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Capital District Resources

ABA Social Skills Groups for kids with ASD

Social Skills groups for high functioning children with PDD-NOS, Autism and Asperger's Syndrome.


Groups are led by a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and will focus on the development of peer relations, age-typical play, social skills and relationship development.  

Groups meet for one hour each week for an 8 week session. Groups are broken down into two age groups: ages 6-9 and ages 9-11. 

Dates and times are to be determined

For more information, please visit the website. 


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Adaptive Swim Lessons

Serrago's Swimmers


Serrago's Swimmers offers swim lessons for children with special needs. 

Group lessons are given at the Center for Disability Services in Albany. Private lessons are also available. 

For more information, please visit serragosswimmers.com

To schedule your lesson, please contact Ashley Serrago at 518-961-0112 or shley185@gmail.com


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Albany Chapter of the Autism Society of America

Mission is to promote lifelong access and opportunities for people on the autism spectrum and their families so they can be fully participating, included members of their communities. This is accomplished through advocacy, public awareness, education, compassionate support and research related to autism.


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Asperger’s Syndrome Advocacy Group of Schenectady

Asperger's Syndrome Group of Schenectady is an organization dedicated to increasing knowledge and understanding of Asperger's Syndrome and other disabilities as they impact education. For more information, contact Lynne Goliber at aspergeradvocacy@aol.com.




Autism Training Initiative

A new training series for educators. Autism Training Initiative provides teachers and other school team members with intense training in the education of students with Autism Spectrum Disorders. For more information, contact CARD at 518-442-5132.




Best Buddies

Best Buddies is dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movements that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Best Buddies offers programs in middle, high schools and colleges as well as their Citizens program which supports the development of friendships between adults with and without IDD. See the documents linked below for additional information.


Best Buddies - Citizen's Information Packet
Best Buddies - Colleges Information Packet
Best Buddies - Friendship Overview




Capital Region Autism Discussion Board

The Capital District Autism Board (CDAUTISM) was created to provide parents and caretakers with an open forum to discuss services, education and treatment options for children who have Autism Spectrum Disorder who reside within the Greater Capital District Area.  The list is to provide resource information and support. Posts are not limited to any type of therapy or subject. This is for people to share their experiences and ask/answer questions about Autism Spectrum Disorder. Members are encouraged to share information and ask questions about medical, educational and therapeutic treatments, both traditional and non-traditional. Professionals are welcomed in this group.


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Catholic Charities Disabilities Services

Contact: 783-1111, ext 367


Catholic Charities Disabilities Services provides services and supports to over seven hundred children and adults with varying developmental and related disabilities and their families within an eleven county geographic area. Individuals who have developmental disabilities, autism, cerebral palsy, epilepsy and/or traumatic brain injuries are eligible for services.

They are one of the largest providers of services for people with autism and also specialize in services for people with Prader-Willi Syndrome.


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Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD)

Community-based program that provides program development, training and support for families, professionals and peers of people with autism and related disabilities Staff members travel to visit constituents in their homes, schools and wherever assistance is needed.  All services are free.

In collaboration with the NYS Office for People with Developmental Disabilities and CapitalCare Developmental-Behavorial Pediatrics, CARD offers parents of young children newly diagnosed with autism (ages 1 - 5) the opportunity to attend five parent edcuation sessions free of charge. These sessions cover important information related to topics in autism that include: Autism 101, Medical/Developmental Issues, How to Choose Treatment, Accessing Resources, and Living with Autism Spectrum Disorder.  Parents who complete the program will receive up to $45 worth of autism resource books.  For information contact 518-422-2574.


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Center for Disability Services

Providing services to more than 15,000 individuals -newborns to seniors - and their families at 85 locations throughout 9 counties in Upstate New York. As a community resource, the Center reaches out to individuals, families and caregivers from all over upstate New York - and 26 additional states - offering care that, in many cases, can be found nowhere else.


For more information, call 518-437-5700  


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Center for Disability Services Community, Wellness and Residential Swim Program

Center for Disability Services presents Community, Wellness, and Residential Swim Program. The pool is kept at 96 degrees and swim lessons are also available. Friday pool parties are also available (by reservation only). The Center for Disability Services also offers Family Pre-School open swim hour.


Wellness swim fees are $10 per swim or $75 monthly membership and the hours for use are:

  • Monday-Friday: 7:30 to 9 a.m.
  • Monday-Friday: 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.
  • Thursday: 3:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Family pre-school open swim hours are Monday-Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. the fee is $10 per visit or $60 for a monthly membership. Parents must sign up to use this service.

