What do you like most about Facebook? Reconnecting with friends you haven’t seen in years, the ability to spy on your old boyfriend’s wall (not that I ever did that or anything), or that browsing through Facebook can give you access to so much information? As a mommy of two special needs children, Facebook has become a wonderful source of info and resources. Many of the following FB pages also have corresponding websites, however, “liking” them will result in the information being sent directly to you, instead of you having to visit all the websites to obtain it.
For most of these pages, I get updates almost daily on anything from new therapies, special needs events, activities, tips, new research, etc. Also, because both of my boys are diagnosed with ASD, I am a big fan of the Association for Science in Autism Treatment (ASAT) page, the Autism Spectrum Quarterly Magazine page, as well as the Autism Speaks page. However, as “special needs’ covers such a variety of diagnoses and abilities, I am including my favorite pages so all parents of special needs children can benefit from them.
Connections – The Special Needs Directory
This page “exists to help children and families with special needs find quality resources, discover hope and explore the possibilities.” It unites providers of special needs services with each other and the community. Their website, www.ConnectionsKids.com, provides a free directory of these resources.
The Family Resource Network
FRN is dedicated to “offering individuals and their families with continuing needs the greatest opportunities, resources and services to support a full and happy life.” Their FB page and website, www.familyresourcenetwork.org, is a wonderful source of information for special needs families!
Family Support Center of NJ
Family Support Center of New Jersey is a "one-stop shop" for individuals searching for information about disabilities, services and programs on national, state and local levels. The Family Support Center has a comprehensive Resource Database of services and programs, a lending library and a family friendly guide to opportunities for people with disabilities (the OPTIONS manual), all to keep families informed and involved in the New Jersey developmental disability community. Their website is www.FSCNJ.org.
LOVE this website and FB page! NJ Playgrounds is your go-to page for all types of parks in NJ! Their website, www.njplaygrounds.com, has recently been updated (per my request) to include a section for “small, enclosed, quiet, & safe” playgrounds. Just what all of us moms with special needs children have such a hard time finding. Their FB pages gives you updates on all the new parks added to their website.
Parenting Special Needs Magazine
This is my FAVORITE “special needs” magazine! And it’s free! It is a great resource for families of special needs children, “covering real life issues, providing practical tips and sharing personal experiences.” In order to sign up for this free online magazine, please visit their website at www.parentingspecialneeds.org.
Statewide Parent Advocacy Network (SPAN)
SPAN should be on every parent’s speed-dial! It is an organization where “parents & caregivers can become powerful and effective voices in ensuring that their children have the programs, services and supports that they need to become contributing members to their communities and society. Their efforts include the areas of education, health care, mental health, and child welfare, & SPAN offers comprehensive trainings, assistance, information and support to assist individual parents in understanding and supporting their child's academic, social and behavioral needs and to partner with professionals to improve schools, programs and services."
The purpose of this FB page as well as their website, www.wrightslaw.com, is for “parents, educators, advocates, and attorneys to come visit for accurate, reliable information about special education law and advocacy for children with disabilities.” Not only is this a great FB page filled with so much information, but their website can give you access to resources you never even knew existed.
Originally published 2011