This page provides an introduction to the processes involved in recognizing a problem and then seeking its cause or diagnosis.
This section of the Portal has content for families of children with a new diagnosis. We hope to help with information, including: knowing you are not alone, working with health care providers and Medical Homes, and Caring for Children with Special Health Care Needs (CSHCN). Filling prescriptions, working with the insurance company, or simply keeping up with your child—dealing with daily life is often overwhelming. Find tools and suggestions for getting organized and Managing and Coordinating Care, advocating for your child, planning for the future, and taking an occasional break from it all. This section also includes information on adoption, foster care, complementary and alternative medicine, and advocacy.
Whether your child has been recently diagnosed, or you are looking for the latest information about your child’s care, this page will help you find reliable resources and information.
Research shows that early discovery, diagnosis, and treatment of children with developmental delays or disabilities lead to improved outcomes in developmental skills, academic performance, and social skills. This section provides information on the Early Intervention Part C program and services, additional government and private services, and home visiting programs for children 0–5 years with special health care needs.
Schools can provide necessary services and support for CSHCN. Learn the terms, laws, and processes so you can work more effectively with schools to provide the best educational experience for your child.
Children, youth, teens, young adults, and their families will find answers to some of their questions about growing up and becoming independent, as well as suggestions for preparing for these changes. A School Transitions section is included to help students and families anticipate the challenges and get the most out of each phase of education.
Caring for a child with special health care needs can be financially overwhelming. This page may provide some information and resources that can help with your child’s health care costs.
Children with special needs or disabilities may benefit from a variety of assistive technology (AT). On this page, we offer an overview of available types of AT, information to guide selection of AT, and resources to help you find what you need.
When a child is diagnosed with a disability, chronic condition, or special health care need, it can be difficult to accept and understand. It can profoundly affect the whole family. This section offers information about the reactions, feelings, and needs that are part of this process for family members.
There are a variety of laws and legal situations that families with CSHCN should be aware of. This section provides some brief direction on guardianship, estate planning, special needs trusts, and divorce as well as laws that protect and extend benefits to CSHCN.
This section is written for parents and other family members of children with the disabilities and diagnoses listed in our Diagnoses and Conditions section. It provides answers to some of the common questions that parents have about these conditions, along with links to other relevant, high-quality Websites.
A Request for a Letter of Medical Necessity ( 33 KB)
A simple, one-page form for parents to fill out that helps the physician write a letter of medical necessity.
Instructions, ideas, and templates for building your own care notebook from the American Academy of Pediatrics Medical Home Implementation.