100 years of helping children with special needs succeed in today’s world.

Important COVID-19 Update

Dear Friends,

Let me begin by saying I am very mindful of the worrisome situation being faced by all of us as a result of the coronavirus threat. These are not easy times for anyone, and the Board and staff of the Detroit Institute for Children (DIC) sincerely hope for the safety and well-being of you and yours.

As described in a recent Detroit Free Press article (“What shuttered schools mean for students with disabilities in Michigan,” April 8, 2020), the necessary closing of our schools has particularly impacted the children with special needs we serve, children who receive speech, occupational, and behavioral therapy up to three times a week during the school year.

In response, our team of practitioners has been busy building a program of “teletherapy” to bring much-needed services to children where they live. We hope to soon make available many of the therapeutic services normally provided not only to students attending the schools we serve, but to the general public as well.

We are also continuing to plan our annual SLIDE (Summer Learning Individualized Learning Experiences) program, which this year will not only address “summer” learning loss with children having special needs, but also help make up for valuable school-time lost during April-May-June!

While we all continue to adjust to ongoing changes in our lives as a result of COVID-19, here are some steps you can take at home to address your child’s concerns:

  • Correct misinformation for them.
  • Focus on what kids can do to keep themselves healthy.
  • Manage your own catastrophic thinking.
  • Don’t dismiss their fears. Acknowledge that fear is healthy, and help them manage it appropriately.
  • Preview anticipated changes or disruptions that may happen (like the school closures).

For 100 years, the Detroit Institute for Children has focused on providing compassionate, expert care to children with special needs while concentrating on treating the whole child, not just the disability. And while there are many uncertainties as we make plans for the weeks and months ahead, please know that your Detroit Institute for Children remains dedicated to realizing our vision: Children with special needs and their families are all thriving members of the community.

Please be safe and stay well!

Sincerely yours,

Roxanne Brinkerhoff
Chief Executive Officer

P.S. If you would like to learn more and support our work during this critical time, please click here.

We Are What Special Needs

We are driven, as part of our core values, to develop relationships and to work with other community-based organizations who share in our mission to provide children with special needs and their families with the support and care they need to become thriving members of our communities.

Our staff professionals are special education trained, IEP proficient, licensed in the State of Michigan and                 we provide continuity of care, with one of the highest retention rates in the industry.

We are a non-profit organization with almost 100 years of dedicated service to children with special needs and their families.

A century of providing services to children with special needs and their families

80+ dedicated professionals providing services, resources and support to children with special needs and their families.

Currently, the agency serves children with special needs in over 180 schools, Head Start, and Early Intervention programs throughout Detroit, Southeast Michigan and the Grand Rapids area.

Hours of services provided to children annually.

"The Detroit Institute is an incredible organization. We use the DIC to help support the needs of our students in a variety of ways. The staff are extremely professional and have proven to be strong advocates for our students."

Nicholas Stage
Special Education Supervisor
Bradford Academy

"I absolutely love working with the DIC! The staff members I have from the DIC are professional passionate and work hard to assure the individual needs of our students are met."

Cheryl Paull, M. Ed
Head of School
Macomb Montessori Academy

"CSA has had and continues to have a strong partnership with the DIC. We value the responsive communication that we have with the staff at the DIC. It is always known that we can be real with each other and have conversation that always have kids best interest in mind and in our hearts."

Sarah E. Vander Baan M. Ed
Director of Specially Designed Instruction and Student Services
Choice Schools

"Tipton Academy is blessed to have such a wonderful team from the DIC. We currently have a social work, Speech and Language, Occupational Therapy and Psychologist working at Tipton from the DIC."

Suzanne March
Tipton Academy Principal

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Contact Info

2075 E. West Maple
Suite B-203
Walled Lake, MI 48390


The Detroit Institute for Children currently serves more than 5,000 children with special needs in schools, Head Start, and Early Intervention programs throughout Detroit and Southeastern Michigan. The DIC provides speech language pathology, occupational therapies, social work, psychological services and special education consulting.

The Detroit Institute for Children is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. All contributions are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law.

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