Family Resources

The following are a list of resources that St. Anthony's refers parents of students to for additional activities, support, and as a resource list.  While not affiliated with these organizations, they have proven helpful to our families in the past.  

pals summer program

2019 PALS Summer Program

PALS Programs provides a place for young adults with Down syndrome and their peers to have fun, grow as individuals, and build transformative friendships. PALS is an organization whose mission is to create immersive experiences for young adults with Down syndrome and their peers. Camp PALS is a week-long, sleepaway camp at college campuses across the country. All available locations for summer 2019 can be found here. Please note DSAP is not directly affiliated with the PALS Summer Program.

Visit to stay connected for daily event and communication updates.

2019 DSAP Annual Sponsor:
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Parent Education Advocacy Leadership Center

The PEAL (Parent Education Advocacy Leadership) Center is an organization of parents of children with special health care needs and disabilities reaching out to assist other parents and professionals. As Pennsylvania's Family to Family Health Information Center (F2F), PEAL serves all of Pennsylvania. The PEAL Center is Pennsylvania's Parent Training and Information Center (PTI) serving Western and Central PA. For more information, visit their website here.

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre logo

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre Sensory-Friendly Performances

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre is proud to continue its sensory-friendly programming. Experience these shows in a supportive theater setting designed for patrons with sensory sensitivities and other special needs. Accommodations include relaxed house rules, lower sound levels, and specially trained volunteers. Learn more about the accommodations here.


Call: 412.456.6666
Groups 8+ Save up to 50%: 412.454.9101 or via email

Everyone--PBT staff, dancers, ushers, and volunteers--will be trained prior to the performance. PBT is working with many local autism and intellectual and developmental disability experts to make sure that everyone involved understands the spectrum of special needs that patrons may have and strategies for helping all patrons through this experience.

For more information or questions please visit the Pittsburgh Ballet Theater website.

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Three Rivers Adaptive Rowing Association

Three Rivers Rowing Adaptive Programs offer athletes age 12 and older with disabilities the chance to enjoy the fun, challenge, and relaxation experienced by all who have been "hooked" by the sports of rowing and paddling. The program location, on the Allegheny River near downtown Pittsburgh, also affords participants and volunteers the opportunity to explore the revitalized waterways and shoreline of our beautiful city. For more information on the program, please visit the Three Rivers Rowing Association website.

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25th Annual Buddy Walk for Down Syndrome

We are looking for sponsors for the 2019 Three Rivers Buddy Walk for Down Syndrome. There are a variety of opportunities starting at $150. If anyone is interested I can send you the sponsor package with more details. This is the 24th annual, awareness walk promoting individuals with Down syndrome. 

Save the date for this year’s Buddy Walk! The Down Syndrome Association of Pittsburgh will host it October 19th at Highmark Stadium from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. Help us raise awareness for Down syndrome at our largest fundraiser of the year.

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Eruption Athletics

Eruption Athletics is a group personal training program for men and women with extra needs and disabilities. This athletic trainer-certified program helps aid in the development of strength, flexibility, endurance, and body control as well as providing a safe comfortable social environment in which these individuals can grow and learn. If you would like more information, check out their website

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Lifesteps provides adult services for adults with special needs. They help individuals and families with life's changing needs by developing programs and providing services which will improve their quality of life. For more information on their programs, please visit their website.

Experience the Jumonville Difference!

  • a Premier Christian Camp and Retreat Center for over 75 years
  • located 50 miles south of Pittsburgh in a beautiful mountaintop setting
  • changing lives through summer camps and retreat experiences
  • providing an atmosphere of safety, comfort, and adventure
  • offering special needs camp programs
Family Resources - Home Advisor logo

How to Create a Backyard Sanctuary for Kids with Disabilities

by HomeAdvisor

Children of all abilities and needs should have room to play and explore their world. In fact, play is so important for a child’s development that the United Nations declared play is a human right for children. Making your home a place where a child with special needs can be active takes more than a look around. You’ll want to brainstorm ways the outside can be an inclusive sanctuary for children of all abilities, too.

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Best Buddies

Best Buddies is a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  For more information or to find a local program, please click here.

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Sensory Friendly Films

AMC Loews Waterfront is proud to partner with the Autism Society to offer unique movie showings where we turn the lights up, and turn the sound down, so you can get up, dance, walk, shout or sing! Our Sensory Friendly Film program is available on the second and fourth Saturday (family-friendly) and Tuesday evenings (mature audiences) of every month. Visit their website to check for other showings and movie times.

AMC Loews Waterfront: 22300 West Waterfront Drive, West Homestead, PA 15120

Guest Services: 412-462-6550 Advanced ticket purchase recommended

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21 and Able

21 and Able is an initiative that is working to create a roadmap for youth with disabilities who are transitioning out of the education and supportive services system to work, live independently, and participate actively in their communities to the extent possible for each individual.

Contact them at (412) 255-1155 or visit their website for more information.

Special Needs Trust

Special Needs Trusts—Important Vehicles for Preserving Government Benefits

It’s never too early—and almost never too late— to start planning for the care of a child with special needs. Even caregivers with the best of intentions oftentimes don’t realize that direct gifts and inheritances to loved ones with special needs may cause them to lose critical government assistance. Under the current law, if a person with special needs has over $2,000 in controllable assets, they will be ineligible for important governmental assistance programs.

Special needs trusts protect assets while preserving eligibility for government benefits. These trusts can be used to fund services or equipment not covered by Medicaid such as special wheelchairs, educational expenses, recreational activities, entertainment and more. Diverse, flexible and confidential, trusts are a form of property ownership—whether real estate or investments—between the person creating the trust (the Grantor), the person or company managing it (the Trustee), and the person who is entitled to its benefits (the Beneficiary). The Grantor places property in the trust, essentially transferring ownership to the Trustee, who then manages the property for the benefit of the Beneficiary according to the provisions specified by the Grantor. In other words, a special needs trust provides for the care of a loved one with special needs, without jeopardizing their eligibility for government benefits.

Burns White attorneys have an intimate knowledge and unique understanding of special needs planning. For additional information, contact, Jerry Gaughan, Director of the St. Anthony Charitable Foundation at 724-940-9020, ext. 103 or via email.

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How Learning in Multi-Sensory, Hands-on, and Creative Ways Helps Children with Special Needs:

An ACCEL Classroom Experience

All children learn in different ways and a successful teacher will approach the educational experience of their students using many different methods to meet these needs.

While one child may respond better to visual information, another may learn best audibly.