Resources for Toddlers and Preschoolers with Special Needs and their Families:

With the assistance of Challenge’s team of knowledgeable Service Coordinators, Teachers, Parents & EI Professionals, we present you with this list of resources which many of our families have found useful. Contact your service coordinator directly if there is a service you need further assistance in accessing.
Please email us if you have a resource you would like us to add to this list!

New York State Early Intervention Program:

The New York State Early Intervention Program (EIP) is part of the national Early Intervention Program for infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families. To be eligible for services, children must be under 3 years of age and have a confirmed disability or established developmental delay, as defined by the New York State guidelines, in one or more of the following areas of development: physical, cognitive, communication, social-emotional, and/or adaptive.

Include NYC

INCLUDENYC is New York City's only independent nonprofit organization that works for families and young people with all disabilities to develop their full potential. Founded in 1983 by three New York mothers, INCLUDENYC serves families of children and young adults in NYC with all disabilities -- with an emphasis on the city's highest-needs families and communities.

Through individual advocacy, specialized trainings and community awareness events, we (1) help parents develop the knowledge, skills, and confidence to advocate for their children and young people, (2) Help families obtain appropriate educational services for their children and youth, (3) Train parents on special education, disability, and related topics, (4) Connect families to community resources.

Parent to Parent of NYS

From The Mission Statement of Parent to Parent: "Parent to Parent of New York State builds a supportive network of families to reduce isolation and empower those who care for people with developmental disabilities or special healthcare needs to navigate and influence service systems and make informed decisions."

They have trained support parents throughout the US who are able to share information and support with parents by phone about children with a wide range of diagnoses and situations. Parents are matched by language and culture as well.

Advocates for Children of New York 

Advocates for Children of New York is a helpful resource for all parents with children of special need they specialize in protecting and promoting the educational rights of students with disabilities for the past 40 years.

NYS Parent Guide for Children and their Caregivers: Starting Life Together

The Bureau of Early Intervention (BEI) is pleased to announce the availability of the New York State (NYS) Parent Guide for Children and Their Caregivers: Starting life Together website, from the Council on Children and Families (CCF). The Parent Guide website is designed for parents and caregivers of infants and toddlers, and can be accessed using the following link, or through the link on the NYS Department of Health Early Intervention website:. The Guide website contains evidence based information about key parenting behaviors that can be used to build strong, trusting, and positive parent/child relationships. Features of the Guide’s website: 1)Provides research based guidance, 2) Includes resources on child and family topics, such as: child development, developmental concerns, safety, sleep, and child care. 3) Offers e-Journals (Online Journaling Tools) 4) Accessible on any device (computer, smartphone, tablet) 5) Each page can be translated into a preferred language via Google Translate

United Cerebral Palsy 

An Informative Resource for children with cerebral palsy and their families

UCP of NYC's Samuel Hausman Activities, Resource & Education (SHARE) Centers 

Located at UCP of NYC Campuses in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan and Staten Island, SHARE Centers bring together expert staff and a unique range of specialized resources, including a selection of adaptive toys, books, ipads and equipment loans. NYC Share Centers aim to educate and inform families so that they may empower their children to attain higher levels of independence and self-sufficiency through enhanced learning and play.

The National Down Syndrome Society:

Informative resources site for children born with Down Syndrome and their families.

Autism Speaks 

Informative resource site for children with autism and their families.

Cap4kids: The Children's Advocacy Project of New York City:

The mission of The Children's Advocacy Project (CAP) is to help bridge the gap between the many quality social service agencies in the New York City area and the families that need their help the most. To bridge this gap, we aim to empower and to inform those that care for the children of New York City through this web site.

The CAP will assist families, health care professionals, and social service providers by furnishing the tools necessary to connect families in need to the appropriate social service agencies that serve them.

American Red Cross

At the American Red Cross, training people how to respond to and prepare for emergencies is our core mission. We offer a range of health and safety classes that teach you new skills, keep you knowledgeable, confident and ready to respond in almost any emergency situation. With courses to cover all key areas of training, available online and in classrooms across the country, Red Cross classes deliver the training you seek, when, where and how you need it.

National Autism Association – NY Metro Chapter

Offers monthly Parent and Caregiver Support Groups for Parents and Caregivers of individuals on the Autism Spectrum in Manhattan and Queens, as well as other services and resources.

Extreme Kids and Crew 

Extreme Kids & Crew Mission Statement States: "A nonprofit organization which is a community center that provides a welcoming, supportive space for children with disabilities, their families and friends, to socialize, create and play. Through arts-based programming and a sensory gym for constructive play, caregivers, siblings and children of all abilities come together to explore, connect, relax and gain confidence in their capabilities."

My Child Without Limits  

Developmental delays and disabilities support group and discussion community. A Website developed by United Cerebral Palsy providing both medical resources, information about a wide variety of disabilities and an online support group / discussion community for parents.

