Children with Special Needs

Are you a parent, grandparent, care-taker, friend or family member of a child with special needs? Do you ever feel you are at wits end to find available resources and support to help your child succeed and enjoy a good quality of life? The Orleans County Health Department’s Children With Special Needs (CWSN) office may be able to help. 

The Health Department has three children’s programs which provide education, case management, support and referrals. 

Early Intervention – for children ages birth to 3 
The Early Intervention program provides developmental evaluations and individualized services for children evaluated and found eligible to participate in the EI program. Most basic language, physical and social skills are learned before age two. Early Intervention services are voluntary and at no cost to families. An Early Intervention service coordinator is assigned to a family and assists with initiating evaluations/screenings, and subsequent services (speech, physical and/or occupational therapies, etc.), if deemed eligible. Prior to the child’s third birthday, a referral may be made to the Preschool program to ensure a smooth transition, if services continue to be needed after age 3. 

Preschool Program – for children ages 3 to 5 
Preschool evaluations and services are implemented by the local school district’s Committee on Preschool Special Education. The Orleans County Public Health Department maintains contracts with agencies and independent providers to support the needs of the child and family. Families must register with their local school district and contact the Committee on Preschool Special Education to initiate a referral. Services may include a therapeutic preschool setting, home services or a combination of both, depending on the child’s needs. 

Children With Special Needs – for ages birth to 21 
The CWSN program offers support for families with physically disabled, cognitively challenged or chronically ill children. Families will be supported via referrals/links to local and regional agencies that meet a variety of child-specific and/or family needs including securing health insurance, health providers, developmental services, etc. 

All programs are designed to support your child’s development. Programs are voluntary and at no cost to families. Please contact the CWSN office if you have questions about any of the above programs.

Deborah Johnson, MSEd 
Children with Special Health Care Needs Coordinator 
Orleans County Public Health
14012 Route 31 
Albion, NY 14411 
Phone: (585) 589-3278 
Fax: (585) 589-3169

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