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West Michigan

Parent & Family Support

Adoptive Family Support Network (616-458-7945) Offers grassroots, parent-to-parent support, information and referral resources for adoptive families

All Kids Can! Inclusion Support Network (Kalamazoo) (269-345-8950) Support group for parents and professionals who believe that all children should be educated together. Meets on the first Wednesday of the month from 9-11am

Cadillac DS Support Group (231-829-5110) Contact Roseann Fowler for dates, time and location

Down Syndrome Association of West Michigan (616-954-3488) Support, advocacy and resource group for families and friends of individuals with Down syndrome. Offers conferences and workshops, newsletter, playgroups and parent coffees

Family Resource Guide (616-454-4673) Provides up-to-date community resources for families, social service providers and professionals who work with children and families in Kent County

Foundations (231-777-2006) Parent support group of Arc/Muskegon for parents of children and adults with developmental disabilities

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren (616-877-7720) Offers support to the over 4000 Kent county families composed of grandparents and their grandchildren

The Gray Center (616-954-9747) Group dedicated to individuals with autistic spectrum disorders and those who work alongside them to promote mutual understanding

Parent Nurturing Services (616-456-6571)

Parents as Teachers Provides parents with child development knowledge and parenting support

Parent to Parent of Southwest Michigan (269-345-8950) Offers free services to families of children with disabilities or special needs, including mentor support, referrals, information, recreation opportunities and social events


ARC Michigan (1-800-292-7851) Provides information on legislative advocacy activities, conferences, special insurance rates, educational materials, newsletter, free parent and professional training, assistance locating high quality services and provides advocacy for people of all ages with developmental disabilities

County numbers are:

Allegan (269) 673-8841 Kalamazoo (269) 342-9801
Kent (616) 459-3339 Muskegon (231) 777-2006
Montcalm (989) 831-5725 Newaygo (616) 459-3339
Ottawa (616) 738-8570 VanBuren (269) 427-5056

Babysitting Services

Lists of students wanting to care for children with special needs available from the following colleges:

GRCC Dept. of Nursing (616)-771-4280
GVSU Dept. of Nursing (616)-905-3311
Hope College Dept. of Nursing (616)-957-6255
Calvin College Dept. of Nursing (616)-957-6212

(989-224-6831) Provides annual listing of Michigan camps available for persons with special needs. Compiled by Michigan’s Assistive Technology Resource (MATR)

Connections for Children (616-752-8629) Kent County collaborative project made possible through a federal Early Learning Opportunities Act (ELOA) written by the Kent County Family and Children's Coordinating Council: Early Childhood Committee

Disability Advocates of Kent County (616-949-1100) Provides advocacy, assistance, education and information on independent living options for persons with disabilities living in Kent County

Disability Connection – Muskegon (231-722-0088) Provides advocacy, assistance, education and information on independent living options for persons with disabilities living in Kent County

Disability Network – Lakeshore (616-396-5326) Provides advocacy, assistance, education and information on independent living options for persons with disabilities living in Allegan and Ottawa Counties

Hispanic Center of Western Michigan (616-742-0200) Services available to the Hispanic community include employment, interpretation, information, referral, family and individual services, cultural training

Kent County Healthy Start (616-454-4673) Offers support and information to all first-time mothers and their infants who live in Kent County through phone calls, home visits, written information, questionnaires and links to helpful community resources

Local School District and lntermediate School District (ISD) Special Education Directors and Supervisors Contact them regarding questions about your child's education and to discuss any problems or concerns. They can also inform you who the Parent Advisory Committee (PAC) representatives are for your school district. These representatives can offer resources and parent support

Michigan Family Resources Provides comprehensive education programs and health services for children from low-income families in Kent County

Michigan Home Ownership Coalition (616-363-2140) Assists individuals and families with disabilities in accessing home ownership

Muskegon County Health Department (231-724-6246) Works toward the goal of healthy people in a healthy community through health promotion, disease prevention and environmental protection