Friday pool parties may be reserved between 5:30 and 7 p.m. The fee for pool parties is $75. Swim lessons are also available, to sign up up or for more information on any of these programs email or call Richard Vassi, Director of Wellness and Aquatics at 518-437-5714.

Center for Disability Services is located at 314 South Manning Boulevard, Albany, New York 12208.


http://www.cfdsny.org/htmlweb/CFDShome2.html " target="_blank">Visit the site



Child and Adolescent Mobile Team (CAMT)

The Capital Region Child and Adolescent Mobile Crisis Team (CRCAMT) serves any family with a child who resides in Albany, Rensselaer or Schenectady Counties (up to age 18, or older if still in day school) who is experiencing an emotional or behavioral crisis in the community regardless of diagnosis or system involvement.


The CRCAMT has demonstrated its effectiveness in de-escalating a crisis and diverting unnecessary hospitalizations. The multidisciplinary team members are skilled in performing age-appropriate assessments, delivering effective crisis intervention, and having access to ready resources such as to urgent appointments, brief crisis out-of-home respite, and the ability to provide linkages to ongoing community support services.


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College Scholarship Guide for Students with Disabilities

This is a guide to help students with disabilities find college scholarship opportunities, as well as other financial aid opportunities. 


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Community Human Services

Contact: 399-4624

Support group for parents of children with social, emotional or behavioral disorders such as A.D.D./H.D, Autistic Spectrum Disorder, Asperger Syndrome/PDD-NOS and others. Advocacy, information, and referral.


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D.A.D. Stands for Dads and Disabilities

A support group for fathers of children with disabilities, issues discussed in a friendly atmosphere, meets the fourth Monday of each month, 7 pm, Grace Fellowship Building, call Bill Eckert at 794-8340.




Developmental Pediatrics

Contact: 782-7733

Offers workshops to schools and agencies about Aspergers, ADHD, and Nonverbal Learning Disability.


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Down Syndrome Resource Center, Inc.

Providing professional services and support to individuals with Down syndrome and their families.  Website includes a calendar of events for the Capital District Region and beyond.


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Families United Network

Offers general support for any behavioral problems. Information, outreach support, advocacy and referrals. Call Joan Valery at 426-2619.




Families United Network Support Groups

Support Groups for families who are raising a child with emotional and/or behavioral problems. 

Come meet other parents dealing with similar issues and concerns. All services are Free!


Albany Group:  Meets every other Friday from 6:30 pm-8 pm.

Held at Parsons Child and Family Center, 60 Academy Road, Albany 

Watervliet Group:  Meets every Thursday from 9:30 am-10:30 am.

Held in the Quinn Community Room, Whitehall Street, Watervliet.

*Childcare and transportation (within Albany County) are provided at some sites* 

For more information, please call Joan Valery at 518-426-2619.




Flight Trampoline Park Special Needs Jump

Flight Trampoline Park opens their doors exclusively to jumpers with Special Needs


SPECIAL NEEDS NIGHT

DATES: On the first and third Tuesday of every month.
TIME: 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

  • 1 HR flight ticket (w/1 caretaker) $8
  • 2 HR flight ticket (w/1 caretaker) $15
  • Each additional family member jumps for $9/hr

If your group is more than 10 jumpers please call to make sure we have enough room for you.


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It Takes Two to Talk

A family focused program for parents of children with communication delays. Parents learn strategies to assist in language growth that they can use in everyday activities. For more information, call Diana Kakaty, Access Therapy Group, 280-4294.




Keep your child who Elopes SAFE

The National Autism Association’s Big Red Safety Box® is a free-of-charge safety toolkit for autism families in need of wandering-prevention tools.


If your child elopes (wanders, runs off, leaves house without permission), you can apply to receive this safety kit free of charge.


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NYS Access Pass

The Individual Access Pass permits a resident of New York State with a disability, as defined in the attached application, free or discounted use of parks, historic sites, and recreational facilities operated by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.


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OPWDD Trainings

NYS Office for Persons with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) offers free trainings throughout the State on topics of interest to professionals, people with disabilities, their family members, and advocates.  See the online catalog of trainings.


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OT For Developing Kids LLC

Specializing in the assessment and treatment of sensory processing and sensory integration challenges


OT for Developing Kids provides:

  • comprehensive evaluations
  • individual therapy
  • small group therapy programs
  • family education and training programs

For more information, call (518) 641-8188


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Preschool Early Development and Screening Committee of Albany, Inc.

