Families who feel their child might have special needs have places to turn to have their child evaluated and sometimes receive services, free-of-charge. Services can include (but are not limited to) physical therapy, occupational therapy, feeding/speech therapy, cognitive therapy, nutritionist services, and more. The service to which you would turn depends in large part on the age of your child.
Early Intervention is a federal program managed by the states. In New York, it is managed by the Dept. of Health of New York State and assists children up to three years of age, providing developmentally delayed children with the therapies they need, free of charge to their families. Because it is managed locally, EI differs greatly from state to state and city to city, but it is always for kids up to age 3. (New York City does sometimes allow kids with birthdays after September 1, who are already in the program as of their 3rd birthday, to stay on until the end of the school fiscal year, in August.)
In New York City, after age 3, care of the child is transferred to the State Department of Education and the therapies are administered through a different program called CPSE (Committee for Preschool Special Needs). In New York City, this state program is administered by the New York City Department of Education’s (DoE’s) Committee for Preschool Special Needs (CPSE). Park Slope is in the DoE’s Region 8, so the contact person is Maryanne Governale, the DoE's Region 8 lead for CPSE. Her office is at 131 Livingston Street, Room 405, Brooklyn, NY and her phone number is (718) 935-3948.
Once a child turns five, he or she “ages out” into yet another program called CSE, which perhaps stands for (Committee for Special Needs) and is also administered by the DoE. Larry Packer is Region 8's CSE lead. Anyone with contact info on Mr. Parker or CSE experiences to share with the group, please write to edit[at]parkslopeparents.com. See the Parents Guide to Special Education Services from the Board of Education and the Kindergarten Orientation Guide for Students with Disabilities.
This support group is for Brooklyn parents raising EI, CPSE, and CSE children. Parents can share stories, information, referrals, and most importantly advice on raising their children.
TECA provides parents of 2e children with resources, community and tools for empowerment. TECA was founded in 2003 by a group of parents seeking to identify, support, and unite twice exceptional (2e) students and their families. Twice exceptional students are those who are gifted with some form of disability or learning challenge.
Resources around the web:
Related help on PSP:
See more recommendations on Park Slope Parents of people that can help with your child's special needs HERE.