Resources

From our friends at the Advocacy Network on Disabilities and The Children’s Trust:

Click here to download a PDF document with this information

CHILDREN 0 TO 36 MONTHS

EARLY STEPS

Eligibility Criteria
A child can be eligible if they have significant delays in their development or an established condition that is likely to result in developmental delay.

Established conditions must fall into one of the following areas:

  • Genetic and metabolic disorders
  • Neurological disorder
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Severe attachment disorder
  • Significant sensory impairment (vision/hearing)
  • Infants who weigh less than 1,200 grams (2.65 lbs.) at birth

Developmental delay – at least 2.0 Standard Deviations (SD) below the mean in one developmental domain (a score of 70 or below in one area.)
OR
Developmental delay – at least 1.5 SD below the mean in two or more developmental domains (score of 78 or below in 2 or more areas).

Early Steps (ES) is a statewide system of early intervention services for families of infants/toddlers who are not reaching age appropriate milestones.

Offers early intervention services for infants/toddlers (birth to 36 months) with a significant developmental delay or condition that places them at risk for a delay.

Early Steps provider teaches parents and other caregivers ways to improve child development through everyday routines – during meal times, play times, bath times, bed times, and outings. Families are served in the home, as well as childcare and community settings where their child lives, plays, and learns.

North Dade
Located at University of Miami, Mailman Center
Address: 1601 NW 12th Ave, Miami, FL 33137

(305) 243-6660  /  Fax referrals to (305) 243-3501

South Dade and Monroe

Address: 9100 S. Dadeland Blvd., Suite 1500, Miami, FL 33150
Email: [email protected]

EARLY DISCOVERY

University of Miami Mailman Center (Crosses over to next age group)
Ensures young children, ages birth to five, in need of services, who do not meet eligibility requirements for Early Steps or FDLRS, are able to receive appropriate interventions. Children identified will be referred to the Care Coordinator who will assist and support families in identifying and determining needed services such as small group language and behavioral interventions, interim therapeutic interventions, follow-up assessments, staff development, and family education in collaboration with community providers. These services will be provided in the natural environment, either at home or in inclusive childcare centers.

Ruby Natale  –  [email protected]

Kristyna Pena  –  [email protected]

Phone Number: (305) 243-4617

Ensures young children, ages birth to five, in need of services, who do not meet eligibility requirements for Early Steps or FDLRS, are able to receive appropriate interventions. Children identified will be referred to the Care Coordinator who will assist and support families in identifying and determining needed services such as small group language and behavioral interventions, interim therapeutic interventions, follow-up assessments, staff development, and family education in collaboration with community providers. These services will be provided in the natural environment, either at home or in inclusive childcare centers.

CHILDREN 36 MONTHS TO 5 YEARS OLD

EARLY DISCOVERY

(See above)
Florida Diagnostic & Learning Resources System-South (FDLRS-South)

Phone number: (305) 274-3501
The Florida Diagnostic & Learning Resources System-South (FDLRS-South) provides diagnostic, instructional, and technology support services to district exceptional education programs and families of students with disabilities. FDLRS-South directly serves Miami-Dade and Monroe county school districts in the areas of Child Find, Parent Services, Human Resource Development (HRD), and Technology.

SCREENINGS: with parent consent, free at your site for children who are not enrolled in public schools and considered to be potential candidates for Special Education services (speech/language, hearing, vision, developmental)

EVALUATIONS: This office handles the referrals for evaluations for children not enrolled in public schools

PARENT SERVICES: provides training, information about community resources, and guidance to families

HELP ME GROW – 211

  • Supports questions and concerns of families regarding children Birth-8 by providing
  • Health and developmental screenings
  • Information, Resources, Materials
  • Referrals with enhanced advocacy and follow up
  • Assistance enrolling in community programs

EVALUATION AND SERVICES KINDERGARTEN TO 21 YEARS OLD

Division of Special Education M-DCPS

  • Provides services for children 5 to 21 yrs. old with qualifying disabilities
  • Services include evaluations for children with suspected disabilities
  • Evaluations are requested at the child’s corresponding home school
  • All students that qualify for services have an (IEP or a 504 plan)

MDCPS does not diagnose! Rather…
Students are identified to be in a category- or eligibility criteria-for placement purposes Professionals can provide diagnoses

IEP Terms to Know

1. Accommodation
2. Annual Goals
3. Assistive Technology (AT)
4. Behavioral Intervention Plan (BIP)
5. Disability
6. Due Process
7. Extended school year services (ESY)
8. General Education Curriculum
9. Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
10. Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)
11. Modification
12. Parent report
13. Progress report
14. Present Level of Performance (PLP, PLOP, PLAFF, PLAAFP)
15. Standards based IEP
16. Special Education
17. Supplemental Aids and Services
18. Related Services
19. Transition Plan

Important Details Parents Should Know

  • Create a file for the child’s records
  • Ask for all professionals to explain evaluation results
  • Parents actively participate in writing the IEP, & are their child’s most important advocate!
  • It’s a good idea for parents to bring someone to the IEP meeting that may be of support to them

School Choices
http://www.fldoe.org/schools/school-choice • Phone: 1-800-447-1636

  • Special needs include: autism spectrum disorder, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, Spina bifida, Williams syndrome or intellectual disability (severe cognitive impairment).
  • Students need an Individual Education Plan (IEP) from a Florida school district or a formal diagnosis from a Florida licensed physician or psychologist.
  • Students must be at least 3 or 4 on or before Sept 1. Students entering kindergarten must be 5 on or before Sept 1. Students entering first grade must be 6 on or before Sept 1.
  • Students can participate in the PLSA (Personal Learning Scholarship Application) program as part of home education. However, they cannot be enrolled in a public school or receive any other state-sponsored scholarship (McKay Scholarship or the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship).

