AAPAC provides the list below as a resource, but does not endorse any organization or website.
Index of topics:
- AAPAC – that is, us!
- AAPS – Ann Arbor Public Schools
- Advocacy / Mediation / Dispute Resolution
- ADD and ADHD
- Art Therapy
- Assistive Technology
- Behavioral Issues
- Blindness and Visual Impairment
- Brain Injury
- Camp – for kids with special needs
- Celiac & Gluten-Free
- Cerebral Palsy
- Deafness and Hearing Impairment
- Dentists (and Orthodontists) – local, for kids with special needs
- Developmental Disabilities
- Developmental Pediatricians
- Down Syndrome
- Early Childhood / Infancy / Preschool
- Fetal Alcohol
- Financing a disability
- Food allergies
- Individualized Education Plan (IEP)
- Inclusion and Empowerment
- Independent Living
- Laws and Rights
- Learning Disabilities
- Mental Health / Mental Illness
- Muscular Dystrophy
- Occupational Therapy
- Parenting Classes
- Physical Therapy
- Recreation Therapy
- Social Skills Groups
- Siblings of kids with special needs
- Toilet Training
- Tourette’s Syndrome
- Transition to Adulthood / Turning 18
- WISD – Washtenaw Intermediate School District
- Other Topics
AAPAC – that is, us!
AAPS – Ann Arbor Public Schools
- AAPS SISS Administrator Responsibility Chart 2017-18 – this shows who to contact to troubleshoot IEP/504 issues if you can’t resolve it with the school team/principal.
- WISD Compliance and Monitoring – has various documents available, including a blank copy of an AAPS IEP form. You probably receive a draft of your child’s IEP, but the document only includes what the team IS INCLUDING. This allows you to see what the entire document asks the team to consider at your convenience.
- Student Support Resources – hotlines to report bullying, sexual assault, and other complaints and grievances
- Classroom Visitation Process – for when your child is going to move to a new classroom and you want to visit first
- Personal Curriculum Alternative
- AAPS and the Third Grade Reading Law
Advocacy / Mediation / Dispute Resolution
Also see our list of advocates, below.
- Michigan Department of Education: Special Education Problem Solving Process
- Michigan Protection and Advocacy, Inc – Special Education: An Advocate’s Manual
- Michigan Protection and Advocacy Service (MPAS)
- Parent Advocacy Coalition for Educational Rights (PACER)
- Student Advocacy Center of Michigan
- The Dispute Resolution Center (DRC)
- University of Michigan Law School Pediatric Advocacy Clinic
- Washtenaw Association for Community Advocacy (WACA)
- Michigan Special Education Mediation Program (MSEMP)
- iAdvocate — a free advocacy app for parents, families, and advocates
- A2IDEAS (Ann Arbor Individual Disability Education Advocacy Services) – Heather Eckner heather@a2ideasorg
- Marcie Lipsitt – 248-514-2101 – email@example.com
- The Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA) has a member directory. www.copaa.org/search/default.asp?
- Wrightslaw has a “Yellow Pages for Kids” resource listing by state. Here’s the one for Michigan: www.yellowpagesforkids.com/help/mi.htm
- The Michigan Alliance for Families www.michiganallianceforfamilies.org | 1-800-552-4821 | firstname.lastname@example.org . They have parent mentors and tons of information available on their website.
- Debora Blake at ACCESS Education Advocacy – 1-888-834-4340 – email@example.com
- Student Advocacy Center of Michigan, serves Washtenaw County, as well as Wayne and Jackson. No cost to those eligible for free or reduced lunch, 734-482-0489 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Holly A. Brommer – 586-707-9033 – email@example.com
- Washtenaw Association for Community Advocacy. 734-662-1256
- Christine Rans – firstname.lastname@example.org or 810-923-5620 – www.totallysocialasd.com/about-uscontact-us.html (scroll down to find her)
- For legal representation, Charlotte Garry Carne – email@example.com – 734-545-4858 – http://www.facebook.com/annarboradvocate
- Marcy Epstein at Ann Arbor Educational Associates – annarboreducationa.wixsite.com/home – or send a text to (734) 972-6272 – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Attorney Laura Athens lathenslaw.com
- Also see our list of More advocates
ADD and ADHD
- Children and Adults with ADHD (CHADD)
- Ann Arbor Area ADHD/ADD Meetup Support Group
- ArborADHD – a group for families in the Ann Arbor area with a child or young adult with ADHD.
