Learn About the Path Forward: Behavioral Support Conference

Family Navigation Services & Respite Support

Ready to Help You

We know that as a parent, family member or caregiver of a person with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), you may feel overwhelmed with navigating the complex systems required to support your loved one. These feelings occur at different points along your journey, such as:

  • Your child has just been diagnosed with a developmental disability
  • You and your loved one are navigating a transition in their life
  • You are in need of numerous other services and supports

With over 125 years supporting individuals with IDD and their loved ones, Laura Baker Services Association stands with you and offers special needs resources – ready to be your supportive partner.


How Family Navigation Can Help

Accessing Resources

  • Regional and state developmental disability programs and services options
  • First steps in accessing county, state and federal programs (disability waivers)
  • Housing options: at home, independent living, group homes, respite
  • Access to networks of professionals and service providers who can serve your family’s needs

Major Life Transitions

  • Prenatal advising, such as for a newborn with Down syndrome
  • Birth and infancy
  • Toddlers and preschoolers
  • Preparing for school at various transition points
  • Preparing for life after school, including job preparation and aging-related services
  • Legal considerations, such as guardianship, wills and trusts

Community Support

  • Support system planning for someone with intellectual or developmental disabilities (IDD), such as Down syndrome (Trisomy 21), autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or Prader-Willi Syndrome
  • Peer support and family connections
  • Community resource connections
  • Navigating any obstacle that is preventing you from achieving your goals

Schedule a FREE Consultation Download Family Navigation Brochure

Keri Pofahl

Keri Pofahl

Family Navigation Specialist

Main: 507-645-8866 Direct: 507-323-5147

Respite Events

Saturday Fun Day

A monthly program for families who care for children/adults with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. Adults and children ages five and above with special needs who live at home with their families are welcome to join LBSA on the second Saturday of the month for crafts, games, outdoor activities and snacks.

The events are designed to provide a few hours of respite for caregivers and social interaction for participants. Pre-registration is required.

Families must complete an enrollment medical form prior to the event.

Event Details

  • Held from 1 to 5 p.m. once each month at LBSA’s Oak Street Campus
  • Cost is $20.00, fee waivers are available for those that qualify
  • Refreshments are provided

Register Now

2024 Fun Day Dates

  • June 8
  • July 13
  • August 10
  • September 14
  • October 12
  • November 9
  • December 14

Connect & Play @ LBSA Saturday Gaming

Join us for a fun and inclusive event designed specifically for teens (15 and older with parent’s consent) and young adults with autism and other intellectual disabilities! We’re excited to offer an evening of gaming, socializing and snacks in a fun inclusive environment.

At our event, you’ll have the chance to connect with others who share a similar passion for video games. Whether you’re a seasoned gamer or just starting out, there’s something for everyone. We’ll have a variety of games available, so you can play what you love or try something new.

Event Details

  • Held from 6 to 9 p.m. once each month at LBSA’s Oak Street Campus in the Assembly Room at the back of the building
  • Cost is $10.00
  • Refreshments are provided
  • Participants must be 15 years or older (with guardian consent)

Attendees are welcome to submit game suggestions, but we may not have all games requested. At times, all consoles may be in use by other players, and some guests will be spectators to the onscreen action.

Register Now

saturday night gaming

2024 Gaming Night Dates

  • August 10
  • September 14
  • October 12
  • November 9
  • December 14

Schedule an Appointment

Hear From One of Our Families

Additional Resources

Family Navigation Blog

group home living

Care and Inclusion: Special Needs Group Homes

Care and Inclusion: Special Needs Group Homes At Laura Baker Services Association (LBSA), we believe that every individual deserves to live in a place where they can thrive, feel safe and be embraced by a community that values them. As dedicated spaces that nurture, empower and celebrate the unique abilities… Read More

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Finding the Right Group Home for Your Loved One

Transitioning your loved one with IDD to a group home can be difficult. Individual needs can vary, so it's important to find one that fits their needs. Read More

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TEFRA is No Longer a Burden to Special Needs Families in Minnesota

Effective July 1, 2023, parents in Minnesota are no longer required to pay a Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982 (TEFRA) fee. Read More

Rethinking Guardianship and Supported Decision Making 

Guest author Anita Raymond discusses the importance of collaboration when making guardianship decisions. Read More

