Special Education: Habilitative Services


Habilitative Services are therapeutic services provided to children with genetic conditions or conditions present from birth. Habilitative services are designed to enhance the child’s ability to function. These are similar to rehabilitative services provided to adults or children who acquire a condition later in life. The key difference is that rehabilitative services are geared toward reacquiring a skill that has been lost, while habilitative services are provided to help acquire a skill in the first place.


Habilitative services include but are not limited to:

  • Occupational therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Speech therapy


Children with a congenital or genetic birth defect qualify for habilitative services. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Autism or autism spectrum disorder
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Intellectual disability
  • Down syndrome
  • Spina bifida
  • Hydroencephalocele
  • Congenital or genetic development disabilities


The delivery of habilitative services may require coordination with a private physician and/or private insurance company. Please review the Parents’ Guide to Habilitative Services for more information.

Parents' Guide to Habilitative Services - English
Parents' Guide to Habilitative Services - Spanish