Nonprofit organization whose mission is to find developmental delays early in infants, toddlers and preschool children, and to help families start intervention services.


Services offered include:

  • Comprehensive developmental screening
  • Information and Referral
  • Case Management
  • Service Coordination

To schedule a free developmental screening, or for more information please call 518-218-PEDS (7337) or email pedsprogram@gmail.com.




Sibling Group - SOARING

Contact: 482-1548
“Siblings on a Ride in Nurturing Groups!” is a special time for brothers and sisters of those with special needs to share a snack, talk, and play a game or participate in an activity.  Meetings at the Center for Disability Services in Albany are small and informal and kids range in age from 8 to 15.




Sibling Group - The Bus Stop Club

The Bus Stop Club provides sessions that allow siblings to share experiences, to ask questions and to learn about the disease process that their brother or sister is experiencing.


Any child, age 5-15, living in the Capital Region area of Upstate New York, who has a sibling who has a chronic illness or disability is eligible to participate. The program is FREE OF CHARGE and registration is required by each member prior to attending meetings.


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Special Olympics New York

Young Athletes Program


Young Athletes™ is a unique sport and play program for children with intellectual disabilities. The focus is on fun activities that are important to mental and physical growth.

Children ages 2 to 7 enjoy games and activities that develop motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Young Athletes is an early introduction to sports and to the world of Special Olympics. The children learn new things, play and have lots of fun!

Parents say their children in Young Athletes also develop better social skills. The confidence boost makes it easier for them to play and talk with other children on the playground and elsewhere.


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Special Olympics New York

Unified Sports Program


Young people with disabilities don't often get a chance to play on their school sports teams, but more and more U.S. states are adopting the unified sports approach that Special Olympics pioneered. Dedicated to promoting social inclusion through shared sports training and competition experiences, Unified Sports joins people with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team. It was inspired by a simple principle: training together and playing together is a quick path to friendship and understanding.

For almost 20 years, Special Olympics has offered sport teams that blend people with and without intellectual disabilities, and that is a model that encourages sports and fun, and which also gets people together to learn more about each other. In Unified Sports, teams are made up of people of similar age and ability, which makes practices more fun and games more challenging and exciting for all. Having sport in common is just one more way that preconceptions and false ideas are swept away. 


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STRIDE Adaptive Sports

Educating and empowering individuals with special needs in life-changing sport and recreation programs to sustain healthy, active and fun lifestyles.


STRIDE's vision is to build a community with equal opportunity and access for sport and recreational activities. No one should be left behind because of a disability! STRIDE believes it is possible to remove boundaries, fulfill dreams, enhance self-esteem, and empower youth with disabilities through participation in at least 18 sport and recreational activities.


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Upstate Access Network

New York's Capital-Saratoga-Adirondack regional source for disability issues and information.  Featuring an interactive accessibility guide by people with disabilities for people with disabilities; information you can trust from a true end user's view.


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VIA Center for Disability Services Specialized Transportation

VIA Center for Disability Services Specialized Transportation offers a shared transportation service for individuals with disabilities.VIA provides door to door services in fully accessible vehicles for individuals with disabilities. Trips are by appointment only, Monday through Saturday between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. VIA operates in up to 10 counties across urban, suburban, and rural areas of the Capital Region.


For additional information see the attached brochure.


Download PDF

http://www.cfdsny.org" target="_blank">Visit the site



WHO I RUN 4 (Love Without Borders)

Athletes dedicate their workouts to a buddy with special needs.  I Run 4 is a new kind of motivation for runners and athletes by giving them the opportunity to provide hope and excitement for those who can’t be as active.


What do you have to do? First, READ THE GUIDELINES!! Once you’re sure you’re ready to make the commitment (and it IS a commitment – relationship building always is!), just sign up. When you’re matched, dedicate your runs/workouts to your buddy!! Simple as that. You can make signs, t-shirts, body paint, whatever you want to do to make your match feel special!  Upload pictures and tag your buddy or their parents in the Facebook group! Give your running – or your runner – a whole new motivation!


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Wildwood Family and Community Services

Wildwood serves individuals with learning disabilities, autism, and other neurologically based developmental disabilities and their families in the Capital Region. Sibling group, newsletter, counseling, support groups, information, referral, and advocacy.


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Wits End Family Support Group

For parents and caregivers of children experiencing emotional, behavioral, and/or social difficulties. Meetings are held first and third Monday each month at Vanderhyden Hall Community Services, 128 Main Ave., Wynantskill. Call Jill Sharp at 283-3458, ext. 15.








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