Parent/Infant Program for Children with Special Needs


Young girl in the Parent Infant Program sitting at table.

The Parent/Infant Program provides early intervention services for young children, from birth to three years, who are "at risk" or whose development has been determined to be delayed. The goal of the service is to enable each child to reach his or her fullest potential.

Our program focuses on the whole child by recognizing both strengths and needs. Every activity is presented within a play environment of daily routines focusing on various areas of development: fine and gross motor skills, personal and social interaction, self-help, cognition, and language.

Both home and center-based support services for children with disabilities are offered through the Parent/Infant Program. If families select a home-based learning program, staff will make regularly scheduled visits to the home to work with the child and family. If families choose a classroom learning program, the child is brought to an Arc facility, community pre-school, or other appropriate toddler programs to participate in small, group activities with other children. Families can also choose a combination of both programs.

Additionally, if a child needs help with a specific area such as language, motor or self-help skills, the Parent/Infant Program utilizes the services of physical, occupational, music and speech therapists. The therapist works with the child and shares learning strategies that can be used at home. A behavior specialist is also available to give support to families with children with disabilities if needed.

bright start

At The Arc of San Diego, we also offer Private Pay programs to support families who feel their children could benefit from extra assistance. Our Bright Start program focuses on children from birth to five years old who may have developmental, behavioral, or communication concerns.

Our staff works closely with you to evaluate the strengths and needs of your child and family. An individualized program is designed to meet these unique needs. Together, parents and staff establish goals for each child.

Children can receive individual instruction at $35/hour or group instruction at $12/hour. In our Individual Instruction program, staff work with each child offering care individually either in their home, preschool, or daycare of their choice. In our Group Instruction program, participants receive instruction in a group setting with a ratio of one teacher to three children. There are several options for group instruction: children can meet in a toddler group focused on speech, language, and social development once or twice a week, or may also be integrated into a community toddler program with typical peers. Children can also receive group instruction through Parent Participation Groups, where parents are asked to attend  with their child for one or two hours.

Evening and weekend appointments are available for individual visits in both the Parent/Infant Program and Bright Start.

For more information on the Parent/Infant Program or Bright Start, please contact Becky Thaller at (619) 427-7524 or by email.

Toddler enjoying play equipment the The Arc Parent Infant Program preschool.

Mother sitting on table with twin toddler daughters.

Play Pals

Join us for Play Pals, an informal integrated play group open to parents and toddlers who want to have fun together. The goal of this group is to provide special needs children with opportunities for exploration, play, and learning in a positive environment. This play group is often held on Saturdays in parks or other community environments around the county. We find places that are free or low-cost, accessible, clean and family-friendly. Contact Diane Lowrie (619) 564-2308 for more information about our services for children with disabilities.

The Arc of San Diego is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. All participants will receive consideration for employment without regard to their race, color, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, pregnancy, national origin, veteran, ancestry, age, religion, disability, citizenship status or any other group protected by the law.
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