Children with Sensory Processing Challenges

Lindsey Biel, OTR/L, is a pediatric occupational therapist with a private practice in New York City. She evaluates and treats children and adolescents with developmental delays, autism spectrum disorders, sensory processing issues, physical disabilities and other challenges. She works exclusively in clients’ “natural settings,” i.e., their homes and schools, to help maximize well-being and participation in daily life tasks of playing, learning, and self-care. She takes a holistic, collaborative approach that considers the “whole child,” addressing developmental skills such as fine motor, gross motor, visual perceptual, and self-help abilities but also working on foundational sensory processing abilities, psychosocial skills, sleep and nutritional status, and other factors.
Please visit her web sites at and for free webcasts, checklists, magazine articles and more.

United Healthcare Children's Foundation

Provides financial grants to help cover uninsured medical expenses for children whose parents have private health care coverage.

OPWDD funded Family Support Services

These directories list services available to individuals with a developmental disability and/or their families residing in the various boros of NYC. In order to use many of these services, the person with a developmental disability must live with his or her family, in that particular borough. Developmental disabilities include: intellectual or developmental disabilities, autism, cerebral palsy, neurological impairment and epilepsy.

These directories include all of the programs for NYC families that are funded by the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD). Also included are several other programs appropriate for families of individuals with developmental disabilities.

Brooklyn Family Support Services Guide

This directory lists services available to Brooklyn individuals with a developmental disability and/or their families.

Queens Family Support Guide

A Guide for Queens Family Support Programs for People with Developmental Disabilities.

Staten Island Developmental Disabilities Council

Established in 1969, the Staten Island Developmental Disabilities Council (SIDDC) assists in the planning, promotion and development of services for individuals with developmental disabilities and their family members.

Manhattan Developmental Disabilities Council

We are an official advisory body to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, to the New York State Office For People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD), and the Manhattan Developmental Disabilities Services Office .

Bronx Developmental Disabilities Council

The Bronx Developmental Disabilities Council is an association of parents, advocates, consumers and professionals concerned with the needs of people with developmental disabilities who reside in the Bronx.

Early Intervention Steps: A Parent’s Basic Guide to the Early Intervention Program

is an online publication that provides more detailed information about the Early Intervention Program. Resources available in this booklet include tips for being an effective parent advocate, a checklist of important evaluation information, and sample letters to help parents exercise their due process rights.

Mommy Poppins:

Written by local parents who love to seek out the coolest, off-the-beaten-track things to do with kids, Mommy Poppins shares activities that aren't just pleasant time passers, but promise enriching experiences for your family.

What we love: Free stuff; cool, artsy activities; urban nature, exploring nooks and crannies, and grown-up events that are good for kids. Includes information for children with special needs.

Brooklyn Conservatory of Music 

For infants and toddlers, we offer morning music therapy sessions with a credentialed music therapist who specializes in early intervention. Music therapy has been shown to be a fun and non-threatening way to support early intervention goals, to improve bonding with parents and caretakers and to foster cognitive development. Parental instruction on how to use music at home is offered.


The Shorefront Y provides an "All Together After School Program" offering children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders and other Developmental Disabilities a safe and nurturing small group environment to socialize, learn and have fun. The All-Together After school Program Offers: Homework Assistance, Music and Movement, Sensory Exploration, Art Groups, Dramatic Play, Story Time, Outdoor Play, Healthy Nutrition, and Swimming.

Social Security Website

Depending on child’s diagnosis and household income, your child may be qualified for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). For more information, check this website.

Kids Waivers

Useful resource for Children's Medicaid Waiver

The Children's Place Program

At Brooklyn Public Library, there's a place where all children can relax, play and have fun. We provide unique programs for children and teens with and without disabilities. Fostering an inclusive environment, this unique Brooklyn resource opens its doors to all children, parents, caregivers, and educators. Join us at one of our many free programs.” CPP had two staff members who sign, one of whom is bilingual in ASL and British Sign Language. With advance notice, ASL interpretation can be provided at one of our sites. CPP has wonderful, free “Mommy and Me” programs for toddlers and preschoolers with and without special needs

The Well Travel Guide for Parents of Autism Spectrum Children 

But for many families, including those who have one or more children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the thought of vacationing may evoke more feelings of anxiety than eager anticipation. But there is no need to fear: There are many ways to make your travel plans accommodating to your child’s autism, and therefore more manageable (and less stressful) for you.

Early Childhood Directions Centers: 

The Early Childhood Direction Centers (ECDCs) provide information and referral services for children with disabilities ages birth through five, as well as professional development and technical assistance for families and preschool providers to improve results for preschool students with disabilities.  The targeted areas for improved outcomes are early literacy and communication, social‑emotional skills and positive behaviors.

Preemie World

Preemie World was created to help bridge the gap between parent and professional in the NICU, at home and beyond. With books, videos, and other products and tools, the hope is to make everyone’s life just a little bit easier as the “new normal” is created in the life of the preemie and his/her family. Parents-subscribe to our free print newsletter for preemie parents! Professionals-subscribe to our free print newsletter for preemie professionals! Download some freebies from us! Visit our store!

Melody of Autism 

Everyone who crosses the path of a person with ASD can become a dynamic force that helps that person and their entire family, thrive and be their absolute best. Our dynamic training program empowers your whole family to embrace the miracles and opportunities disguised in everyday moments.We base all our teachings on current research and the belief that a relational connection is the doorway to harmony, growth and development. We focus on developing the well-being of the person with ASD, as well as that of the entire family.