From support services to adaptive activities, South Florida has many resources to help your child reach his or her best potential.
Published: October 28, 2021
By: Compiled by Shannon Pease-Severance
Best Day Foundation
Provides children and young adults with special needs the opportunity to build confidence and self-esteem through adventure activities, including surfing, body boarding, kayaking and more. 1-800-309-2815
David Posnack Jewish Community Center
Through GibConnect enrichment programs, youth and adults with special needs can learn new skills, gain independence, build confidence and make new friends. Programs focus on fitness, arts, life skills and socialization.
5850 S. Pine Island Rd., Davie. 954-434-0499
Equine-Assisted Therapies of South Florida
Therapeutic horseback riding and other equine-assisted activities for children and adults with physical, cognitive and emotional difficulties. 3600 W. Sample Rd., Coconut Creek. 954-974-2007
Local, nonprofit organization partners with local fishermen, fisherwomen, businesses, and organizations to provide special needs children and families with unforgettable marine experiences. 954-778-6684
Parkland Buddy Sports
Nonprofit organization offers supervised and structured sports programs for special needs children and young adults.
Parks and Recreation Departments
Broward County and Miami-Dade parks departments offer extensive programs for those with physical, developmental, intellectual, visual and hearing disabilities. Activities include social gatherings, tandem biking for the visually impaired, bowling, yoga and more.
Broward: 954-357-8170, TTY Line: 954-537-2844
Dade: 305-755-7848, TTY Line: 711
This global organization oversees year-round sports training and competition for developmentally disabled individuals ages 8 and up. Provides training through schools and individual programs in a variety of different sports.
YMCA South Florida
Through Special Needs Inclusion programs, the YMCA aims to increase each individual’s ability to take part in activities with their peers to create a mutual sense of belonging. Programs include adaptive sports, summer camp and more.
ADHD Assessment, Consultation & Treatment Program
Provides assessment, testing and treatment for children and adolescents up to age 22 who are demonstrating behavioral issues consistent with ADHD. Nova Southeastern University Center for Psychological Studies, Maltz Building, 3301 College Ave., Fort Lauderdale.
Autism Society of America
Support, resources and advocacy for parents of children with autism spectrum disorder.
Promotes understanding and acceptance, advocacy and support, and research and screening of those with autism spectrum disorder and related conditions. 5805 Blue Lagoon Dr., Miami.
Baudhuin Preschool at NSU’s Mailman Segal Center
Located on the main campus of Nova Southeastern University, the preschool is an internationally recognized model for children with autism spectrum disorder. Jim & Jan Moran Family Center Village, 7600 SW 36th St. Davie.
Clinical Programs at NSU’s Mailman Segal Center
Housed at NSU, clinics provide a comprehensive spectrum of services for children and caregivers including developmental assessment of autism and related disorders, feeding disorders and challenging behaviors. 7600 SW 36 St., Davie.
Miami Autism Recovery Preschool
MARP prepares young children on the autism spectrum for a smooth introduction to school through therapies, developing social interaction through play, and customizing meals adapted to each child’s dietary needs. 1245 NE 201 Terrace, Miami. 786-251-4092
The Academy at NSU’s Mailman Segal Center
Located on the main campus of Nova Southeastern University, The Academy is a private preschool and kindergarten that engages students who require an individualized education program focusing on social communication, behavioral self-regulation, and independent functioning. 7600 SW 36th St., Davie.
The Victory Center
Center provides children with autism and related disabilities comprehensive individualized treatment through specialized programming including Behavior Intervention, Academic Programs, Parent Training, Summer Camp and more. 18900 NE 25 Ave., North Miami Beach. 305-466-1142
Based at the University of Miami and Nova Southeastern University, the Center for Autism & Related Disabilities (CARD) is a state-funded organization that offers free services for those with autism spectrum disorder, dual sensory impairment and related disabilities.
Children’s Bereavement Center
Grief support group for children, teens, young adults and families seeking support after the loss of a loved one. Free groups take place across Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties.305-668-4902
A community wellness center created solely and mindfully for the MSD/Eagles community providing current, future and former students, families and faculty a place for support services including information and education, family strengthening services and wellness experiences. 5655 Coral Ridge Dr., Coral Springs.
