Link to This!

A Place for Useful Sites and Resources

links_imageThis is a space that is dedicated to linking our readers to helpful sites. Many of these sites are featured on our Facebook Page. The list will grow as our publication continues and if you, dear reader, have any links to suggest to us for inclusion in the master list, TELL US! This list is for you and we want this to be a valuable source for connecting you to the resources you need.

Culture, Media & Lifestyle Links

Books N Bros : Sidney Keys III, 11-year-old rising entrepreneur, decided to take his love for reading to the next level and create Books n Bros Reading Club! Having multiple meet ups with different boys, ages 7-13 years old, he is paving the way for change. Books n Bros is not only encouraging literacy within Black Culture & African American Literature, but also Entrepreneurship, Financial Literacy and Endless Possibilities!

Common Sense Media: Common Sense is the leading independent nonprofit organization dedicated to helping kids thrive in a world of media and technology. We empower parents, teachers, and policymakers by providing unbiased information, trusted advice, and innovative tools to help them harness the power of media and technology as a positive force in all kids’ lives. (The Teal Pumpkin Project): FARE’s Teal Pumpkin Project promotes safety, inclusion and respect of individuals managing food allergies. This nationwide movement offers an alternative for kids with food allergies, as well as other children for whom candy is not an option, and keeps Halloween a fun, positive experience for all! FARE’s mission is to improve the quality of life and the health of individuals with food allergies, and to provide them hope through the promise of new treatments.

Keeping Tech In Check: Cricket Media’s new Keeping Tech in Check initiative is dedicated to helping parents as they discover the best balance between real life and tech life for their family. As a hub, the site features vital tips, tools and award-winning resources to easily to go beyond the screen and find that perfect balance between technology with real world activities. Keeping Tech in Check recognizes that screens are a mainstay in our 21st century lives, and this initiative is being launched to help parents mindfully manage screen-time as an intentional part of a daily “diet” of activities. Instead it focuses on keeping screens as an intentional part of a family’s life —something that should be kept in balance. The site includes stories and downloadable activities, as well as news and current research. A dedicated blog features expert advice and real-life ideas for activities that shine the spotlight on balancing tech mindfully. We are joined in this endeavor by Parents’ Choice, the nation’s oldest nonprofit guide to quality children’s media and toys. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is sharing tools to help parents manage tech time.

rebel It is important for girls to grow up surrounded by female role models. It helps them to be more confident and set bigger goals. We realized that 95% of the books and TV shows we grew up with, lacked girls in prominent positions. We did some research and discovered that this didn’t change much over the past 20 years, so we decided to do something about it. But, by all means, read these stories to your sons! It is crucial that they learn to identify and empathize also with female heroes! The stories in the book are a great source of inspiration for anyone, male or female, child or adult. The Rock Father Magazine is a web publication about Pop Culture & Lifestyle for Families that Rock. James Zahn considers himself to be an Entertainment and Lifestyle Writer, weaving anecdotes into his entertainment and lifestyle coverage by relating it to life experience.

Drag Queen Story Hour: Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH) is just what it sounds like—drag queens reading stories to children in libraries, schools, and bookstores. DQSH captures the imagination and play of the gender fluidity of childhood and gives kids glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models. In spaces like this, kids are able to see people who defy rigid gender restrictions and imagine a world where people can present as they wish, where dress up is real.

my way matinee: a nation-wide initiative from the Regal Entertainment Group that offers current movie releases in a sensory friendly environment. In select movie theaters only.  Children’s Screen Time Action Network offers many common-sense advice and resources for parents and caregivers in search of media-consumption strategies for kids.

Educational Links AMAZE takes the awkward out of sex ed. Real info in fun, animated videos that give you all the answers you actually want to know about sex, your body and relationships. Free resources, educational events and awareness campaigns  that empower parents and teachers to help our children succeed in school and in life.

Gap Minder: Gapminder unveils the beauty of statistics for a fact-based world view. It brings meaning to what otherwise might be considered “boring” numbers; students learn about social, economic, and environmental development through compelling animated charts that explore global trends.

Integrated Learning Strategies Learning Corner: We create a bright academic future for children struggling in school with reading, math and writing or learning disabilities like ADHD, Autism and Sensory Processing Disorder. Kelso’s Choice was created by two elementary school guidance counselors to fulfill the void of an effective and easy-to-implement character education program. It is a powerful program and timely tool to build a vital life skill for the young people in today’s world. The program philosophy is simple: each child is smart enough and strong enough to resolve conflict. In addition to the program itself, the site offers many free resources to teachers and caregivers.

playworks: Why play? From the satisfaction of breaking a sweat to the surprise of imagination, play teaches us to be human. Play is especially important in schools. The American Academy of Pediatricians notes,“Recess serves as a necessary break from the rigors of concentrated, academic challenges in the classroom. But equally important is the fact that safe and well-supervised recess offers cognitive, social, emotional, and physical benefits that may not be fully appreciated when a decision is made to diminish it. Recess is unique from, and a complement to, physical education—not a substitute for it.” At Playworks, we believe that every child deserves the opportunity to play, every day. Playworks helps schools and youth organizations create a place on the playground for every child to feel included, be active, and build valuable social and emotional skills. Playworks helps schools and districts make the most of recess through on-site staffing, consultative support, professional development, free resources, and more.

