Mental Health and Parenting Resources
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The resources compiled here cover a wide variety of mental health, learning and parenting support and are listed to help you in your research.
Helpful Websites: Click on each tab to see the list of links and descriptions for each website.
Emergency and Crisis Numbers
In case of Psychiatric and/or Life-Threatening Emergencies, please call 911 or go to the nearest Hospital Emergency Room.
Crisis Text Line Text HOME to 741741 to connect with a Crisis Counselor.
800-704-0900, Select option #2 Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
National Suicide Hotline
(800) SUICIDE or (800) 273-TALK
(408) 279-3312 (Santa Clara County)
Youth Crisis Line
To Report Child Abuse
(800) 4-A-CHILD or (408) 299-2071
To Report Elder Abuse or Abuse of Persons with Disabilities
Provides crisis intervention and travel assistance as well as referrals to shelters nationwide. Relays messages to, or sets up conference calls with, parents at the request of the child.
Domestic Violence (Find a local shelter)
Support Network for Battered Women
Domestic violence support for men and women
RAINN National Rape Crisis Hotline
Rape support for male and female victims
Valley Medical Center (Santa Clara)
Alcohol/Drug Abuse Hotline
Alcohol and drug treatment
Gay & Lesbian National Hotline
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender (GLBT) Youth Support Line
- Autism Speaks – was founded in February 2005 by Bob and Suzanne Wright, grandparents of a child with autism. Autism Speaks has grown into the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization, dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families.
- Autism Society of America – is the leading voice and resource of the entire autism community in education, advocacy, services, research and support. The Autism Society is committed to meaningful participation and self-determination in all aspects of life for individuals on the autism spectrum and their families. The Autism Society accomplishes its ongoing mission through close collaboration with a successful network of affiliates, members and supporters.
- Autism Educators.com – This FREE EP Goal Bank allows you to find IEP goals and products designed specifically to help your child meet their goals.
AASPIRE Healthcare Toolkit- Patient Centered Care Tools for Autistic Adults. Primary Care Resources for Adults on the Autism Spectrum and their Primary Care Providers
- College Students Guide to Ergonomics – Did you know that a sedentary lifestyle is linked to an increased risk of mental health disorders, including a higher risk of depression? This guide offers helpful information and tips for students of all ages on how to stay safe and keep active.
- CalABLE – CalABLE is a savings and investment plan offered by the state of California to individuals with disabilities. Earnings on qualified withdrawals are federal and CA state tax free. Up to $15,000 per year can be deposited into a CalABLE account without affecting the beneficiary’s public benefits. If the account owner receives SSI benefits, the owner can have as much as $100,000 in the account with no effect on federal or state benefits.
- Disability Scoop – is the nation’s premier source for developmental disability news. With daily coverage of autism, intellectual disability, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and more, no other news source offers a more timely and comprehensive take on the issues that matter to the developmental disability community.
- SARC – The mission of Regional Centers throughout California, San Andreas Regional Center (SARC) provides service coordination and case management for individuals with disabilities.
Regional Centers are contracted by the California Department of Developmental Services to provide the state’s developmentally challenged individuals with service coordination. Every individual with an active case at the Regional Center is assigned to a service unit by zip code and age; that unit is composed of a district manager and service coordinators, who work to identify an individual’s needs and the services best suited to meet those needs. Service coordinators, in conjunction with the individual, their caregivers, and other associated professionals, friends, and family, draft a one to three-year “blueprint” of the individual’s needs and requested services called an “Individual Program Plan”(IPP). Importantly, this plan sets goals for the individual, enumerates his or her needs, and is used to consider services. (Services may include respite care; ask your Service Coordinator).
- The Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers – The Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers, Revised (M-CHAT-R) is a screener that will ask a series of 20 questions about your child’s behavior. It’s intended for toddlers between 16 and 30 months of age. The results will let you know if a further evaluation may be needed. You can use the results of the screener to discuss any concerns that you may have with your child’s healthcare provider.
- The Social Express – An interactive, engaging educational social learning site that teaches children how to make friends.
