Special Needs Children

Resources for Families of Special Needs Children

special-needs2The following is a list of some of the resources available in the Richmond area for special needs children. This list is simply a listing of resources and Richmondmom.com does not endorse nor recommend a specific resource. It is each parent or caregiver’s responsibility to evaluate, assess, and determine if the resource is right for their own situation.

Arc of Virginia
Advocates for rights of special needs children and adults with developmental disabilities. Chapters throughout the state address local issues and serve as support groups for families. The Arc of Virginia promotes and protects, the human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and actively supports their full inclusion and participation in the community throughout their lifetimes.

Asperger‘s and Neurodiversity Support and Information of RVA (ANSIRVA)
The Richmond Asperger’s and Neurodiversity Information and Support group is designed to provide information and be a medium for supportive conversation and information sharing between individuals in the Richmond area diagnosed with Asperger’s, “high functioning” autism, and/or who experience neurodivergent thinking. We do not believe autism and/or neurodivergent thinking is “bad” or “wrong” or something to be recovered from, but rather diagnoses and conditions that can and should be better understood, supported, and accepted by society. It is meant to be a safe, supportive, and accepting environment for parents, individuals, and professionals. We welcome and encourage POSITIVE communication. Visit our Facebook page for more information and to interact with other parents.

Autism Society of Central Virginia
The local affiliate provides a monthly newsletter to over 600 professionals, families and interested individuals as well as monthly meetings, a lending library, support and educational information for families or anyone interested in autism spectrum disorder. They hold monthly affiliate meetings, September through May (December exclusive), featuring topics and speakers of interest to the autism community. The meetings are free and open to the public. Childcare may be provided with one week’s notice. Please check Meetings and Events for topics and speakers.

Caregivers for special needs children. View availability, experience & hourly rates! Choose from experienced caregivers in Richmond—and hire the one with the skills to fit your needs.

Children’s Hospital of Richmond
Multiple medical specialties (genetics, neurology, etc.) and outpatient therapies. Parents of special needs children with mental and behavioral health problems look for help from the professional expertise offered by Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU. Services are provided through two separate and distinct programs, each with its own special areas of focus in caring for troubled children and their families. The Virginia Treatment Center for Children (VTCC) offers both inpatient programs – including acute care crisis stabilization and evaluations – and outpatient programs – including evaluations, family and individual therapy and specialty clinics. Its programs are designed for children of school age through 17 years. The Psychology Department on the Brook Road Campus specializes in working with children from birth to age 17 who have psychological needs related to medical, emotional and behavioral issues, and neuropsychological evaluations following a neurological injury or illness. Also a great dental program where staff is specially trained to help kids with special needs. Specialists in pediatric dentistry at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU provide routine dental care for children with cerebral palsy, autism, Down syndrome, severe behavioral disorders, severe developmental delays, brain injuries and other similar conditions.

Down Syndrome Association of Greater Richmond
The Down Syndrome Association of Greater Richmond is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that strives to improve the quality of life for individuals with Down syndrome and their families by providing access to current and accurate information on Down syndrome and by fostering programs that focus on education, community services, public awareness, medical issues, research, advocacy, legal issues and parenting. A community where individuals with Down syndrome are fully included and valued members.

Dominion School for Autism
The mission and educational philosophy of The Dominion School is to provide children with autism an individualized, ABA-based educational program in a loving and supportive atmosphere.

Fox Therapy Center, PLLC
Our mission is to provide the highest quality care and services to our patients and their families in a fun, engaging and positive environment. Fox Therapy Center, PLLC offers pediatric speech therapy, occupational therapy, and orofacial myology.

Friendship Circle of Virginia
(FCVA) is a non profit organization that encourages companionship and social opportunities for children and individuals with disabilities by helping to create meaningful social experiences at home and throughout the community. This is accomplished by facilitating friendships and creating opportunities with teen friends and encourages understanding, acceptance, and true friendship within our communities. Creating these experiences will enable our youth to grow into leaders who appreciate the differences among us and embrace our similarities.

Jacob’s Chance
Jacob’s Chance is a not for profit 501C3 organization that is dedicated to promoting wellness for youth and young adults with special needs through athletic programs, social experiences, exercise, education, volunteerism, and skills training. We want to enrich the lives of children, teens and young adults with disabilities, along with their families, through shared activities, athletics, socialization and education while promoting acceptance, understanding, and inclusion through public awareness. Jacob’s Chance is unique in that participation is open to all youth regardless of diagnosis and free of charge. Programs are operated with a focus on inclusion and children and adults without disabilities play alongside those with challenges.

Next Steps Behavioral Centers
Next Steps Behavioral Centers (Next Steps) is dedicated to high-quality, customized, and person-centered Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and Early Intensive Behavior Intervention (EIBI) therapies for children, teenagers, and young adults.