- ArborKidsAllergies – an e-mail list for families of local kids with allergies to connect with each other
- Group for college students with food allergies
- Johanna Mabry – specializes in autism – LMSW, MEd, ATR 734-657-8978 Jomabry@yahoo.com
- Susan Menard
- Michigan’s Integrated Technology Supports (MITS) – now called Alt+Shift
- Assistive Technology through Washtenaw Intermediate School District
- Center on Technology and Disability
- AAPS Assistive Technology Services
- AAPS Assistive Technology Support
- Assistive Technology at the Ann Arbor District Library
- A2Faces – Ann Arbor Families for Autistic Children’s Education and Support – e-mail list for local parents of kids with autism.
- The county-wide school system sometimes offers free Hanen classes to parents, which are full of ideas for fun ways to encourage a small child to communicate. The two classes are More Than Words (for parents of young children with communication difficulty who may or may not be on the autism spectrum) and Talkability (for parents of verbal kids on the autism spectrum). Also, you can find the books from the class at the Hanen book store. (Our AAPAC webmaster attended a More Than Words class and loved it, both for the useful information in the class and also for getting connected with other parents of children with special needs.)
- Autism Alliance of Michigan (AAoM)
- Autism Collaborative Center-EMU
- Autism Connections-Judson Center
- Autism Society of Michigan
- Statewide Autism Resources and Training (START)
- START (Statewide Autism Resources and Training) – autism training at WISD
- Great Lakes Center for Autism Treatment and Research in Portage, MI (near Kalamazoo) – includes a residential program to help kids with severe behavior problems.
- Common Lives Community – an Ann Arbor group seeking ways for their kids with autism to connect with each other.
- Also see the Therapy section of this page.
- AAPS Behavior Intervention
- Safety Care Class Flyer and Safety Care Signup link
- ABA Insight
- Spectrum Therapy
- Dr. Barbara True Felt
- Ellen Taylor at Center For The Family
- University Center for the Child and Family (UCCF)
Blindness and Visual Impairment
- Bureau of Services for Blind Persons
- Michigan Parents of Children with Visual Impairments (MPVI)
- Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Michigan
- Kellogg Eye Center – low vision resources
- Foundation Fighting Blindness – list of resources in the Eastern part of Michigan
- State of Michigan outreach to provide services to people who are blind or visually impaired and its Parents’ Corner
Camp – for kids with special needs
- Summer Camps and Resources Directory For Kids With Social, Learning, Physical or Other Differences (Ann Arbor area) (last updated April 2015)
- ABA Insight ran a camp in the summers of 2018 and 2019 for kids with large special needs.
- List of camps from our March, 2019 meeting.
- MichTic is a new camp for kids with Tourette’s Syndrome. Here is an article about it.
- The Ann Arbor Rec and Ed Camps will make some accommodations for kids with special needs — though they don’t have a program for the more severely impacted kids. If your child has an IEP and a parapro during the schoolyear, and if you ask four weeks in advance, Rec & Ed will supply an aide for your child at camp. There is more info in the pink box on their Parent HQ page.
- The Ann Arbor Academy Summer Camp Program is especially friendly to kids with ADHD and autism.
- The 2019 list of camp resources from the Children’s Special Healthcare Services program
- Very Special Needs Summer Camps in Michigan
- Here is the 2020 schedule for several camps: Transplant Camp, Cardiology Camp, Epilepsy Camp, Sickle Cell / Pain Management Camp, Sibling Camp, and a teen camp.
- Honey Creek, Wide World Sports, and U of M’s KidSport each have camps that can be accommodating. Each has been known to accept kids with autism.
- In Rochester, Michigan, about an hour’s drive from Ann Arbor, Oakland University has a summer camp program for kids on the autism spectrum ages 3 through adult called OUCARES.