- Angel Sense – A unique accessory specially designed for children with special needs, continuously monitors your child’s location and alerts on any unexpected changes. Very helpful for children who tend to wander.
- EvoLibri – Founded by Jan Johnston-Tyler, MA. EvoLibri is a socially-responsible, fee-for-service agency serving teens and adults with specific challenges without targeted services, located in the Silicon Valley.
- SSI and Government Assistance –This is a basic page of resources with explanations regarding benefits from a law office in Santa Clara, CA. SSI and Medi-Cal can be challenging for most people to understand, this resource provides general information to assist families on this journey.
- The Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) – The Autistic Self Advocacy Network seeks to advance the principles of the disability rights movement in the world of autism.
- Communicating with an Autistic Child: A Parent’s Guide Every person who has autism is different; some children can communicate verbally, while others struggle with communication. Once parents begin to understand the signs and conditions of their individual child’s communication, they can begin to develop a better way to communicate as a family.
- Bright Solutions: The official site of The Barton Reading & Spelling System is a one-on-one tutoring system that will greatly improve the spelling, reading, and writing skills of children, teenagers or adults who struggle due to dyslexia or a learning disability.
- Bookshare: Bookshare is an accessible online library for people with dyslexia and other disabilities. Over 160,000 titles are available, and membership is free for students.
- DyslexiaHelp at the University of Michigan: DyslexiaHelp is designed to help you understand and learn about dyslexia and language disability. Visit their site for a wealth of information for individuals with dyslexia, parents and professionals. If you’ve ever wondered about celebrities who have dyslexia, be sure to check out their “Dyslexia Success Stories” section.
- Dyslexia on KidsHealth: Are you a parent or educator looking for age-appropriate materials on dyslexia? These articles offer the basics of dyslexia, tailored for the reading and developmental level of kids.
- Dyslexia on TeensHealth: Are you a parent or educator looking for age-appropriate materials on dyslexia? These articles offer the basics of dyslexia, tailored for the reading and developmental level of teens.
- Eye to Eye: Eye to Eye is a “mentoring movement for different thinkers,” providing mentoring programs to students identified with learning disabilities such as dyslexia and ADHD. Visit their site to learn more about their program and find out how to get involved.
- International Dyslexia Association: The International Dyslexia Association (IDA) is a national non-profit dedicated to helping individuals with dyslexia, their families, and the communities that support them. Visit their site to connect with a local branch near you, find IDA-member providers in your area, and learn more about dyslexia.
- Learning Ally: Learning Ally, formerly known as Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic, offers more than 75,000 digitally recorded audiobooks (including both textbooks and literary titles).
- Parent Center Network-Parent Center Listing: If you are the parent of a K-12 student with dyslexia, you’ll want to take a look at this site and find your nearest Parent Training and Information Center (PTI). PTIs are funded by the federal government and offer parents assistance in navigating special education and their child’s rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
- The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia (film): The website of the new film “The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia” (scheduled for a television premiere in October 2012), offers video clips from the film, ways to take action to support people with dyslexia, and offers uplifting advice for students with dyslexia and their parents.
- The Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity: Yale University’s Center for Dyslexia and Creativity seeks to illuminate the strengths of those with dyslexia, disseminate information, practical advice, and the latest innovations from scientific research, and transform the lives of children and adults with dyslexia. Visit their site to learn more about their cutting edge research and get concrete tips for parents, educators and individuals with dyslexia.
- National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHY) The National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHY) offers a wealth of parent-friendly information on disabilities in infants, toddlers, children and youth.
- Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD) Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD) is the nation’s leading non-profit organization serving individuals with ADHD and their families, providing education, advocacy and support. CHADD’s National Resource Center on ADHD features webinars, chats and answers questions via email and through a national hotline: 1-800-233-4050. For CHADD’s National Resource Center, please visit www.help4adhd.org
- ADDitudeMag.com Strategies and Support for ADHD and LD.
- Child Mind Institute An online resource dedicated to empowering parents, professionals, and policymakers to support children with mental health and learning disorders.
