Getting Started

When you first learn your child has a special healthcare need or disability, it can be confusing on where to turn for help. Parents often go through a grief process and it may take a while to adjust to the diagnosis. 

Perhaps your child has just been diagnosed and you don't know where to begin.  Below are a few websites to help you begin your journey with your child with special needs. We hope this information will be helpful to you as you begin navigating resources and services for your child.

Getting Started Information



Below are a few services for which your child may qualify


Birth to 5 years old:


If Your Child is Birth to 3 years old:
The Children's Developmental Services Agency (CDSA) 704-786-9181 - provides free screenings and evaluation to determine if a child has developmental delays and qualifies for early intervention services.  For more information, go to North Carolina's Infant Toddler Program 

Care Coordination for Children (CC4C) 704-920-1000 -  provides case management free of charge for children birth-5 years old who have or are at risk for special healthcare needs. For more information, go to CC4C

If Your Child is  3 - 5 Years Old: 
Exceptional Children's Preschool Programs - provides free screenings and evaluation for children 3-5 year old to determine if they are eligible for early intervention services for children with or at risk for developmental delays. 

Cabarrus County Schools - Mary Frances Wall Child Development Center 704-782-5712
Kannapolis City Schools -  McKnight Child Development Center 704-932-7433
Rowan-Salisbury Schools - 704-279-0808  
Stanly County Schools - 704-961-3000, ext. 5407
Union County Schools - 704-296-6376

Other Services


Here are a few other services for which your child may qualify
Community Alternatives Program for Children (CAP-C) - for children birth -21 years old who are medically fragile. CAP-C is a Medicaid waiver program (which means the families income is NOT taken into consideration) that provides case management, skilled nursing, respite, medical equipment and supplies, home and vehicle modifications, and diapers for children over 3 years old.  To find who to call in your county to see if your child qualifies, go to CAP-C Providers  

North Carolina Innovations Waiver -  for children and adults with developmental or intellectual disabilities.  The NC Innovations Waiver is a Medicaid waiver program (which means the families income is NOT taken into consideration).  If your child qualifies, he or she may receive services and supports such as a community guide (to help you find other services in the community), respite for family members, assistive technology, crisis services, home and vehicle modifications, in-home skill building, in-home intensive supports, and personal care services.  Cardinal Innovations Healthcare manages the NC Innovations Waiver in our area.  For more information or to apply for the NC Innovations Waiver, call 704-939-7980 
We encourage families to apply when their child is young as there is a long waiting list and it may take several years before your child receives the NC Innovations Waiver.  

Social Security Income (SSI) - for children or adults who have a physical or mental condition that seriously limits his or her activities. SSI is income based and if the child is under 18 years old, the family's income will be taken into consideration. To learn more about SSI, call your local Social Security Office or go to the Child Disability Starter Kit