Best Resources For Special Needs Families In Houston

November 7, 2011 3:25 AM

Parenting is a tough gig, and caring for someone with special needs provides a unique set of challenges. Fortunately for Houstonians, there are resources that can help.

Parenting is a tough gig, and caring for someone with special needs provides a unique set of challenges. Fortunately for Houstonians, there are resources that can help. The best resources for special needs families in Houston include an after-school program, special needs parent coaching, non-profit organization and even an ultra-accessible theme park. — Amber Hilton

The Arc of Greater Houston

3737 Dacoma St.
Houston, TX 77092
(713) 957-1600

The Arc of Greater Houston is a non-profit, member-run organization designed to assist children and adults with special needs in reaching their full potential. Among the resources offered by the Arc are various events, programs and support groups. Current support groups include Parents as Partners in Special Education, Parents of Adults with Disabilities and Fetal Alcohol Support Group. There is also a support group for Hispanic families with special needs individuals and one that focuses on the role of siblings. Special programs focus on education and training, information and referral, social and leisure activities, and advocacy. There is also an annual winter event known as the Candy Cane Ball, which brings in roughly 1,000 special needs teens and adults for dinner and dancing. For more information on these and other resources, call the local number or visit the Arc Web site.

Kim Hanks

The Woodlands, TX 77381

Kim Hanks is a life coach that specializes in helping parents of special needs children through special needs parent coaching. Kim is a certified professional coach (CPC) and mother of a special needs child herself, as well as a contributor to the Houston Examiner Web site. She has used her experience and education to create coaching programs designed to help parents of special needs individuals overcome obstacles through goal-setting and coaching. She also provides special needs community coaching, a unique program designed to help businesses and community members better welcome special needs children and their families. Her office is situated in the Woodlands, a northern suburb of Houston. Visit Kim’s Web site for more information, or e-mail her about coaching availability.

86799987 Best Resources For Special Needs Families In Houston

(credit: Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Briargrove House

6206 Overbrook Ln.
Houston, TX 77057
(713) 301-4860

The Briargrove House offers an after-school program for children and teens with autism. This program is based on age-appropriate skill-building activities that help children in the autism spectrum develop life skills and learn to interact with peers. Children and teens learn to clean up after themselves, cook their own basic meals and take care of their personal hygiene needs, among other important life skills. Ages six and up are welcome, and the cost is $65 per session. Hours: Monday through Thursday, 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. The Briargrove House doesn’t have a Web site, but you can call for more information.

Morgan’s Wonderland

5223 David Edwards Dr.
San Antonio, TX 78233
(210) 495-5888

Morgan’s Wonderland isn’t technically a resource, nor is it in Houston, but as the only theme park of its kind in the world, it definitely deserves a mention. Located just over three hours from Houston, in San Antonio, this ultra-accessible theme park was designed specifically for individuals with special needs and their families and friends. Some of the park attractions include an event center & gymnasium, the Sensory Village, Butterfly Playground, Amphitheater and Carousel, just to name a few. The park provides wristbands with RFID technology for security and peace of mind. Admission is free for individuals with special needs; person(s) accompanying a special needs individual – with advanced reservation, $5; person(s) accompanying a special needs individual – walk-up, $10. See park Web site or call for dates and hours of operation.

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