- Camp Scholarships from the State of Michigan.
Celiac & Gluten-Free
- Gluten-Free Ann Arbor – the local support group is an e-mail list and a Facebook group for people to connect with each other
- Cerebral Palsy Resources in South Central Michigan (provided by Reiter & Walsh, PC, Detroit and Bloomfield Hills)
- Michigan Mental Health Networker’s list of Washtenaw County, MI Child & Adolescent Therapists, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, Mental Health Organizations, Psychotherapy Groups, and Therapist Directory
- Connally Counseling – counseling for all people, by LGBTQIA-friendly therapists
Deafness and Hearing Impairment
- Deaf C.A.N.
- Michigan Coalition for Deaf and Hard of Hearing People
- Michigan Association for Deaf and Hard of Hearing (MADHH)
- Michigan Deaf Association
- Michigan School for the Deaf
- Michigan Hands & Voices
- State of Michigan outreach to provide services to people who are deaf or hard of hearing and its Parents’ Corner
- Washtenaw ISD Deaf & Hard Of Hearing Program
- Parents of DHH Students in AAPS
Dentists (and Orthodontists) – local, for kids with special needs
- Dr. Aimee Picard at Ann Arbor Pediatric Dentistry is extremely gentle and patient with kids with special needs. She will do a series of 20-minute “happy visits” where she slowly introduces a kid to dental appointments, if a kid needs that to feel comfortable at the dentist’s. (Not all of the other dentists at her office are like this — definitely ask for Dr. Aimee, or Dr. Max Auer.)
- Dr. Natalie Henke (on Stadium) is very slow and patient with kids with ASD.
- Nick Greashaber on Packard
- Pear Tree Dental in Saline
- The Dental Spa in Ypsi
- Dr. Cornish in Dexter
- Dr. Dana Radtke in Brighton
- Dr Sam at Canton Pediatric Dentistry specializes in children with special needs.
- Rosalyn Sarver, DDS at Ann Arbor Family Dentistry is reported to be patient with kids with behavioral challenges, and calm and gentle
- Tree Town Pediatric Dentistry – several parents recommend them, but note that they may charge extra for behavior management
- Ann Arbor Smiles – has a pediatric location
- Blossom Pediatric Dental
- Dr. Bowers at Dexter Dental Studio
- Tip: If your child likes weighted blankets, he or she may find it comforting to wear one of those lead x-ray shields at the dentist’s.
- Michigan offers free dental care to kids whose family meets income limits
- For orthodontia, Dr. Edwards and Schaefer are reported to be good with kids with sensory issues. Dr. Moenssen of Dexter Orthodontics knows about kids with special needs. Dr. Kim on Packard is good about explaining to anxious kids what to expect. (People love her partner, Dr. Clinthorne, too.)
- One family loves orthodontist James Hinesly
- Also good recommendations for Stieper & Brust Orthodontics
- U of M Pediatric Diabetes – has a list of local supports
- Down Syndrome Support Team (DSST)
- Down Syndrome support groups in Michigan
- Down Syndrome Guild of Southeastern Michigan
- Children’s Dyslexia Center of Southeastern Michigan – Facebook and website
- Lauren Katz at 3Li
- Arbor Psychology in Plymouth
- McCaskill in Plymouth
- Center for Neuropsychology Learning and Development – Dr. Roger Lauer
- U of M Neuropsych
- One parent writes: I also recommend seeing Dr. Ference in Westland for a full vision assessment prior to expensive testing
Early Childhood / Infancy / Preschool
- Early On / Early Intervention of Washtenaw County
- Preschool and Family Center – Ann Arbor Public Schools
- Office of Special Education/Early Intervention Services (OSE/EIS)
- State of Michigan – Early On
- Free preschool and other early intervention resources in Washtenaw County
- Washtenaw Preschool
- Epilepsy Foundation of Michigan
- ArborEpilepsy – a new local support group for people with epilepsy or their parents or caregivers.
- For kids who have seizures when they get too hot, Polar Products makes a cooling vest that can let kids go outdoors where there is no air conditioning.
