Many of these resources may also be available statewide; see each website for more information.
Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) is a statewide program for families with children, birth to 3 years of age, with disabilities or developmental delay. ECI supports families to help their children reach their potential through developmental services.
Any Baby Can and Family Resource Center is dedicated to ensure that children reach their potential through education, therapy and family support services. They serve children from birth to 18 years of age.
Parent Companion is a great resource guide for Texas parents and caregivers of children with diagnosed or suspected disabilities for birth through 5 yeas of age.
The Rise School is a nonprofit preschool whose mission is to provide the highest quality early childhood education for all children in an inclusive setting, where individualized learning techniques enable every child to achieve their maximum potential.
The mission of Open Door Preschools is to nurture and inspire young children of diverse needs, economic levels, and family backgrounds in an engaging educational environment.
Sammy's House Child Development Center is a nonprofit childcare center whose mission is to provide high-quality childcare and educational experiences to children with and without special needs in an inclusive environment. The Center also provides family support, respite care, referrals to other agencies for appropriate services, and strives to promote public awareness and acceptance of diversity.
The mission of Emerson Academy is to provide exceptional early education for children of all abilities. Emerson Academy has fully inclusive classrooms; accessible classrooms and playground; and developmentally appropriate, individualized instruction that supports every child's unique needs.
Let It Shine is a nonprofit, Lutheran-based preschool in South Austin providing a holistic multi-sensory, and individualized early childhood program for children ages 3-6 years with all abilities. With a curriculum developed by speech and occupational therapists, low student teacher ratios, and parent training and support, the preschool prides itself on connecting with the whole family.
LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICTS
Some local school districts, including Austin ISD and Round Rock ISD, will usually offer Transition Fairs annually that include a number of exhibitors for adult services/programs. It’s useful to go and get a good sense of what’s out there, you’ll just need to check the districts’ special ed pages on their websites to see when they’re offered. Georgetown ISD has a particularly good special ed parent page on the website, and Eanes ISD has some good resources listed as well, some of which relate to adults.
The AISD Special Education Family and School Support Team (FASST) provides support and information to families of students in Special Education programs, and to the school staff who work with them. They have also compiled a great list of summer camp and summer activity resources, which can be found at the link above.
The Arc of the Capital Area, a non-profit organization, is committed to empowering Central Texans with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families through compassionate case management and innovative programs. Click here to see the various offerings of programs and services.
General Resources (All Ages)
medicaid waiver programs
The Texas Health and Human Service (HHS) administers Medicaid waiver programs throughout Texas. Texas Medicaid waiver programs have very long interest lists. Although eligibility for some waivers begins at age 18 years, it is important to add your child's name to these lists as early as possible (preferably at birth) and to update your information and confirm your continuing interest annually. (Your child's birthday each year is a good reminder to do this!) Local authorities are charged with providing services for two Medicaid waiver programs: Texas Home Living (TxHmL) and Home and Community Based Services (HCS). Find more information about Medicaid waiver programs on the Texas Health and Human Services website. Use this handout to find your local authority's contact information. Texas HHS maintains a great deal of information about IDD supports on its website.
Consumer Directed Services (CDS) are gaining in popularity in recent years. This arrangement allows people with disabilities to choose their own care providers at home and in the community. Many parents, guardians, and siblings wonder if they can be compensated for serving this role. The answer to this question is: sometimes. The decision depends on the waiver program, and sometimes, the managed care organization administering the program. Find more information about CDS here.
Another resource is the STAR+PLUS Medicaid program, a managed care program for people with disabilities and/or over 65 years old. This program may allow a family member who does not reside with the person with a disability, to be paid as a As with Texas Medicaid waiver programs, STAR+PLUS Medicaid has a long waiting list, so it is important to add your child's name to the list early, well before age 21 (eligibility age).
Some local churches have groups for adults with disabilities; you might want to check with your church. There’s a very good social program called “Capernaum” in Central Austin that meets weekly for 90 minutes during the school year. To learn more about "Capernum" contact email@example.com.
