Learning that your child has been diagnosed with special needs or disabilities can be incredibly challenging, but finding resources for you and your family shouldn’t be. Here is a comprehensive list of the top organizations that can help with services of all kinds.
Assured Family Services
Address: 7310 Woodward Avenue, Suite 601. Detroit, MI 48202
Assured Family Services was founded as a collaborative of child welfare and juvenile justice agencies focused on better services and better continuity of care for Michigan’s children and families under court jurisdiction. Our services grew in the juvenile justice area where we combined the best expertise in juvenile justice, behavioral health, utilization review, and community services. We led in the formation of a culturally competent network of providers and created a visionary new approach to reclaiming youths and families, making communities safer and managing dollars better. This expanded to child welfare children and families, prevention, at risk and diversion services in 2003. Every aspect of our services was to assure timely accurate assessment, access to appropriate services and levels of care and partner with colleagues to assure better treatment for each family and youth.
- Medication Review
- Psychological Services
- Drug Screening and Assessment
Autism Alliance of Michigan
Address: 30100 Telegraph Rd, Bingham Farms, MI 48025
The Autism Alliance of Michigan (AAoM) is leading efforts to make Michigan a better place to live for people with autism and their families. Our impact on families, communities, lawmakers, and service providers is not possible without the generous support of our corporate, foundation, and individual donors.
AAoM’s Neighborhood Directory is home to over 700 resources based in Michigan. From ABA Therapists, summer camps, doctors to Autism Friendly Businesses you can find that and more in the Neighborhood Directory. The Neighborhood directory is also home to our Community Calendar.
MiNavigator is the only program in the state offering support regardless of insurance, geography or need. Free resources for Michigan are available and targeted to meet a families’ unique needs. Assistance navigating the autism journey is offered through face to face, phone, email, and web-based resources.
AAoM is staffed by autism professionals and specialists in areas covering education, clinical, insurance, employment, legal and safety, among others. Parents, caregivers and educators can pose their own questions or learn from the blogs and responses to others with autism or in similar situations.
Job Accommodation Network
Phone: 800.526.7234 (Voice)/877.781.9403 (TTY)
The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) is the leading source of free, expert, and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations and disability employment issues. Working toward practical solutions that benefit both employer and employee, JAN helps people with disabilities enhance their employability, and shows employers how to capitalize on the value and talent that people with disabilities add to the workplace.
JAN’s trusted consultants offer one-on-one guidance on workplace accommodations, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and related legislation, and self-employment and entrepreneurship options for people with disabilities. Assistance is available both over the phone and online. Those who can benefit from JAN’s services include private employers of all sizes, government agencies, employee representatives, and service providers, as well as people with disabilities and their families.
- Employers capitalize on the talents and value of employees with disabilities.
- Federal agencies identify resources that can help them learn how to use Schedule A and other hiring authorities to hire people with disabilities.
- People who represent and advocate on behalf of employees with disabilities better serve their constituents.
- People with disabilities increase their employability and succeed on the job.
Address: 4410 W. 13 Mile Road Royal Oak, MI 48073 (and multiple locations)
The Judson Center is a non-profit human service agency that provides compassionate, comprehensive services to children and families throughout southeast Michigan. Since opening its doors in 1924, it has grown to provide services to more than 4,000 children, adults and families each year, helping children who have been abused and neglected, and others who are challenged by developmental disabilities, severe emotional impairments and autism spectrum disorder.
- Summer programs
- Counseling & Family Support
- Social Skills Groups
- and more
Kids on the Go
Address: Pare Elementary School. St Clair Shores, MI 48080
Kids on the Go is a pediatric nonprofit that relies on sponsors to provide special needs children with therapy during the summer break from school. The Kids on the Go summer camp pairs campers with professional therapists as they work with the latest, most reliable therapeutic tools. The therapy comes at no cost to often already overburdened families, and it comes at a crucial time, after school-provided therapy has ended. Kids on the Go has been filling that summertime gap for special needs children at no cost since 1999 and is a way to help families of special needs children with medical costs not covered by insurers. More than 1,700 children aged 3-14 have received physical, occupational and speech therapy from our dedicated therapists over the years, helping kids stay successful in school while still having a summer to remember. The need is great. In the 2012-2013 school year, the number of students that were eligible for special education in Michigan was more than 226,000. There are many children requiring summertime therapy but unfortunately there are many parents who are unable to pay for private services all summer long – if at all. The summer camp, which runs for six weeks, is held at Assumption Cultural Center in St. Clair Shores. Classes are also offered in Grosse Pointe and Rochester. While the camp is targeted to 3 to 6-year-olds the separate enrichment classes such as Little Sluggers, Music therapy, Bike Riding, Tennis, Friendship Cheer, Story Tellers, All Star Hoops Basketball, Movie Makers, and Better Letters benefit children from ages 3 to 14.
