State and National Resources
for Families and Children with Special Needs
American Academy of Pediatrics has a policy statement that helps pediatricians recognize the early symptoms of autism and how to participate in its diagnosis and management. An accompanying technical report serves to familiarize pediatricians with currently accepted criteria defining the spectrum of autism, strategies used in making a diagnosis, and conventional and alternative interventions. This report is great information for parents to share with family physicians. To find the articles follow the link to their publications site and search autism. See pediatrics.aappublications.org/site/aappolicy.
The Arc of Washington State advocates for quality services and necessary funding to meet the needs of people with developmental disabilities and their families, including birth to three services, special education, employment, and residential supports, health care, transportation, respite care, and inclusion in the community. See www.arcwa.org.
Autism Center, Center on Human Development and Disability, University of Washington provides intervention services, professional training, diagnostic evaluations, and program consultation for children with autism and related pervasive developmental disorders. Phone: 206-221-6806, or visit depts.washington.edu/uwautism.
Autism Outreach Project is an OSPI State Needs Project that provides information and technical assistance on autism spectrum disorders to Washington State families, schools, and agencies for students ages birth to 21. They have a great lending library for families and professionals at no cost. See www.nwesd.org/autism.
The Autism Society of Washington promotes the active and informed involvement of family members and the individual with autism in the planning of individualized, appropriate services and supports. See www.autismsocietyofwa.org.
The Center for Children with Special Needs was formed in 1998 as a program of Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center in Seattle, Washington. The Center focuses on improving systems of care for children with special needs through education, research, and evaluation. See www.cshcn.org.
The Center for Change in Transition Services, Seattle University is a State Needs Project funded by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction that provides resources, publications, and trainings aroundd transition from school to the adult world. See www.seattleu.edu/ccts.
The Center for the Study of Autism provides information about autism to parents and professionals, and conducts research on the efficacy of various therapeutic interventions. Research is in collaboration with the Autism Research Institute in San Diego, CA. See www.autism.org.
CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) is the nation’s leading non-profit organization serving individuals with AD/HD and their families. CHADD has over 16,000 memers in 200 local chapters throughout the US. Chapters offer support for individuals, parents, teachers, professionals, and others. See www.chadd.org.
Children’s Hospital Library offers a special collection of books for families who have children with special health care needs. They also have an extensive library about autism. See www.seattlechildrens.org/clinics-programs/library.
Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) promotes children’s success in school and life by promoting evidence-based social, emotional, and academic learning as an essential part of education, from preschool through high school. It publishes and disseminates information so research and theory can make it into the real world. See casel.org.
The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) is the largest international professional organization dedicated to improving educational outcomes for individuals with exceptionalities, students with disabilities, and/or the gifted. CEC advocates for appropriate governmental policies, sets professional standards, provides continual professional development, advocates for newly and historically underserved individuals with exceptionalities, and helps professionals obtain resources necessary for effective professional development. www.cec.sped.org.
Department of Education, The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) is a federal agency committed to improving results and outcomes for people with disabilities of all ages. OSERS provides support to families, professionals, and other interested community members. See www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/osers.
The Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) is a group of programs and services to help children, families, individuals with specialized needs, and individuals needing long term care. DSHS programs include Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD), the Infant Toddler Early Intervention Program (ITEIP), and Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR). See www.wa.gov/dshs.
Disability Website Guide is a web based resource link to hundreds of resources for children and adults with disabilities. There is a link for children to use as well as linkages to state and national resources. See www.disabilityresources.org/WASHINGTON.html.
Do2Learn provides free printable learning tools, including picture cards, organizational tools, and information. www.doToLearn.com.
The Epilepsy Foundation is the national voluntary agency solely dedicated to the welfare of over 3 million people with epilepsy in the U.S. and their families. See www.epilepsyfoundation.org.
The Families and Advocates Partnership for Education (FAPE) project is a partnership that aims to improve the educational outcomes for children with disabilities. It links families, advocates, and self-advocates to information about the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). It is funded by the U.S. Department of Education. See www.fape.org.
Families Together is a nonprofit organization that believes family involvement and support are essential for individuals with disabilities to reach their potential and maintain a life that is secure and meaningful. Its programs are designed to build and sustain strong, healthy, informed, and actively involved family members who can work together to improve the life long outcomes for their child or sibling with a disability. See www.familiestogether.org.
Family Village is a global community that integrates information, resources, and communication opportunities on the Internet for persons with cognitive and other disabilities, for their families, and for those that provide services and support. See www.familyvillage.wisc.edu.
Washington State Fathers Network celebrates and supports fathers and families raising children with special health care needs and developmental disabilities. See fathersnetwork.org.
First Signs provides pediatricians and family practitioners with free information about the screening for autism and other developmental disorders and to inform parents about the key social, emotional, and communication milestones. The site also has free downloads of screening tools for developmental disorders. See www.firstsigns.org.
IDEA website funded by the Council for Exceptional Children, has updated information about the federal education law (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) that protects children who have special needs. Visit idea.ed.gov.
Learning Disabilities of Washington (LDA of WA) provides referrals, resources, information, and workshops. See www.ldawa.org.
National ADHD Directory provides resources for families and community members. See w3.addresources.org.
National Center for Learning Disabilities includes a link to a Parent Center as well as information for students and adults with LD. It is a wonderful resource for family members or educators working with students with LD or an adult seeking resources. See www.ncld.org.
National Institute on Mental Health provides on-line publications on a variety of topics as well as information on national resources and supports. See www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/index.shtml.
Online Asperger Syndrome and Support (OASIS) and MAAP Services for Autism and Asperger Syndrome provide information and support on Asperger’s Syndrome. See www.aspergersyndrome.org.
PACER (Parent Advocacy Coalition for Educational Rights) is an organization dedicated to providing resources to parents and members of the community who support individuals with disabilities. The site has a wealth of downloadable handouts, linkages to other websites, and information about the federal law that protects students with disabilities. See
Parent to Parent (P2P) provides resources to families, educators, and community members. There are local chapters located throughout Washington, including Kitsap County (see Local Resources). Visit arcwa.org/getsupport/parent_to_parent_p2p_programs.
Special Education Technology Center is an unique State Needs Project funded by OSPI. The Center works with a student’s IEP team to assess assistive technology needs. The school and parents can borrow equipment for a two week period to see if the software or hardware is appropriate for the student. The Center will only work through IEP teams from school districts, but parents can assess the website for information about various software programs and linkages to technology companies. See www.specialedtechcenter.org.
Social Thinking/Michelle Winner Garcia is a speech and language pathologist who addresses the educational and life planning needs of individuals with autism spectrum disorders. She specializes in social thinking and perspective-taking therapy and education for professionals, educators, children, and adults with high-end autism spectrum disorders. See www.socialthinking.com.
Washington Sensory Disabilities Services (WSDS) provides support and resources to families and educators who have students with vision and hearing disabilities. The vision/loss can be part of other disabilities. It is a State Needs Project funded through OSPI and there is no cost for families or educators to seek support. See www.wsdsonline.org.
Washington State Branch of the International Dyslexia Association (WABIDA) offers resources and hosts various workshops in the Seattle area throughout the year. The organization also hosts an annual presentation with nationally known speakers. See www.wabida.org.