If You Have Used Our Services, Please Take Our Survey!


What is the Center for Exceptional Families?

We are a non profit made up of mentors, parents, and advocates who strive for positive outcomes for those with disabilities, including their families. Some of the services we provide are:


Knowledgeable Parent Mentors

Our mentors are parents of children with disabilities. They have life and work experiences plus training that make them uniquely qualified to help parents and schools work together to improve outcomes for children with disabilities.



We provide information for caregivers of children with disabilities like resources, presentations, workshops, and other materials. We also connect with schools and other community organizations.

sensory cinema logo-01.jpg

Family Fun

TCFEF is proud to present Sensory Cinema in Jonesboro, which allows caregivers, and children and adults with disabilities to watch movies in a sensory friendly environment. We hope to expand this program to more cities.

Visit our Website

A Word from Our Director


When my son was 14, I signed him up for Kota Camp at Camp Aldersgate. I was hesitant as he had never been away from home alone. I mailed the application and waited with dread until the call came through: he was accepted. Are you sure? Did you READ his paperwork? Did you read the part about his diet made exclusively of chicken strips and seasoned fries? Did you understand he’s prone to hit, kick, bite and punch when cornered or asked to put his clothes on? Are you SURE?! The drop off day was not seamless. That bright Sunday afternoon we were met at our car by a pleasant camp counselor who whisked our son off for a meet and greet with other campers. We unloaded his things and made up his bed: Thomas the Tank Engine pillowcase, his favorite books, a small picture frame with a family photo for comfort. Jeremiah loved the bottom bunk. His four TMNT fit snugly in the metal rafters above him. He smiled as he arranged them into action poses. I hovered, trying to blend into the walls so no one would notice I was still there. I had to be peeled from the wall, hitting, kicking, biting and punching as I went. I cried for an hour on the trip home. Did he understand that he would not see me for four days? Could he comprehend the notion that he would not be served his food on his Thomas the Tank Engine dinner plate? Did he know that the shower would not sound like his at home? Did he have any idea what I had signed him up for???

I was a mess the entire week. I called the camp administrator each day to see how Jeremiah was faring. Was he eating? Yes. Was he sleeping at night? He’s asleep by lights out. Was he having any fun at all? He went scuba diving this morning and dove in the deep end. He played in a tree house this afternoon. But is he safe??? Arkansas Children’s Hospital is a two-minute helicopter ride from here. Goodbye Mrs. Knight. Talk to you tomorrow.

On Thursday we seated ourselves in the great hall for the closing Kota ceremony. The campers walked in single file, all wearing Indian headdresses they had made themselves. Jeremiah sang the songs and was presented with his camper awards. Camp counselors surrounded us, offering hugs, some high-fives and even a gentle “I told you so”. He made it. WE made it. Once home I had his camera film developed. I was shocked, unnerved, and absolutely puzzled by what I saw. Not only did he go canoeing, but he also paddled in unison with others. He really did go scuba diving in the pool. Not only did he roast a hot dog on a stick over an open flamed campfire, he also ate it. The photos of him trying new things were eye opening for me. He had experiences without me present to guide him. He lived a week ‘on his own’ without my constant supervision and care. He has memories of this experience that are his own, that don’t include me or his family. A week of unique adventures with children like him, with counselors who read his application, and wanted him anyway. Looking back, I wish I had known about Camp Aldersgate when he was 6 so that he could have had this wonderful experience throughout his adolescent years. I hope that as Jeremiah looks back at his time at Kota camp all those years ago, he remembers that he tried new things. I hope he recalls the names of the kids who experienced camp with him. I want him to always remember how big the world is and how exhilarating it can be when you take the chance, fill out the application, and dive into the deep end.

-Shelby Knight

Camp Aldersgate

A non profit dedicated to serving children and youth with special needs in a camp environment. They have numerous specialty summer camps and programs through the year. Find out more or apply for their programs below. Spots fill up quickly!


News from Your Parent Mentors

This month our topic is new experiences for youths and young adults with disabilities! Here are some ideas from TCFEF's parent mentors. Remember sign up early, spots fill quickly on some of these events/camps!


Ultimate Air Trampoline Park in Jonesboro now has open jump for kids with disabilities on Mondays from 4:00-8:00 PM. Check the bottom of their website.

