Local Resources for Families

English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Program K-12

The goal of the Berkeley County School District’s ESOL program is to provide English instruction and other school related support services for students who have a first or home language other than English and are Limited English Proficient (LEP).

Office of Special Services

The Office of Special Services supports the vision and mission of the Berkeley County School District by providing support to school personnel to assist in the accomplishment of the six goals of the district with an emphasis on Goal #2 – High Student Performance.

The Lowcountry Autism Foundation (LAF) Inc. promotes optimal developmental outcomes through awareness of autism. They stress the importance of attaining the earliest possible screening, diagnostics and intervention of children from ages zero to 6. They serve all children, adults, and families facing the challenges of living with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities.

BabyNet is South Carolina’s interagency early intervention system for infants and toddlers under three years of age with developmental delays, or who have conditions associated with developmental delays. BabyNet matches the special needs of infants and toddlers who have developmental delays with the professional resources available within the community. Services are provided in everyday routines, activities and places relevant to the life of the family. BabyNet is funded and regulated through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and managed through South Carolina First Steps to School Readiness.

The mission of the Berkeley County First Steps Partnership Board is to improve the early childhood development of Berkeley County children by providing resources and leadership to assist families in preparing their children to reach school healthy and ready to succeed through community partnerships and collaboration

Trident Literarcy Association increases literacy with instruction in reading, writing, mathematics, English as a Second Language, GED preparation, and basic computer use.

Developmental Pediatrics Clinical Services

MUSC Children’s Hospital’s Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics is an area of expertise concerned with the developmental, learning, and behavioral problems of children and adolescents.

A statewide nonprofit organization with the mission to strengthen and encourage families of children with special healthcare needs through parent support.

Help Me Grow is a program that links families to existing, community-based resources and services for children at-risk for developmental, behavioral, or learning problems. Help Me Grow is a free resource that is available to parents of children birth to eight years old who reside in Greenville, Pickens, Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester counties. More counties coming soon!

We Diagnose, Train, Teach and Engage! STAR staff understand that children and their families are coming  for assistance at what can be a difficult and vulnerable time. Quite often, families have just discovered that their child has an autism spectrum disorder, or they suspect that their child’s behavior may fall somewhere on the autism spectrum. Families look to them to help them figure out the best treatment plan possible. It is their goal to help parents make educated, informed decisions about their child’s treatment and to help all children reach their fullest potential.

Parents Reaching Out to Parents of South Carolina, Inc., is a private, non-profit organization which provides information and training about education to families of children with all types of disabilities. PRO-Parents also serves professionals in education and related fields throughout South Carolina. The workshops are generally FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. Let us know if you need accommodations when registering.  To register on-line click on the event you are interested in or you can call 1-803-772-5688 or 1-800-759-4776 (toll free).  To schedule a workshop in your area please call 1-803-772-5688 or 1-800-759-4776.

Children Activities

Mt. Pleasant Recreation Committee – Therapeutic & Unified Sports
 Therapeutic Recreation is born from the idea that EVERY member of the community has the right to leisure, no matter the level of ability.  The Unified Athletic League offers the opportunity for all youth and adult to play on a sports team.  It joins both youth and adult with disabilities and those without for training and to play together as a team.  Smaller fields and modified equipment may be used as needed to ensure fairness and safety for all.  Ages 5-12 and 13-Adult.  Contact Shelli Davis for more information: (843) 884-2528 or sdavis@tompsc.com
Magnolia Dance AcademySpecial Needs Dance Class
Magnolia Dance Academy (2007 Old Trolley Rd, Summerville) runs classes January through May.  It is $65/month and classes are held weekly.  Please contact Katie or Cheryl at (843) 821-4006 to set up an evaluation for your child.  Children will be integrated into the current classes.

On Going in Your Community

The Children’s Museum is open before hours from 10:00 – 12:00am the 2nd and 4th Sunday of every month for children with special needs and their families to visit the Museum for FREE.  Children are able to explore and play in the Museum without the crowds and over-stimulation.  This program is FREE, but registration is required (visit the webpage to register online).  Please contact Rich Dodd at (843) 853-8962 x221 or rich@exploreCML.org with questions.
Monkey Joe’s“Special Needs Night”
On the 1st Tuesday of each month, Monkey Joe’s at Tanger Outlets in North Charleston hosts “Special Needs Night”.  The entire family gets in for FREE from 5 – 7 PM. Socks are required to participate. Call for additional information (843) 202-1999.
Blackbeard’s Cove“A Special Way to Play”
On the 1st Wednesday of each month, Blackbeard’s Cove in Mount Pleasant hosts “A Special Way to Play” with FREE putt putt and jump land from 8 – 10 AM.

National Resources for Families

Since 1963, LDA has provided support to people with learning disabilities, their parents, teachers and other professionals with cutting edge information on learning disabilities, practical solutions, and a comprehensive network of resources. These services make LDA the leading resource for information on learning disabilities.

KidsHealth is more than just the facts about health. As part of The Nemours Foundation’s Center for Children’s Health Media, KidsHealth also provides families with perspective, advice, and comfort about a wide range of physical, emotional, and behavioral issues that affect children and teens.

This group provides information, resources, and referral services, develops and supports innovative educational programs, seminars, and workshops, and advocates for more effective policies and legislation to help individuals with learning disabilities.

