In addition to being a great educator, teaching students with special needs requires a thorough understanding of the resources available to you as a special education teacher, including special education services, programs and tools. Special education blogs are an excellent way to connect parents and educators with one another, share information and help promote an understanding of special education in public schools. There are hundreds of special education bloggers out there, but here are five that you should keep an eye on:
Making Special Education Actually Work is the official blog of Knowledge Powers Solutions for Parents (KPS4Parents), an organization that advocates for the rights and education of children with special needs. The group was founded with a vision “to ensure that all eligible children, regardless of disability, receive the Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) to which they are entitled and that this can best be accomplished through effective parent advocacy.” KPS4Parents provides a wealth of important resources and services for special education teachers and parents of children with special needs. Parent training, consultation, community outreach, paralegal services and lay advocacy representation are just some of the services they offer. The KPS4Parents blog is maintained by Anne Zachry, KPS4Parents CEO. It is updated frequently and highlights important news, policy information, special education programs and other resources.
2.) Love That Max
Ellen Seidman, the author of Love That Max, is a multiple award-winning blogger and magazine editor who has worked at Redbook, Good Housekeeping, SELF, Child, Teen People and Glamour, among others. Love That Max, started in October 2008, is inspired by her own experiences raising a child with cerebral palsy. It is featured on Babble’s Top 25 Bloggers Who Are Changing the World and Parenting Magazine’s 50 Must-Read Moms: Mom Blogs We Love. Ellen writes about her own day-to-day experiences with her son, Max, offering advice for people raising and teaching children with special needs, and highlighting valuable resources. Love That Max has been featured on CNN.com, Today.com, MSN.com, The New York Times and several other magazines and websites. Among the other blogs she contributes to, Ellen is also the special needs blogger for Parents.com.
3. Noah’s Dad
Noah’s Dad is a touching and important blog about one family’s journey raising a child with Down syndrome. Inspired by the need to raise awareness for and understanding of Down syndrome for parents, families and teachers, Rick Smith began the blog as a resource for people like himself who did not know much about the condition before a child with Down syndrome touched their lives. Though the blog is geared towards parents, it offers Down syndrome resources that are useful for everybody. With October being National Down Syndrome Awareness Month, it’s the perfect time to check out this fantastic resource.
Special Education Advisor is an online community that brings together parents, educators and special education service providers to help connect families with special needs children with important resources and information. Their resources include a forum, a marketplace, detailed information about special education, a list of special education topics, an interactive directory of school districts (complete with reviews of their special education services) and much more. Special Education Advisor also provides information for parents and teachers to craft meaningful Individualized Education Plans with their IEP Success Kit. The blog offers a balanced array of information, advice for parents and teachers, and even personal stories about teaching students with special needs.
Special Needs Resource Magazine is an excellent site that not only publishes articles about current special education topics, but also serves as a hub for a plethora of other special education resources. Their Parents and Teachers pages offer an array of articles, guides and interactive content, and the pages are broken down by categories like behavior, communication, school and others. Free Printables make great additions to the classroom, and Special Needs Resource Magazine also compiles a list of other great websites for special education.