The internet is a great resource for parents of children with special needs. However, 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 a lot, because they have great information for helping children with special needs.
This US-based website is a great way for parents to learn about assistive technology. It has free resources including webinars, articles and information on accessible apps. One of the best aspects of this website is the webinars. The 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
explained assistive technology to help students with dyslexia.
15 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. Its remit is to help 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.