Special Needs Support

Do you have a child with special needs? These campus-based, local and State of Michigan support resources may be helpful.

Developmental Disability Resources in Michigan

The Arc in Michigan ensures that individuals with developmental disabilities and their families are valued, enabling them to actively participate in and contribute to their communities. They wish to empower all individuals to achieve their aspirations of employment, education, meaningful relationships, and independent living within their community. The Arc provides leadership, engages in governmental advocacy, promotes autonomy and self-determination, advocates for inclusion and participation of individuals with disabilities, and offers training for parents and professionals to enhance the quality of services.  
The Arc in Michigan → 

Build Up MI provides support to locate and identify young children, ages 3 through 5, who may need special education support and services through the Child Find https://urldefense.com/v3/__https:/buildupmi.org/__;!!HXCxUKc!waXfrUseJXcoCKwq3RbFxmfP7tIJ8v4a-TO4cpiK0OALo3SeNCZ84D0qF_3wlk6U-SF6CL9u-r6K6QqzDKIWfDA$ mandate of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mde/IDEA_FactSheet_600259_7.pdf Build Up conducts targeted public awareness through statewide media, grassroots efforts, a traveling statewide display board, and Internet marketing.  
→ Build Up Michigan → 

A collection of special health care services and resources. They offer financial assistance for medical care to families –of all ages- who have disabled children and require special care and transition through adulthood. Meetings and one-to-one support. They provide resources to community service groups.   
→ Children’s Special Health Care Services → 

At Disability Network Michigan (DNM), they serve as advocates for inclusion and accessibility throughout Michigan. They promote advocacy for removing barriers; whether those barriers stand in the way of progress, physically deny access or in the way of thinking about persons with disabilities. The resource experts at DNM are dedicated to helping persons with disabilities achieve full participation in their community and life and remain self-sufficient.  
→ Disability Network of Michigan → 

Early On® is Michigan’s early intervention system for helping infants and toddlers, birth to three years of age, who have a disability, developmental delay(s), or are at risk for delay(s) due to certain health conditions, and their families. Early On ensures that eligible children and families receive comprehensive, collaborative, family-centered, strength-based services. Early On It’s designed to help families find social, health, and educational services to promote the development of their infants and toddlers with special needs.

→ Early On® Michigan →

The Family Center offers emotional support, information, and connections to community-based resources to families of children and youth with special health care needs. This includes all children who have or are at an increased risk for: physical, developmental, behavioral, or emotional conditions.  

→ The Family Center → 

They house a series of fact sheets available to support families and are available in English, Spanish, and Arabic. Family Matters Fact Sheets offer you a concise overview of special education laws, practices, and procedural safeguards, and include links to more in-depth special education system resources. Consistently updated, fact sheets are two pages and made available to help you understand the special education system. 
→ Family Matters → 

LDA of Michigan –an affiliate of LDA of America- provides support to people with learning disabilities, their parents, teachers and other professionals with cutting edge information on learning disabilities, practical solutions, and a comprehensive network of resources. These services make LDA and LDA of MI the leading resources for information on learning disabilities.
→ Learning Disabilities Association of Michigan →

A statewide resource to connect families of children with disabilities to resources to help improve their children’s education. They empower families to understand your rights, communicate your child’s needs, and be involved in the child’s education.  Michigan Alliance for Families seeks to ensure that children with disabilities have appropriate public education to meet their unique needs and impower families to assist their child for their future education, employment, and independent living. 
→ Michigan Alliance for Families → 

Resources, information and education for children and youth with special health care needs, the families who love them and the professionals who support them. F2F has hundreds of resources at the local, state, and national level. While most in-person activities are still suspended, they will continue to work with partners and families to provide trusted resources, information and support. 
→ Michigan Family to Family Health Information Center → 

Provides support and training for underserved individuals with disabilities in the community with employment and community independence. An individual can set up a meeting with a counselor through the STRIDE program to receive services, support, and employment readiness training. 

Part of the Michigan Department for Education, Special Education Mediation Services help students by fostering cooperation and effective teamwork among those who plan their education. The overall goal is to help students, parents and educators make decisions that improve education outcomes.
→ Special Education Mediation Services →

Autism Related Resources

ABA Insight assists individuals of all ages who have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in overcoming challenges related to communication and social skills. They aim to replace behaviors with more socially acceptable ones through the use of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy. Insight collaborates closely with families to establish behavior patterns that align with research-based models.  

→ ABA Insight → 

Dr. Willar specializes in working with children, adolescents, and their families who are dealing with co-occurring mental health challenges associated with ASD. These challenges encompass anxiety, depression, emotion dysregulation, social and behavioral concerns, as well as related parenting and family issues. Additionally, Dr. Willar is recognized as a distinguished social skills trainer, employing the PEERS© curriculum in their practice. 

