplebrook School – C.A.P.S. (Center for the Advancement of Post Secondary Studies)

Jennifer Scully

5142 Route 22; Amenia, NY 12501

(845) 373 8191

email: [email protected]



National-Louis University, P.A.C.E. Program

Carol Burns

5202 Old Orchard Road, Skokie, IL 60077

(847) 905 2671

email: [email protected]



N.Y.I.T. – V.I.P. Program

Dr. Ernst VanBergeijk and Sheree Incorvaia

Vocational Independence Program, 300 Carleton Avenue – VIP Independence Hall

Central Islip, NY 11722

(631) 348-3354

email: [email protected]



OPTIONS Transitions to Independence

Charlene Reed

101 So Lewis Lane, Carbondale, IL 62901

(618) 549 4201

email: [email protected]




Independent Living Programs (long-term):



Laurel Ross, Executive Director

Contact: Amy Samalin

50 Glenville Street, Greenwich, CT 06831

(203) 531 1880 ext. 128

email: [email protected]



Ability Beyond Disability

4 Berkshire Blvd. Bethel, CT 06801

120 Kisco Ave. Mt. Kisco, NY 12509

email: [email protected]

Contact Information:

Beth Molinaro

Ability Beyond Disability

Information & Referral Manager

4 Berkshire Boulevard, Bethel, CT 06801


email: [email protected]

Ability Beyond Disability is a resource for people with developmental or acquired disabilities, including but not limited to: Down Syndrome, cerebral palsy, autism spectrum disorders, brain injury, mental illness and physical disabilities. The majority of individuals served are adults or young adults and supports can address a single life episode or span an entire lifetime. Ability Beyond Disability helps approximately 2,000 people each year. Our unique approach helps people of all abilities to make connections and succeed in the community. Through innovative community job training and placement, supported living, and recreational and educational opportunities, we help each individual to live a full and rewarding life.



Berkshire Hills Music Academy

Kristen Tillona

48 Woodbridge Street, South Hadley, MA 01075

(413) 540 9720 ext. 202

email: [email protected]



Captain’s House

508 – 510 Main Street, Centerville MA 02633

(508) 827-4613

email: [email protected]



Casa de Amma

Aaron Vorell, Executive Director

27231 Calle Arroyo, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675

(949) 496 9001

email: [email protected]



Center for Independent Futures

Ann Sickon, Executive Director

1015 Davis Street, Evanston, IL 60201

(847) 328 2044

[email protected]



Chapel Haven

Catherine Sullivan DeCarlo

1040 Whalley Avenue; New Haven, CT 06515

(203) 397-1714 ext 148

email: [email protected]

Founded in 1972, Chapel Haven remains a pioneer in teaching adults with cognitive disabilities, Asperger’s Syndrome and those on the autism spectrum to live independent and productive lives. (Programs in CT and AZ)



Community Mainstreaming Associates, Inc.

Eileen McDonald Egan, Executive Director

Heather Aylward, Director of Programs and Services

99 Quentin Roosevelt Boulevard, Suite 200, Garden City, NY 11530

516-683-0710, ext. 209

email: [email protected]



Foundation for Independent Living

Cynthia Sutherland

1367 Lyons Road, Coconut Creek, FL 33063

(954) 968 6472

email: [email protected]



Giant Step Services, LLC

David Finkelstein

1002 Devonshire Road, Hauppauge, NY 11788

(631) 630 5550

email: [email protected]




John and Sasha McNamara

1 Great Hill Road, Sandwich, MA 02563

(508) 778-0041

email: [email protected]



Heart’s Desire

Diana Gentile

63 Sisson Road, Harwichport, MA 02646

(774) 237 0706

email: [email protected]



Independence Center

Judy Maizlish

3640 S Sepulveda Blvd., Ste 102, Los Angeles, CA 90034

(310) 202 7102

email: [email protected]



Independence Farm, Inc.