- Teresa Hendrix, Northeast Region

To find out more, CLICK HERE


"Our son had an amazing time playing baseball for Miracle League! He loved hitting the ball and going to the bases." - Michele Lappin, Delta Region

To find out more or sign up for Miracle League Baseball, CLICK HERE


There are multiple summer events for high school and post high school youth with disabilities. -Karen Lutrick, Southwest and Central Regions

College Bound Arkansas CLICK HERE



Mama's Getaway was an enjoyable experience through Wonderland Camp in Missouri. -Loreena Hegenbart, North Central Region

To view camp offerings at Wonderland CLICK HERE

Disability Resources


Arkansas Disability Income Tax Credit

It's Tax Season! Did you know you if you have a child with a disability, Arkansas allows you to claim a $500 Tax Credit? Click below to get the form for your child's physician to fill out and file it with your state income taxes!



ICAN Equipment

In need of free or inexpensive Assistive Technology or Durable Medical Equipment such as mobility aides or communication devices? ICAN offers an AT Reuse program that reclaims and redistributes previously owned AT and DME!


FREE Opportunities for Education


Building a Trauma Informed Restorative School

February 24th 3:30 EST

Joe Brummer, a victim of two hate crimes, used his experience to author a book and will share information for teachers on how to use restorative and trauma informed practices in their classroom.



The Birds, the Bees, and Down Syndrome

February 10th, 7-9 PM

Join Amy Allison to talk about puberty and other important topics. The meeting will be held in person in Rogers, Arkansas and online.



Arkansas Easter Seals

Easter Seals has a variety of trainings, workshops, and videos for educators and therapy providers. Many are free.

Lunch & Learn videos


Monthly Outreach Trainings


Celebrate Black History Month!


Celebrate and commemorate the contributions, history, and culture of Black and African Americans with these and other local events in Arkansas!


Community Events


Adults on the Autism Spectrum Meeting

February 26th from 10:30-12:00

1st Floor, Fribourgh Room at Little Rock Library

100 Rock Street Little Rock, AR

Virtual Option: https://meet.jit.si/adultsontheautismspectrum

Call in option: 1-512-647-1431 Pin: 1499 1165 50# 


Community Connections 

Arkansas Community Connections hosts fun social events for kids with disabilities in Arkansas including sports, movies, art, game nights, respite care events, etc. Don't miss out on the February Events!


Independent Futures That Work


Independent Futures That Work (IFTW) is a project of the Alabama Parent Education Center in partnership with Parent Training and Information Centers in multiple states including Arkansas. The project seeks to improve the outcomes for youth and young adults with disabilities when transitioning from high school to college or the workforce. Click to visit the IFTW Website.

Visit Website

IFTW provides training and resources for youth and young adults with disabilities ages 14-26, their families, and professionals. Click the link to connect to local and national resources that provide support for learning, living, and working independently.

Learn More

Transition IEP goals must be in place by the time a child turns 16 according to IDEA, but it's never too early to start thinking about the future! Contact Arkansas Transition Services to find out more.

Learn More

Disability Employment Resources

Project Search

ACCESS along with Arkansas Rehabilitation Services and businesses throughout the state offer training and internships to help adults with disabilities between 18-35 gain employment.

Internships application deadline for ID in Garland County through CHI St. Vincent is 2/25/22.

Click Here

Community Spotlight

sensory cinema logo-01.jpg

The Center for Exceptional Families would like to recognize an amazing service provider and partner, Miracle Kids Success Academy for donating $1000 for Sensory Cinema! This money will be used to continue offering sensory friendly movie viewings across Arkansas!

Sensory Cinema allows youth and adults with disabilities and their loved ones to watch movies in a sensory friendly environment with dimmed lighting, lowered volume, and movement allowed! Follow the link below to find out more.

Miracle Kids Success Academy aims to improve the lives of children by providing quality therapeutic, educational, medical, and behavior services. They are an early intervention day treatment center for children with disabilities in Jonesboro, Trumann, and Paragould, Arkansas. Click the link to find out more.

Miracle Kids Success Academy

Sensory Cinema


ABLE Savings Accounts

For the first time in four years, the Internal Revenue Service said that the federal gift tax exclusion is growing from $15,000 to $16,000 annually. That same cap applies to contributions to ABLE accounts, a special savings account for people with disabilities that doesn't affect their eligibility for social service programs. Learn more...


Ways to Support Our Center


Amazon Smile




The Center for Exceptional Families

Po Box 16125 • Jonesboro, AR 72403

(870) 336-3012 • Toll Free (888) 360-9654

Get In Touch
Facebook  Instagram  YouTube
LinkedIn Share This Email