A Cup of Comfort for Parents of Children with Special Needs: Stories That Celebrate the Differences in Our Extraordinary Kids
This touching and heartfelt book is a collection of 50 stories of parents who have gone from struggling with their child’s diagnosis to embracing their child’s differences and small achievements.
Call#: WS 105.5 .F2 C974 2009
A Different Kind of Perfect: Writings by Parents Raising a Child with Special Needs
An honest book of many different voices collected together and grouped into chapters reflecting the progressive stages of many parents’ emotional journeys, starting with grief, denial and anger and moving to acceptance, empowerment, laughter and joy.
Call#: WS 107.5 .R5 D569 2006
Not What I Expected: Help and Hope for Parents of Atypical Children
A pediatric neuropsychologist presents strategies to help parents of children with special needs navigate the emotional challenges they face. Dr. Eichenstein shares her practical solutions to walk the five stages of acceptance so that readers can embrace their child with acceptance, compassion and joy.
Call#: WS 107.5 .R5 Ei23n 2015
Optimistic Parenting: Hope and Help for You and Your Challenging Child
Optimistic Parenting is a guidebook for parents and caregivers to help reduce children’s challenging behaviors, with a variety of practical tools and strategies on effective behavior management.
Call#: WS 350.6 .D948 2011
Supportive Parenting: Becoming an Advocate for your Child with Special Needs
Developmental psychologist and educator Campito draws on her own experiences as a parent to personalize the experience of becoming an advocate for one’s child. She explains how parents can work with communities of care to meet their child’s needs.
Call#: WS 107.5 R5 C196 2007
Team up for your child : a step-by-step guide to working smarter with doctors, schools, insurers, and agencies
Getting services for a child with behavioral health needs-from ADHD to autism to psychiatric and developmental problems-can be overwhelming. This is a step-by-step guide to working smarter with medical, behavioral health, and educational professionals.
Call#: WS 107.5 .R5 B555 2008
The Common Sense Guide to Your Child’s Special Needs : When to Worry, When to Wait, What to Do
Now streamlined and reorganized by key developmental milestones rather than by disability, this book responds perfectly to the needs of parents who don’t have a diagnosis yet or want to explore challenges common across disabilities.
Call#: LC 3969 .P45 2012
The Everything Parent’s guide to Special Education: A complete Step by Step Guide to Advocating for your child with Special needs
Children with special needs who succeed in school have one thing in common– their parents are passionate and effective advocates. Morin helps you learn how to evaluate, prepare, organize, and get quality services, no matter what your child’s disability.
Call#: LC 3981 .M8253 2014
Videos and Media
A Place of Our Own. Early Childhood Solutions: Special Needs
This video provides parents and childcare providers with information to help young children develop social, emotional, and cognitive skills in preparation for entering kindergarten.
Call#: LB 1132 .P53 2008
A Place of Our Own: Early Childhood Solutions: Behavior and Emotions
This series explores how parents and caregivers can better support the social and emotional development of young children and addresses separation anxiety.
Call#: WS 113 .P697 2008
Early Childhood Intervention: The Power of Family
A brief video with a variety of early childhood and early intervention experts from around the world discussing the importance of family in the early intervention process.
New I.D.E.A. for Special Education: Understanding the System and the New Law: A Guide for Parents, a Tool for Educators
This video explains to parents all about the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (I.D.E.A.), the law governing special education. It covers the referral and evaluation processes as well as the creation of an individualized education program (IEP).
Call#: LB 4031 .N532dvd 2005
Family Matters provides disability-related information, referrals, telephone consultation, parent trainings, a lending library, and more for families of students and adults with disabilities. Live and online conferences, workshops, and other events are available. Family Matters serves all Illinois counties except Cook, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will.
Created by parents, professionals, and volunteers, FRCD seeks to improve services for all children with disabilities through parent training, special education rights seminars, and information assistance and support through telephone and mail requests. They also maintain an extensive list of Parent Support Groups
A national family-led organization of families and friends of children and youth with special health care needs and disabilities. We connect a network of family organizations across the United States that provide support to families of children and youth with special health care needs. We promote partnership with families at all levels of health care–individual and policy decision-making levels—in order to improve health care services and policies for children.
Informing, educating, empowering families. FCSN 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.
With over 80 locations worldwide, the Friendship Circle is a Jewish organization for children with special needs. The Friendship Circle’s unique approach brings together teenage volunteers and children with special needs for hours of fun and friendship. The parents and siblings receive much-needed respite and support from the Friendship Circle community. Each independent Friendship Circle is operated by its local Chabad Lubavitch Center and is entirely supported by each local community to benefit local children with special needs.
IATP’s mission is to increase access to and the acquisition of Assistive Technology (AT) devices and services for individuals of all ages with disabilities.
Provides programs for children and adults with intellectual challenges in the Chicago area and offers international consulting work, Keshet is an internationally recognized program for individuals with disabilities. With local programming at over seventy sites in the Chicago area, the organization strives to meet its most important mission: To do whatever necessary to allow individuals with disabilities to achieve their potential.
The mission of the PACER Center (Parent Advocacy Coalition for Educational Rights) is to expand opportunities and enhance the quality of life of children with special needs and their families based on the concept of parents helping parents. The Web site contains information and free resources, including materials on parent-professional partnerships in early intervention. Many resources have been translated into Hmong, Somali and Spanish.
The Special Needs Alliance is a national organization comprised of attorneys committed to helping individuals with disabilities, their families and the professionals who serve them. Many of our members have loved ones with special needs; all of them work regularly with public benefits, guardianships/conservatorships, planning for disabilities and special education issues. They collaborate with advocates throughout the special needs community to improve quality of life for individuals with disabilities.
The Arc is the largest national community-based organization advocating for and serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. We encompass all ages and more than 100 different diagnoses including autism, Down syndrome, Fragile X syndrome, and various other developmental disabilities. The Arc promotes and protects the human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and actively supports their full inclusion and participation in the community throughout their lifetimes.
Parent-Provider-Community Partnerships: Optimizing Outcomes for Children with Disabilities
The authors of this article explore the challenges of developing effective community-based systems of care for children with disabilities and make suggestions that pediatricians and policy-makers develop better partnerships with the families and other health care providers to best help the children.
This study chooses to look at how mothers and caregivers of children with special needs really feel about their socially perceived burdens and the benefits of their caregiving role.
Illinois Early Learning Project (2014)
This blog post, written by Dr. Susan Fowler, discusses how to talk about a child who has special needs with other parents or children.
Illinois Early Learning Project (2013)
Games help make movement fun. Play and laughter can help develop friendship while encouraging physical fitness. Consider each child’s abilities, and encourage all children to play by adapting games for children with special needs.
Pacer Center (2020)
This brief article provides suggestions on how parents can effectively help their child’s care team to better understand their child’s unique needs and priorities.
Parenting Special Needs Magazine (2022)
Parenting Special Needs is an online magazine that provides both information and inspiration to parents of children with special needs of all ages and stages of life.
Illinois Early Learning Project (2022)
Parents often have questions about sources of information and support. This Q&A addresses many of the questions that parents have asked the Illinois Early Learning project staff over the past few years and suggests resources that parents of young children may find useful.