I clearly remember the feeling of isolation and confusion when my first child, Billy was born. I was hearing medical terms I had never heard before, and wondered where to next. Billy was born with several abnormalities. I was looking forward to meeting my baby, but instead I met a number of Doctors who introduced me to medical terms.
Billy was almost five months old when I was able to take him home. I felt nervous and alone. It was impossible to know what the future held for Billy, in terms of development. As Billy grew, it was easy to see he was lagging behind other children his age. I knew I needed support but it was difficult to know where to get it.
I found it extremely frustrating trying to find information and of the little I did find, most were unable to help as Billy did not fit their criteria.
Billy is almost ten years old now and I have spent many of those years researching and learning to not only help Billy but also help myself. The emotional impact of having a child with disabilities is huge! You may experience grief, anger, guilt, resentment, isolation. You may lose friends, you may have relationship issues and the support that you do have may try to tell you they understand, but you know, it is impossible for anyone to understand unless they live with it themselves. I’m sure there are many parents that suddenly find themselves in the world of special needs, who feel overwhelmed and confused. To make life a little easier I have put together this list of some great websites to help you find the right type of support.
- Parent to Parent
This is a fantastic site. It has lots of great information from other parents that have special needs children so the issues are real and the advice is relevant. Some of the content is targeted to families in Melbourne but that is no big deal as there are lots of great tips and resources that apply to anyone and it’s free to access!
- Friendship Circe Blog
This site is run out of the US however the information is relevant globally. They have loads of informative posts on the issues we aren’t told about, such as “Helping our children cope with haircuts” or “The 10 best special needs apps”. Lots of tips and reviews on all things special needs.
- Disability Online
Disability Online is Australia’s disability hub. It has so much great information on almost everything to do with services, events,recreational activities, news, and carers support. Lots of great links to other disability organisations.
- Sue Larkey
Sue Larkey is unashamedly passionate about her mission – to inspire parents and educators and teach them how to Make it a Success. Sue Larkey is uniquely positioned within the education system having taught both as a primary school teacher and a special education teacher. She has lots of fact sheets on autism and Aspergers along with workshop information, products, books, tip sheets and other resources.
Offers easy access to a wide range of information, resources, services and products of interest to people with disability, their families and carers, health professionals and service providers in the disability sector. Really easy to use with loads of information!
So there you have them, my top five websites for parents of children with special needs. Hopefully this list will make things a little easier when you may well be on the back-end of meltdowns by your child or if you’re like me, meltdowns from yourself!
Do you know of any other great websites for special needs parents? If you do please share them with others by commenting on this post.