Easter Seals of Central Texas creates solutions and changes lives of children and adults with disabilities and those who care for them.
The Rosedale School for AISD Families and Children with Disabilities has helpful resources for information on funding and services, including waiting lists for special services.
Texas Parent to Parent (TxP2P) Provides support and information to families of children with disabilities, chronic illness and other special healthcare needs. Texas Parent to Parent has a Transition Listserv and an Austin-area Listserv that are definitely worth checking out as both will keep you updated on all kinds of local opportunities. To get on to the parent mailing list and/or request a parent match for resources, information and/or emotional support, click here and complete the TxP2P registration form.
The Nickerson Law group runs a number of workshops for parents of individuals with intellectual disabilities. Click here to view the list of upcoming events.
Texas Project First is a natural extension of Family to Family’s mission, which is to help families of children with disabilities by providing information, training, referral and support.
This web page is to provide interested stakeholders (parents, school personnel, advocates, etc.) with timely guidance on the provision of special education services in Texas. Guidance may take the form of links to State Resources or short responses to commonly asked questions. See the web site for more information.
Partners Resource Network (PRN) is a non-profit agency that operates the statewide network of federally funded Parent Training and Information Centers (PTIs) in Texas. The PTI Projects are: PATH, PEN, and TEAM. The programs and services of PRN are based on the concept of parents helping parents. Our mission is to empower parents of children and youth with disabilities in their roles as parents, decision makers, and advocates for their children and to promote partnerships among parents and professionals.
Region XIII Education Service Center (For Educators) is one of twenty service centers that serve the Texas educational needs. We are a non-regulatory agency; our relationship with school districts is collaborative and supportive. Our purpose is to aid teachers and administrators in their role as educators of our children. We serve as a liaison between the Texas Education Agency and the local schools districts and the schools they serve by disseminating information, conducting training and consultation for both federal and state programs.
The Disability is Natural web site is brought to you by BraveHeart Press, the family-owned business of Kathie Snow. The mission of this site is to encourage new ways of thinking about disability and to help create a society in which all people are valued and included.
“Helping to Empower People with Disabilities”- Community Options is committed to helping employers realize the true value of employing people with disabilities.
In September 2013, the National Institutes of Health announced the launch of DS-Connect, a new national Down syndrome patient registry. DS-Connect allow people with Down syndrome and their family members, researchers, and parent and support groups to share information and health history in a safe, confidential, online database. DS-Connect will also provide access to general information about Down syndrome, as well as de-identified statistical data.
VELA empowers families of children with special needs through hands-on courses, support and community building. Vela offers programs in the areas of autism, special education, and caregiver/parent self-care, as well as family fun days and support groups. Vela's Fall 2018 programming flyer is available here.
Información en español sobre la vida con un niño con síndrome de Down.
Austin Travis County Integral Care (ATCIC) improves the lives of adults and children living with mental illness, substance use disorders, and intellectual and developmental disabilities in Travis County. ATCIC is the Travis County authority for two Texas Medicaid waiver programs: Texas Home Living (TxHmL) and Home and Community Services (HCS).
Bluebonnet Trails Community Services is the authority for two Texas Medicaid waiver programs in six counties in Central Texas (Bastrop, Burnet, Caldwell, Fayette, Lee, and Williamson Counties): Texas Home Living (TxHmL) and Home and Community Services (HCS). The organization also offers behavioral health care, employment services, and a variety of supports for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Hill Country MHDD Centers is the local authority for two Texas Medicaid waiver programs (Texas Home Living and Home and Community Services) in the Hill Country area of Central Texas (Bandera, Bandera, Blanco, Comal, Edwards, Gillespie, Hays, Kendall, Kerr, Kinney, Llano, Mason, Medina, Menard, Real, Schleicher, Sutton, Uvalde, and Val Verde Counties). The organization provides mental health, intellectual and developmental disabilities, and substance use services and supports in these counties.
Resources for Siblings
More recommending reading for siblings can be found here.
DSACT does not necessarily endorse all or part of the web sites, publications, books, or videos listed on this resource page. This page is listed for your information and further research.