McKay Scholarship

  • Provides scholarships for eligible students with disabilities to attend an eligible public or private school of their choice.
  • To be eligible, the student must have an IEP or 504 accommodation plan and have attended a Florida public school the prior year.
  • The scholarship amount is based on the student’s IEP or 504 Plan and the services provided by the district.

Gardiner Scholarship

  • The Gardiner Scholarship Program provides eligible students a scholarship that can be used to purchase approved services or products in order to design a customized educational program for the student. Scholarships can be used for specialized services such as speech or occupational therapy, instructional materials, tuition at an eligible private school, contributions to a college prepaid account and more. The program is directly administered by state-approved nonprofit scholarship funding organizations.

Reading Scholarships

Who is eligible?

Third- through fifth-grade public school students who scored a 1 or 2 on the third or fourth grade English Language Arts section of the Florida Standards Assessment in the prior year. Students who are classified as English Language Learners, and who are enrolled in a program or receiving services that are specifically designed to meet the instructional needs of English Language Learner students, will receive priority.

IMPORTANT RESOURCES TO SUPPORT PARENTS

  • Dial 211 – The Children’s Trust is funding 211 in Miami-Dade County to make this resource and referral line available to everyone in our community. Includes referrals to after school care, summer program and childcare centers. https://www.thechildrenstrust.org/parents/helpline

University-wide initiative that promotes health, wellness, and overall functioning for adults with developmental disabilities, such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD), intellectual disabilities (ID), and other neurodevelopmental disorders (OND). It seeks to help these persons lead healthy lives and maximize their individual potential across their lifespan.

Florida International University
Modesto A. Maidique Campus
MARC 140
11200 S.W. 8th Street
Miami, FL 33199
Phone: (305) 348-5377

  • 711 is the Florida Relay Service is the communication link for people who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability.

Dial 711 from any phone to connect.

  • American Sign Language Interpreters, Inc

5800 S.W. 5th Terrace
Miami, FL 33144
Phone: 786-393-4864

Non-profit organization funded by the U.S. Department of Education Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) through the Assistive Technology Act of 2004 and the State of Florida Department of Education Division of Vocational Rehabilitation.
The mission is to improve the quality of life for all Floridians with disabilities through advocacy and awareness activities that increase access to and acquisition of assistive services and technology.
http://pediatrics.med.miami.edu/community-outreach/assistive-technology/faast 

  • Miami Lighthouse for the Blind
    Provides a variety of services for people with visual impairments, such as: Programs for babies through adults at no cost to families
    Braille lessons and translation of written language
    Professional training and technical assistance support to program’s serving children with visual impairments

Phone Number: 305-856-2288 www.miamilighthouse.org

  • Florida Division of Blind Services
    Helps blind and visually impaired Floridians achieve their goals and live productive and independent lives. Services cover all ages from babies to senior citizens and offer Employer Services, the Braille and Talking Books Library, and the Business Enterprise Program. http://dbs.myflorida.com/

North Dade number: (305) 685-0381
Hialeah number: (305) 558-2480
Kendall number: (305) 274-3172

  • Citrus Health Network
    Provides services to children across the spectrum of behavioral health needs. Whether a client is experiencing a mental health crisis, or is in need of residential or outpatient care

Phone number: (305) 817-6560 or (305) 825-0300

  • FIU Center for Children and Families
    The Center for Children and Families is an FIU Preeminent Program and a world-class clinical research center dedicated to improving the lives of children and families struggling with mental health problems.

Phone number (305) 348-0477

Phone number (305) 243-0234

Resources for Children Without Insurance

  • Act4me
    Provides therapy scholarships for up to $3500 for children with neurological disabilities who do not have Medicaid
    More information at: www.act4me.org
  • FL Elks
    Provides free physical and occupational therapy for uninsured children up to 18 yrs. old in Miami Dade County

Contact: Chantal Salnave
(305) 278-2044

Contact for referrals:
1-813-972-2250 ext.: 7740

Phone: (305) 670-4949

Financial Assistance

  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
    Financial assistance to adults and children with disabilities who have limited income and resources
    Maximum Assets $2,000 not counting home
    Maximum Payment $771

Applications on-line or visit your local SSA office
FL residents who are eligible for SSI automatically receive Medicaid from the State

For more information: 1-800-772-1213   /   http://www.ssa.gov/pgm/ssi.htm

  • Food Stamps
    The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), called food assistance in Florida and formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, provides food benefits, access to a healthy diet, and education on food preparation and nutrition to low-income households.
    https://www.myflorida.com/accessflorida/

Agency for Persons with Disabilities

The state agency responsible for serving the needs of people with developmental disabilities. In the state of FL, a developmental disability is defined as:
Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Spina Bifida, Down Syndrome, Prader-Willi Syndrome, Intellectual Disability, Phelan-McDermid Syndrome and children age 3-5 at a high risk of a developmental disability
There are priority categories for accessing services

Phone: 305-349-1478  /  www.apdmyflorida.com

Vocational Rehabilitation

Helps people who have physical or mental disabilities get or keep a job
What type of services are offered?

  • Medical and Psychological Assessment
  • Vocational Evaluation and Planning
  • Training and Education after High School
  • Job Placement & Coaching

Visit http://www.rehabworks.org to access a VR office directory and contact your local office to request services