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Community and Internet Resources

Life Planning: School Aged (ages 4 - 21)

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Back-to-School Assignment for Parents of Special Needs Kids, The, published by Talk About Curing Autism provides parents tips to ensure their child with a disability receives the services promised to them in their IEP. The article encourages parents to be their child's advocate, working with school officials and service providers, to monitor their child's challenges and progress throughout the school year.

Council for Exceptional Children works to influence public policy on special education. Via their Children and Youth Action Network (CAN) volunteers can help advance policy affecting students with disabilities. This site also provides a Legislative Action Center, in which advocates can track important legislation and contact their representatives.

Education World: Special Education Community while aimed at providing information and tools to special education teachers, can also help parents identify techniques to assist their children excel in school. The website features articles from experts in the Special Education field. Past articles have included, Sports Offer Autistic Kids Physical, Social Benefits, Guide Offers Practical Character Education Lessons, and Teamwork Counts (A Lot!) [in creating an IEP].

Exceptional Parent Magazine offers a comprehensive selection of online articles concerning Education for special needs children and young adults. A free user account is required to access these articles.

New Sign Disability.gov: Education has resources for students with disabilities, their parents and teachers. You'll find information about preparing for college, financial aid and scholarships, teaching strategies, and using assistive technologies in the classroom. Resources for parents include tips for more effective Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings and helping your child make the transition from school to work. You can also look for information in your state.

Family Center on Technology and Disability, The provides information and resources for parents and educators concerning technologies that can enhance a child's learning experience. Online resources include Assistive Technology (AT) 101, an AT Glossary, Family Guides, including the Family Information Guide to Assistive Technology and Transition and the Family Information Guide to Assistive Technology, AT Fact Sheets, and links to helpful resources and organizations.

I am Norm is an online campaign, spearheaded by a group of teens, that encourages youth to embrace the differences we all possess and promotes the inclusion of youth with disabilities in all facets of life. The campaign features videos from students throughout the US that challenge misguided perceptions of disability, offers a toolkit to be used by educators and youth groups, and provides opportunities to discuss inclusion. The website also suggests ways in which more youth can get involved in the campaign and provides links to other websites that promote inclusion.

Inclusive Schools Network (ISN) is an online resource for families, schools and communities that promotes inclusive educational practices. ISN provides year-round events aimed at educating families and educators on the concept of inclusive education and provides links to many helpful resources on inclusion related topics. Additionally, ISN's "Tip of the Month" provides practical strategies and advice that teachers, school administrators, students,and family members can use to create more inclusive homes, schools, and communities.

Kids Against Bullying provides a fun interactive environment for kids to learn about and prevent bullying. This website will benefit children with and without disabilities alike. It provides an opportunity to read and share personal stories, poems and other kids' ideas on how to prevent bullying.

Individualized Education Plan (IEP): Summary, Process and Practical Tips, distributed by Autism Speaks, is intended to guide parents through the IEP process. The guide provides a timeline of actions throughout the IEP process and offers tips on how to prepare for meetings, how to handle disputes, and how to remain active in the process.

National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO) provides national leadership in designing and building educational assessments and accountability systems that appropriately monitor educational results for all students, including students with disabilities. Via the center's website, parents can access a wealth of information concerning educational starndards and policies related to students with disabilities. To better help parents navigate the laws and regulations, NCEO has written the following guide:

National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities provides a comprehensive directory of information and resources concerning Educating Children with Disabilities Parents can explore articles on such topics as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Individualized Education Program (IEP), available modifications and supports, and disability evaluation, among other topics. Parents can also be linked to their state's local Special Education office.

National Dropout Prevention Center for Students with Disabilities offers information and materials to parents of students with disabilities to help them devise and implement strategies that will help their child complete high school.

One Place for Special Needs offers a comprehensive database of online and local resources for parents of children with disabiliites. You will find links to programs, videos and websites related to everything from IEPs to Bullying to Socialization and everything in between.

Parent Centers serve families of children of all ages (birth through 26 years) with all disabilities; physical, cognitive, behavioral, social, and emotional. Services for school-aged children and their families can include, parent training and support, drop out prevention, social and recreational activities, internship and leadership opportunities and more.

New Sign Transition Guidelines: Preparing For Life After High School provides an outline of what students with disabilities should do throughout high school to ensure a successful transition to adult life. The outline offers a list of "must dos" as well as unique tips and ideas for each year that the student is in high school. This outline was developed by Milwaukee Public Schools.

Wrightslaw is an online resource dedicated to providing information on special education law, education law, and advocacy for children with disabilities. Visitors can easily search their informative website using their A to Z topic index.

Health Care

Family Voices provides families of children with special health care needs the tools to make informed decisions, advocates for improved public and private policies, and builds partnerships among professionals and families.

United Healthcare Children's Foundation provides financial relief for families who have children (up to age 16) with medical needs not covered or not fully covered by their commercial health benefit plan. Individuals enrolled in public health programs (such as Medicaid) are not eligible to apply. To learn more about the application criteria, visit the Foundation's website.

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[Updated February 28, 2013]
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