Workshops and Conferences:
One of the most rewarding experiences you can have is to attend a workshop, presentation or conference. There you will not only be able to take in what the speaker or presenter has to say, but you will also get to meet and trade experiences with other parents that are traveling on the same road as you. These organizations either conduct or list (or both) upcoming events. It is highly recommended to go to their sites and get on their mailing list.
Connecticut Parent Advocacy Center -- this is truly a great organization. They will even come to your school and put on presentations on a variety of topics if you can put together even a small audience. The Executive Director is Nancy Prescott and she is as dedicated and committed as they come to helping out.
SPED*NETWilton hosts a series of workshops throughout the year. Please click on their website for a lot of interesting information and a listing of their 'Learning to Soar Speaker Series' - http://www.spednetwilton.org/
SPED*NETNewCanaan is yet another great local resource. They also host learning opportunities. Go to their website and 'click' on 'Upcoming Events' to tap into all of the many area 'sped' events that are occuring - http://www.spednet.org/
SEPTA NETWORK is a special education parent advocacy group that provides resources and support for Parents and Teachers of special education children. One important service they provide is the monthly (confidential) parent support meeting.
SEPTO NETWORK is a Special Education Parent Advocacy Group based in Milford, Connecticut
CtFEAThas a VERY active parent discussion group. You will find a great deal of
information that is shared by parents. There is no better way to learn than to listen
to those who have been there. This is a highly recommended stop.
For a list of very helpful (and FREE) publications - go to:
In addition to scouring the web for information, it is well worth your while to pick up one or more of these books. I have personally read each cover to cover and have found them helpful.
Exceptionally Helpful Books (in no particular order):
"From Emotions to Advocacy (2nd Ed.) - The Special Education Survival Guide", Wrightslaw - for the pro se parent
"Special Education Law (2nd Ed.)", Wrightslaw - get a feel for the law (hint: its very complicated)
"Your Child in the Balance - An Insider's Guide for Parents to the Psychiatric Medicine Dilemma", Kevin Kalikow - a must read when the time comes to consider 'the big decision'(to Rx or not to Rx) see http://www.yourchildinthebalance.com/
"It's So Much Work to Be Your Friend - Helping the Child with Learning Disabilities Find Social Success", Richard LaVoie - Is your child playing with other kids on the playground or just along side them? A must read. Also - see the video "F.A.T. City" !!! go to http://www.ricklavoie.com/gateindex.html
"The Misunderstood Child - Understanding and Coping with Your Child's Learning Disabilities", Larry Silver - a call to arms for parents to do the right thing - you are morally responsible for being your child's advocate, go to http://www.ldonline.org/experts/silver
"A Mind at a Time", Mel Levine - there is nothing 'wrong' with your child, he just learns differently. reviewed at http://www.hepg.org/her/booknote/30
[note: Dr. Levine was accused of molesting some of his patients and thereafter has committed suicide. you decide if this affects the message]
"Attention Deficit Disorder - The Unfocused Mind in Children and Adults", Thomas Brown - a superb book to help you understand what the disorder is all about. I would highly suggest reading this book particularly if you wish to learn about the nuts and bolts of ADHD. This is one of the first books that I read on my journey and one of the best ones at that. Dr. Brown practices in Connecticut and worked with our family. He is one of the foremost authorities on ADHD.
"Taking Charge of ADHD- The complete Authoritative Guide for Parents", Russell Barkley - this was fantastic, I wish I had read this much earlier. Again, another great book to help you understand the underpinnings of the disorder. Another must read for the ADHD parent -http://+www.russellbarkley.org/taking-charge-of-adhd-book.htm
"1-2-3 Magic", Thomas Phelan - the behavior Bible, visit http://www.parentmagic.com/
"The Explosive Child", Ross Greene - understanding the easily frustrated and inflexible child, see http://www.livesinthebalance.org/
"IEP (and Inclusion) Tips", Eason/Whitbread - homegrown tips to introduce you to the IEP process and makes practical suggestions, visit http://www.spedlawyers.com/
"Straight Talk About Psychological Testing for Kids", Braaten/Felopulos - don't know a WISC from a BASC test? Read on. This was a very helpful Rosetta Stone, see http://www.therapeuticresources.com/67-0787text.html
"Driven to Distraction", "Answers to Distraction", and "Superparenting for ADD", Dr. Edward Hallowell - a fantastic outlook centering on a strength-based approach ('what is good about how he thinks?') http://www.drhallowell.com/books/
"The ADD & ADHD Answer Book", Susan Ashley - a good place to start- you need to have some answers before you can ask the right questions, available online http://www.amazon.com/ADD-ADHD-Answer-Book-Professional/dp/140220549X