Program uses miniature horses and other animals to provide free grief support groups to children ages 3 and up, teens and their families who have experienced the death of a loved one. 4341 NW 39 Ave., Coconut Creek. 954-978-2390
Children’s Diagnostic & Treatment Center
Nonprofit center provides medical care, therapeutic services, multidisciplinary evaluations, support groups, recreational events, and more to children with disabilities or chronic illnesses. Nurses, doctors, therapists, social workers, psychologists, nutritionists and specialists provide services funded primarily through federal, state, county and private grants. 1401 S. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale. 954-728-8080
Florida Diagnostic & Learning Resources System
State-supported program provides support services and resources for those that have concern for and serve children with exceptionalities.
Nicklaus Children’s Hospital Dan Marino Outpatient Center
Provides a one-stop-shop for families of infants, children and teens in need of diagnostics, testing and rehabilitation services. 2900 S. Commerce Parkway, Weston. 954-385-6200
In coordination with the public schools, this program assists in locating, identifying and obtaining services for children with disabilities or special needs. 754-321-7200
Kapila Family Foundation Starting Right Program at NSU’s Mailman Segal Center
An early intervention, parent-child class for children 18-36 months exhibiting delays in language and social skills. Program is designed to increase communication, social and school readiness skills. NSU Mailman Segal Center for Early Childhood Studies, 7600 SW 36th St. Davie. 954-262-6928
Nicklaus Children’s Hospital Fetal Care Center
This high-risk infant delivery unit is specially designed for unborn children pre-diagnosed with a medical condition that will require advanced medical intervention after birth. 3100 SW 62 Ave., Miami.
Sprout Behavioral Services
Provides Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy to increase positive behaviors and decrease challenging behaviors. 11011 Sheridan St., Cooper City, 954-552-6668
Education and early intervention services, adult and pediatric therapy programs and childcare services are some of the programs offered to those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Services offered in Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties.
Specializes in the treatment of eating disorders through nutrition therapy, group support and more. 2425 E. Commercial Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. 954-641-2210
Residential and outpatient treatment for eating disorders, including anorexia. For ages 14 and up. 7700 Renfrew Lane, Coconut Creek. 800-736-3739
Pairs people with intellectual disabilities in one-to-one friendships with middle and high school students. Also offers a program for adults.
The Friendship Journey
Provides inclusive programs that foster relationships, enrich lives and create a community that is home to everyone.
Center for Hearing & Communication
Multidisciplinary services for deaf and hard of hearing clients, including audiology services, assistive listening devices, specialized phone equipment, psychological assessments, counseling, support groups, and educational and summer camp programs. Emergency interpreter services are available 24 hours. 2900 W. Cypress Creek Rd., Fort Lauderdale. 954-601-1930, TTY: 954-601-1938
Florida Division of Blind Services
State-sponsored programs for those up to age 21 who are visually impaired or have a disease that will lead to blindness.
Hearing & Speech Center of Florida
Nonprofit organization provides hearing and speech-language therapy services, hearing testing, dispensing of hearing aids and more. 9425 SW 72 St., Miami. 305-271-7343
Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Programs for blind and visually impaired adults and children include music education, braille music lessons, academics, summer camp, employment transition programs and more. Locations in Broward and Dade.
NSU Audiology Clinic
Comprehensive assessment and treatment for hearing and balance disorders, including comprehensive audiologic assessment from newborn through school-age, and auditory processing evaluations for children with learning disorders and attention difficulties. 3200 S. University Dr., Davie. 954-678-2273
NSU Speech-Language Pathology Clinic
Evaluation and treatment for speech, language and communication delays and disorders such as apraxia, articulation, dysarthria, swallowing difficulties, phonology, pragmatic/semantic language, receptive/expressive language, stuttering, fluency and voice disturbances. 6100 Griffin Rd., Davie. 954-678-2273
Education, socialization, counseling and case management for deaf or disabled individuals and their families or caregivers. 6591 Flamingo Rd., Cooper City. 954-434-3306
Stuttering Foundation of America
Provides free online resources, information, services and support to those who stutter and their families.
Specialized dental services are provided to patients with autism, ADHD, cerebral palsy and other special needs. 12741 Miramar Parkway, Miramar, 954-236-5273
UM Audiology/Speech/Language Services
The audiologists and speech-language pathologists at University of Miami Health System help children of all ages to overcome speech, language, and hearing problems.
Healing Arts Institute of South Florida
The Institute’s Awesome Kids program assists children with social, emotional, behavioral and anger management issues. 4699 N. State Road 7, Fort Lauderdale. 954-459-1473
Henderson Behavioral Health
Case management for children who are experiencing mental health problems.
