Maintain good records
Maintaining good records is very important. There could be numerous times throughout your life where you might need to produce an important record. Personal records that should be maintained are: social security card, birth certificate, medical records, and all evaluations (from schools, specialist, doctors, and other agencies).
Try this online tool https://www.ohiogps.org/. These common documents will be needed throughout their years of life. They will be necessary to determine eligibility for most services you may want to access. It is a good idea to have them in a safe place where you can easily find them when needed.
Where Do I Start and How Do Services Work?
It is important to know and understand as much as possible how the system works. This tool works to help you find all the resources you need in one place. Stark DD is your starting point and our services will stay with you for your entire life.
Contact Stark DD at 330-477-5200 if you feel you or a loved one are eligible for services.
Attend, plan, and encourage your child to participate in their Individualized Education Plan (IEP)
An Individual Education Plan (IEP) is the legal document that defines a child’s special education plan. An IEP includes the disability under which the child qualifies for special education services, the services the team has determined the school will provide, the child’s yearly goals and objectives and any accommodations that must be made to assist their learning. These accommodations can include Occupational Therapy (OT), Speech Therapy (SLP), and assistive technology.
Your local school district.
Encourage and promote independent living skills at home
It’s never too soon to seek out social opportunities for your child and begin teaching general safety awareness.
Speak to your child’s teachers/school staff; local safety personnel; depending on the level of your child’s abilities and what you are looking for.
Knowing and making connections
To access all available benefits and services you and your child are eligible for. Check into Special Needs Trusts to see if this applies to your child. As appropriate, investigate and apply for Social Security Benefits, Medicaid, TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) through Jobs and Family Services, BCMH Bureau for Children with Medical Handicaps through the Health Department. Also consider Estate Planning.
The Stark County Board of Developmental Disabilities
Social Security Link
Stark Jobs and Family Services
Stark Health Department-BCMH (Bureau for Children with Medical Handicaps)
- Community integration
- Explore Advocacy/self-advocacy
Know your options
Families should have an understanding of educational options. This could include classroom structure or drop-in educational services. Families can also attend Community Resource Fairs which are events where many agencies and community partners come together under one roof to showcase what services they offer to students and families.
Your local school district
Your local newspaper
Stark DD 330-477-5200
Your Teacher/Intervention Specialist or your Special Education Director.
Stark County Board of DD
Determine Eligibility (age 3 or older) for Stark DD services. Once a child is determined eligible for Help Me Grow services, this automatically transfers to Stark County Board of DD services. Eligibility is reassessed for adulthood.
Contact the Intake SSA 330-479-3582 and submit a current IEP for eligibility.
If child was enrolled in Early Intervention (birth to 3) school districts will evaluate and determine eligibility
If child was enrolled in Early Intervention (birth to 3) school districts will evaluate and determine eligibility beginning at 2 1/2 years of age for special needs preschool services.
An IEP must be in place by the child’s third birthday so the child may move directly into preschool if the parents wish. Parent information for and participation in the child’s educational assessment and initial IEP development is essential. Maintaining documentation of a child’s disability prior to age 22 is very important for adulthood eligibility.
Request your school district evaluate your child (For children not involved in Help Me Grow services)
School districts are required to evaluate children, ages 3 and older, who are suspected of having any type of developmental delay. If delays are found that will impact a child’s education, an Individual Education Plan (IEP) is developed with the parent and the team of professionals who will be working with the child.This team may include: regular education teacher, Special Ed. teacher, occupational, physical and/or speech and language, therapists, school district Director of Special Education, school nurse, behavioral specialists, audiologist, and school principal.
Local School District Special Education Departments
Various options for preschool may include itinerant, home district-based, or alternative settings such as Stark County Board of DD or community charter schools.
If eligible for SCBDD services, investigate Family Support Services (FSS) funding
Family Support Services is a funding program for children not eligible for other funding. This program can provide limited funding for services including but not limited to respite, equipment, therapies, counseling, etc. The intent of this program is to help families stay together by obtaining services to maintain family stability.
Call the Service and Support Administration Intake Line at 330-479-3582
Anytime your child will attend a home school district program your child must register
When children with an IEP are scheduled to attend programs offered within their school districts (preschool, kindergarten, etc.) they must register their child at their home school just as they do for any other child. If they attend programs outside of their district, registration at the home school does not occur.
Your local school district.
- Request to be added to the Medicaid Waiver Waiting List through Stark DD
- Are You In Need of Food For Your Family?
- Are You Homeless and Need Help?