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Special Medical Needs

Parenting a child with special medical needs requires patience, planning, information and resources. This video of a father of a medically fragile child offers links to important resources, and suggestions on meeting your child’s special needs.

The listing of an agency on this webpage is not an endorsement or lack of endorsement of its purpose, method, or quality of service. Children's Services is not an accrediting or certifying agency and we do not assume responsibility for any of the individual resources listed in this webpage.

Learn more about resources mentioned in the video:

Early Intervention Program

Parents of children from birth through three should request a comprehensive evaluation by contacting Early Intervention Services. Services include special education, and physical, occupational and speech therapy.
Early Intervention Services, or call 311

For help requesting services for children with disabilities, birth to five years old, contact the office of the Early Childhood Direction Center in your borough.

Explore the Parent to Parent of New York State Website for a variety of services for parents.
Parent to Parent

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For Children Three to Five Years Old

For children three to five years old, contact the Committee on Pre-School Special Education (CPSE) through your local school district.
Pre-School Special Education

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Medicaid Waiver Programs

For more information about the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (NYS OPWDD) Home and Community-Based Services Waiver, go to:
People with Developmental Disabilities

For additional Medicaid Waiver Programs available throughout New York State, visit New York Health Access

Bridges 2 Health is a waiver program exclusively for children in foster care, who are medically fragile or have developmental disabilities or serious emotional disturbances

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The Rusk Institute

The Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine
400 East 34th Street / New York, NY 10016

For additional information on assistive technology and equipment, go to Assistive Technology and Equipment (ADAPT)

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Additional Resources for Children with Developmental Disabilities

New York State OPWDD local developmental disabilities services offices (DDSOS). This website helps you find the local service office of NYS OPWDD near you.

New York State OPWDD Provider Directory
A list of providers of a range of services, such as camp, respite, residential, day services, vocational, and more.

For Assistance with Children with Autism

NYACTS is now the OPWDD - Autism Platform & nyacts former website is for timeshares and listed as spam.

For Assistance with Children with Serious Emotional Problems

NYS Office of Mental Health Resources for Families - supports and services for children who have serious emotional disturbances.
Office of Mental Health

For children ages five through 17 with serious emotional disturbances or behavioral disorders, visit:,
or to make a referral call: 347-396-7205, Fax: 347-396-8849

For more information about mental health resources, services, and supports in New York City,
Call:   1-888-NYC-WELL (1-888-692-9355)

Visit: National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI); NAMI Helpline: (212) 684-3264

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Programs & Initiatives