Today on My Greenville Home, Robin Blackwood is joining Dan Hamilton to discuss the opportunities and resources provided for the special needs community in Greenville. Robin is a 4th congressional district commissioner for the SC Department of Disabilities and Special Needs. Robin is actively involved in local and state-wide organizations to help impact people living with disability in our state. Those organizations include The Barbara Stone Foundation, Greenville Collaborative Action Network (CAN), Disability Rights of SC, Greenville County Schools Diversity, Equity and Inclusion taskforce, and she is also active in her 12-year old son’s school. Robin has lived in Greenville since 1997 and enjoys vacationing on the SC coast, spending time with friends and family and helping others find resources who are raising a child with a disability like her.
Robin’s goal is to empower families to confidently care for their loved ones, taking advantage of local, state, and federal resources they may not know about, and help individuals with disabilities live full and happy lives.
Robin likened living with a special needs child to buying a house. There are big decisions to make and a lot of information to process before you make those big decisions! Unlike buying a home, you do not always have an expert like a buyer’s agent guiding you through the process of raising a special needs child. It can be easy to feel overwhelmed and unprepared. Thankfully, there are amazing philanthropic visionaries like Robin all over the Upstate looking to make information and resources available. We’ve included just of the few amazing resources Robin shared with us below. Explore this guide and listen to Robin’s entire interview!
Advocacy, Governmental Assistance, and Early Intervention
Thanks to Robin and countless other people like her, there are organizations across South Carolina dedicated to helping identify mental, developmental, and physical disabilities, connecting with families, and making sure your loved ones get the care they deserve.
South Carolina Healthy Connections (Medicaid) assists disabled individuals with medical expenses. If your child is under the age of 3, Babynet is the Healthy Connections subgroup that can connect your family with the resources you need. The South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs (DDSN) also provides a variety of services for individuals with intellectual disabilities, autism, spinal cord injuries, and more.
If you are a family seeking assistance in advocating for your child’s rights or require legal help, Disability Rights South Carolina exists to help people with disabilities understand and defend their rights.
Finally, Thrive Upstate offers a variety of services and employment opportunities for people with disabilities, helping people of all ages thrive in work, life and play.
Special Needs Schools in Greenville, SC
Schools are a huge consideration for families in Greenville or moving to the Upstate. South Carolina public schools have a government-mandated duty to provide an equal education to all children with all special needs, mental or physical.
The Greenville County Schools Child Find Procedures helps our local public schools identify children with disabilities who may need special education services. If you are looking to take advantage of public school resources for your special needs child, this is a great place to start!
In addition to public school education resources, there are a number of private schools in the Upstate specializing in special needs programming.
The Meyer Center for Special Children has been serving pre-school age children with special needs for over 60 years, offering education, therapy, and guidance to children all over Greenville.
Hidden Treasure Ministries has been providing special education to children ages K5-12 with a variety of mental and physical disabilities for over 35 years.
If you are looking education specific to dyslexic children, the Camperdown Academy enrolls children grades 1-8, offering specialized assistance and ultimately helping students transition back into traditional classrooms. Additionally, Lakes and Bridges Charter offers a similar education free of charge.
Finally, Project Hope Foundation offers a variety of services to individuals across the autism spectrum, from basic communication skills to preparing for college. The Foundation has their own school (Hope Academy) as well as supplemental programs.
Accessible Sports and Recreation in Upstate, SC
Sports and outdoor activities are another big factor for families with special needs in Greenville. Fortunately, there are a number of sports and recreation programs across the Upstate for special needs individuals.
Robin shared that Hamilton & Company’s partner Kidding Around Greenville has an amazing guide to Accessible Playgrounds in Greenville. Upstate Carolina Adaptive Golf (UCAG) delivers golf opportunities to children and adults with cognitive, developmental, or physical special needs as well as to veterans and those recovering from physical or mental trauma.
Carolina Miracle League is on a mission to help every child experience the joy of baseball regardless of physical or mental disability.
Finally, for the super competitive child or adult with a physical or mental disability, the Greenville Special Olympics are hosted twice a year.
Churches in Greenville with Special Needs Ministries
There are a few churches in Upstate who have devoted time and resources into developing inclusive special needs programs for their communities.
Grace Church’s Mosaic ministry exists to equip and disciple people of all ages with disabilities, helping them feel welcome and ingrained in the life of the church.
NewSpring Church has developed Spring Zone, a buddy-based program for children and young adults with special needs, to help each individual engage with and understand the Good News that Jesus loves them.
Thank you to Robin Blackwood for joining us on this episode of My Greenville Home with Dan Hamilton and for sharing such amazing resources with our Hamilton & Co. community! Whether you are a Greenville native or looking to move to the area, we hope these resources help you and your family live life to the fullest.
At Hamilton & Company, we understand there are many factors influencing your decision to buy or sell a home. If you are interested in moving to the Greenville area or just across town, let us help find the perfect location for you and your family! Dan and our talented agents make up Greenville’s highest rated real estate team. With years of experience and unmatched passion, we can help you navigate the Upstate housing market with ease. Give us a call at 864-527-7685 to learn more!Listen to the full episode here:
Dan Hamilton is the founder of Hamilton & Co. and the lead listing agent for the team. He is the only agent in the Upstate endorsed by Shark Tank star and real estate mogul Barbara Corcoran. Additionally, Dan hosts a weekly radio show on The Answer 94.5 and 106.3 WORD giving tips and advice on real estate and is a frequent contributor for real estate on Your Carolina TV show on WSPA Channel 7.