Best Resources For Special Needs Families In Cleveland

May 27, 2011 9:12 PM

Families with special needs children can find a wide range of services and support in Cleveland that focus on families as well as kids. Here are some of the best resources in the city. – Tonya Vinas

Achievement Centers for Children

(216) 292-9700

The Achievement Centers for Children is a Cleveland-based organization that has been helping the area’s special needs families since 1940. With three facilities located in Westlake, Highland Hills and Strongsville, Achievement Centers for Children offers childcare, autism programs, family support, therapy services, recreation and therapeutic horseback riding. One of the group’s most popular programs is Camp Cheerful, which offers recreational activities for Cleveland’s special needs families and children in a weekend/day camp setting. Staff members include master’s-level educators, administrators, therapists and social workers with deep field experience. Many employees serve in community leadership positions for child-advocacy groups and service providers. Fees for services are based on need.

The Julie Billiart School

4982 Clubside Road
Cleveland, OH 44124-2596
(216) 381-1191

Julie Billiart is a Catholic school sponsored by the Sisters of Notre Dame that accepts students of all faiths with special learning needs. Grades are kindergarten through 8, and the school says its teaching methods allow students with learning disabilities, ADHD or Asperger’s Syndrome to “thrive in a peaceful, safe environment.” The school of 116 students is located in a former manor house in a residential neighborhood, although it is filled with the latest learning tools and technology. Two certified instructors lead small classes of no more than 15 students. The admissions policy states that kindergarten applicants must be 5 by September, while students from age 6 to 12 must have an I.Q. of 80 or above with a deficit in one or more academic areas at the time of application.

Providence House

2037 W. 32nd Street
Cleveland, OH 44113
(216) 651-5982

For families with children with special emotional needs, the nonprofit, privately funded Providence House can assist in crisis situations. Providence House is a voluntary crisis-intervention and family-preservation program. Each year, its program provides round-the-clock services and emergency shelter for nearly 200 infants and children (newborn through age 6) who are at risk for abuse and/or neglect. The organization’s goal is to intervene and stabilize families before the abuse and/or neglect occurs, as well as strengthen and unify “fragile families.” Providence House’s free services include emergency shelter for children from 24 hours up to 90 days, plus a range of case management and supportive services for both the children and their families.

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