Matthew and Tracy Files

383 Route 6A, East Sandwich, MA 02537

P.O. Box 31, East Sandwich, MA 02537

(774) 313 9176

email: [email protected]



Jespy House

Lynn Kucher

65 Academy Street; South Orange, NJ 07079

(973) 762-6909 ext. 313

email: [email protected]



Life Development Institute

Justin Collers, Admissions Manager

18001 N 79 Avenue, Suite E71, Glendale, AZ 85308

(623) 773-2774

email: [email protected]

email: [email protected]



LITEhouse, Inc.

P.O. Box 147, Danvers, MA 01923

(978) 766-4262

email: [email protected]

LITEhouse, Inc. (Learning Independence Through Experiences) is a residential program dedicated to providing a home for adults with learning/cognitive disabilities where they can feel safe, comfortable, and confident enough to achieve enriched and valuable lives. Our staff provides 24/7 around-the-clock support. LITEhouse, Inc. strives to provide an independent atmosphere and encourage the development of an interdependent community by promoting self-sufficiency and cultivating supportive social relationships amongst a group of peers with disabilities. Our main focus is to create a home for young adults to love as their own. As our residents learn independence and accountability, they will also develop a sense of personal growth and self-fulfillment. Our program is designed to be centrally located in a small town, where the residents can have the maximum amount of independence, with access to all the basic necessities within walking distance. Of course, staff will provide transportation, as necessary. The home and program we have created are designed to promote productive, happy lives. Our goal is to provide the means for a happy and well-balanced life. We believe in offering support while also fostering accountability and responsibility. Through meaningful experiences, our residents will develop and improve their skill sets, which include self-confidence and self-advocacy, determination, independence, interdependence, dignity, and life-fulfillment



Living Independently Forever, Inc. (L.I.F.E.)

Diane Enochs, Exec. Director

550 Lincoln Road Ext., Hyannis, MA 02601

Hyannis: (508) 790-3600

Mashpee: (508) 477-6670

email: [email protected]




Will Hoermann

P O Box 2250, Manchaca, TX 78652

(512) 282 1144

email: [email protected]

Located just south of downtown Austin, Texas, Marbridge has a unique 60-year history of providing post-secondary residential training to adults with cognitive challenges in a safe, nurturing community.



Moving Forward Towards Independence

Donna Feingold, Executive Director

1020 Clinton Street, Suite 210, Napa, CA 94559

(707) 251 8603

email: [email protected]




James and Jenn O’Connell

3401 Main Street, Barnstable MA 02630

(774) 289 1182

(508) 395 0068

[email protected]



POINT Program (Pursuing Our Independence Together)

Barbara Greene, Director

Westchester Jewish Community Services

845 North Broadway, White Plains, NY 10603-2427

(914) 761 0600 ext 175 or

(718) 625 0803

email: [email protected]




Douglas Gale, Executive Director

5455 North River Run Drive, Provo, UT 84604

(801) 226 2550

email: [email protected]



Specialized Housing, Inc.

David and Margot Wizansky

45 Bartlett Crescent; Brookline, MA 02445

(617) 277-1805

email: [email protected]



St. Louis Life

Andy Conover

929 Rolling Thunder Drive, O’Fallon, MO 63368

(636) 561-1900

email: [email protected]



Toward Greater Independence

Colleen Cahill, Owner and Operator, TGI

1236 Craigville Beach Road, Centerville, MA 02632

(508) 775 3736

Toward Greater Independence (Facebook page)

email: [email protected]



Toward Independent Living & Learning, Inc. (T.I.L.L.)

Ann Cotter-Mack

East Brook Executive Park, 20 Eastbrook Road, Dedham, MA 02026

(781) 302 4600 ext. 4659

email: [email protected]


Vista Vocational & Life Skills Center, Inc.

