Resources

At F.R.I.E.N.D.S. we want to offer local resources that can empower individuals with Down Syndrome and their families to access the support, information, and services they need to thrive.

New & Expectant Parents
From birth through the end of age 18, Florida children are eligible for head to toe coverage, even if one or both parents are working. Florida children from birth through the end of age 18 are eligible for coverage.
Each child grows at an individual pace, but research shows that a child's first three years are the most important for learning. Getting help early puts a child on the right path to learn and develop at their full potential. Early Intervention is provided to support families and caregivers in developing the competence and confidence to help their child learn and develop.
DSC2U provides customized information for people with Down syndrome from age 1 through adulthood/senior years. When caregivers access DSC2U online, they will be asked to identify current symptoms in their loved one with Down syndrome along with any past medical or behavioral diagnoses and any recent blood work or diagnostic testing.
The mission of the National Down Syndrome Adoption Network is to ensure that every child born with Down syndrome has the opportunity to grow up in a loving family.
A comprehensive list of publications from the National Down Syndrome Society.
The Med Waiver does not take into account household income/assets. Can apply once child turns 3 years old.
This clinical report is designed to assist the pediatrician in caring for the child, adolescent, and family in whom a diagnosis of Down syndrome has been confirmed by chromosome analysis or suspected by prenatal screening.
The medical assistance program that provides access to health care for low-income families and individuals.  Medicaid assists people with disabilities with the cost of nursing facility care and other medical and long-term care expenses.
Finding and using services can be overwhelming when determining a diagnosis of ASD and throughout transitions in early childhood, school age, young adulthood and aging. CARD helps find services and organizations near you. Their provider database is filled with recommendations from others they have served.
Growth charts for children with Down syndrome in the United States are available for download here. These charts can help healthcare providers monitor growth among children with Down syndrome and assess how well a child with Down syndrome is growing when compared to peers with Down syndrome.
Therapy
Speech, Physical & Occupational Therapy
For 25 years they have been providing therapy services for children and their families located primarily in the greater Tampa, Brandon, and Lakeland communities of Florida. Unlike a larger traditional hospital, they are a therapist owned, private practice.
Founded in 2019, Unlimited Pediatric Therapy’s mission is to help every child grow UP with Unlimited Possibilities. They provide in-home services for children of all ages, up to 21 years old and their dedicated, licensed, and experienced team has expertise in Speech, Occupational, Physical, and developmental therapy.
Founded on the principle that all individuals have the right to better communication in order to improve their quality of life. They provide quality speech, language, swallowing, and literacy services to their clients in order to enhance their verbal and non-verbal communication skills. The individualized care, highly-educated and experienced staff, as well as family-friendly environment are what put the "Superior" in their Therapy Services.
Offering speech-language pathology, physical therapy, occupational therapy, behavioral therapy and early intervention in Tampa Bay. Taking great pride in helping children and parents overcome challenges and achieve goals, their focus is on the individual needs of every infant, child, and adult who will benefit from our team of skilled professionals.
Jaime Perez is a dedicated speech therapist and certified lactation counselor with over a decade of experience, holding a Bachelor’s in Business from James Madison University and a Master’s in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Loyola University of Maryland. With extensive experience in neonatal intensive care units, pediatric hospitals, and outpatient clinics, she brings a wealth of knowledge to her private practice to provide the highest quality care. Specializing in speech therapy, lactation consulting and feeding therapy.
Family First Therapy's mission is to provide personalized, evidenced based therapy services in a family centered environment. They have created a practice based on more than 25 years of experience working in the pediatric population offering speech, occupational and feeding therapies.
Therakids Plus, Inc. first opened their doors in 1996 due to the growing need for pediatric speech, occupational, and physical therapy services in the Tampa Bay area. They are a full-service pediatric rehabilitation clinic located in Lutz, also serving Pasco, Hernando, and Northern Pinellas counties with a satellite clinic in Port Richey.
Equine
Their mission is to provide therapeutic horseback riding activities for children and adults afflicted with disabilities across a wide spectrum of physical and mental handicaps. Horseback riding activities include recreational riding, lessons, camps, Special Olympics, riding events and challenge shows. They also provide networking, support and social group settings with the goal of further improving the quality of life for their riders.
By partnering humans and horses in a healing environment, Inspire Equine Assisted Center supports individuals in conquering their physical, developmental and emotional challenges in order to achieve their full potential.
