Special Needs Guide 2020

Resources to help your child thrive

For many parents, it can be overwhelming to find relevant resources to help their child with special needs. Choosing different forms of education, supplemental programs, physical and cognitive therapy, behavioral help and many other factors can become overwhelming. From opportunities to socialize and top-notch education to state-of-the-art sensory therapies, this list can serve to get you thinking about ways to help your kids learn and feel their best.

The Ability Center

5605 Monroe St., Sylvania

419-885-5733 | abilitycenter.org

The Ability Center offers multiple programs designed to increase independence for people with disabilities of all ages. Specifically for youth, we match kids and young adults with autism and other developmental disabilities with therapy dogs. These dogs provide support and companionship while meeting therapeutic goals including improving speech, coordination, social skills, and reducing anxiety. Ramps are also available for youth with physical disabilities through our Home Accessibility Program.

Additionally, The Ability Center has a Youth and Transition Program that supports independent living through life skills training, one-on-one goal development, and assistive technology. Topics include employment preparation, independent living, cooking and nutrition, financial management, personal safety, self-advocacy, sex education, social skills, leadership development and volunteering.

Brain Bright Therapy

5412-1 Monroe St., Toledo

419-279-9576 | brainbrighttherapy.com

Helping their clients to decrease symptoms of sensory disorders, ADHD, anxiety and many other challenges, Brain Bright Therapy has a wealth of tools to help them excel. Beginning with a free consult and basic OT neuro assessment, the program plan includes coordination exercises to stimulate and balance the nervous system, as well as Interactive Metronome (IM), FITLIGHT training, and the use of concentrated oxygen. Online testimonials show that these therapies have helped people of all ages with their focus, comprehension, communication, memory, anxiety and sensory processing. Visit their website for assessments that could help determine if their programs are a good fit for your family.

Harmony Chiropractic Center, Inc.

5800 Monroe St., Sylvania

419-517-5055  | besttoledochiropractor.com

Harmony Chiropractic Center offers both chiropractic adjustments and neurology within its many treatment options. The latter is an invaluable, unique resource for many conditions, which include those related to physical trauma, but also Tourette’s Syndrome, Autism, AD/HD, and dyslexia. Through brain-based exercises, this therapy can vastly improve nervous system imbalances. Because of his expertise in chiropractic neurology and empathy toward his patients, Dr. Bryan Royer has made a great impact on the lives of those he has treated.

Lucas County Board of Developmental Disabilities

1154 Larc Ln., Toledo

419-381-7300 | www.lucasdd.org

Parents who are concerned about their child’s development can receive a free evaluation and assessment by utilizing age appropriate developmental checklists. The checklists look at many developmental milestones including eating, sleeping, talking, hearing, playing and interacting with others. Julie Esparza, Children’s Department Director, explains, “Waiting could mean your child falls farther behind.” In addition to initial evaluation, Early Intervention Developmental Specialists can provide ongoing assessment to eligible children, conduct parent/child playgroups for social interaction, and help your child transition to preschool. The checklists and more information can be found online at www.lucasdd.org.

National Alliance On Mental Illness Greater Toledo

2753 Central Ave. #1

419-243-1119 | namitoledo.org

NAMI Greater Toledo is well known for their support of individuals and families affected by mental illness. Right now, acting out of an abundance of caution during COVID-19, the organization is offering virtual support sessions in lieu of in-person visits to their location. These sessions include assistance for children and adolescents who are dealing with mental health struggles, teaching them healthy coping strategies. NAMI is also an excellent resource for parents and siblings of young people who are struggling with depression, anxiety, and other issues. The support they provide continues to be an important asset to many families in the Greater Toledo area.

Summit Academy Schools

301 Collingwood Blvd., Toledo

419-243-1815 | summitacademies.org/schools/toledo-summit-academy

As a tuition-free, non-profit school that specializes in AD/HD, Autism Spectrum Disorders and similar special needs, Toledo’s Summit Academy provides a comprehensive approach for their students. Each classroom has two teachers, one of which is an intervention specialist, making it easier for each child to get the one-on-one attention they need for an enriching education. 

The Academy provides a teacher/student mentoring program and a positive behavior intervention system to help students fully engage in their learning experience. These programs, coupled with a range of specialists on staff (occupational and speech therapists, a literacy coordinator, and a licensed social worker) make Summit Academy Schools a celebrated choice for students with special needs.

Sunshine Communities

7223 Maumee Western Rd., Maumee

419-865-0251 | sunshine.org

Parents of children with special needs will find a wide range of support from Sunshine Communities, an organization that offers occupational, behavioral, speech, and physical therapies. Along with a gym, their Maumee campus has a multi-sensory room and accessible pool to provide exercise and intellectual stimulation. Staff members at Sunshine are well-trained and qualified to provide care to your child throughout the day in helping them achieve their goals.

A scheduled visit to the Maumee campus could also include Sunshine Acres, a therapeutic experience complete with llamas, miniature horses, donkeys, and other farm animals. The whole community is filled with such experiences, making it an encouraging environment to interact with others, a valuable part of the learning process.

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