Pierce County Resource Guide to Services and Supports for Individuals
Who Experience Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities
(section links below).
Please call our office at 253.564.0707 to make arrangements to pick up your copy!
This Pierce County Resource Guide is dedicated to the hard work and commitment of those who have endeavored
timelessly over the years to “keep the promise.”
We want to acknowledge the generous support of Pierce County Human Services, Developmental Disabilities
Program, in providing the funds to update and print this important comprehensive guide to services and supports
for individuals who experience intellectual/ developmental disabilities. This important tool will assist you in
navigating the public and private programs and services available throughout Pierce County and beyond.
The Pierce County Coalition for Developmental Disabilities (PC2) welcomes the opportunity to assist individuals
and families in finding the services and programs that best meet your needs. We are here to answer your calls
if you need further assistance. Whether you are an individual who experiences an intellectual/developmental
disability, have a family member who experiences an intellectual/developmental disability, work within the disability
field, or are in the general community, we welcome your questions and concerns.
We acknowledge that, when compiling this complex list of resources, there are changes that can occur during the
production process. Please know that every effort was made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of agency
Our vision is a community that embraces and integrates children of all abilities and treasures the unique gifts each child possesses. We support families of infants and toddlers with special needs by enhancing their development and relationships both at home and in their community. Home Based Services: home visiting, special instruction, speech/language pathology, occupational therapy, physical therapy, infant mental heatlh, and vision services. Community Based Services: childcare, play groups, field trips, and family parties. A Step Ahead also provides the BOOST program which helps infants and toddlers in foster or kinship care gain access to early learning opportunities and early childhood mental health services. For more information about the BOOST program specifically, please call (253) 363-0570 or email email@example.com.
The Bethel School District offers a continuum of special education services for children ages 3 through 5 with various developmental disabilities. These free services are based on specialists’ assessments and are determined by the individualized education program (IEP) team. Special education services may include preschool, speech and language therapy, behavioral interventions, occupational therapy and physical therapy. The special education staff includes teachers, instructional assistants, speech language pathologist, occupational therapists, education specialist, physical therapists, school psychologists, and a school nurse. If your child is between the ages of 3 and 5 and you have concerns about his or her development, the Bethel School District offers monthly screenings for preschool children to provide information to parents on school related development. Please call if you need to schedule your child for a screening appointment.
The Birth to Three Developmental Center is a private non-profit child development program. We work with children from birth to age three and their families. Most of the infants and toddlers served by the Birth to Three Developmental Center qualify for services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). These children have at least a 25% delay in one or more developmental areas (cognitive, physical, communication, social/emotional, or adaptive skills). We serve children and their families living in South King and Pierce Counties and accept referrals from concerned families, pediatricians and other health care providers, school district personnel, early head start, and other social service programs.
CHDD is one of the nation's largest and most comprehensive interdisciplinary research and training centers focusing on a wide array of developmental disabilities. More than 600 University of Washington faculty and staff members, as well as numerous doctoral and post-doctoral students, provide clinical services, interdisciplinary clinical and research training, and technical assistance and outreach training to community practitioners and community agencies. CHDD is one of the few centers in the country that encompasses two major programs, one focusing on research and the other on clinical services, training, and community outreach. This structure encourages strong connections between researchers and clinicians, and creates an important bridge between basic research and state-of-the-art clinical programs. The Eunice Kennedy Shriver Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center (IDDRC), supported by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, studies underlying causes of intellectual and other developmental disabilities, and develops behavioral and biomedical techniques to prevent disabilities or minimize their impact. The University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) is part of a national network supported by the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, established in every state to train professionals within an interdisciplinary framework to meet the needs of people with disabilities, provide clinical services and model projects, reach out to the community with technical assistance and training, conduct applied research, and disseminate information widely.
Child Welfare Information Gateway connects professionals and the general public to information and resources targeted to the safety, permanency, and well-being of children and families. A service of the Children’s Bureau, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Child Welfare Information Gateway provides access to programs, research, laws and policies, training resources, statistics, and much more.
The Developmental Disabilities Program contracts with various agencies in the community to provide services for residents of Pierce County and their families. The program is responsible for: county-wide information and education, early intervention services for children with developmental delays from birth to three years, and employment and community access programs for adults 21 and older. Primary funding for all services comes from the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, the Department of Early Learning Supports for Infants and Toddlers Program, and School Districts.
Early Intervention refers to the services available to families with children under the age of three who are: not developing as expected, have a medical condition that can delay normal development, and are for any other reason experiencing a developmental delay. Human Services funds agencies to provide a variety of early intervention services that benefit children and their families. If you have concerns about your child’s development you qualify to meet with a Family Resource Coordinator. Your Family Resource Coordinator will: act as your single point of contact, coordinate evaluations and ongoing services, listen to your concerns, build a support team for services, and respect your family’s strenghts, values and diversity.
