I was recently contacted by Ivan Serrano, a writer specializing in technology and lifestyle. He is from San Jose, California and attended San Francisco State University. He graduated with a double major in English (concentration in Creative Writing) and Journalism (with a concentration in photojournalism). This guest post was written to help parents of children with special needs find additional resources.
As a parent to a special needs child, you can often feel like you don’t have anyone in the world to turn to for the support or answers you need. But fortunately, that is far from the truth. Parents of special needs children have a wealth of resources to tap into, so get started by exploring these:
Special Needs Network
This non-profit organization that prides itself on helping those with developmental disabilities, especially in underserved communities. Unlike other organizations, the Special Needs Network tries to make change happen in two ways: by changing government legislation and working directly with parents, teachers and caretakers. Visit the “Parents’ Corner” on their website for symptom checklists, glossaries of special terms, and recommended books to help you be the best parent you can be.
Another incredible resource is the PACER Center, a parent training and information center for parents of children with special needs. Although the center is headquartered in Minnesota, it assists families across the country, so you can seek help from this valuable resource anywhere. What can you find on the PACER website? Let kids watch a fun and engaging puppet show that teaches them about respect and inclusion. Or, find an educational workshop in an area near you to learn new parenting skills and techniques. If you can’t find one near you, watch one of the archived webinars from the comfort of your own home. The website even has information on how parents can help their special needs children handle bullies, since this s a problem that is all too common in today’s world.
Parents Helping Parents
Sometimes, it’s best to look to other parents with special needs children for the help you need. That’s why the Parents Helping Parents organization is so unique and cherished by parents of special needs children everywhere. Although most of the events take place in California, parents in every state can benefit from the informational resources on the Parents Helping Parents website.
The Americans With Disabilities Act
If you’re ever confused about your child’s rights, consult the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990, often referred to as ADA. This piece of legislation protects disabled children and adults from discrimination and harassment, and ensures these individuals can still access parks, public transportation, and public facilities. If you haven’t already read the ADA, it’s important that you do so to understand what your child is entitled to in his or her life.
The U.S. Department of Education
The Department of Education has endless resources available for parents of special needs children. The website can help you find parent information centers near you, or tell you everything you need to know with helpful printouts and checklists. Regardless of what type of disability your child has, you will be able to find information on how to help him or her through school with it on this website.
These organizations understand your special needs child comes first, and they will be able to provide you with the knowledge and support you need to successfully parent your child.