The internet is a great resource for special needs parents. But, the amount of information on the internet is overwhelming which makes it hard to find the useful websites. So, here are five websites I use because they have great information for helping children with special needs.
This US-based website teaches special needs parents about assistive technology. It has free resources including webinars, articles and information on accessible apps. One of the best parts of this website is the webinars. The free webinars give practical information and show how technology can solve some of our children’s problems. For example, one webinar discussed high and low tech methods to help children with note taking in classes. Another webinar shows assistive technology to help students with dyslexia.
Fifteen non-profit organisations set up Understood to share information on learning and attention issues. It features daily chats on Twitter or Facebook and free webinars. Recent chats discussed social skills, hyperactivity, executive function and handwriting. An interactive parenting toolkit helps parents find information based on their child’s age and issues.
Although the focus of this website is not children with special needs, it offers lots of resources to help them. Read Write Think has many activities to encourage children to read and write including graphic organisers, games and projects. My favourites are the free graphic or visual organisers. One is a webbing tool that lets children make mind maps to organise and summarise information. Another graphic organiser, the Essay Map, helps students break down the steps of essay writing.
The Special Needs Parents Association is an Irish voluntary organisation established and run by parents of children with special needs. It helps all children no matter what their disability. The website has lots of practical information including lists of national support organisations, local support groups, and disability friendly clubs and activities. There is also substantive information on education, health, children’s rights and entitlements.
The George Lucas Educational Foundation established Edutopia to document and share innovations in education. The foundation finds and promotes ways to engage students in the learning process. Although the site is a general education website for teachers, it has many resources related to special needs that parents can use. Resources include articles, videos and activities about assistive technology, invisible disabilities, inclusion, differentiated instruction and much more.
What websites do you recommend?