This site was created to provide a “one-stop shop” for resources related to Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and its implementing regulations, announced on September 6, 2011. It is a “living” website and will change and grow as resources and information become available. When fully implemented, the site will provide searchable versions of IDEA and the regulations, access to cross-referenced content from other laws (e.g., the Head Start Act, the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), etc.), webinars on selected topics, non-regulatory guidance, links to OSEP’s Technical Assistance and Dissemination (TA&D) Network, a Q&A Corner where you can submit questions, and a variety of other information sources. As items are completed and added to this site, we invite you to grow and learn with us as we implement these regulations.


Autism and Oughtisms: The mom of 2 autistic boys is the author of this inspirational and informative blog about autism.
Love that Max: A magazine editor mom of a special needs child writes this inspirational blog about parenting a special needs child.
My Special Needs Network: Learning solutions for kids with special needs can be found on this blog.
The Life Unexpected: Marianne Russo gives advice and information through The Life Unexpected and also through The Coffee Klatch Special Needs Talk Radio Network.
The Shut-Down Learner: Dr. Richard Selznick offers information and practical advice to parents of special needs children.

Facebook Pages

Community of Practice for Supporting Families with Disabilities: The Community of Practice for Supporting Families with Disabilities is a place to share resources and knowledge and to discuss issues.
Federation for Children with Special Needs: To benefit those with special needs or disabilities, Federation for Children with Special Needs provides support and inspiration.
Parenting Special Needs Magazine: This Facebook page gives inspiration and support to those with special needs and their families.
Parents of Special Needs Children: Family members of special needs children can find support and information on the page.

Click here for 50 great websites for parents and teachers working with children with special needs.

Resources for Families With Children Who Have Autism

Autism Web is a free, informational web site run by parents, for parents. It is not affiliated with any organization or service provider. AutismWeb does not endorse any provider, organization or treatment. The site provides information on autism spectrum disorders, teaching methods, special education, treatments, therapies, services, research, online resources, training workshops and conferences related to autism, Pervasive Developmental Disorder and Asperger’s Disorder.

Child 1st Publications, LLC offers multi-sensory resources designed specifically for right-brained learners, including beginners, visual and kinesthetic learners, those labeled with dyslexia, autism, Asperger’s, auditory processing disorder, and ADHD. Our reading resources include letters, sounds, sight words, phonics, reading fluency, comprehension, spelling and math.

Autism Speaks is one of the leading autism science and advocacy organizations. Autism Speaks provides a comprehensive resource guide for all states. The site also boasts an impressive list of apps that parents may find useful, including games that focus on communication and social skills.

Check out their list of websites for families:


iPhone/iPad Apps for AAC. AAC stands for Augmentative and Alternative Communication and it relates to all the tools and strategies that we use with people who have little or no speech. AAC tools can be high tech options such as speech generating devices, low-tech options, such as symbol boards and communication books, as well as no-tech options such as Key Word Signing. In recent years, many people have started using the iPad for AAC. In order to navigate through the apps and locate the ones that suit your situation the Spectronics Consultancy recently released an app that finds apps, the AAC Ferret.

The Eden II Diagnostic & Outreach Center through its Applied Behavior Analysis and evaluation programs supports a wide spectrum of social growth and enhanced communication skills all tailored to meet the individual needs of children and older people with autism. They offer several evidence-based clinical services with the goal of producing measurable improvements for individuals with autism. Several training opportunities for parents and other professionals are also available through the webinar program.

The Autism Community Store is a parent-owned autism and special needs resource, a special little shop helping families, teachers and therapists get hard-to-find products for kids with ASD, PDD-NOS, Aspergers, SPD, ADHD and other special needs at reasonable prices.

Autism Hwy was started by a mother who’s son was diagnosed with Autism. The site offers articles, resources for play, finding a specialist,

Autism Unlocked allows users to learn how to reciprocate basic conversation skills, improve or learn typing skills, teaching waiting skills, and it’s highly motivating and fun!

The Autistic Toy Store, is where the families of children with autism find the most beneficial autism toys, and autism games that support autistic children basic life skills development.

National Autism Resources provides cost effective, research based therapeutic tools that meet the needs of people on the autism spectrum across their lifespan.

Shop by skills for differently-abled children for toys designed for auditory, creativity, fine motor skills, language and more.

Resources for Families With Children With Dyslexia

Full resource with kits, workshops, free online screening test, forums, articles and more.

IDA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the study and treatment of dyslexia.

This literacy program prepares young children to read. Take the reading readiness screener to see if your preschooler’s pre-reading skills are on track. Get tips and ideas for reading aloud, and learn about games, songs, and other tools that can help your child on the path to success.

Resources for Families With Children Who Speak English as a Second Language (ESL)

Learn a new language FREE with your library card. Mango languages offers over 60 languages. Mobile app available.

ESL Library has over 800 ready-made, student-centered lessons and over 2000 vocabulary images for professional English teachers. Our resources are designed specifically for teaching English to older teens and adults.

In order to assist you with promoting family engagement and opening and maintaining lines of communication, Spanish Steps provides a wide variety of materials for the PARENTS of ELL students. Don’t be fooled by the name! Materials are not just for Spanish-speaking parents, but for the parents of ALL your English Language Learners, regardless of their home language.