- Multidisciplinary Camp
- Social Skills Group
- Music Therapy
- Bike Riding
- Parent Empowered Workshops
- Art Therapy
- Hand Writing Camp
- And More
Michigan Alliance for Families
Michigan Alliance for Families is a statewide resource to connect families of children with disabilities to resources to help improve their children’s education. We help facilitate parent involvement as a means of improving educational services and outcomes for students with disabilities. Each Michigan Alliance staff member is a parent or family member of an individual with disabilities who has first-hand experience with the aspects of the special education system. Every staff member is trained in listening, communicating, and problem-solving. Families can connect directly to a regional Parent Mentor. Parent Mentors can assist you in navigating the educational system and are knowledgeable about state and local resources. Parent Mentors support existing and emerging parent leaders involved with groups such as Local Interagency Coordinating Councils (LICCs), Parent Advisory Committees (PACs), the Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC), and the Michigan Interagency Coordinating Council (MICC).
What We Do:
- Michigan Alliance for Families provides printed, electronic, and multimedia information/resources.
- Michigan Alliance for Families staff are available to talk to parents and professionals about special education and related services, and disability specific information.
- Michigan Alliance for Families hosts relevant workshop across the state. All of our events and materials are free of charge to parents/families.
- Michigan Alliance for Families encourages and supports parents in leadership roles.
Michigan Developmental Disabilities Institute
Address: Leonard N. Simons Bldg. 4809 Woodward Ave., Suite 268, Detroit MI 48202
Phone: 313.577.2654 /888.978.4334
The Institute’s mission is to contribute to the development of inclusive communities and quality of life for people with disabilities and their families through a culturally-sensitive statewide program of interdisciplinary education, community support and services, and research and dissemination of information. The Michigan Developmental Disabilities Institute is one of 67 UCEDDs nationally and within the US territories.
MI-DDI offers the following services:
- Education to professionals, paraprofessionals, parents and persons with disabilities
- Support to communities, systems and service providers
- Evaluation of programs and services
- Research on disability issues
- Information that contributes to training and application of knowledge
Michigan Disability Resources
Michigan Disability Resources is Michigan’s first website devoted specially to the interests, concerns, and needs of Michiganians with disabilities. Of Michigan’s nearly 10 million residents, about 1.9 million have a disability. That’s one in every five residents. On these pages you will find the services and programs for people with disabilities offered by the State of Michigan as well as other sites of interest. Whether you’re looking for assistance in finding a job, want to learn about the latest assistive technology, or have a question about your rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act, you will find it here.
Michigan Protection & Advocacy Services
Address: 4095 Legacy Pkwy Ste 500, Lansing, MI 48911
Michigan Protection & Advocacy Service, Inc. (MPAS) is the independent, private, nonprofit organization designated by the governor of the State of Michigan to advocate and protect the legal rights of people with disabilities in Michigan. MPAS services include information and referral, short-term assistance, selected individual and legal representation, systemic advocacy, monitoring, and training.
- Information and referral
- Resolution of disability-related issues
- Technical assistance
- Legal representation, where appropriate
- Training, outreach, and seminars
- Monitoring for abuse and neglect in facilities
Oakland University Center for Autism Outreach (OUCARES)
Address: 425C Pawley Hall, 456 Pioneer Drive, Rochester, MI 48309
OUCARES encompasses the outreach services of the Oakland University Center for Autism. The mission of OUCARES is to improve the quality of life of individuals impacted by Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) by offering quality and comprehensive programs across the lifespan. OUCARES offers a variety of programs for individuals with ASD age three through adulthood, their families and caregivers, and the broader community. If you are looking for supports for an individual on the spectrum, OUCARES undoubtedly has a program or service that can be a resource for you.
- Recreational sports
- Social skills programs and clubs
- Employable skills programs
- Summer camps
- Special events
The Children’s Center
Address: 79 Alexandrine West, Detroit, MI 48201
The Children’s Center is home to many specialized clinical services. We lead the way in working with children who struggle with behavioral, emotional, educational, intellectual and developmental challenges or may have experienced trauma.
We treat the whole child, looking at more than a single issue so we can provide the best, most comprehensive integrated care. We examine barriers in the home, school and community, working with the family who raises them and the organizations that support them.
What We Do:
- Autism Services
- Behavioral Sleep Clinic
- Center-Based Services
- Community-Based Services
- Crisis Care Services
- Developmental Disabilities Services
- Family Court Behavioral Services
- Nursing Services
- Parent Support Partners
- School-Based Services
- Severe Emotional Disorders
- Psychiatric Services
- Psychological Services
- Wraparound Services
Photo credit: Facebook
About Shantalea Johns
Shantalea Johns is a Licensed Social Worker and contributing writer for Little Guide Detroit. She is also a certified Mental Health First Aid instructor. Shantalea lives in Detroit with her husband Alan and two children, Aaron and Allison. Her family loves trying new restaurants, biking at metro parks, and attending performing arts events around Detroit.