Directions is an organizing tool and a resource guide for families of children with special health care needs. Directions was created for you, a parent of a child with special health needs. It can help you plan and coordinate care for your child. In Directions you will find:
  • Ways to organize your child's health information

  • Information about caring for your child's special needs

  • Resources

  • Tips from other parents of children with special health care needs

Directions has many forms to fill out and a lot of information to read through. Take your time to fill out the forms that are useful to you, gather your child's records, and read through the chapters. You may want to use different forms and sections at different points in your child's life. This notebook can be very helpful to you and your child's health care providers.

Organizing Tips

  • Download and print out the chapters and forms you may need. Put them together in a 3-ring binder.

  • Keep your child's Massachusetts Lifetime Health and Immunization Record together with your Directions 3-ring binder. Take it with you every time you go to a health care visit, whether it is a check-up or an emergency visit.

  • Use the Calendar to write down important dates and appointments.

  • Write down information about your child's health and health care in Chapter 1.

  • Keep your child's health records in Chapter 2. Include copies of letters, bills, receipts, prescriptions, and other documents. If you run out of space, it is time to buy another 3-ring binder!

  • Keep copies of your child's school records and care plans in Chapter 3.

  • Check the Glossary for the meaning of some words and terms.

  • Check the Family TIES Resource Directory. It has the names, addresses, phone numbers, and web addresses for many useful organizations and programs.

  • Ask for help. There are many people that can help you organize this notebook, such as your child's primary care provider, nurse, care coordinator, case manager, teacher, other parents, or other family members.

Bring your Directions binder to your child's appointments and meetings with health care providers.

Contact Information

Massachusetts Department of Public Health
250 Washington Street, 5th Floor
Boston, MA 02108-4619
800-882-1435 (in Mass. only) or 617-624-6060
617-624-5992 (TTY)