As one of the first organizations in Florida to serve children with special needs, Pine Castle helped pioneer the philosophy that individuals with intellectual/developmental (I/D) disabilities have the right to live full and productive lives.
Pine Castle was founded in 1952 by a group of 33 families of children with I/D disabilities. No local programs or schools existed at that time to provide support services, except for a few distant residential institutions run by the state. Parents were forced to choose between institutionalization or keeping their children at home.
In 1965, the public school system initiated a program for students with special needs. At that time, Pine Castle transitioned to a work and life skills training and activity center for adults with disabilities.