Resources and Support for Parent and Guardians | Harbor School

Resources and Support for Parent and Guardians

This page is meant to provide an ongoing, go-to-resource to assist parents/guardians.

Assistive Technology

Alliance for Technology Access (ATA) (
The mission of the ATA is to increase the use of technology by children and adults with disabilities and functional limitations. ATA encourages and facilitates the empowerment of people with disabilities to participate fully in their communities. Through public education, information and referral, capacity building in community organizations and advocacy/policy efforts, the ATA enables millions of people to live, learn, work, define their futures and achieve their dreams.

The Trace Center (
The Trace Research & Development Center is a part of the College of Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Founded in 1971, Trace has been a pioneer in the field of technology and disability. The Resources and Tools section of their website has a variety of informational products, kits, videos, databases and online tools intended for consumers, advocates, industry and educators.

Attention Deficit Disorder/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

The Attention Deficit Disorder Association (
The Attention Deficit Disorder Association provides information, resources and networking opportunities to help adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder lead better lives.

Autism Spectrum Disorder/Pervasive Development Disorder

The Autism Society (
The Autism Society has a simple goal: To improve the lives of all living with autism. In order to improve lives, we focus on ensuring that all individuals with autism and their families have access to the help they need.

15 Behavior Strategies for Children on the Autism Spectrum (
In this article you will find 15 supportive behavior strategies for children on the autism spectrum (some strategies can be used with adults as well). Many of the strategies can also be used to help children without autism who have challenging behaviors.

For Educators: Strategies for Working With Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder (
In this article you will find 15 supportive behavior strategies for children on the autism spectrum (some strategies can be used with adults as well). Many of the strategies can also be used to help children without autism who have challenging behaviors.

Helping Asperger’s Teens To Survive and Thrive: 15 Key Steps (
It’s imperative that parents become highly educated about the experiences of the Asperger’s/HFA teen, so that they can be highly intuitive about their teen’s changing needs, and know ahead of time how they can support and help these young people face their challenges.

The Parental Guide to Keeping Autistic Kids Safe (
This site offers a comprehensive overview of the various needs and awareness to better ensure the safety, guidance, and better outcomes for autistic children, from school, home, and the community.

Is a Therapy Dog Right for Your Child with Autism [Complete Guide](
There are varying degrees of autism, and while there is no cure, there are many therapies, tools, and interventions that may be helpful. One option families with an autistic child are considering is bringing an autism therapy dog into their home. While there can be benefits, a therapy dog may or may not be the right fit for every child or family.

Brain/Spinal Cord Injury

Epilepsy Foundation (
The mission of the Epilepsy Foundation is to stop seizures and SUDEP (Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy), find a cure and overcome the challenges created by epilepsy through efforts including education, advocacy and research to accelerate ideas into therapies.

Cerebral Palsy Group (
Cerebral Palsy Group is an online resource for anyone who has been affected by cerebral palsy, birth injuries, or brain injuries. Our team was created so we can provide answers and all types of assistance needed to help improve the quality of life for loved ones and family members with cerebral palsy.

Communication Disabilities

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) (
The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association is committed to ensuring that all people with speech, language and hearing disorders receive services to help them communicate effectively. Here you will find resources to help you understand communication and communication disorders.

Educator Resources

Teacher Resources for Special Needs (
Inform yourself about curriculum strategies and classroom management for students with different learning needs. We have resources on everything you need to know about teaching special needs students effectively.

Emotional and Behavioral Disorders

NationalFederation of Families for Children’s Mental Health (FFCMH) (
The National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health is a national family-run organization linking more than 120 chapters and state organizations focused on the issues of children and youth with emotional, behavioral or mental health needs and their families.

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) (
NAMI is the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. NAMI advocates for access to services, treatment, supports and research and is steadfast in its commitment to raise awareness and build a community for hope for all of those in need.

Home/Life Skills

Keeping Disabled Persons Safe While Remodeling  (
Keeping Seniors and Special Needs Individuals Safe Around Construction.

Creating a Home Where Your Disabled Child can Thrive (
When your child is disabled, whether because of the way they were born or after an accident or injury, you instantly turn from simply a parent to an advocate. It’s your job to give your child the best possible start in life, embracing the different abilities so your child can thrive.

Disaster Preparedness for Special Needs (
Disaster Safety & Assistive Technology: Protection for Seniors & the Disabled.

Tips for Disabled Persons to Declutter and Organize their Home (
Tips to Declutter and Organize Your Home for Seniors and Individuals with Special Needs.

Renters’ Rights for People with Disabilities Under federal law, disabled tenants and prospective tenants with a disability have the right to apply for and live in a rental unit regardless of their impairment.

