Many resources to begin your journey.
Florida children from birth through the end of age 18 are eligible for coverage. It is free to apply and with year-round enrollment, the time to apply is always now. Begin your family’s application by clicking the pink ‘Apply Now’ button. Then Florida KidCare does the rest. Based on the age of the child, household size, and family income, we automatically match each child with their best fit of the four Florida KidCare programs – Medicaid, MediKids, Florida Healthy Kids, or the Children’s Medical Services (CMS) Health Plan. It’s that easy!
Statewide information and resources for parents or caregivers of children with diagnosed or suspected developmental delays or disabilities from birth to three years of age, providers, and other interested groups or individuals.
Link: Children’s Medical Services - index (cms-kids.com)
We help families with children ages 0-3 who have a developmental delay navigate the challenges and celebrate the milestones so they can help their child reach his or her full potential. CHS offers Early Steps in the Big Bend region, covering Bay, Calhoun, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Washington, Franklin, Taylor, Madison, Gadsden, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty and Wakulla counties.
Link: Early Steps | Children’s Home Society of Florida (chsfl.org)
The mission of DSAT is to provide education, support, and resources to individuals with Down syndrome, their families, professionals, and the community, while building public awareness and acceptance of the abilities of individuals with Down syndrome.
The Down Syndrome Association of Tallahassee was created by Tallahassee parents in 2004 in an effort to provide support and education to families who had children with Down syndrome. We continue to grow today and promote statewide public awareness of Down syndrome and to be a source of information and support to families in Florida’s Capital City, the Florida Panhandle and South Georgia.
Home - DSAT (dsatallahassee.com)
The Hang Tough Foundation offers resources and encouragement to families during their journey with childhood illness and special needs. Our vision is to build a community for families who are on a journey with childhood illness or special needs to provide a refuge and outlet that supports the entire family. Do you have a child age 0-21 with a chronic, life-altering illness or special need in Leon, Gadsden, Jefferson, or Wakulla county?
The FSU Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD) is dedicated to providing individuals with Autism or related disabilities, their families, and professionals who work with them with free consultation, resources, and educational support to build knowledge, infrastructure, sustainability, and capacity within the community.
FSU Center for Autism and Related Disabilities – FSU Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (fsucard.com)
Wakulla County Support Group
Private Facebook group that is open to all members whose lives are touched by autism. Our purpose is to share research, promote education and provide community support for families and individuals who live with ASD.
Contact Claudia Cotton Randolph at firstname.lastname@example.org / (850) 363-6119 or Jennifer Morgan-Byrd at email@example.com / (850) 320-5865.
Our support group meets 1-2 times a month and aims to collaborate with parents with children on the autism spectrum, of all ages. We get together to stay/become informed on topics such as: therapy resources, diagnosing, bio-medical treatment information, school placement, community activities, etc. We get together for parents night out dinners, playgroups and more. Our meetings/dinners/meet-ups are always posted on the ASSET private group on Facebook. *Claire aims to provide guidance to parents whose (minor aged, especially those 2-5) children are recently diagnosed and need some help getting pointed in the right direction, need a diagnosis for insurance (or other) purposes, need a pediatrician recommendation and/or specialty doctors (such as Peds neurology, Peds G.I., Peds psychology/psychiatry, etc) and general guidance through the behavioral aspect of insurance coverage.
Contact Claire D’Haeseleer at Clairegrace03@gmail.com, (941)306-9419 or (850)276-0336
For more information, please contact Leslie
McLeod at(850) 363-6726 or by email at
Jackson County Autism Support Group
Meets 3rd Thursday of every month at
Jackson County Extension Office @ 5:30
Open to parents or caregivers
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or
Florida cares about its residents with unique abilities and strives to help each one succeed. This site will provide you with stories, information, and resources to help you as you start this journey. Click on the Conditions drop down tabs below to get started.
Conditions | Florida Department of Health (floridahealth.gov)
Birth to 5: Watch Me Thrive- is a coordinated federal effort that will help families and providers to encourage healthy child development, universal developmental and behavioral screening for children, and support for the families and providers who care for them.
Easter Seals Make the First Five Count - a resource to partner with parents in raising a healthy and happy child. Answers questions about child development and helps parents to be aware of the five key growth areas during the critical years before their child starts kindergarten.
Phone: (800) 221-6827
The Family Health Line - is a statewide free hotline offering counseling information and referrals about pregnancy, infant and toddler issues. The goal of the hotline is to improve the health status of Florida’s pregnant women and their children by providing callers with information on helpful community resources and answering basic questions about pregnancy, breastfeeding, childbirth education and other pregnancy related concerns.
Phone: 1 (800) 451-2229
Family Network on Disabilities of Florida - a grassroots organization for persons with disabilities and their families that is family-centered and family-driven.
Phone: (800) 825-5736
Healthy Start - available to pregnant women, infants and children up to age three. Services include: referral and ongoing care coordination and support to assure access to needed services.
The Family Café exists to provide individuals with unique abilities and their families with an opportunity for collaboration, advocacy, friendship and empowerment by serving as a facilitator of communication, a space for dialogue and a source of information.
Phone Number: 1-888-309-CAFÉ (2233)
The Arc of Florida is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve the quality of life for persons with unique abilities. The Arc of Florida works with local, state and national partners and advocates for people with intellectual disabilities, autism, spina bifida, cerebral palsy, prader-willi syndrome and other unique abilities to be fully included in all aspects of their community.
Phone Number: 1-800-226-1155
The Florida Diagnostic & Learning Resources System (FDLRS) provides diagnostic, instructional, and technology support services to district exceptional education programs and families of students with disabilities. Service centers include 19 centers that directly serve school districts in the areas of Child Find, Parent Services, Human Resource Development (HRD), and Technology. In addition, the FDLRS Network also includes 6 Multi-disciplinary Centers who focus on in-depth evaluations and several statewide projects offering specialized services.
The Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) works in partnership with local communities and private providers to assist people who have developmental disabilities and their families. APD also provide assistance in identifying the needs of people with developmental disabilities for supports and services. APD also maintains a resource directory as an informational service to help individuals with disabilities learn about available resources and organizations in their local communities.
Community Resource Directory: https://resourcedirectory.apd.myflorida.com/
Phone number: 1-866-273-2273
The Florida Center for Students with Unique Abilities provides support to students, families and institutions of higher education so that students with intellectual disabilities have opportunities for on-campus college experiences that lead to employment opportunities.
Phone Number: 407-823-5225
The Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act allows individuals with unique abilities and their family and friends to save for future expenses, like Roth IRA and 529 college savings plans, while maintaining government benefits.
Phone Number: 1-888-524-ABLE (2253)
Florida provides a variety of school choice options, including four scholarship programs. These programs allow parents choice among public and private schools.
Phone Number: 1-800-447-1636
Step Up For Students helps administer two scholarship opportunities for Florida school children: the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship for low-income families and the Gardiner Scholarship for children with certain special needs and their siblings. These scholarships are offered as options in the same way that public education is offering an expanding array of choices. Step Up for Students is an approved scholarship funding organization for the state of Florida.
Phone Number: 1-877-735-7837
Contact us today or to schedule an evaluation, please call 850.875.2180.