Ottawa County Health Department (616-396-5266 – Holland, 616-846-8360 – Grand Haven, 616-669-0040 – Hudsonville, 616-837-8171 – Coopersville) Committed to providing environmental protection, health promotion, disease prevention and assuring quality health services for all Ottawa County residents

Sign Language for Infants Programs using signs and symbols for teaching communication, language and literacy skills to people with communication and learning difficulties

Babies and Sign Language

Baby Signs

The Makaton Charity

My Baby Can Talk

Signing Time

West Michigan Inclusion Network (WIN) (616-889-3808) Promotes the inclusion of students with disabilities into general education classrooms with appropriate supports and services

Activities / Services

Arbor Circle Infant Toddlers Play Groups (616-456-6571) Open playgroups for children ages 0-5

Bright Beginnings (616-365-2277) Program provides services to families with children birth to kindergarten entry throughout Kent County.

Campus Early Childhood Center (616-819-3522) Year-round child care for children 2 to 6 years with and without special needs.

Cannonsburg Challenged Ski Association (616-874-3060) Provides lessons and the use of adaptive downhill ski equipment to people with disabilities in West Michigan

Child and Family Resource Council (616-454-4673) Provides series of programs and services designed to protect children from abuse and neglect, support families and strengthen the community

Dispute Resolution Center of West Michigan (616-774-0121) Offers mediation, conciliation and facilitation services as alternatives to court

Early On Michigan (517-668-0185) Services available to families who have children (0-3) who have medical problems or are developmentally delayed. Services can include information, evaluation, linking to services, parent network and financial help

County numbers are:

Allegan (269) 673-2161 Barry (269) 945-9545
Ionia (616) 522-1410 Kalamazoo (269) 488-7600
Kent (616) 365-2384 Mecosta (231) 796-2624
Montcalm (616) 754-9107 Muskegon (231) 767-7256
Newaygo (231) 652-3843 Oceana (231) 873-5651
Ottawa (877) 702-8602 VanBuren (269) 674-8091

First Notes (616-696-8097) Music therapy available to children from birth through 6 years of age

Generation Care (616 935-3300) Provides patient care rehabilitation, as well as medical education, advanced hand care clinic and other specialized services such as orthopedic and neurological care

Grand Rapids Wheelchair Sports Association (616-242-0351) Designed to help children and adults whose various physical challenges require them to use a wheelchair to play competitive and recreational sports

Head Start (616-453-4145) Provides comprehensive preschool services to children age 3 and 4 from low-income families. Provided at locations throughout Kent County

Hearts for the Arts (616-450-1922) Open art studio running Monday through Friday from 9:00AM-5:00PM. All ages, backgrounds, abilities and experience levels welcome

Hope Network (866-270-4803) Offers broad range of behavioral, neuro-rehabilitation and development services to children and adults with disabilities

Indian Trails Camp (616-677-5251) Offers recreational camping, consisting of traditional activities, for children and adults with physical and developmental disabilities

Kent County Healthy Start (616-336-4947) Offers support and information to all first-time mothers and their infants who live in Kent County through phone calls, home visits, written information, questionnaires and links to helpful community resources

Kent Regional Community Coordinated Childcare (4-C) (616-451-8281 or 1-800-448-6995) Connects parents and employers to childcare providers and services, provides training to daycare providers of children with special needs and offers financial assistance applications for daycare

Kentwood Parks and Recreation (616-656-5275) Offers adapted recreation programs led by certified therapeutic recreation specialists for ages 5 and older

Kindermusik (1-800-628-5687) World’s leading publisher of music and movement curricula for parents and their children, age newborn to 7 years

MOKA (1-800-644-2434) Provides a variety of services including individual job placement, residential and community living support, independent living training and family supports program for families of children with autism and other disabilities

Network 180 (616-336-3909) Provides services for mental illness, substance use disorders and developmental disabilities to Medicaid-enrolled citizens

Pioneer Trails (231-773-5355) Camp provides recreation and leisure opportunities for people of all abilities to enhance the quality of life

Thresholds (616-774-0853) Assists and supports families in meeting the needs of children who have a developmental disability. Services include family support, respite care, psychological evaluations and an occupational therapist. Family support subsidies available.