Special Needs Safety Around Construction Sites
) The Americans with Disability Act (ADA) protects the rights of the disabled, and outlines requirements for construction sites to help keep disabled bystanders protected from injury.

Managing Sensory Processing Issues at Home ( Solutions at home to cope with sensory processing issues and sensitivities

Helping Children with ADHD and ASD Sleep This resource reviews the commonalities between these disorders, how to recognize symptoms and receive a diagnosis for your child, and common sleep issues and guidance for helping your child get a better night’s sleep

How to Create a Backyard Sanctuary for Kids with Disabilities Making your home a place where a child with special needs can be active takes more than a look around. You’ll want to brainstorm ways the outside can be an inclusive sanctuary for children of all abilities, too.

Creating a Home Atmosphere of Solitude to Help Cope with Adult Autism In this guide, we will discuss the modifications you can make to your home to better manage your adult autism. Whether your budget is limited or large, there are a myriad of ways to reduce sensory overload at home, and we’ll take into account the particular obstacles adults with autism may face.

Traveling Abroad with a Disability In today’s world, travel isn’t restrictive. Regardless of whether you’re fit and healthy, have a physical impairment, learning disability, or any other condition, there should be no excuse to avoid traveling. You’ll be able to visit even the most exotic of destinations to experience what our planet has to offer.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Sleep Lack of sleep can exacerbate some of the behavioral characteristics of ASD, such as hyperactivity, aggression, and lack of concentration. As a result, people with ASD who have a hard time sleeping may struggle at work or in their classroom.

How to Explain Autism to Typical Kids (and Lots of Others While You’re At It) (
Autism awareness and acceptance are good things. The more the average person knows about autism, the better it will be for the community — especially our autistic members.

How Do You Know When Your ASD Child is Being Bullied?
Think about a child with autism. At the heart of their challenges are exactly what makes them ideal prey for bullies: lack of language and social integration issues.

How to Create the Ultimate Playroom for a Child with Autism (
When it comes to building a playroom, that means each design choice can enhance the many strengths of a child on the spectrum.

7 Rockin’ Sensory Play Activities for Kids on the Spectrum
Sensory play is any activity that stimulates a child’s senses such as touch, sound, taste, sight, and smell.

Ways to Help Your Child With Autism Fit In Socially
Most children with autism have a tough time fitting in with their peers. In fact, because autism’s core symptoms include difficulty with social communication, social problems are almost inevitable.

Sensory Friendly Birthday Party Activities for Children with Autism
Here are a few sensory-friendly birthday party activities for children with autism that you can incorporate along with a few suggestions for where to hold this birthday bash if you don’t want to hold it at home (or plan out the activities).

The full guide to flying with a disability
This in-depth guide was created to help make travelling safer and easier for people with disabilities.

Intellectual and Development Disabilities

The Arc (
We are the largest national community-based organization advocating for and serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. We encompass all ages and all spectrums from autism, Down syndrome, Fragile X and various other developmental disabilities.

Learning Disabilities

Learning Disabilities Association of America (
Since 1964, the Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA) has provided support to people with learning disabilities, their parents, teachers and other professionals. Today, the LDA is the largest non-profit volunteer organization advocating for individuals with disabilities, and provides cutting-edge information on learning disabilities, practical solutions and a comprehensive network of resources.

Legal/Advocacy Information and Resource

National Disability Rights Network (
Every single day, our Network protects and advocates for the rights of people with disabilities across the United States and the territories. We fight to end abuse and neglect where we find it. We assist people in finding and keeping their jobs and work with kids, parents and schools to combat bullying and ensure educational opportunities for students with disabilities.

Education Law Resource Center (
The Education Law Resource Center provides information to help parents, educators and other professionals understand legal requirements and meet student needs. This site contains information and resources about a variety of education law topics including physical restraints in schools, special education and No Child Left Behind.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (
The official website of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Part B (ages 3 to 21) and Part C (birth to 2 years).

Wrightslaw (
Parents, educators, advocates and attorneys come to Wrightslaw for accurate, reliable information about special education law, education law and advocacy for children with disabilities.

Financial Planning for Special Needs (
Special Needs Seniors – Planning for the Future of this Vulnerable Population.

Disability Resources from the Department of Labor (
If you are looking for information to promote an inclusive workforce and increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities, please visit this resource.

Legal Resources for Special Needs (
Legal Resources and Considerations for Seniors and Persons with Special Needs.

Tenants’ Rights and Housing Assistance for People with Disabilities (
Living independently is a goal for many adult children with disabilities. It’s an important part of having a fulfilling life, and the drive for freedom exists regardless of ability.