This group is designed to provide information for anyone in the Richmond Virginia area who is interested in Asperger’s Syndrome.  Meetings are for local adults, parents and children that are dealing with Asperger’s Syndrome, Autism (HFA) and PDD-NOS for support, discussion, education, parent advocacy and adult self-advocacy.

United Way Virginia – 2-1-1 Get Connected. Get Answers
To get early intervention (assessment and treatment) for a child 0-3 years of age with developmental delay.

Unique 4 Life
Unique4Life in Glen Allen strives to be a leader in delivering quality programs for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), Asperger Syndrome (AS), and ADHD that address the unique social skills needs while promoting friendships, healthy living, and self-determination.

Virginia Board for People with Disabilities
Partners in Policymaking, a competitive program that trains parents of children with developmental disabilities (and adults with developmental disabilities) to advocate for positive change in schools, government and community. Partners in Policymaking (PIP) participants are people have a developmental disability or are parents of young children with developmental disabilities. Partners must be Virginia residents. Individuals attending the program will participate in advocacy skill workshops, resource development, and leadership training.

Virginia Hands & Voices
Virginia Hands & Voices is dedicated to supporting families with children who are deaf and hard-of-hearing without bias around communication modes or methodology. We are a parent-led nonprofit made up of families of children with hearing loss and professionals who support them. We provide parents with the resources, networks, and information they need to improve communication access and educational outcomes for children. For more information, visit www.vahandsandvoices.org or email vahandsandvoices@gmail.com.

Virginia Parent Advocates
Holds workshops and one-on-one sessions to assist parents with special-education issues. With the help of trailblazing parents and special education advocates before us, and the guidance of numerous dedicated professionals, Virginia Parent Advocates LLC has learned how to work with both the special education and the legal system. Through collaboration, partnership and determination, we have achieved quality results for our own children and countless families throughout Virginia. At Virginia Parent Advocates LLC, we are eager to pay forward our 40 plus years of experience to parents who are new to or preparing for the next step in their child’s Special Education journey.  Virginia Parent Advocates LLC’s goal is to inform, educate and empower parents to find their voice and advocate on behalf of their child to ensure that he or she receives the special education services guaranteed by law.

Weinstein JCC
The Weinstein JCC strives to maintain the highest standards of programming, nd offers classes, services and events that are contemporary and effective, yet grounded in traditional Judaic values – especially designed for kids with special needs.

Youth Leadership Forum
(similar to Virginia Board for People with Disabilities, but for high school students with disabilities). The YLF-VA program seeks to empower special needs children with disabilities to further develop their leadership skills. Students, serving as Delegates from communities throughout Virginia, participate in a wide range of activities and learning experiences during the four day Youth Leadership Forum set on a university campus.



Camp Baker
Greater Richmond ARC’s Camp Baker is a full-service, handicap-equipped retreat facility located on 22 wooded acres near the Pocahontas State Park in Chesterfield County, Virginia. Camp Baker’s long history of serving individuals with special needs can be traced to 1929 when the camp was first established as a respite for undernourished children. In 1957, ownership of the W. W. Baker Summer Camp for Children was transferred over to Chesterfield County under the care of Greater Richmond ARC and renamed Camp Baker to serve children with developmental disabilities. Over the past fifty years, the rustic camp has undergone many upgrades and renovations, including the construction of a full-size cafeteria and a year-round, fully accessible, 62-bed lodge to better suit the needs of campers. For ages 6 through adults.

Camp Holiday Trails
Camp Holiday Trails is a caring community committed to empowering, encouraging and educating Campers with chronic illnesses, their families and healthcare professionals. That is our mission statement and it extends far beyond words. We strive to create community: with our Campers who gain empathy and independence, with our families who find common ground with other families facing similar challenges, and with our network of medical volunteers who are forever changed, both professionally and personally, by their time at camp.  Our camp community gives and receives support, remains loyal to our mission – and has fun together!  Our alumni are welcomed back at any time, for any reason, with open arms.

Faison School for Autism Camp
Welcome to The Faison School for Autism, a nonprofit autism center dedicated to providing resources for special needs children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) and their families. The Faison School represents a unique private/public partnership collaboration between a nonprofit school and major university research partners: the Kennedy Krieger Institute at Johns Hopkins University, and the Teachers College at Columbia University.

Friendations offer a variety of services in the greater Richmond area for special needs children ages 3 years through 5th grade. Individual family services are also available. Families facing Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, Bipolar Disorder, Sensory Processing Disorder, PANDAS, and other developmental diagnoses, or delays may find their services extremely beneficial.  Friendations also offer a 10 week camp each summer.