Mental Health Association of Southeast Florida
Prevention programs, community education, advocacy and opportunities for empowerment of persons with mental illness. Programs include services, support, mentoring, art and music therapy and more. 7145 W. Oakland Park Blvd., Lauderhill. 954-746-2055
National Alliance on Mental Illness
Support, advocacy and education for people with mental illnesses, their families and friends.
NSU Child, Adolescent & Family Services
A full range of psychological services to assist families with emotional, cognitive, and/or behavioral difficulties. Nova Southeastern University, Maltz Psychology Building,
3301 College Ave., Fort Lauderdale. 954-262-5730
SEDNET (Severe Emotional Disorders)
Multi-agency effort dedicated to improving services to children and adolescents with serious emotional disturbances.
ARCH National Respite Network
National database provides state-by-state help in choosing family caregivers and resources to match specific needs.
Deliver the Dream
A respite and retreat program for families experiencing serious illness or crisis, allowing them to mend spirits, gain strength and reconnect. 3223 NW 10 Terr., Fort Lauderdale. 954-564-3512
The Kidz Korner
Respite program for medically fragile children in a home-like atmosphere with attentive nurses, therapists and respiratory practitioners. Therapy programs include physical, dysphagia, occupational and speech-language. The location also offers a ventilator weaning program and transition programs. For preemies to age 21. 4250 NW Fifth St., Plantation. 954-587-3296
Ann Storck Center
Developmental preschool serving children ages 3 months to 5 years with special needs. Full-time nurse, occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech/language pathology, family support, and more. 1790 SW 43 Way, Fort Lauderdale. 954-584-8000
Support for those with developmental challenges and their families. Includes parent-training programs, full-day preschool, therapy and developmental training, summer camps, after-school programs, respite care and more. 10250 NW 53 St., Sunrise. 954-746-9400
Atlantis Academy provides students with the academic, behavioral, social and emotional support they need to reach their full potential. 9600 SW 107 Ave., Miami, 305-271-9771
Broward Children’s Center
This nonprofit center offers a wide range of programs, including licensed home health care, medical daycare, developmental preschools for special needs and typical children, in-home and facility-based respite care, and more. Also offers social services referrals and counseling, education for medically complex children, medical transportation, and physical, occupational and speech therapy. 200 SE 19 Ave., Pompano Beach. 954-649-7362
Programs for children with autism and related disabilities, including intellectual disabilities, hearing/visually impairment, behavioral difficulties, language delays, traumatic brain injuries and learning disabilities. 11850 W. State Rd. 84, Davie, 954-401-2024
Florida Diagnostic & Learning Resources System
State-supported program provides support services and resources for those that have concern for and serve children with exceptionalities.
Little Flowers of Hope
A private school serving individuals with special needs in grades kindergarten-12. Continuing education is offered for those ages 22 and up. Online and hands-on curriculum available. 2645 Executive Park Dr., Weston 305-298-9787
The Arc of South Florida
Organization serves more than 60,000 Miami-Dade County citizens with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Programs for children and youth include early intervention, educational opportunities and camp programs. 15280 NW 79 Court, Miami Lakes 305-759-8500
A free, confidential referral and crisis helpline. The hotline and website connect parents to comprehensive resources, including assistance for children with developmental and physical disabilities. 2-1-1 or 954-537-0211
Agency for Health Care Administration
Helps Medicaid consumers navigate the Medicaid system. Provides a list of doctors and specialists but does not determine eligibility. 888-419-3456
Agency for Persons with Disabilities
Supports people with developmental disabilities in living, learning and working in their communities. Provides Medicaid waiver services.
Broward County and Miami-Dade Public Schools
There are many resources available through the public schools, including family counseling, exceptional student education, Homebound program, psychological services and hearing impaired services.
Broward Gold Coast Down Syndrome Organization
This group aims to enhance the lives of individuals with Down Syndrome by helping them reach their full potential through family support, education and social activities. 9900 W. Sample Rd., Coral Springs. 954-825-0400
Broward Regional Health Planning Council
Provides a wide variety of programs to support families, including financially assisted childcare to eligible families of children with special needs. 200 Oakwood Lane, Hollywood. 954-561-9681
Cerebral Palsy Guide
Provides free educational materials, financial options and emotional support for those affected by cerebral palsy.
