Sunday, October 17, 2010

Special Needs Resources

If you haven't noticed, we're not just about activities here at MiCHill. We're also about resources. And following our current, and well-received, trend to give you research articles on Sunday nights, I thought of an area that definitely needs to be supported and addressed on this blog: special needs children.

I am thankful every day that my child is as easy as he is. But I also know that every single child out there is special, innocent, and a completely wonderful child, all of whom deserve all the love we can give as a society. Not to mention that all parents need support and guidance. If you have a special needs child, or have someone in your family that is special needs, there are specific resources tailored for you. And we would be remiss at MiCHill if we didn't provide this information for you.

Although someone else beat us to it. The very professional and thoughtful Carolina Parent has put together a fantastic brochure, totally free, that seems to be the best stop. The 2010-2011 Carolina Parent Special Edition has been on "newsstands" throughout the Triangle for about a month now. This nifty printed booklet of over 40 pages includes wonderful resources such as articles on identifying red flags, navigating the education system, and recommended reading to help you and your family address the situation. There is also a very long directory in the back with things like Speech Therapy Centers, Special Education Eligibility, OT, Enrichment and so much more. But you have to track this down. It is at kiosks randomly sprinkled throughout the Triangle area.

Unfortunately, this information isn't yet online either. It is slated to live here: http://carolinaparent.com/Guides/SpecialNeedsGuide.aspx. There is a smaller list of businesses here: http://carolinaparent.com/Resources/SpecialNeeds/default.aspx . But the second link is certainly not as comprehensive as the print edition, and may be supplanted by the digital guide anyhow.

Education.com
provides a nice, "governmenty" list of resources for our state. I personally find it a little hard to navigate and understand, but there is certainly a lot there.

Triangle Mom2Mom has a list of resources they have compiled here: http://www.trianglemom2mom.com/special-needs-support. It is a good site, but doesn't seem terribly comprehensive. It will still get you started, though.

By the way, for babysitting resources, Care.com provides a special section on finding caregivers with special needs experience.

If you know of any other resources that would be good for parents and caregivers to have, please share them with us. We at MiCHill strive to be a source of information and resources for all of our wonderful parents in the Triangle area.

Above all this advice, just remember to hug your kids tonight everyone!

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