Online Resources for Special Needs Parents
This is the third post in a series aimed at helping special needs parents find their feet when they first receive a diagnosis for their child.
The first post concentrated on providing advice and support that I wished I had received when I first began this journey. The second post provided some more practical guidance about organising paperwork, identifying assistance for medical care and being aware of your education options.
This post is all about bringing together online resources for special needs parents. These links represent the best that I have seen for autism and special needs. Hopefully these links will point you towards more information and assistance to help you and your child throughout your journey.
SEN Teacher is a US site that provides free teaching resources for special education needs. You can access free printables such as learning cards, behaviour charts and visual aids and you can also download a variety of educational software catering to students with special needs. There are a lot of practical links on this site which I have found really useful.
Sue Larkey is an Australian education professional who specialises in helping parents and teachers better educate kids on the autism spectrum. Her site has links to tip sheets, books, workshops (both physical and online), and sensory aids. I attended one of her seminars when we first received Gilbert’s diagnosis and she is excellent. She has also started hosting regular online seminars which are always very helpful.
Visual Aids for Learning is a great site that has a huge range of free visual aids. You can download single pictures or a series of sheets that focus on parts of a specific task like going to the toilet or going to school. It’s one of the few sites that allow free downloads and is a fantastic resource for parents of kids on the autism spectrum.
Practical Autism Resources is a US site that is dedicated to providing parents and teachers with the tools to support and educate kids on the spectrum. There are free printables, a list of relevant ipad/iphone apps, image search helpers and links to other helpful sites. I’m still going through this one myself but it seems pretty useful so far.
Children with Special Needs is a UK site that has holds a range of information about specific conditions, has links to ipad/iphone apps, a comprehensive listing of other relevant websites, links to books and resources and information about a range of augmentative communication systems.
TES Australia holds information geared towards teachers across the full spectrum of special needs. With pages devoted to autism, Down’s Syndrome, vision and hearing impairment, intellectual disability, ADHD, physical impairment and a range of behavioural & communication difficulties, this site has lots of tips for helping teachers assist their students with additional needs.
My Diffability celebrates different abilities by supplying products, tip sheets, articles and resources for people with different abilities. Founded by a speech pathologist and occupational therapist, the site has a wealth of information to help parents help their kids. It’s well worth a visit.
Do 2 Learn provides information on social skills and behavioural regulation activities and guidance. It is a hands on and practical site that doesn’t force you to register to use their products but does offer the chance to purchase a licence to use their very handy make-a-schedule tool. A very useful and practical website for anyone wanting to support their child with special needs.
One Stop Sensory Shop is an online business based in Newcastle (run by a mum caring for an ASD child) which specialises in sensory products for kids with special needs. The website includes a range of products including weighted blankets, chewy toys and other sensory aids which can all be mailed out to you.
For Our Special Someone is another local business (based in Morisset) specialising in sensory products. I have bought chewy jewellery from them before for Matilda and found their service to be fast and efficient. Most of their products again look practical and useful for any child with special needs. They also have a blog and a range of printable playsheets and parent guides that provide further information and support.
SensiKids is run by one of my blogging friends, Jules, who is a foster carer as well as a special needs mum. The site features information, advice and products designed to make things easier for kids with a range of special needs. Jules knows her stuff and the products are high quality too.
I’m hoping that you can find some useful links from this list and I would love to hear about any other sites that you have found useful too.