Bobbi Guercia – Director of Admissions and External Relations

1356 Old Clinton Road, Westbrook, CT 06498

107 Bradley Road, Madison, CT 06443

(860) 399-8080

email: [email protected]




Transitional Programs (short-term):


College Internship Program

Mike Gunther,

Director of Admissions,

National Office

119 South Street, Lee, MA 01201

(877) 566 9247 ext 30

(Six Programs in CA, FL, IN, MA and NY)

email: [email protected]



Kathy Titus, Todd Hebert

551 Route 6A; East Sandwich, MA 02537

(508) 888-0489



The Horizons School

Dr. Jade Carter, Director

Dawn White, Admissions Coordinator

2018 15th Avenue South: Birmingham, AL 35205

(205) 322-6606 or (800) 822-6242

email: [email protected]

email: [email protected]

The Horizons School is a non-degree transition program specifically designed to create personal, social, career independence, and build self-determination skills for young adults (ages 18-26) with learning differences.



Minnesota Life College

7501 Logan Avenue, Suite 2A, Minneapolis, MN 55423


email: [email protected]

MLC offers summer internships, a three year undergraduate program and for program graduates, a lifelong Graduate Living Community option.




Day Program:


Transitions Centers

Ms. Christine Spaulding

32 Commercial Street, So Yarmouth MA 02664

(508) 398 3333

email: [email protected]




Social Support Services:


Anchor to Windward

Cara Freedman,

P O Box 813, Marblehead, MA 01945

74 Atlantic Avenue, Marblehead, MA 01945


email: [email protected]

Offers social programming/independent living.



Esprit-Partnership For Independence

Director: Mary Ann Matthews

P. O. Box 433, Centerville, MA 02632

Phone: 508-862-1662

email: [email protected]

Provides social, vocational and independent life skills training.



LifeTimes Planning

Center Place, 1550 Falmouth Road, Unit 4A, Centerville, MA 02632

Phone: 508-862-1662

email: [email protected]



The Spotlight Program

Natalie Blue

6 Southside Road, Danvers MA 01923

(978) 624 2314

email: [email protected]




Dale Belcher

20 Eastbrook Road, Dedham MA 02026

(781) 302 4619

email: [email protected]



Triumph Services

Brooke Stephens

1025 23rd Street S, Suite 300, Birmingham AL 35205

(205) 581 1000

email: [email protected]




Vocational Assessment/Job Search:


Community Support Associates, Inc.

Marty Gravelle

4 Bacon Terrace, P O Box 1987, Hyannis MA 02601

(508) 790 7818 ext 106

email: [email protected]




Additional Resources Mentioned in this Book


Aquatic Therapy


Angelfish Therapy L.L.C.

PO Box 183, Botsford CT, 06404


email: [email protected]

Angelfish Therapy is a Pediatric Aquatic Therapy Company that provides many services to children with all levels of abilities. We provide individual and small group Aquatic therapy, with licensed Occupational and Physical Therapists. We offer the Swim Whisperer swim lesson program, run by swim instructors trained by us in working with children within the wide range of sensory processing disorders, so that they can learn how to swim more efficiently and with less discomfort. We run two camp programs, Camp Mighty Mind, a three-week brain based movement day camp helping children with sensory integration disorders, motor incoordination and attention issues, learn how to improve learning by automating motor skills. We run a one-week sleep away camp program called Camp Angelfish, which is on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire, during August. It is a recreational camp experience for children of all abilities, from those needing one on one support, to higher level children needing a small group to feel confident and successful in a sleep away camp experience, to our last group which is typical siblings and friends looking to share in the sleep away camp experience with their sibling who has special needs. The final component of our program is the education piece where we do trainings for other therapists, swim instructors and parents, on our techniques through continuing education courses that we offer and educational DVD’s available for purchase on our website. Our mission to help enable children of all abilities to reach their full potential by feeling confident and comfortable in their bodies.



