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Special Education Resources for Parents

Instructor: Carrie Soucy
A variety of groups and organizations offer tools, information and other resources for parents of special education students. Read on to discover what they have to offer.

Groups and Organizations Offering Special Education Resources for Parents

National Association of Parents with Children in Special Education

The National Association of Parents with Children in Special Education (NAPCSE) is a member organization that offers parents information about disabilities and special education laws, publications covering areas of interest to parents with children in special education, a forum in which parents may ask questions of special education experts, and a resource library. The membership fee for parents and families is $49 per year or $85 for a two-year membership.

U.S. Department of Education

The U.S. Department of Education's website has a section dedicated to resources for the parents of children with special needs. These range from information regarding discrimination laws, explanations of how children with special needs are identified, tools to help parents improve their children's quality of life and learning, and contacts for state-level agencies and organizations.

Council for Exceptional Children

While the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) is a professional educators' group, the organization provides a range of tools and resources for parents and families of special education students, primarily regarding advocacy. Along with information about disabilities, the CEC has weekly publications and newsletters regarding special education and government policies relating to it, and a blog that allows parents to understand special education from an educator's perspective.

Wrightslaw

Wrightslaw.com, a website founded nearly two decades ago by a special education lawyer and a children's psychotherapist dedicated to special education law and advocacy, provides a wealth of legal and advocacy resources for parents. These include a legal library covering subjects such as Section 504, IDEA 2004 and special education case law, and an advocacy library with articles, advice and an 'ask the advocate' series. Parents may also sign up for a weekly Special Ed Advocate newsletter that covers topics and strategies for families and educators of special education students. The website is also searchable by topics, such as parental protection, IEPs, privacy and records, early intervention, and discrimination.

Learning Disabilities Association of America

The Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA) provides parents a series of articles regarding the special education process on its website. Subjects covered include the role of parents, parental rights, evaluation regulations, and collaborating with teachers.

Additional Special Education Resources for Parents

Online Courses

Study.com offers courses designed to provide parents with information and help guide them through the special education process. These include the informational Special Education History and Law course and the Fundamentals of Early Childhood Special Education course, which include lessons on how students qualify for special education services; the function, purpose and guidelines for IEPs; parent and student rights; Section 504 regulations and accommodations in public schools; and the importance of stakeholder communication in special education.

Apps for Children With Special Needs

Ipads and other technology have become ubiquitous teaching tools in schools, and parents may use similar technology with their children at home. Apps are available to help special education students with a variety of learning and developmental needs, including social, cognitive, and language skills.

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