North Carolina Scholarship and Grant Programs Providing More Education Options for Children with Special Needs

Earlier this summer, Christa Robaina, Charlotte chapter chair and a parent mentor for The Autism Community in Action, wrote an article for Charlotte Parent Magazine about her own experience with scholarship and educational grant programs in North Carolina. It’s very informative and easy to read, so please check it out if you are considering options other than public school for your child with Down syndrome.

Read her article below, and please join the Facebook group Special Friends Connection – Charlotte Area: It’s a group of local parents and professionals, many of whom submit articles for the Charlotte Parent blog. They are creating a community to offer support, advocacy and share information about local events and opportunities for families whose children have special needs.

(If you live in South Carolina, check out this link for more information about educational scholarships available in your state.)

North Carolina Scholarship and Grant Programs Providing More Education Options for Children with Special Needs


Sending my first born off to kindergarten was filled with a level of angst and an amount of research that rivaled any college search. I remember watching other moms at transitional kindergarten (TK) graduation, swap contact info and discuss teachers because they knew their kiddos would be attending kindergarten at the same school that upcoming fall.

I wasn’t in that circle of moms. I knew the schools my family was considering for our son with special needs, but had no idea which one we would finally land on and that not-knowing weighed heavily on my mom heart. I cannot overlook the privilege we had of having so many options in our city, but the struggle to select the best fit was real.

Making the Best Choice for Your Child

As a mom of three, and especially as a parent of a child with special needs, experience has taught me that all children have unique learning styles and environments in which they thrive. We applied to kindergarten at several charter schools, a language-immersion program, a public school and a private school (and don’t think homeschool and co-ops weren’t swimming in my head too). We simultaneously had the added steps many parents of children with special needs have: Walking through the process of kindergarten transition and evaluation to maintain our Individualized Education Plan (IEP), and explore what support services might be needed and provided in different school environments. It was a very intensive process and year.

We now have a rising third grader, and I have the opportunity to share with other families about the state scholarship and grant programs my family discovered on our journey, and some of the considerations to walk through as you look at the school options available to children with special needs.

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