Therapeutic Equestrian Program



Pegasus Special Needs Resource Information

Pegasus Therapeutic Riding

310 Peach Lake Road, Brewster, NY 10509

(845) 669-8235

email: [email protected]

To inquire about our programs:

Emily Wygod

Program Coordinator

(845) 669-8235 x104

Pegasus has provided equine-assisted activities and therapies for people with special needs since 1975. We are an accredited PATH International Premier Center with four chapters in Putnam, Westchester and Fairfield counties, including Pegasus Farm, our main equestrian center in Brewster, N.Y. Our PATH-certified instructors, physical therapists, occupational therapists and educators partner highly trained therapy horses with people with physical, cognitive, emotional and developmental disabilities. Students are accepted as young as four years old. While the majority of our 225 students are under 18, our programs serving adults with special needs are growing. Pegasus offers a therapeutic riding program and Horses & Me, an equine learning and barn education program. Therapeutic riding exercises both mind and muscle and can produce remarkably improved mobility, balance, posture, coordination, language development, behavior control and concentration. Lessons include instruction in basic riding skills as well as opportunities for social interaction, recreation, sport, therapy and work with developmental concepts. Horses & Me activities take place during unmounted sessions in the barn and/or arena. Students progress through sequenced activities adapted to their abilities. Lesson topics may include grooming, equine nutrition and first aid, ground training, basic equine anatomy, and how to tack up and lead a horse.



Theater, Socialization and Housing for Special Needs


SPHERE, Inc. (Special People’s Housing, Education, Recreation and Employment)

PO Box 1136, Ridgefield, CT 06877

Rebecca L. Ciota


email: [email protected]

SPHERE’s mission is to improve the quality of life for adults with developmental disabilities. Our major programs include SPA Performing Arts, a Summer Art Workshop, SPHERE Soap-Making, SPHERE Jewelry Making, Job Coaching, Employment Opportunities and Transportation Assistance. Founded over twenty-five years ago and certified by the IRS as a not-for-profit organization, SPHERE serves members throughout Fairfield County with disabilities ranging from Down Syndrome to PKU. Our goals include introducing our members to the community as vibrant, productive and employable members of society. We accomplish this through film, outreach programs and events involving the community.




Publication on Parenting Children with Disabilities



Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital

Louise Kinross

150 Kilgour Rd., Toronto M4G 1R8

416 424 3866

email: [email protected]

BLOOM is a practical magazine on parenting children with disabilities. It gives voice to the joys and challenges of special-needs parenting by combining firsthand family insights with the best professional advice

Dental Care Guidance for Caregivers of Patients with Down Syndrome

Down Syndrome & Dental Care is a thorough resource guide that discusses dental appointments for patients with Down Syndrome.  The guide is wonderful for caregivers and family members as it talks about different topics such as the most common dental problems seen in patients with Down Syndrome as well as how to find the right dentist for your loved one and how to prepare for their appointment.  This article has been medically fact checked and written by Dr. Andrew Jordan and Dr. Greg Grillo, both practicing special needs dentists.

Dental Care Guidance for Caregivers of Patients with Down Syndrome






Autism Speaks

Lindsay Naeder

Autism Response Team Manager

1 East 33rd Street 4th Floor, New York, NY 10016

(917) 475-5066

email: [email protected]

Contact the Autism Response Team

1-888 AUTISM2 (288-4762)

En Español: 1-888-772-9050

[email protected]


Cerebral Palsy Group

Alison Sanchez, Advocacy Director


Cerebral Palsy Guidance

Alex Diaz-Granados



Cerebral Palsy Guide

Lizzie Higgins, Outreach Director

3208 E. Colonial Dr. #241, Orlando, FL 32803

(885) 329-1008

email: [email protected]

Our organization shares educational materials to families and individuals affected by cerebral palsy, including information about different therapies, treatment options, and financial resources.


The Smith Magenis Research Foundation


18620 SW 39th Street, Miramar, FL 33029


email: [email protected]

Contact information: Jennifer Iannuzzi, co-founder of The Smith Magenis Research Foundation

email: [email protected]

Our mission is to support research to improve the knowledge and understanding of SMS so that viable therapeutic options can be developed in order to improve the quality of life of those with SMS. The Smith Magenis Research Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in June 2010.