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Family Navigation Services

Welcome, and thank you for your interest in Laura Baker Services Association’s Family Navigation Services Program – a hub of local resources for special needs.

We Stand with 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.

Schedule a Free Consultation

Family Navigation Services

We offer customized support packages based on an initial, free consultation. (Sliding fee scale is available.) Family Navigation Services can include assistance with navigating:

  • Regional and state developmental disability programs and services options
  • 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
  • First steps in accessing county, state and federal programs (disability waivers)
  • Housing options: at home, independent living, group homes, respite
  • Major life transitions and challenges, like:
    • 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
  • Access to networks of professionals and service providers who can serve your family’s needs
  • Navigating any obstacle that is preventing you from achieving your goals

Download Family Navigation Brochure

Sam Gershman

Sam Gershman

Lead Family Navigator

Main: 507-645-8866 Ext. 124
Direct: 507-581-7078

Real People Ready to Help You

Schedule a Free Consultation

Are you interested in learning more or accessing these local special needs resources? Please complete the following information, and Sam will be in contact with you to set up your initial consultation.

Additional Resources

Family Navigation Blog

woman presenting in a business meeting

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

Breaking Myths About Neurodiversity: The Benefits of Cognitive Diversity at Work The following story was provided by Ezra Coaching, a company helping organizations reach their potential through their talent. Read their version of the story. Images below also courtesy of Ezra Coaching. The term “neurodiversity” is a… Read More

two people prepare food in group home kitchen

Transitioning Someone with Special Needs to a Group Home

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. Transitioning into a new living situation can be an emotional and stressful experience for you and your family. Listed below are some tips and… Read More

mom and baby working on laptop and on the phone

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

young boy getting tutored in reading

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