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Children with Special Health Care Needs

Up to 20% of U.S. children under the age of 18 have, or are at risk for, a developmental disability. Developmental disabilities include autism, intellectual disability, learning or speech disorders, genetic and chromosomal disorders, epilepsy, cerebral palsy, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and psychiatric conditions.1

It is critical that the developmental delays are identified as early as possible because high-quality early intervention can improve the child’s developmental outcomes.

Unfortunately, many families face challenges in accessing timely services as a result of:
  • Poor understanding of developmental delay and the importance of early intervention
  • Fear of stigma from friends and family
  • Lack of knowledge of available services or how to obtain them
  • Lack of linguistically and culturally-accessible resources
About the Special Needs Program

Since 2011, the Special Needs Program at the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center (SNP) has worked to strengthen services for children with developmental disabilities and their families by providing comprehensive clinical services, care coordination, and engaging parents as partners in their children’s care.

This innovative and bilingual program aims to empower and engage parents and caregivers to better care and advocate for their children with special health care needs. The SNP also works collaboratively with community partners to build community capacity to provide high quality services for these families.

Special Needs Program Services, Resources, and Activities:

Clinical Services

We offer comprehensive bilingual care for your child with special health care needs, which includes:
  • Routine developmental screening
  • Care coordination
  • Expedited appointments or longer appointment times based on your child’s needs
  • A multidisciplinary team that provides comprehensive care management, social work services, and parent peer support
Chinese Language Parent Resources
  • Bilingual Parent Peer Leaders who connect parents to support services and resources.
  • Monthly Drop-in Parent Group that provides a space to understand parent needs, share information, and offer parent peer support.
  • Parent trainings and workshops
Community Collaboration and Advocacy

The SNP has been a leader in building community capacity to address disparities in care for Chinese families with children with special health care needs. We achieve this goal through quarterly community networking meetings, professional trainings, collaborative projects, and participation in advocacy efforts. The partnership between the Health Center, parents and community organizations enables us to truly understand the families’ needs and to continue improving our services for this population.

If you have any questions about the Special Needs Program, contact us at (212) 226-8866 x5303.

Special Needs Resources
Autism: Know the Signs and Act Early: English / Chinese
Requesting a Special Education Evaluation: English / Chinese
Preschool School Education Can Help Children Aged 3 to 5 Learn Better: English / Chinese
Keep Stress Under Control – Stress Management for Parents: English / Chinese
Prepare Your Teen to Become Independent: English / Chinese
Options After High School for Students with Special Needs: English / Chinese
Legal Guardianship for Young Adults with Special Needs: English / Chinese

More health education materials are available at the Health Education Resources (Select the title “Special Health Care Needs”).

Other Resources

Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – Learn the Signs. Act Early
Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD)
Department of Health- Early Intervention
NYC Department of Education – Special Education
Autism Speaks
IncludeNYC

1. From the National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs. Accessed: https://www.childhealthdata.org/browse/survey.
   


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