– Places to have a child evaluated. Some do a neuropsych evaluation:
- Center for Neuropsychology Learning and Development – Dr. Roger Lauer’s practice — he has an excellent reputation
- Wrightslaw – Assessing Reading Difficulties and Disabilities
- Mary Rackham Institute
- Naomi Alcaine, Ph.D. at the Ann Arbor Center for the Family.
- John Milanovich, Ph.D. at MindMatters
- Sullivan, Nolan, and Associates
- Michael Bambery, Ph.D.
- Dr. Denyce Girard Kerner
- EMU’s psychology department
- Arbor Psychology in Plymouth — a lot of people speak very highly of Dr. Bambery. Also, they recently added Dr. Sorkin at their Ann Arbor office. Because Dr. Sorkin is new (in November of 2019), the waiting list to get in to see him may be shorter.
- U of M neurology clinic off Plymouth Rd.
- Jacquline Kaufman at U of M
- Dr Behen in Novi
- The Sunfield Center
- EMU — neuropsych exams are done by students, overseen by a doctor, at a much lower cost.
- University Center for the Child and Family (UCCF)
- Dr. Mark Bowers in Brighton; used to run social skills groups in Ann Arbor – www.bcpn.org
- UM has an ADHD clinic that does a full evaluation for diagnosis and provides excellent write ups and data to share with schools. There’s usually a 6 month wait.
- Thriving Minds has offices in Brighton and Chelsea.
- Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Clinic at Mott Hospital in Ann Arbor
- Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders – State of Michigan
- Fetal Alcohol Resources for Michigan
Financing a Disability
- The Children’s Special Healthcare Services program (CSHCS) – provides a variety of assistance to families with a child with any of 2,700 physical conditions. Pays for healthcare, provides information, and can connect parents with each other.
- The Medicaid waiver provides home and community services such as childcare and other services to a limited number of children around the state, chosen by prioritizing which families have the largest needs for the service.
- Make A Wish, Michigan – grants wishes to children with critical illnesses
- Easter Seals of Michigan – works to change the way the world defines and views disability by making profound, positive differences in people’s lives every day.
- United Way of SE Michigan – improving lives and empowering every family to succeed by uniting around education, economic prosperity and health — the cornerstones of a strong, equitable community.
Individualized Education Plan (IEP)
- The Pop-Up IEP – Click on the quote to see good responses to statements you might hear made during an IEP meeting and support for your responses.
- NICHCY: Developing Your Child’s IEP – Parent’s Guide from April 2009.
- Resolving IEP Disputes – Click on the pop-up box to learn strategies to resolve disagreements, steps to take if you disagree with the school, and options you have if unable to resolve disputes.
- Developing Your Child’s IEP – Click on the pop-up box to learn about IDEA requirements, see answers to your questions, find federal law or regulations that support these answers, and a list of additional resources.
- Special Factors in IEPs – Find what special factors need to be considered by the IEP team, how the IEP must address these factors, and learn what the federal law and regulations require.
- IEP Checklist: Is Your Child’s IEP Individualized? – What Does it Take? When you answer the questions on this IEP Checklist, you will know if your child’s IEP is individualized, as the law requires.
- Blank IEP form used by AAPS (not an actual IEP, and should be used for reference purposes only): http://www.washtenawisd.org/sites/default/files/Special%20Education/Compliance-Monitoring/Blank%20IEP.pdf
- Guidance for Notice (“Prior Written Notice”)
- Guidance for Timeline for Initial Evaluations for Special Education (Mich. Dept. of Education)
- See more IEP info at: www.wrightslaw.com/info/iep.index.htm
Inclusion and Empowerment
- Family Resource Center for Disabilities and Special Needs – Promoting Inclusion and Empowerment
- Including Samuel and later followup with Samuel
- Ann Arbor Center for Independent Living – nonprofit organization dedicated to the success of children, youth and adults with disabilities at home, at school, at work and in the community.
- Intentional Communities of Washtenaw (ICW) – Creating a future where individuals with disabilities can share the common bond of community living in a supportive, dignified and productive manner.
- Saint Louis Center – a residential home for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities
- Homegrown Community is a local group that is working on creating a community where adults with special needs can live.
