"A family without information cannot take responsibility and feels helpless; a family who is given information cannot help but to be empowered and take responsibility." - Family Voices, Utah

Cincinnati Children's wants to empower you with information and resources so that you can best care for − and advocate for − your child. We offer a comprehensive compilation of resources in the Southwest Ohio area. Resources unique to Kentucky and Indiana are also featured, as well as national and international website links.

Purpose and Audience

The Special Needs Resource Directory (SNRD) identifies and provides access to information, services and supports. It is intended for individuals caring for someone with special/complex healthcare needs but everyone is welcome. Resources provided by Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center are presented; but, the majority of links are to external local, regional, national and international resources. These resources are primarily organized by categories, then subdivided into topics. In some cases the topics are divided further into other attributes, such as alphabet, age and location.

Description of Contents

The Getting Started category contains everything you need to be able to learn about and find resources available for special healthcare needs.

  • About: Learn the purpose, intended audience and contents of the Special Needs Resource Directory.
  • Medical and Health Homes: These are the concepts, ideas and laws aimed at considering all aspects of healthcare needs.
  • Documents and Downloads: Find and download documents, lists, charts, manuals and other material that can be printed.

The Medical and/or Health category will link you to local, national and international websites that provide an explanations of conditions and suggested resources for specific healthcare needs.

  • Health Conditions (A-Z): Find information and resources about a particular medical and/or health condition.
  • Discharge Planning: Prepare for a patient's discharge.
  • Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: Disabilities may affect cognitive ability, physical ability or both.
  • Mental Health and Behavior: Some conditions require a mental health provider, such as addictions and depression/anxiety disorders.
  • Developmental Therapies: These are Physical Therapy (PT), Occupational Therapy (OT) Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) and Feeding Therapy.
  • Medical Equipment: Get the durable medical equipment (DME) needed to care for complex conditions.
  • Medical Transportation: Using ambulance, public and private transports, which provide the necessary accommodations, getting to and from medical appointments and facilities.
  • Clinical Trials and Research: Studies help to better understand diseases and explore potential new treatments or prevention.
  • Hospice and Palliative Care: Keep those with terminal or life-threatening illnesses comfortable and provide grief resources for families of the deceased.
  • Alternative Medicine: Complimentary, integrative and alternative treatment options can be used in addition to, or in place of, traditional/western medicine.

Read about educational and support programs, for each stage of life in the Life Stages and School category.

  • Life Stages Overview: Learn about the basic stages of life and needs that can develop at each stage, along with special considerations for those with special needs.
  • Early Childhood: Special programs exist for children who need early intervention and specialized preschool environments.
  • School Age (Special Education): It is the school system's responsibility to provide educational supports from preschool through adulthood.
  • Transition: Students with disabilities have several options to continue their education. Families can plan for their adulthood through transition programs.
  • Adulthood: Children grow up to be adults who may need employment, day programs and/or residential options.
  • As Needed: Some needs develop at different times for different people, such as planning for emergencies, home modifications, technology, communication, driving and various vehicle needs.

The Financial and Law category contains programs to help pay for the specialized care, and provide legal resources, your child may need.

  • Health Insurance and Reform: Find traditional healthcare insurance and laws that affect coverage.
  • Other Healthcare Coverage: Governmental assistance is available to cover healthcare costs that are not covered by insurance and/or cannot be paid by families.
  • Utilities: Get assistance with bill payment, emergencies, weatherization and specialized equipment.
  • Wish-Granting Organizations: Some organizations grant wishes to those with terminal or life-threatening conditions.
  • Additional Funding Sources: Individual funding needs can be met by these private companies, grants and foundations.
  • Immigration: Find resources that provide help to those dealing with the complex world of immigration.
  • Estate Planning: Programs exist to help plan for the financial future of a child with complex healthcare needs.
  • Guardianship: Learn how to obtain guardianship for adults whose disability prevents them from being capable of making decisions that affect their financial and/or healthcare needs.
  • Adoption and Foster Care: Know the considerations involved in expanding a family by adopting or fostering a child with special healthcare needs.
  • Advocacy: Provide expertise and experience in support of an issue or need on behalf of yourself or others with complex healthcare needs.

It is very empowering to share your questions, frustrations, tears and celebrations with those facing similar challenges. Realize that you are not alone. The Family and Supports category is a good place to begin.

  • Support Groups: Connect with others who experience special healthcare needs.
  • Sibling Support: These are support groups created and intended for siblings of those with special healthcare needs.
  • Abuse: The risk for abuse and/or neglect is generally higher when special healthcare needs are involved.

Need a break? Want to have fun? The Respite and Recreation category provides resources that can help you do both.

  • Home Healthcare: Get nursing, aide, infusion and or respite resources, capable of caring for people with special healthcare needs.
  • Day Care and Respite: These services are equipped to handle special healthcare needs and are generally provided by the same facilities.
  • Camps: Find programs that are modified and have leaders who are capable of taking care of special needs.
  • Leisure and Athletics: Learn about accessible playgrounds, modified sports, activities and toys developed for special needs.
  • Vacations and Travel: Find information that will help you to properly prepare for time away from home.