→ Alyvia Autism Center → 

Offering support services and programs to adults with all disabilities, many participants are diagnosed with (ASD); They work with individuals with mental illness, learning disabilities, or developmental disabilities. Through social coaching programs, Person-Centered Planning, and connections to community resources, ASPPIRE aims to help participants lead functional and productive lives.

→ ASPIRE of Mid-Michigan → 

The Autism Alliance of Michigan will lead efforts to raise expectations and expand opportunities for people touched by Autism across the lifespan. They assist with education services and Autism specific services for all ages. The Autism Alliance of Michigan is working towards a more accepting future for all people by cultivating a world rich in diverse abilities, talents and ideas.

→ Autism Alliance of Michigan → 

Having a child with ASD can affect everyone in the family. Try not to feel overwhelmed. Explore trustworthy information and take it step by step. Information here will get you started and link you to useful resources. 
→ Autism Related Parent Resources → 

ASM (Autism Support Movement) was founded on the belief that individuals with autism spectrum disorder possess unique capacities and gifts, making them valuable members of our lives and communities. ASM firmly holds the view that individuals with autism spectrum disorders bring distinct contributions to their families and communities. ASM’s philosophy emphasizes that effective advocacy stems from education, respect, and the assumption of competence for all individuals.  

→ Autism Support of Michigan → 

Local resources to help support families of children with special needs in Ingham County

→ Local Resources →


CMHA-CEI’s Autism Support Team was established in 2009 to meet the growing needs of children and adults with autism spectrum disorders in the tri-county area. The mission of this project is “To provide a supportive environment for children and adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and their families by helping to facilitate a range of services to meet ongoing needs throughout the life span.”

→ Community Mental Health → 

Whether you’re just starting to notice signs of autism in your child, or you’ve been searching for the best autism treatment for years, Dashi Rivers has a wealth of resources and information available to meet you exactly where you are in your autism care journey. Dr. River uses data to develop an individualized program that drives success for each individual and their support system. Proven by research, ABA therapy provides treatment for children and guidance for their families to make meaningful progress toward shared goals that generate independence and thriving lives.

→ Dashi Rivers Autism Care →

Catering to each state, Lansing Pediatric Associates provides an “ASD Toolkit”. including: programs that offer support for children with ASD and their families, an introduction and description of Supplemental Security Income (SSI), home and community-based services, and multiple resources for statewide services.  

→ Financial Assistance – Autism Toolkit →

At the Center for Autism, Hope’s outpatient sessions rely heavily on Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy. For every learner, they focus heavily on improving communication, social skills, life skills, coping skills, and other skills for transitioning into a less restrictive setting, as well as alternative behaviors for maladaptive behaviors.

→ Hope Network Center for Autism → 


Local people are working to improve the quality of life for individuals and families living with developmental disabilities in Mid-Michigan. MMAA offers information, resources, and projects centered around Autism education and support. Early on, we identified that the work we were doing applied to families living with developmental disabilities of all kinds. Thus, the byline Autism Driven, not Autism Specific.

→ Mid-Michigan Autism Association →

ASD diagnosis and treatment services are covered to a certain extent through MSU’s Health Insurance Plans, both the BCN and the Community Blue Plan. 

Autism Spectrum Disorder- applied behavioral analysis treatment must be provided by an Approved Autism Evaluation Center (AAEC) 
For more information, employees can reach out to the MSU HR Solutions Center at solutionscenter@hr.msu.edu or 517-353-4434 

→ MSU ASD Behavioral Analysis Treatment→

Resources for Other Specified Developmental Disabilities

CADSA supports people with Down Syndrome and their families in Mid-Michigan by providing resources, education, advocacy, and awareness. They offer programs like a new baby program, playtime pals, and parent’s night out. Capital Area DSA also coordinates community service campaigns such as random acts of kindness and marches for awareness.

→ Capital Area Down Syndrome Association (CADSA) →

Supporting families affected by cerebral palsy through free education materials and support opportunities. A multitude of information and resources are available for treatment, financial support, and legal aid. Nurses and professionals are on call 24/7 to answer any questions you may have and to provide you with caring resources to guide you through whatever you’re facing.  

→ Cerebral Palsy Guide →

Respite Care

Helps you find local special needs care. View pre-screened profiles, listen to recorded references, post jobs and run FREE background checks. Care.com is the safe and simple way to find care. 

→ Care.com → 

Trained staff who are employed by Helping Hands Respite Care relieve family caregivers. Services may be provided to families for a few hours or a few days in the family home or at the Respite House, depending on the need and availability of service. 

 Helping Hands Respite Care → 

Kennedy Care serves MSU faculty and staff around the state of Michigan. Kennedy Care assists passionate caregivers with important everyday tasks to keep clients safe in their homes. Back-up childcare is available for children aged six weeks to thirteen years old who are both healthy and mildly ill. Back-up elder care is available for seniors.

→ Kennedy Care Safe at Home: Backup Dependent Care →

Children with special needs are welcomed at the area YMCA summer camp programs. 

→ YMCA Day Camps →