United Way’s 211- First Call for Help (Call 211 in Kent and Ottawa Counties) Free informational and referral services hotline available 24/7 to all Kent County residents

Vision and Sensory Center (616-534-4953) Provides vision, speech and occupational therapy for children with and without special needs

Volunteer Center at Heart of West Michigan United Way (616-459-6281) The Volunteer Center offers a wide array of programs and opportunities that make it easy for you to volunteer, no matter how busy your schedule is.  We connect individuals, students, families and employers with organizations and programs that match their talents and interests in West Michigan.

YMCA Camp Manitou-Lin (1-888-909-2267) Offers variety of year-round camps and programs, including day and weekend camps and therapeutic riding, for children and young adults with and without special needs

Developmental Evaluation / Therapies

Behavioral Resources and Institute for Neuropsychological Services (BRAINS) (616-365-8920) Provides services such as occupational, speech and language and physical therapies

Center for Childhood Development (616-455-8719 or 1-800-715-5820) Offers specialized assessment and treatment services, including occupational, speech and psychological therapies

The Clark Institute for Infants, Children and Adolescents (616-690-5437) Specializing in ADHD/ADD, behavior problems, childhood depression and anxiety, divorce and grief issues, adolescent identity, anger management and self-harm

Comprehensive Therapy Center (616-559-1054) Provides therapeutic and educational skill building programs for children and adults with special needs in West Michigan

Conductive Learning Center (616-632-2429) Intensive, multi-disciplinary approach to education, training and development for individuals with cerebral palsy, spina bifida and other motor challenges

Easter Seals of Michigan (616-942-2081 or 1-800-292-2729) Offers therapeutic of programs including summer playgroups for children, adaptive toys for infants through age 5, summer speech-language therapy, and medical equipment

Equine Facilitated TherapyTreatment approach that uses multidimensional movement of a horse to help children with special needs achieve developmental milestones

Spirit Farms Riding Center 269-795-9163 x230

Kent Special Riding Program 616-891-0057

Equest Center 616-866-3066

Therapeutic Horsemanship 616-837-6112

YMCA Camp Manitou-lin 1-888-909-2267

Franciscan Life Process Center (616-897-7842) Services include counseling for all ages, music therapy education, life skills education, and animal therapy for children

Holland Community Hospital Pediatric Rehabilitation Program (616-392-5141) Offers broad range of services to meet unique needs of infants and children and their families. Multiple locations available

Hope Institute for Neurodevelopmental Differences (616-942-2522) Addresses the overwhelming needs of children, adults and families who are impacted by developmental and neurological problems by providing a wide array of assessment and treatment services

Hope Network Rehabilitation Services (231-592-1061) Offers broad ranges of services to meet unique needs of infants and children and their families. Multiple locations available

Horizons Developmental Remediation Center (616-698-0306) Specializes in helping families understand and overcome a wide variety of developmental problems, including feeding, social-communication, speech and language and sensory-motor issues

Ken-O-Sha Diagnostic Center (616-819-2685) Provides evaluation services for children with a suspected educational delay as well as home based and/or infant parent support to enhance the development of a child with a disability


VanAuken (616) 819-2685

Wellerwood (616) 819-3683

Campus Early Childhood Center (616) 819-3522

Mary Free Bed Outpatient Services (616-242-0366) Offers individual or group physical, occupational and speech therapy, as well as a feeding clinic and summer therapy services for children age birth through adolescence

Mercy Health Partners Summer Pediatric Rehabilitation Program (231-672-2000 or 1-800-368-4125) Provides physical, occupational and speech therapy services for children who are speech, language, physically or developmentally impaired

North Ottawa County Health Rehabilitation Services (616-847-5292) Speech/language, occupational and physical therapy available. Physician referral required

