Resources for parents who have
Children with learning disabilities
By Diane H. Williams (Ph.D)
Autism Society - For parents of children specifically on the Autism spectrum, this organization provides support, education, advocacy and other resources, on topics such as treatment, education and research. http://www.autism-society.org.
Bookshare - This is an online library designed specifically for those with print disabilities. They offer ebooks in audio, braille, large font and more, making them a great resource. https://www.bookshare.org/cms.
Chapel Haven - While this site caters more toward older children who are graduating school and starting to move into the rest of their lives, it is a good resource to have on hand. They specialize he empowering individuals with various developmental and social disabilities to live independent, happy lives. https://www.chapelhaven.org.
Children's Disabilities Information - Sometimes, kids need to know they aren't alone, and books and stories about others in their situation can help. This page has a list of books for and about children with a range of learning disabilities. http://www.childrensdisabilities.info.
Closing the Gap - This group looks to ensure that every child has access to the assistive technology they need to get the best possible education and quality of life, including reviewing new products and how they might change lives. http://www.closingthegap.com.
Community of Practice for Supporting Families with Disabilities - This Facebook Group is a place where parents of children with disabilities can come together to share stories, information and support one another on an ongoing basis. https://www.facebook.com/supportstofamilies.
Council for Exceptional Children - This group focuses on ensuring educators have the highest possible standard of training and resources to effectively help every child in their classrooms, no matter what learning disability they may face. http://www.cec.sped.org.
Exceptional Lives - If you are looking for resources in your local area, this is a great place to start. This site gets information about your child's specific needs, and then directs you to the local organizations that can help. http://exceptionallives.org.
Family Resource Center on Disabilities - Designed specifically for parents of children with disabilities, this site provides information, training and support to parents and care-givers to ensure they have what they need at every stage of their child's life. https://frcd.org.
Family Voices - While this nonprofit organization does promote quality health care for all children, they pay special attention to those with special needs. This is a good resource if you are looking for information about your child's health, in addition to their education. http://www.familyvoices.org.
Federation for Children with Special Needs - This organization focuses on educating and empowering parents, children and educators so they can better address a wide range of learning disabilities effectively by tailoring each program to each individual child's specific needs. http://fcsn.org.
LD Online - While this site is geared more toward educators, it is useful for parents as well, giving you insight into the tools and strategies that your child's teachers might be using. http://www.ldonline.org.
Learning Ally - This site is geared specifically toward Dyslexia, and helping parents, children and educators better navigate this disability. http://www.learningally.org.
Learning Disabilities Association of America - Especially for parents who are just discovering that their child has a learning disability, this is a good place to start, with quite a bit of information focused on understanding different disabilities and what each of them means for you and your family, negotiating the special education process to ensure your child gets the help they need, and support for both your child and yourself when you need it most. https://ldaamerica.org/parents.
National Ability Center - Rather than just focus on the needs of your child in the classroom, this program looks to build their self-esteem and confidence in the rest of their lives as well. They use sports, recreation and educational programs to help you give your child a better grounding in who they are as a person, beyond their learning disability. http://www.discovernac.org.
National Association of Parents with Children in Special Education - This organization is a place where parents of children in any kind of special education program can find support and resources to ensure you are your child's best advocate. http://www.napcse.org.
National Center for Learning Disabilities - This is a great resource for learning more about the national programs available for all types of learning disabilities, as well as what you, as parents, can be doing to be better advocates for your children. It also has some interesting reports and studies that can help you to realize that you aren't alone, and families across the country are facing the same challenges and problems right alongside you. http://www.ncld.org.
PACER Center - This program specifically focuses on helping parents and children with learning disabilities improve their quality of life, and expand their opportunities. They have a wide range of programs available, and are primarily staffed by parents of children with disabilities. http://www.pacer.org.
Parents Helping Parents - Part of the PACER network of programs, this is a parent-directed, community based program designed to provide information and support to parents of children with disabilities of all types. http://www.php.com.
Possibilities - When a child is diagnosed with a learning disability, it can be overwhelming, both emotionally and financially. This organization specifically provides financial assistance to these parents to ensure it isn't money that prevents you from getting the help your child needs. http://www.pacer.org/publications/possibilities.
Project 10 - This organization works to provide scholarships, grants and financial resources to students with a wide range of disabilities. If your family is faced with deciding between the care your child needs and other financial obligations, this organization may be able to help. http://project10.info/.
Reading Rockets - This is a page that is dedicated to helping improve reading abilities in kids with learning disabilities. It offers tips and tricks that you can try to help your child better navigate our print-oriented society. http://www.readingrockets.org.
Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities - This site is designed to help parents and children navigate a wide range of learning disabilities, starting with first steps and how to get help, through strategies for coping with a range of needs. They also have a community, where parents can come together to share stories, strategies, resources and support. http://www.smartkidswithld.org.
Special Education News - This newsletter focuses on providing parents of children with learning disabilities news about events, trends and other topics that could impact them. This is a great resource for staying current on these matters. http://www.specialednews.com.
Special Needs Resources - For a parent, explaining to your child why they are different can be hard. This site has a list of 15 children's books that can help you find the right words and start the conversation. http://www.friendshipcircle.org.
TASK - This nonprofit organization specifically addresses the needs of parents and educators when it comes to ensuring they have the right assistive technologies to address your child's specific needs. If you feel like your local school system doesn't have the right tools in place, this is a good place to start in finding help to change that. http://www.taskca.org.
The Family Hope Center - This organization looks to treat more than just symptoms - they look to empower parents to take control of their family's situation, and ensure their children have the best quality of life possible. http://www.familyhopecenter.com.
Through the Looking Glass - This is a nonprofit organization with a mission of helping parents, children and others with learning disabilities navigate the world around them. http://www.lookingglass.org.
U.S. Department of Education - While this is more of an additional list of resources, than a resource in and of itself, this is still a good place to check for links and information from the federal Education Department. https://www2.ed.gov/parents/needs/speced/edpicks.jhtml.
Understood - For parents looking to better understand what their child is going through, and understand how they see the world and how they process information, this is a great resource to check out. https://www.understood.org/en.
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