The holiday season is upon us, and for many, it’s a season of giving.

However, for many families with children with special needs, this time of year, and really any time of year, is a struggle to get through financially; especially for those whose children’s needs are so profound, it requires one parent to give up working in favor of staying home to care for their child.

Luckily, there are several charities and foundations offering resources for American children with special needs and their families.

If you are parent seeking help with providing equipment or education for your child, or maybe you’re just a relative or friend wanting to help out a family you know is in need, here’s a look at the top aid resources available in the U.S.

National Organizations...

Disabled Children’s Relief Fund

This foundation helps children and families with limited insurance coverage obtain the equipment and care they need.

DCRF assists in providing everything from eyeglasses to wheelchairs to hearing aids to orthopedic braces and even surgery for children in need.

Aid for Autistic Children’s Foundation

AACF’s board members work with consumer credit counseling services to assist families with debt relief by dealing directly with lien holders to help families with the financial burdens that are holding them down the most and preventing parents from being able to fully focus on providing the best tools and skills for their autistic child to lead a productive life.

Helping Hand: Financial Aid for Autism Families

This program works through the National Autism Association to provide families in dire financial straits with assistances in getting necessary treatments and therapy services for their autistic child.

This grant is ONLY for families with severe financial problems.

Challenged America

Challenged America is a resource site allowing families of children with special needs to request assistance with medical attention, rehabilitative therapy, and assistive devices that are otherwise unreachable financially.

AutismCares

This organization helps families with autistic children cover the cost of living by assisting with expenses such as housing, car repair, utility bills, and even funeral expenses.

Lend4Health

This is a non-profit that provides community-funded, interest-free micro-loans for individuals and groups seeking medical assistance, particularly for the biomedical treatment of children and adults on the Autism spectrum.

United Healthcare Children’s Foundation

This foundation provides individual grants for medical services and products for those with private insurance.

Kidd’s Kids

National syndicated radio show host Kidd Kraddick began Kidd’s Kids, which raises money to take children with terminal and profound illnesses or disabilities and their families to Disney World for one week.

Though Kidd passed away suddenly in 2013 at a charity golf tournament raising money for KK, his team of co-hosts, Kellie Rasberry, Big Al Mack, J-Si, and Jenna are continuing Kidd’s legacy in his name each year. 
 

Make-A-Wish Foundation

Perhaps the most well-known organization of its kind, Make-a-Wish grants once-in-lifetime wishes to children and teens with terminal or profound illnesses.

Regional Organizations...

Local Children’s Hospital

Find the Children’s Hospital nearest to you, even if it is hours away, and ask to speak with a social worker or case manager or life specialist to find out what local agencies are available near you that provide financial assistance to families with children with special needs.

Local Churches

One of the most humbling moments parents will experience is the moment when you finally decide to ask those you know for help.

Even if you are not a member of a church or other religious organization, chances are you know someone close to you who is.

Churches are more than happy to assist families in need, and most of the time that means providing more than financial support—they provide emotional support as well.

Department of Health and Human Services

DHS provides resources and early intervention programs to families in need, especially those with medical needs.

Not all programs require families to be at poverty level to receive assistance, but the definition of poverty is different in each state.

Check your state’s DHS website for guidelines.

United Cerebral Palsy

This foundation provides resources for all disabilities, not just CP. Check UCP’s website for the location of your local agency.

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