A Breath of Fresh Air

Being outdoors has so many benefits for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Read about how you or your loved one can incorporate the outdoors in your weekly schedule. Read More

Person with IDD is serving patrons at cafe

Employment Advice for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Tips for finding the right employment fit for people with disabilities. Read More


Respite Care: Recharge and Refresh

Respite care provides important time for caregivers to refresh and recharge. We've outlined important things to consider when seeking respite care. Read More

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LBSA Partners with the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) to Help Individuals with IDD Find Employment

We became a Community Partner with MN DEED Vocational Rehabilitation Services. This partnership will focus on helping individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities create a path to meaningful employment. Read More

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Music Therapy is More Than Just Fun

Music therapy is more than just fun; it has the power to heal and strengthen! This is especially true for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities. Read More

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What is a Certified Support Planner?

A Certified Support Planner is an optional service under the Consumer Directed Community Supports (CDCS) option, allowing families a more flexible way to use their state funding dollars to care for a loved one with a disability or a medical condition. Read More

Inclusive Workplaces and Employment Opportunities

It's National Disability Employment Awareness Month, and we're sharing an article highlighting the importance of creating meaningful employment opportunities for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities and chipping away at misconceptions to foster inclusive workplaces.  Read More

boy in library using assistive technology (headphones and tablet) to learn

Assistive and Adaptive Tools and Strategies for Learning

Assistive and adaptive technologies can help children succeed academically by meeting their needs so they can focus on learning regardless of disability. Read More

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Autism-Friendly Activities in Minnesota

Sensory-friendly outings in a relaxed environment are a great way for the family to enjoy time together, particularly if a loved one is on the autism spectrum or has sensory sensitivities. Read More

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Take Control of Your Services: Self-Direction

Self-direction is a long-term care service that provides more choice and control over when, who, what and how services and supports are provided in the home and community. Read More

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What You Should Know About Disability and Special Needs Future Planning

Having a child with a disability or special needs can bring a family incredible joys and unique challenges, so it's important to plan for the future. Check out our special needs planning tips. Read More

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Breaking Myths About Neurodiversity: The Benefits of Cognitive Diversity at Work

The term "neurodiversity" is a relatively new concept at work. Although challenging, establishing a neurodiverse workplace offers significant benefits. Read More

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Transitioning Someone with Special Needs to a Group Home

You will need to consider many factors when transitioning someone with special needs into a group home. Read More

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Financial Planning for a Loved One With Special Needs

Ensuring future financial security and quality of life requires more than hopes and dreams alone. It requires special planning for your future and the lifetime of your loved one with special needs. Read More

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Finding a Tutor for Someone With Special Needs

Are you looking for a tutor for your loved one with special needs? Check out our tips for finding the best fit. Read More

JR Larson with wife and son in Chicago

Family Navigation Services Featured in Faribault Daily News

LBSA's Family Navigation Services program was featured in the Faribault Daily News! LBSA Executive Director Sandi Gerdes and Director of Business Development JR Larson provided insight for the article. Read More

Transitions and Challenges: Adulthood and the Job Market

Entering adulthood and the job market can present challenges to an adult with IDD. Support is available for living options, employment and independent living. Read More

Student gets help coloring from teacher

Transitions and Challenges: Resources for School-Aged Children with Special Needs

Entering the school system presents new challenges and opportunities for parents of children with special needs. These resources can make the path clearer. Read More

A toddler girl with special needs reads book alongside adult

Transitions and Challenges: Toddlers and Preschoolers

Toddlers and preschoolers with IDD often receive their first early intervention support when entering the education system. View our special needs resources. Read More

Closeup of parent holding infant feet

Transitions and Challenges: Birth and Infancy

Support for families with an infant, newborn or expected child with an intellectual or developmental disability (IDD). Explore our Family Navigation services. Read More

A group of families and kids play together

Transitions and Challenges: Building a Support Network

If you’re seeking support for a loved one with an intellectual or developmental disability, check out our resources, including Family Navigation Services. Read More

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Knowledge Is Power: Individualized Education Program Preparation

An IEP is a customized learning plan developed for children with special needs in a public school. Explore our tips for navigating your IEP. Read More