Resources for Parents of Children With Disabilities
February 4, 2022
When parents put their energy into caring for their child, they may forget to care for themselves. According to the American Psychological Association, parents of children with disabilities are especially at risk of caretaker stress and depression. Fortunately, there are a number of organizations and programs that provide support to children with disabilities and their families. With the right tool kit, parents can take care of themselves and create an environment where their child with a disability can thrive.
ASHA ProFind To help parents of children with disabilities find a speech language pathologist or audiologist in their area, the ASHA website hosts a comprehensive directory of certified professionals that can be filtered by location and specialty.
Family Voices – Find a Family-to-Family Health Information Center Family Voices is “a national organization and grassroots network of families and friends of children and youth with special healthcare needs and disabilities” to improve healthcare services for children with disabilities. This national directory helps families find information centers and health organizations affiliated with Family Voices.
UNICEF – Caring for Children with Disabilities [VIDEO] In a video for UNICEF, child development expert Professor Maureen Samms-Vaughan answers questions for parents about how they can best support and care for children with disabilities.
National Autism Center – For Families The National Autism Center is “a nonprofit organization dedicated to disseminating evidence-based information about the treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder.” Their information page for families includes the downloadable resource, “A Parent’s Guide to Evidence-based Practice and Autism,” to help parents navigate decisions related to treatment and other support for their child with ASD.
The Child Mind Institute – Autism Spectrum Disorder Basics This article from the Child Mind Institute offers high-level information about Autism Spectrum Disorder and can serve as a helpful resource for parents of children who have been recently diagnosed or are being assessed for a diagnosis.
The Autism Society of America – Autism and Your Family The Autism Society of America advocates for families and individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The organization’s resource page for families highlights strategies on how to show up for children with ASD, provide support to siblings of children with ASD, and practice self care to manage stress.
Resources for Parents of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children
American Society for Deaf Children – Parents and Families Per its mission to be a “source of information for people who must make decisions about deaf children,” including families, healthcare providers, educators and policy makers, the American Society for Deaf Children offers a variety of resources for parents and families.This section of the organization’s website has articles on how to navigate challenges and provide support for children who are deaf and hard of hearing.
Beginnings – For Parents As an organization that strives to support youth who are deaf and hard of hearing, Beginnings provides “families the resources they need so they can make informed decisions for their children, and we help them understand their rights and their children’s rights.”
EHDI-PALS – Find a Hearing Facility Created to help parents of deaf and hard of hearing children, this directory by Early Hearing Detection and Intervention allows users to search for audiology services for children from birth to age 5. Searches can be narrowed by multiple factors, including language and payment options and appointment availability.
Kids Health – Cochlear Implants (for Parents) Pursuing the option of a cochlear implant for a child who is deaf or hard of hearing is a major decision. This article from Kids Health offers basic information on how cochlear implants work, the potential benefits and risks, and how parents can support their child if they do get a cochlear implant.
National Association of the Deaf (NAD) – Information for Parents The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) is a “civil rights organization of, by and for deaf and hard of hearing individuals.” The group offers a resource page for parents of newly identified deaf or hard of hearing children, which includes information on language and communication, assistive technology, and how to navigate the first steps of seeking care for hearing impairment.
Resources for Parents About Speech and Language Disorders
Apraxia Kids – New to Apraxia? Apraxia Kids aims to provide information to parents and providers about childhood apraxia of speech. This resource page gives an overview of the speech disorder including how it is diagnosed and treated. The organization also links to other relevant articles and tools for apraxia awareness.
CDC – Language and Speech Disorders in Children This CDC resource provides high-level information about speech and language disorders, along with tips on early detection and what to do if a child is showing signs of delayed speech or language development.
Speech Disorder Resource Guide for K-12 Students This article highlights resources for educators and parents to better support children in grades K-12 with speech and language disorders. The organizations and tools featured in this list primarily focus on social and academic success in the classroom.
Teaching Resilience in Children With Speech and Language Disorders Building resilience in children with speech and language disorders can be beneficial to their development of self confidence and emotional awareness. This resource provides tips for parents on how they can talk to their children about their emotions and develop skills to navigate social situations.
AG Bell – Parent Support Line Named after famous inventor Alexander Graham Bell, this organization supports the deaf and hard of hearing community. AG Bell offers a hotline for parents of children with hearing impairment to seek support and have questions answered by other parents who have experienced similar challenges.
Best Buddies – U.S. Programs Directory Best Buddies is an organization with a national network of programs that pair individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities with a fellow peer. Through these programs, volunteers help foster friendship and inclusion for adolescents and children with disabilities. This directory allows parents to find a program in their area.
Hearing Health Foundation – Summer Camp Directory Spending time with relatable peers and participating in accessible activities can be beneficial to children with disabilities. This directory includes a variety of summer camps for children who are deaf and hard of hearing.
MyAutismTeam – Autism Parents Support Online This social network was developed to connect parents of children with autism spectrum disorder. Users can seek support from other parents, ask for advice, and share their experiences to help others.
P2P USA – Find a Parent-to-Parent Near You The mission of Parent to Parent USA is to “ensure access to quality emotional support for families of individuals with disabilities and/or special health care needs.” The organization connects parents of children with disabilities to a volunteer support parent for regular phone calls.
The Autism Society of America – National Helpline As part of its goal to support families and parents of children with autism spectrum disorder, the Autism Society of America runs a national helpline for parents. The hotline connects parents with an information and referral specialist who can answer questions and connect individuals with helpful resources.
ECTA Center – Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires public schools to provide children with disabilities a free education tailored to their needs. This resource page by Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center explains how the program works and answers frequently answered questions so parents can ensure their child is given the proper accommodations.
InsureKidsNow.gov Powered by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, this website provides parents with information to determine if their child qualifies for free or low-cost health and dental coverage through Medicaid & the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
Small Steps In Speech – Grant Application Small Steps in Speech offers grants to individuals ages 3 to 22 to cover the costs associated with treating speech and language disorders. Grants are awarded on a quarterly basis.