DMI (Dynamic Movement Intervention)
From in-home physical therapy to an intensive at the beach, Molly’s programs are designed to help your child reach their greatest potential and empower you as a parent in innovative and fun ways.
Family First Therapy offers two styles of intensives: DMI Intensives and Upper Extremity Intensives. Intensives offer therapy at an increased frequency and duration, intended to accelerate the achievement of developmental milestones and enhance your child's functional independence.
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)
As the first and longest-running ABA clinic in the Tampa area, BCOTB has had the honor of helping hundreds of families navigate an Autism diagnosis and treatment.
Creative Behavior Solutions (CBS) is an Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) clinic that offers services in Pinellas county. CBS specializes in early intervention of children with developmental disabilities including ASD, Down syndrome and ADHD. Their services also include social skills training and independent living skills for teens and preteens, and parent and family training.
ABA Solutions provides applied behavior analysis assessments and therapies to address difficult behaviors, and any associated social, emotional or learning challenges. Their therapists work closely with parents, caregivers and teachers to instill adaptive skills, maximize potential and bring constructive, enduring change.
Since 2003, the passionate, dedicated team at BASS ABA Therapy has helped children, and their families, to achieve their developmental potential. BASS works tirelessly to ensure that the children, families, and communities we serve receive the best possible ABA therapy services available across Florida today.
There is no one-size-fits all approach to Applied Behavioral Analysis. Each treatment plan is tailored to your child to help them gain control and confidence in their behavior and life skills. ABA Therapy is recognized as one of the most effective ways to helping individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder navigate their developmental challenges.
At Step Beyond Development, your child will receive services based off of a fun and contextual style of teaching. They value family, integrity, measurable progress, and independence.
ABA Therapy Associates, Inc. is a provider of Applied Behavior Analysis services to adults in their homes, communities, and day programs. Since 2005, they have been serving the Tampa Bay Area. A team of Board Certified Behavior Analysts is available to offer assistance.
Engage Behavioral Health is dedicated to enriching the quality of life for our clients, families, and communities we serve. Through intensive staff training we produce competent and dedicated professionals. By utilizing an individual approach to Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) therapy and a collaborative treatment model Engage team members work together to produce measurable results. Their team offers clients and their families the opportunity to grow and lean together.
Bridging The Gap Therapy Solutions is a company focused on increasing the quality of life for children and families. This company was founded by two dedicated Board Certified Behavior Analysts who want nothing more than to increase the quality of life for children of all abilities.
Child Life
Coping Creative is a Child Life private practice supporting children and families through illness, loss, and other childhood stressors. They strive to empower children by utilizing play and other creative outlets to build resiliency.
Individualized Education Program (IEP)
Jessica Silber is a Board-Certified Advocate in Special Education who is dedicated to safeguarding every student’s access to a high-quality education and services. With over fifteen years of experience in the field of disability, Jessica has a deep understanding of the challenges facing students, families, and educators in the classroom and school system.
Sandy works with families of students that have learning disabilities, special needs, or other health care concerns. She provides services from coaching and consulting to IEP meeting attendance, guiding parents in their role as an equal member of their child's IEP team. With her compassionate and collaborative mindset you can create plans that will help prepare your child for further education, employment and independent living.
Life Planning
"As an Edward Jones financial advisor, I believe it's important to invest my time to understand what you're working toward before you invest your money. It's also important to understand the level of risk you're comfortable accepting when investing so we can balance it with the steps necessary to reach your long-term goals."
Allows individuals with unique abilities and their family and friends to save for future expenses, like Roth IRA and 529 college savings plans, while maintaining government benefits.
"With so many options and complex information, making financial decisions isn’t easy. That’s why I’m here to help you understand what's right for you. Together we can create a strategy that's customized to your needs and goals. I believe that we’re in this together for the long-haul, so you can count on me to help manage and update our approach as your life changes." - tjmcternan@outlook.com
Special needs guardianship and estate planning assistance.
Special needs planning is essential for families caring for a loved one with disabilities, ensuring they have lifelong support even if you can no longer provide care yourself. By creating a special needs trust, you can protect their financial well-being without jeopardizing their eligibility for government benefits. Other important elements of special needs planning include opening an ABLE account, appointing guardianship, and preparing a letter of intent, which collectively offer a comprehensive approach to safeguarding the future of your loved one with special needs.