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Special Kids Crusade

Special Kids Crusade

Founded in 2007 by parents of children with developmental disabilities, Special Kids Connect understands the challenges of raising children with differing abilities. Through its resource center headquarters in Monterey and its satellite locations in Salinas and South Monterey County, Special Kids Connect supports individuals with disabilities throughout their lives, their families, and our community by connecting families, sharing resources, and offering recreational programs for children and young adults that promote social skill development and inclusion in community settings.  

Special Kids Connect's vision is that all individuals and families with special needs are informed and empowered to access and utilize the resources available to them and that they are not only included but are warmly welcomed into their communities.  Special Kids Connect does this through three areas of focus:

Community Navigation – Special Kids Connect receives funding from the California Department of Developmental Services to provide training, information, and 1:1 support to assist Monterey County families who have members with developmental delays and/or disabilities (ages 0 through end of life) with community service navigation, application assistance, coaching, advocacy training, and peer-to-peer support.

Family Empowerment Center – Special Kids Connect receives funding from the California Department of Education as Monterey County’s Family Empowerment Center, providing training and information to families of children and young adults with disabilities, between the ages of 3 and 22, to assist in their understanding and utilization of educational supports and services.

Community Programs – Special Kids Connect actively pursues and receives funding through community / foundation grants, private donations, and corporate sponsorships to provide a wide range of programs and services to meet the ever changing needs of Monterey County’s special needs community.  These include Special Kids Connect’s REACH recreational programs, SibStar sibling workshops, Inclusion Ambassadors Youth Volunteer League, STAR Toy Library, and Outreach Events & Special Projects.


Everyone is somebody's child.  Yes, we are Special Kids Connect but our support for individuals with special needs and their families doesn't end when a child becomes a legal adult.  We provide a lifetime of support and are here when families needs us most.

Every individual is special.  Every child and adult, regardless of their abilities, has the right to access resources that give them the opportunity to develop to their full potential. 

Every individual has a unique set of needs.  The diagnosis of a disability does not define a person or his/her personality, likes, dislikes, aptitude and ability to develop and achieve. 

Parents are the best advocates for their young children.  Until a child is old enough to advocate for him/herself, parents are in the best position to determine what is best for them.

Planning should be person-centered.  Teens and adults with disabilities should be at the center of all discussions regarding their future. Special Kids Connect advocates for a process-oriented approach which empowers people to plan their lives,  find their voices, and work toward reaching their goals.

Everyone should feel welcomed and included in our community.  A disability should not keep someone, or that person's family, from feeling like they belong.  Whether it's in a recreational program, a physician's office, an elementary school classroom, or in the neighborhood grocery store, inclusion is everyone's right.

Student Team

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