National Down Syndrome: Their mission is to be the national advocate for the value, acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome.
Silicon Valley Down Syndrome Network: The Silicon Valley Down Syndrome Network as Parents of People with Down Syndrome (PODS), a group of families who supported one another through informal get-togethers, educational workshops, and informational exchange and support. They have an active on-line forum.
Down Syndrome Connection: A San Francisco Bay Area organization. Their mission is to promote the unique contributions of children and adults with Down syndrome by providing direct services to them and their families, and to educate the general public by fostering inclusive and integrated involvement with the Down syndrome community and society at large.
- MyChild™ Information, resources, referrals, and unlimited inspiration to those touched by cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy and other special needs.
- Cerebral Palsy Guide provides families and caregivers with information on cerebral palsy symptoms, diagnosis and treatments that are available nationwide.
- Cerebral Palsy Group is a national organization that was created so that it may serve the individuals and families who have been diagnosed with cerebral palsy. They provide information and support to help provide resources and education to those affected by CP.
Advocacy & Rights
- Advocacy – Article 13 Informative IEP articles you need to read…click here and here
- Special Education Advisor – An IEP and special education social network
- The Social Security and Disability Resource Center – A site to inform readers about how the Social Security Disability and SSI Disability process works from start to finish. This includes what to expect before, during, and after a disability application has been processed, common mistakes that need to be avoided, and what to do and how to react in specific situations.
- College Living Experience (CLE) is the industry’s leading provider of post-secondary supports for young adults with learning differences. Dedicated to providing the highest quality of services, we strive to propel young adults toward success as they journey through their transition to independence.
- TASH – Equity, opportunities, and inclusion for people with disabilities since 1975.
- Wrightslaw – Accurate, reliable information about special education law, education law, and advocacy for children with disabilities.
- Yellow Pages for Kids With Disabilities – A Wrightslaw site where you can search for disability-related resources by state.
- Disability.gov – Connecting the Disability Community to Information and Opportunities.
- Accredited Schools Online – This guide helps students with disabilities and their families better understand their rights for post-secondary education. The site also outlines laws and regulations for students with disabilities.
- Affordable Colleges Online – Rights, resources and accredited online school resources for higher education. A guide to help students and parents understand their rights and responsibilities as they prepare for postsecondary education.
Specific Learning Disabilities
Learning Disabilities/Reading Impairment/Communication Difficulties: If your child has a specific learning disability, such as trouble reading or communicating, check out these sites:
- National Center for Learning Disabilities – improves the lives of all people with learning difficulties and disabilities by empowering parents, enabling young adults, transforming schools, and creating policy and advocacy impact.
- Reading Rocket – The National Institutes of Health estimates that one in five children has serious difficulties learning to read. These children are potentially among the most troubled kids in society. With early identification and a lot of help, however, children who struggle to read can flourish; without it they are at risk for failure in school and in life.
- LD Online– is the world’s leading website on learning disabilities and ADHD, serving more than 200,000 parents, teachers, and other professionals each month.
Language Speech & Delays
- ASHA – Official site of The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association ensuring all people with speech, language, and hearing disorders receive services to help them communicate effectively. You will find resources that will help you understand communication and communication disorders.
- American Academy of Pediatrics – A good site to check if you are concerned about a child’s speech and language. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) discusses language delay in young children.
- National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH): The mission of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is to transform the understanding and treatment of mental illnesses through basic and clinical research, paving the way for prevention, recovery and cure.
60 Digital Resources for Mental Health: Social Work License Map compiled a comprehensive list of resources for anyone seeking information about or help for a range of mental health issues. This comprehensive list spans diagnostic tools, research portals, government organizations, nonprofits, blogs, and phone hotlines devoted to addressing issues ranging from general mental illnesses and disorders such as autism, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and substance abuse, to the specific needs of diverse populations, including LGBTQ youth, minorities, women, and veterans.
- NAMI: The National Association for Mental Illness also has vast resources for families parenting special needs children and adult children. They are particularly well-versed in helping families coping with Schizophrenia and BiPolar disorder.
