Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities are a diverse group of conditions that are life-long and are often a result of neurological and/or physical impairments. People with developmental disabilities have a variety of strengths as well as challenges and often need some assistance in learning, developing language, mobility, social, independent living and/or functional adaptive skills. People can be diagnosed with a developmental disability anytime during childhood up to 22 years of age.

These conditions include:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Seizure Disorder
  • Intellectual Disability
  • Neurological Disorders
  • Prader Willi Syndrome

Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities Services
Whether families are first learning of their child’s developmental disability or they are working to establish a meaningful life for their adult children, families of children with developmental disabilities are faced with many challenges throughout their lifespan.  Westchester County Department of Community Mental Health is in the forefront of assisting individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities and their families access services available to them.  

New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities is responsible for coordinating services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and they determine an individual’s eligibility for services/supports.  Individuals/families/guardians should attend an OPWDD “front door” information session where you will be provided with information on how to apply for OPWDD eligibility.

Transition Services: The Department of Community Mental Health works closely with Westchester School Districts, BOCES, Special Acts schools along with day service providers to ensure students are connected with OPWDD and that they are authorized for adult services which they may need.  Our office can assist students and families with person centered transition planning.  For more information regarding transition services call (914) 995-5253.

Family Support Services: Family Support Services (FSS) offers home and community based services to assist families care for their family member with a developmental disability at home.  For more information about FSS services, call  (914) 995-3009 or call OPWDD’s Hudson Valley Developmental Disabilities Services Office (Westchester) at (914) 332-8981.

Project LifeSaver Locator Bracelets Program
Westchester County offers locator bracelets for children and young adults with autism and other developmental disabilities whose families are looking for an extra layer of security.

The Project Lifesaver service began in January 2009 and is geared to children and young adults with autism and other developmental disabilities who are living with their families and who have a history or are at risk of wandering from their caregivers. The program is operated by the Westchester County Department of Community Mental Health and the Department of Public Safety, in partnership with Westchester Jewish Community Services. Families with a child or young adult with autism or another developmental disability can obtain a locator bracelet for their child so he/she can be located quickly and easily by the county police using the radio frequency device located in the bracelet.

In addition to the locator devices, the Westchester County Department of Public Safety includes autism awareness training for law enforcement recruits in its curriculum at the Police Training Academy.

It is recommended that interested families call WJCS at (914) 761-0600 prior to completing an application to determine if they meet eligibility criteria. Once an application is completed, an intake appointment will be scheduled. The individual who will be wearing the bracelet must accompany caregivers to the intake appointment so the device can be placed on the wrist or ankle by WJCS staff.

The program requires battery changes every 60 days by WJCS staff and daily checks of the battery by the family/caregiver. The total cost for the first year is $325 per individual. That includes the application process, registration in the program, all battery changes, bands, and maintenance of the device. After that, the cost is approximately $85 a year.

For more information, visit the Westchester Jewish Community Services website

For additional information on Westchester County Department of Community Mental Health Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities Services please call (914) 995-3009 or our main number at (914) 995-5220.