History & Mission

Our Mission

Raising Special Kids exists to improve the lives of children with the full range of disabilities, from birth to age 26, by providing support, training, information and individual assistance so families can become effective advocates for their children.

Our History

Raising Special Kids began in 1979 as a grass-roots effort of families, professionals, and community leaders determined to provide support and information for parents of children with disabilities and special health care needs. Our motto, “families helping families,” reflects our commitment to support families in all forms and from diverse cultures. Today, Raising Special Kids serves as Arizona’s Family-to-Family Health Information Center, and as Arizona’s Parent Training and Information Center. Helping parents access information about health care, community resources, and support services so they can make informed decisions regarding their children’s care has been our mission from the beginning. We support thousands of Arizona families each year through our programs and services.

Credo of Family Support

We believe that experienced families are a key source of knowledge and support to help new parents become effective advocates for their children.

We believe that professionals are important allies for families.The shared wisdom, counsel, respect and support creates enhanced positive outcomes for children.

We value diversity and celebrate our commitment to serving families in many forms.

We believe in supporting the role of the family in establishing public policy, and promoting public awareness related to families and disabilities.

We believe that parents who model effective self-advocacy encourage a child’s pursuit of his or her own dreams.


It’s A Good Time To Have Dyslexia

​Meriah Houser is a former teacher, and a lover of books. She was eager to pass on her enthusiasm for reading to her sons, Cole and Maddox. As her boys grew, Meriah discovered that reading was very challenging for them. … KEEP READING

Don't Be Afraid to Ask for Help

Not long ago Aurora Townsend and her family were afraid that she would be unable to follow her dream of attending college to become a Neurobiologist. Aurora has Toxic Encephalopathy and Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome–disabilities that cause her body to respond intensely to substances in the environment many of us do not notice. … KEEP READING

​I Felt Like I Could Breathe Again!

When Laurie and her husband adopted Adilynn, they anticipated a few minor medical issues. What they could not have anticipated was the number of hospitalizations, medical procedures and dozens of specialists necessary to meet Adilynn’s medical needs. … KEEP READING

Families Helping Families

Families Assisted
Parent-to-Parent Matches
Professionals trained
Community Partners