- The Highly Sensitive Child: Being a highly sensitive person(HSP) is not a disorder, but helpful to know about you or your child. Symptoms of Hypersensitivity: High level of sensitivity to physical (via sound, sigh, touch, or smell) and or emotional stimuli, More likely to suffer from asthma, eczema, and allergies, Easily overwhelmed by too much information.
- The Center of Collaborative Problem Solving: Dr. Ross’s site, author of The Explosive Child. Good info on behavioral concerns especially as they pertain to low adapting and intense children.
- AbilityPath: Disable Bullying: Many great articles available for download. AbilityPath.org interviewed experts, educators and parents regarding a silent epidemic facing children with special needs – bullying. The result was the report and guide, Walk a Mile in Their Shoes: Bullying and Special Needs. Read, Learn and share its important results and resources.
- End the Bullying: Support and Advocacy for Bullied Children and Their Families
- Kid Power: A leader in teaching positive, practical personal safety skills to protect people of all ages and abilities from bullying, molestation, abduction, and other violence – and to prepare them to develop positive relationships that enrich their lives.
- End to Cyber Bullying: To raise awareness, provide a plethora of cyberbullying information, offer compassionate, approachable services, and mobilize students, educators, parents, and others in taking efforts to end cyberbullying. ETCB will work to create a global social networking arena where all users can feel safe and positive.
The American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc. – In its simplest terms, occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants help people across the lifespan participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities (occupations).
- Aspies Central: Community for Asperger’s, Autism, and Associates
- Autism Women’s Network: Provides effective supports to autistic females of all ages through a sense of community, advocacy and resources.
- The Family Center on Technology and Disability: Resource designed to support organizations and programs that work with families of children and youth with disabilities.
- Geek SLP: Your source of educational apps and technology geared toward speech therapists.
- Open Autism Software: Aims to design, develop, evaluate and distribute open source software for people diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).
- Squidalicious.com: iPads and Autism resource page
- iPads: Near-Miracles for Kids With Autism: iPads and Autism resource page
- Brooklyn Conservatory of Music: Music Therapy Program: (Located in Brooklyn, NY) Transforms and enriches the lives of those who are underserved through music education and music therapy.
- Developmental Rhythms: Pierre Brennan, MM, MT-BC, NMT, BCBA is a Board Certified Music Therapist, a Fellow of the Academy of Neurologic Music Therapy, and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Located in San Rafael, CA.
- Online Interactive Drum Kit: This is an interactive, online virtual drum site for people to play games and play drums.
- Rainbow Music Therapy Services: (Located in Silicon Valley) Rainbow Music Therapy Services provides client-centered, integrative approach to music therapy for children, teens, and young adults with special needs. “Music Therapy is the clinical and evidence based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program.” (American Music Therapy Association, 2005)
Calm: A mindful App for Sleep, Meditation and Relaxation. Annual fees may be discounted for military and health care providers as well as through many HMO and PPOs.
Ride a Wave: Ride a Wave’s mission is to give children with special needs the chance to feel the thrill of riding a wave and experience a safe, fun-filled day at the beach, whether they are physically, developmentally or economically challenged.
Whole Family Wellness: Belmont, CA. Whole Family Wellness strives to inform patients so that they can make the best healthcare decisions for themselves or their families in order to allow them to thrive to their fullest potentials. They provide a nurturing environment that integrates allopathic (western) and complementary & alternative medicine that is customized to meet the unique needs of each individual patient. They believe in the innate healing capacity of each individual’s body and mind, and their role is to facilitate this process through a holistic, integrative approach.
Massage Rescue: Ingrid’s unique massage technique draws from all massage modalities to customize for your individual needs. Ingrid is thoughtful, professional, warm, and nothing short of a true healer, time spent with her is time well spent. Bay Area parents, do yourself a favor and call Ingrid for stress relief!
DBT online: Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) combines cognitive and behavioral therapy, incorporating methodologies from various practices including Eastern mindfulness techniques.
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