Our Family and Child Education Program offers three avenues (determined by the age of the child) for families to learn and grow as parents and as students. Students have the opportunity to bond with their child, learn about their culture and heritage, become prepared for future employment, provide educational opportunities such as receiving GEDs or prepare to attend college. The heart of our FACE program is to gain greater life skills, learn about child development, and learn about their culture and apply historical teachings to parenting. Please visit our website for more information.
Children’s Developmental Services provides crucial early intervention including education and specialized therapy for children from birth to three years old with developmental delays. Through a developmental assessment, we evaluate each child’s individual strengths and needs to determine eligibility for therapy and services. If your child is found eligible, our early intervention team will provide comprehensive services. Our services include: family resources coordination (FRC), infant mental health, occupational therapy, physical therapy, specialized instruction, speech language therapy, home visits, bilingual services, parent support, play groups, and family events.
Program staff and certified volunteers work in nursing homes, adult family homes, and boarding homes. Certified ombudsmen are a listening ear and a voice for residents of long-term care settings. Ombudsmen educate residents, staff, families and the community about long-term care issues, resources, resident rights and quality of life in long-term care settings. A certified ombudsman is assigned to visit with residents in long term care facilities. Each volunteer receives extensive training before being assigned. Frequent in-service training is scheduled during regularly held monthly meetings. In addition, the ombudsman is informed as to other training available in the area and is encouraged to attend. Please visit our website for more information.
The acute needs of hospitalized children require extremely specialized, skilled care providers. This special kind of caring is always available at Mary Bridge Children's Hospital - to all children, regardless of their family's ability to pay. When your child stays at Mary Bridge Children's Hospital, their care team includes specially trained pediatric nurses and a wide range of board-certified pediatric specialists - including our full-time inpatient pediatric physicians who serve as extension of your child's regular doctor and are available onsite 24 hours a day. Our specialists work closely with local pediatricians and primary care providers, making sure children receive the care they need. With our family-centered care philosophy and recognized medical excellence, we provide services and accommodations for families in a child-friendly environment - a place where kids get better quicker.
We work with children from birth through 18 years of age with suspected intellectual disabilities, developmental delays, suspected autism spectrum disorder and complex attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Our neurodevelopmental program provides evaluations for very young children (birth to 3) for children from birth to age 3 with developmental delay or concerns about developmental delays. Our team also provides medical consultations to other providers, recommends follow-up care and coordinates appropriate resources for patients and their families. A referral from your child's primary care provider is required to make an appointment with us. Once we receive a referral, our nursing staff reviews it to determine the appropriate next steps and resources.
A national technical assistance center, funded by the U.S. Department of Education, which partners with state deaf/blind projects to improve systems serving children (ages birth-21) who are deaf/blind. Extensive information and a variety of tools and resources related to combined vision and hearing loss are available on the NCDB website and via email.
Pierce County Interagency Coordinating Council coordinates and fosters development of a comprehensive countywide system of accessible early intervention (EI) services. Parents, local school district representatives, military personnel and programs, professionals who provide support, medical and hospital providers, government programs and supports, and any community member interested in early intervention services are encouraged to attend our meetings on the 2nd Wednesday of the month, 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. Meeting location: Pierce County Tacoma Mall Plaza, Room 210.
Puget Sound Educational Service District (PSESD) is one of nine regional educational agencies serving school districts and state approved charter and private schools in Washington. Educational Service Districts, created by the legislature, are an essential regional delivery system for early learning and K-postsecondary services in the state. Educational Service Districts improve the quality, equity, and efficiency of educational programs through partnerships with K-12 education, early learning, higher education, and public and private organizations. Together, we: save schools money through regional efficiencies, centralized services, pooled resources, improve the effectiveness of educational programs, deliver specialized services otherwise unavailable, provide leadership for innovative and effective educational practices, build networks and partnerships among districts and other agencies, and link schools with regional, state and national educational resources. The Puget Sound Educational Service District is committed to supporting all stakeholders (students, teachers, school districts, education leaders, internal staff) in reaching personal and organizational success. The agency is an innovative and responsive partner providing essential local services to leverage resources and strengths to make sure students are ready to enter school, achieve at high levels in the K-12 system, and succeed in post-secondary endeavors. The Puget Sound Educational Service District is committed to becoming an anti-racist multicultural organization in order to eliminate the opportunity gap. We will share our work in equity and inclusion with our thirty-five school districts and private schools as well as with educators and advocates throughout the state and nation to ensure all students reach their full potential.
All Tacoma Public School preschool programs provide a safe and nurturing environment. Our goal is to prepare students for kindergarten and beyond, using researched-based, age-appropriate curriculum that focuses on the domains of early learning essential to school readiness: social and emotional development, language and literacy, perceptual, motor, and physical development, and cognition. Preschool programs, including full-day and half-day programs, are offered at many locations across the Tacoma School District. Please visit our website for more information and qualifications for preschool enrollment.
Washington State Department of Children, Youth & Families - Child Care/Early Learning
Early Achievers provides a framework for improving the quality of early care in Washington. It provides a rating system for child care providers based on observable elements of quality that we know are good for kids.
Washington State Department of Children, Youth & Families - Child Care/Early Learning