Laws and Rights
- IDEA and FERPA Confidentiality Provisions
- Michigan Department of Civil Rights (MDCR)
- Wrightslaw – Parents, educators, advocates, and attorneys come to Wrightslaw for accurate, reliable information about special education law, education law, and advocacy for children with disabilities.
- Individuals with Disabilities Educational Act (IDEA)
- Michigan Disability Rights Coalition (MDRC)
- Center for Parent Information & Resources
- Michigan Administrative Rules for Special Education (MARSE)
– for drawing up special needs trusts, guardianship, etc.:
- Peter Clark of Ferguson, Widmayer & Clark – (734) 662-0222 Peter@fw-pc.com – He specializes in trust/estate and special needs trusts/laws.
- Joelle Gurnoe-Adams: mielderlaw.com/joelle-gurnoe-adams/ – guardianship, social security, and also does special needs trusts and powers of attorney.
- Laura Athens – Farmington Hills – 248-426-8800 email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org – Special education law, guardianship, special education hearing officer
- Christine Piatkowski – Brighton, MI – (810) 231-2628 email@example.com – Special education law, special needs trusts
- Wendy Alton – Pear, Sperling, Eggan, & Daniels – Domino’s Farms, Ann Arbor – (734) 665-4441 firstname.lastname@example.org – www.psedlaw.com – Special needs trusts/wills, Social Security benefits, guardianship
- Joshua Fink – Fink & Fink, PLLC – 320 North Main Street, Ann Arbor – (734) 994-1077 Joshua.Fink@finkandfink.com – finkandfink.com – Special needs trusts/wills, Social Security benefits, guardianship
- Suzanne R. Fanning – 5340 Plymouth Road, Ann Arbor – 734-366-4540 – email@example.com – www.annarborprobate.com – Estate planning, special needs trusts/wills, guardianship
- And, our very own Melissa Epstein does this kind of work too:
Mental Health / Mental Illness
- Michigan Mental Health Network – Washtenaw County
- National Alliance on Mental Illness – Washtenaw County
Washtenaw County Community Mental Health – provides mental health services to children and adults who live in the local area. Can help with applying for the Medicaid waiver.
- Martha Carlson at Pediatric Neurology at U of M – 734-936-4179
- Several parents recommended Dr. Leber at U of M. They said that he listens especially well to their input.
- Local parent Melanie Sobocinski offers a class for parents of challenging children, with or without a diagnosis. More information is at at sanityschool.com/a2 or firstname.lastname@example.org, 734-272-7905. The plan is to to offer the live class 2-3 times per year, or more often upon request. A flyer is posted here.
- A parent said that Dr. Jessica Fealy at Briarwood Center for Women, Children and Young Adults is fantastic with her kids, including one with significant special needs.
- A parent said that Dr. Frei at IHA takes into account a child’s sensory issues and makes sure the child is comfortable and healthy.
- A parent said that Dr. Langlois at U of M in Canton is compassionate, soft-spoken, listens well, gives parents the facts and lets the parents decide, and has identified medical issues.
- A parent said that Dr. Beth Barclay at Liberty Pediatrics is thoughtful and gentle with all of her kids, and the whole staff there remembers her child’s sensory needs. If you call with a question, they have several nurses there who are absolutely amazing!
- A parent went to Probility and had a good experience there
- Community Mental Health, if your child has Medicaid or the Medicaid Waiver
- Eva Olson – (734) 332-3976
- University Center For the Child and Family
- Cruz Clinic in Livonia – one parent says it is worth the drive
- Jennifer Jenks – may not be taking new patients
- Pamela Sohoni
- Norman Alessi – does not take insurance; will get to know your child and make frequent changes to get things to work well. (Dr. Alessi was hugely helpful with finding meds to reduce extreme aggression in our webmaster’s child.) (734) 222-6222
- Charlotte Harrington is a new therapist at Still Waters Counseling in Ann Arbor – (517) 266-8500. Several parents recommended her.