Children’s Medical Services
Part of the Florida Department of Health, this agency provides early intervention as well as primary, therapeutic, specialty and long-term care to children under 21 with special healthcare needs.
Children’s Services Council
Government agency created by voters to provide leadership, coordination and funding for children’s services. Check their website for a list of funded programs. 954-377-1000
Disability Rights Florida
Assists people with disabilities in applying for and receiving services from rehabilitative programs. 800-342-0823 TDD: 800-346-4127
Easterseals South Florida
Easterseals provides services to help children and adults with disabilities and/or special needs as well as support to their families. 1475 NW 14 Ave., Miami. 305-325-0470
Family Network on Disabilities of Broward County
Part of a statewide network serving families with special needs. Provides tutorials, workshops and assistance for parents of children with developmental disabilities. Some eligibility requirements may apply. 754-444-6550
Florida Mentor Network
Part of a national network of health and human services providers, this network offers community-based support for adults and children with intellectual and developmental disabilities as well as medically complex needs.
Committed to serving all children, from birth to age 22, who have been diagnosed with a developmental disability including autism, intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy, spina bifida or Prader Willi, the center provides individualized treatment interventions, enrichment activities and family support services. Also offers child enrichment services including social skills groups, a life skills program, various clubs and indoor and outdoor activities. 954-749-7230
Muscular Dystrophy Association
Specialists provide one-on-one support with local chapters throughout the United States.
Parent to Parent of Miami
Organization provides information, educational training and support to families, children and adults with disabilities and special needs. Programs include workshops, online training, events and more. 7990 SW 117 Ave., Miami. 305-271-9797
The Advocacy Network on Disabilities
Assists individuals with disabilities and their families in need of support and services. 7990 SW 117 Ave. 305-596-1160
The Children’s Trust
Provides children with special needs and those belonging to special populations with resources and support through a variety of programs and events. 3150 SW Third Ave., Miami. 305-571-5700
United Community Options
Affiliated with United Cerebral Palsy, this organization helps children with a range of needs and abilities maximize their intellectual, physical, social and emotional development through preschool and after-school programs and summer and transitional programs for children with special needs. In addition, UCO offers in-home respite care workers to give family members time for themselves.
Cadenza Center for Psychotherapy and the Arts
Agency serves children, adolescents, and adults with developmental, emotional, cognitive, physical, and behavioral needs using active, creative, and enriching treatment interventions. 954-925-3191
Children’s Center for Development & Behavior
Provides interdisciplinary developmental/behavioral assessments, integrated therapy programs and training for parents of children with developmental delays, including autism. Also available: clinical psychology, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology and applied behavioral analysis. 440 Sawgrass Corporate Parkway, Sunrise. 954-745-1112
Nicklaus Children’s Hospital
The Nicklaus team offers a full range of diagnostic and therapeutic services to meet the needs of infants, children and adolescents. Specialists include audiologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists and speech language pathologists. The rehabilitative program includes both inpatient services and outpatient care.
Therapies 4 Kids
Pediatric intensive fitness programs for children and adults with neurological disorders such as cerebral palsy, autism and stroke. Multiple South Florida locations. 954-828-0425
Access Plus at NSU’s Mailman Segal Center
Located at Nova Southeastern University, Access Plus is a supported college program for undergraduate students with autism spectrum disorder. This program provides services to academically capable students to support academic achievement, independent living skills, and campus life engagement opportunities. Students in this program must meet the NSU’s admission requirements as determined by the program of application.
Center for Independent Living
Peer support, programs and referrals to assist individuals with disabilities gain self-sufficiency Ages 14-22 years may participate in workshops, internships, training conferences, field trips, and leadership development. 4800 N. State Road 7, Fort Lauderdale. 954-722-6400, TYY: 954-735-0963
Free service provides educational seminars,
resources and consultations for Broward County parents and caretakers of special needs adults or adolescents nearing adulthood. Topics include financial or legal arrangements, residential options, vocational assistance and social and recreation needs. Goodman Jewish Family Services of Broward, 5890 S. Pine Island Rd., Davie. 954-370-2140
Living Inclusively for Everyone
LIFE offers recreational outings for young adults with developmental disabilities, with focused efforts in the areas of housing, recreation and job opportunities. 954-817-4742
A free, nonprofit service that helps parents of children with developmental disabilities navigate legal options as their child reaches adulthood.