Ottawa Area Center (OAC) (616-738-8960) Public school serving unique educational needs of students with cognitive impairments. Offers variety of unique programs and support activities

Vision and Sensory Center (616-534-4953) Provides vision, speech and occupational therapy for children with and without special needs


Arbor Circle Neighborhood Drop-In Center (616-458-2133) Provides respite childcare for ages 2 weeks through 7 years. Pre-registration required

Compassionate Heart Ministry (616-748-6011) Offers place of safety for individuals with disabilities, ages 14-26, to socialize with their peers, gain encouragement from loving mentors and grow in the knowledge of Christ

Latch Care Program at Lincoln School (616-456-6571) Provides after school respite care for severely impaired students from 6 through 26 years of age for fee. Open school days only

Lutheran Social Services of Michigan (616-532-8286) Provides foster care homes for respite care for families with developmentally delayed or disabled children under 18 years of age. Availability limited. Sliding fee scale. Private and Medicaid payments

Mercy Respite Center (616-458-4559) Provides 24-hour respite care for developmentally disabled and physically challenged adults. Sliding scale fees

United Methodist Community House Child Care Center (616-452-3226) May accept certain children with special needs, ages birth – 12 years, into community childcare program

Volunteers in Service (VIS) (616-459-7500) Christian Reformed Churches provide volunteers from nearby CRC churches to work with families to provide occasional respite. All ages are welcome. No cost

Wedgewood Christian Youth and Family Services (616-942-7294) Provides foster care and community-based respite services for children and young adults with disabilities. Length of stay varies.


Catherine's Care Center (616-336-8800) Non-profit community-based healthy facility dedicated to serving low income, uninsured residents of the northeast section of Grand Rapids, primarily those in the Creston-Belknap neighborhoods.

Cherry Street Health Services (616-776-2120) Offers comprehensive health services to low-income children and families

Children's Special Health Care Services (800-359-3722) Helps medically-eligible families with children with chronic medical conditions, with cost of treatment related to medical disabilities for children age 0-21. Other services include diagnostic evaluations, respite care, and treatment. Also links families to community resources and support groups.

Community Mental Health (517-374-6848) Assists in determining an individual's needs, developing a Person-Centered-Plan and advocating for services for individuals with development disabilities

County numbers are:

Allegan (269) 673-6617 Barry (269) 948-8041
Ionia (616) 527-1790 Kalamazoo (269) 553-8000
Kent (616) 336-3765 Montcalm (989) 831-7520

Gerber Center for Infant Development and Nutrition
(616-391-2242) Offers programs supporting follow-up care of pre-term and full-term infants with nutrition, growth and developmental challenges, focusing on children from birth through age 3

Health Intervention Services (616-475-8446) Faith-based, non profit health care center serving the uninsured and working poor in the greater Grand Rapids area. Services include comprehensive medical, dental, vision, specialty referrals, medication assistance, mental health counseling and spiritual assistance

Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital (616-391-9000 or 1-866-989-7999) Provides health care exclusively for children

Nursing Clinic of Battle Creek (269-962-6565) Free clinic in the Battle Creek area

Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services (616-455-9200 or 1-800-678-5500) Provides behavioral health care through services for variety of mental health needs.

Public Health Clinics Clinics offered by various County Health Departments. Services may include infant and child health screening, childhood immunizations, and vision and hearing screening

County numbers are:

Kent (616) 632-7100

Ottawa (616) 396-5266

Muskegon (231) 724-6209

Seeds of Grace Free Health Clinic (269-355-1049) Volunteer run clinic offering free healthcare to the uninsured adults below the poverty level

Spectrum Health – Healthier Communities (616-391-5000) Works to address many of West Michigan’s most pressing health issues—infant mortality, heart disease, cancer, primary care, prevention and children’s health, including obesity

The Down Syndrome Association of West Michigan is an affiliate of:
National Down Syndrome CongressDown Syndrome Affiliates in Action