Support Organizations for Families

NICHCY serves the nation as a central source of information on disabilities in infants, toddlers, children and youth. You’ll find easy-to-read articles on IDEA, the law authorizing early intervention services and special education, as well as researched-based information on effective practices, programs and services.

Child Development Institute (
Our website is designed to provide the information and tools parents need to understand their unique child/children and to enable them to help each child develop into the successful human being they were meant to be.

Through the Looking Glass (
Through the Looking Glass (TLG) is a nationally-recognized center that has pioneered research, training and services for families in which a child, parent or grandparent has a disability or medical issue. Our mission is “To create, demonstrate and encourage non-pathological and empowering resources and model early intervention services for families with disability issues in parent or child which integrate expertise derived from personal disability experience and disability culture.”

PACER ( mission of PACER Center (Parent Advocacy Coalition for Educational Rights) is to expand opportunities and enhance the quality of life of children and young adults with disabilities and their families, based on the concept of parents helping parents. With assistance to individual families, workshops, materials for parents and professionals and leadership in securing a free and appropriate public education for all children, PACER’s work affects and encourages families in Minnesota and across the nation.

Parents Helping Parents (
Parents Helping Parents (PHP) strives to improve the quality of life for any child with any special need of any age, through educating, supporting and training their primary caregivers.

E-Ready Special Education Information for Parents (
This page provides parents, as well as teachers, of children with disabilities with information on specific disabilities, a glossary of special education terms, and links to helpful resources.

AllExperts – Special Education (
This website allows parents to ask questions of AllExpert’s volunteer experts regarding all aspects of special education; questions and answers are available for search as well.

U.S. Department of Education (
The Department of Education provides a list of resources pertaining to the needs of children with disabilities.

Easter Seals ( Seals provides exceptional services, education, outreach and advocacy so that people living with autism and other disabilities can live, learn, work and play in our communities.

Angelman Syndrome Foundation (
The Angelman Syndrome Foundation advances the awareness and treatment of AS through education and research, and provides support to individuals and families.

TASH is an international leader in disability advocacy for human rights and inclusion for people with significant disabilities and support needs. TASH works to advance inclusive communities through advocacy, research, professional development, policy and information and resources for parents, families and self-advocates.

Special Education News (
Special education News is a newspaper that provides information on issues related to special education.

The Sturge-Weber Foundation (
The Sturge-Weber Foundation is a non-profit organization for parents, patients, and all others concerned with SWS.

The Federation for Children with Special Needs (
The Federation for Children with Special Needs provides information, support and assistance to parents of children with disabilities, their professional partners and their communities. We are committed to listening to and learning from families, and encouraging full participation in community life by all people, especially those with disabilities.

Family Voices (
Family Voices aims to achieve family-centered care for all children and youth with special health care needs and/or disabilities. Through our national network, we provide families with tools to make informed decisions, advocate for improved public and private policies, build partnerships among professionals and families, and serve as a trusted resource on health care. For example, since 1982, Support for Families of Children with Disabilities has offered information, education, and parent-to-parent support free of charge to families of children with any kind of disability, concern, or special health care need in San Francisco. Support for Families is the coordinating office for Family Voices of California, a statewide collaborative of locally-based parent-run centers working to ensure quality health care for children and youth with special needs.

Team Of Advocates For Special Kids (
Team of Advocates for Special Kids (TASK) is a nonprofit charitable organization whose mission is to enable individuals with disabilities to reach their maximum potential.

Disability Resources, inc. (
Disability Resources, inc. is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization established to promote and improve awareness, availability and accessibility of information that can help people with disabilities live, learn, love, work and play independently.

A Rosie Place (
A Rosie Place provides a safe and nurturing haven for medically fragile children while giving family members periods of relief from the demands of full-time caregiving.

Managing Your Child’s Transition to Adulthood (
My Child Without Limits looks to provide you, your loved one’s best advocate, with the knowledge, resources, and network to ensure their future is without limits.

Financial Resources and Discounts for Students With Disabilities (
This link is to a helpful guide to various financial resources, discounts and savings opportunities, and travel tips for students with disabilities.

Visual Impairment

FamilyConnect (
FamilyConnect is designed for parents of children with visual impairments, and brought to you by American Foundation for the Blind and National Association for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments. On FamilyConnect you’ll find videos, personal stories, events, news and an online community that can offer tips and support from other parents of children who are blind or visually impaired.

Low Vision Internet Gateway ( The Low Vision Gateway was developed to be a starting point to access information on the World Wide Web related to the fields of low vision rehabilitation and blindness.