Looking for some information on special needs for your area? Here’s a guide to special needs resources for parents in Ireland and beyond.
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Special Needs Resources
Special Needs is a term with many meanings and perceptions.
Children can have special needs from a mild learning disability to a severe medical condition therefore the needs of Special Needs children are very diverse and parents can find the task of locating suitable special needs resources and services very difficult. Parents of children with special needs often find they have to become more resilient, flexible and even “pushy” in order to get the best for their child.
Although every special-needs child is different and every family is unique, there are some common concerns that link parents of challenged kids, including getting appropriate care, planning for an uncertain future, adjusting routines and expectations and dealing with the financial implications and entitlements.
Services & Useful Websites
- Here is a list of Special Needs Schools in Ireland
- The Special Needs Parents Association provides information and support.
- The National Council for Special Education is a statutory body designed to sanction the provision of Special Needs Assistants in schools.
- S.N.A.P. offers for families with children who have special needs.
- Myspecialneeds.ie – blog advocating for people with special needs
- People with Disabilities in Ireland (PWDI), national cross disability organisation funded by the Government
- The Jack and Jill Foundation provides care and support for children with severe neurological development issues, as well as offering some respite to the parents and families.
- Enable Ireland provides free services to children and adults with disabilities and their families.
- Assistireland.ie – information on assistive technology and a directory of products available from Irish suppliers for people with disabilities
- Citizeninformation.ie has some useful information if you search on “special needs”
- Irish Deaf Kids support inclusive education for children with hearing issues in Ireland
The National Council for the Blind in Ireland provides information and support services for the blind.
- Psychologists (The Psychological Society of Ireland), Occupational Therapists (Association of Occupational Therapists of Ireland) and Speech Therapists (Irish Association of Speech and Language Therapists) can be located through their respective associations
- Hometrain.ie – educational resources for parents
- Disability Info is a parent run, non-commercial website principally targeted at the mid and south west but also used by the rest of the country with a wealth of information and resources for special needs.
- Cerebral Palsy Guide – guide for parents
- Cerebral Palsy Guidance – provides answers and assistance to parents.
- Cerebral Palsy Group – provides free educational information and support to those who have been affected by cerebral palsy.
- Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Ireland
- HIE Help Centre (Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy)
Books & Toys for Special Needs
A great book to help your child explain how they are feeling is – The Feelings Book: The Care and Keeping of your Emotions
If your child is reaching puberty age, there are lots of great books which can help you deal with your Special Needs child. It can be difficult teaching them about their bodies, differences and changes.
For girls this book – The Period Book: Everything You Don’t Want to Ask deals with periods stating that it answers all the questions you don’t want to ask but need answers to.
Over to you! Let us know of any other special needs resources or links that should be included.