- Celina Cerf – aceingautism.org/locations/ann-arbor-mi/ – tennis at Clague school for kids with autism
Social Skills Groups
- Spectrum Therapy
- A2 Therapy Works
- Building Bridges Therapy Center
- Creating Brighter Futures has a PEERS social skills group for teens
Siblings of kids with special needs
- The Arc in Livingston County has a Sibshop support group
Testing and Evaluations
- See Evaluations on this page.
- Building Bridges Therapy Center – wide range of therapies, assessment & diagnostic services, and specialty programs.
- Spectrum Therapy Center Ann Arbor – treatment of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other speech and language delays/disorders, up to age 11.
- Judson Center – comprehensive services for children, adults, families impacted by abuse and neglect, autism, developmental disabilities, and mental health challenges.
- Sunfield Center – autism, ADHD, and behavioral health.
- Novel Responses – home-based therapy, natural environment training, and behavior analysis services.
- A2 Therapy Works – speech, OT and feeding therapy.
- ABA Insight – offers ABA therapy (and a summer day camp) for a variety of ages.
- A company called Autism Home Support sees kids in Ann Arbor.
- There is therapy at the EMU Autism Collaborative Center
- Babies up until kindergarten-age can get therapy and free preschool at the Ann Arbor Preschool and Family Center
- The Good Start program at WISD provides a variety of supports to early childhood educators.
- A non-ABA option is the STEPS program at U of M.
- Creating Brighter Futures – ABA Autism treatment for children age two through eighteen.
- Centria offers ABA therapy.
- ABA Pathways offers ABA therapy.
- ROI Learning Center
- Local Nurse Practitioner Judy Coucouvanis is an expert in toilet training kids with autism and other special needs. She has written a book called The Potty Journey. She sometimes gives a talk at the Ann Arbor Preschool & Family Center, or you may be able to set up an appointment with her for consulting. Note: As of September, 2019, she may have retired.
- Here is a video about toilet training for children with special needs.
- MichTic is a new camp for kids with Tourette’s Syndrome. Here is an article about it.
- Here is the Michigan Chapter of the Tourette’s Association of America
- Here is an article about a local teen who advocates for Tourette’s Syndrome
Transition to Adulthood / Turning 18
- Turning 18 with a Developmental Disability in Washtenaw County
- AAPS Transition Services and AAPS Transition Guide
- Autism Speaks – Transition Information for Michigan
- Age Of Majority – Parent Guide
WISD – Washtenaw Intermediate School District
WISD handles a variety of services for several school districts in southeastern Michigan. They provide certain special ed services for some counties, and offer resources and training.
- Washtenaw Intermediate School District (WISD)
- WISD Parent Advisory Committee
- Washtenaw Intermediate School District Parent Advisory Committee Information Handbook
- Center for Educational Networking
- Council for Exceptional Children – a professional association of educators dedicated to advancing the success of children with exceptionalities through advocacy, standards, and professional development.
- Grandparents as Parents (GAP)
- Michigan Alliance for Families – information, support, and education for families who have children (birth through 26 years of age) who receive (or may be eligible to receive) special education services. This website can help you with finding information on special education issues as well as disability specific information.
- Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) – foster care, adoption, child support, abuse & neglect, Healthy Michigan Plan, Vital Records, emergency preparedness, safe delivery of babies, safe sleep for babies, aging & adult services, behavioral health & developmental disability, crime victim services, help locate missing children.
- Michigan Department of Education
- Social Security Administration
- U.S. Department of Education
- U.S. Department of Education and Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services (OSERS) – To improve early childhood, educational, and employment outcomes and raise expectations for all people with disabilities, their families, their communities, and the nation.
- Arborparents – large e-mail list for local parents to connect with each other.
- State of Michigan Parent Dashboard for School Transparency – You can select for students with disabilities. Future phases of the Parent Dashboard will include new data not previously reported for schools. Proposed categories include early learning access; access to technology; services to students with disabilities and English learners; and extracurricular activities.
- MSU’s Center for Research in Autism, Intellectual, and Other Neurodevelopmental Disabilities(RIAND)
- There is a Facebook group for Ann Arbor area parents of people who are transgender.
- Sealhouse offers special education training for attorneys, advocates, parents and students.
Last updated July 8, 2021