Parable of the Polygons: This is a dynamic interactive site designed to help classrooms explore topics of bias and diversity. The interactive games help students see and understand how “harmless choices can make a harmful world.” Each interactive simulation shows how people’s biased, individual choices about where they live can drive others away from diverse neighborhoods, which can lead to more segregation. There are a number of different simulations that illustrate the concepts in different ways, with different variables that can be manipulated. Students can read, drag and drop the shapes, adjust percentages, and see in real time how their choices would impact segregation in a neighborhood over time. The simulation ends with a wrap-up of key points, as well as ways to challenge the kinds of biases that create segregation in our world. For grades 9-12.

Rainbow Pack: We provide elementary school students with the supplies they need to be successful learners. These supplies include backpacks full of basic supplies like pencils, erasers, crayons, etc. We give the supplies out with our team of volunteers at back-to-school events we put on, on the first and second days of school. Along with giving these kids homework supplies we are sending the message that we care about them, and that we believe in there power as young people.

Teaching For ChangeTeaching for Change provides teachers and parents with the tools to create schools where students learn to read, write and change the world. Teaching for Change operates from the belief that schools can provide students the skills, knowledge and inspiration to be citizens and architects of a better world — or they can fortify the status quo. By drawing direct connections to real world issues, Teaching for Change encourages teachers and students to question and re-think the world inside and outside their classrooms, build a more equitable, multicultural society, and become active global citizens. Teaching Tolerance provides resources for teaching social justice in the classroom.

Advocacy & Environmental Links Who are we? We are a creative community. All of us, together, are speaking out for sanity in our gun laws and a safer country. All of us are willing to speak out for a better community, country, and world.

Big History Project: A social studies course that runs on jet fuel. Not really. But, by sharing the big picture and challenging middle and high school students to look at the world from many different perspectives, we hope to inspire a greater love of learning and help them better understand how we got here, where we’re going, and how they fit in. Co-created by teachers, students, curriculum experts, and a dedicated team of tech developers, BHP was inspired by the work of David Christian and is supported by Bill Gates. The fundamental goal is to provide a world class, ready-for-the-classroom resource available to everyone, everywhere. For free.

Cleaner Indoor Air Campaign: The Cleaner Indoor Air Campaign was launched by the Invisible Disabilities Association (IDA) in 2006. IDA is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that reaches around the world to people touched by chronic illness, pain, injury and disabilities. There are millions of Americans who report allergic, immunologic, asthmatic and neurological reactions to perfumes, colognes, chemicals and synthetic fragrances. For these groups of people, just leaving their homes can mean risking the possibility of an exposure to chemicals in our environment. The CIA Campaign strives to educate medical facilities, businesses and churches on how to create a less threatening environment for this growing number of people. Everytown is a movement of Americans working together to end gun violence and build safer communities. Gun violence touches every town in America. For too long, change has been thwarted by the Washington gun lobby and by leaders who refuse to take common-sense steps that will save lives. But something is changing. More than 4 million mayors, moms, cops, teachers, survivors, gun owners, and everyday Americans have come together to make their own communities safer. Together, we are fighting for the changes that we know will save lives. Everytown starts with you, and it starts in your town.

Families Belong Together: On June 30th, We Marched. Now take the next step. Say that families and kids can count on you to keep fighting. We won’t stop until every family is reunited and free. No child should be locked in a cage. Let’s end family detention and reunite kids with their families.

Global Oneness Project: This site showcases multicultural life stories through short videos and photo essays. Kids can view a film about the effects of climate change on a local community or explore an article uncovering a culture on the edge of extinction. Once kids have had a chance to observe experiences outside their everyday reality, challenge them to go out into their own neighborhood, find an unexpected or inspiring story, and create a video that captures their own community in a new light. The It Gets Better Project’s mission is to communicate to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth around the world that it gets better, and to create and inspire the changes needed to make it better for them. Kids Against Climate Change gives kids and adults resources to fight climate change.

The Last Plastic Straw: The Last Plastic Straw is a movement to eliminate single use plastic at the source and a project of Plastic Pollution Coalition. Leaders from the playground to the boardroom hold the key to shaping the world. Dr. Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots is a youth service program for young people of all ages. Roots & Shoots empowers young people to become the type of leaders who will make right choices to build a better world. Through the program, youth lead local change through service while developing skills and traits of compassionate leaders.

Sensory Processing Disorder Resource Center: Through this site, you will finally begin to understand – or further understand, why your child does the things he/she does. Sensory Processing Disorder – also known as Sensory Integration Dysfunction – is still in the process of becoming widely accepted and treated by all professionals. Even though the theories have been around for almost four decades, much still needs to be done before the “word” has reached the millions affected by this neurological disorder. Now you can take this information and positively influence, understand, validate, “treat”, support, and help so many children who are behaviorally and emotionally “imprisoned” by their ineffective perception and interpretation of sensory input. Parents want the best for their children. For the first time ever, 15 nonprofit organizations have joined forces to support parents of the one in five children with learning and attention issues throughout their journey.

Parenting, Therapeutic & Mindfulness Links

American-Speech-Language-Hearing Association: The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) is the national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for 191,500 members and affiliates who are audiologists; speech-language pathologists; speech, language, and hearing scientists; audiology and speech-language pathology support personnel; and students. ASHA’s award-winning Listen to Your Buds campaign educates children and parents about practicing safe listening habits when using personal listening devices, in order to avoid possible noise-induced hearing loss in the future.

Brain Gym: Brain Gym® International is committed to the principle that moving with intention leads to optimal learning. Through our outstanding instructors and movement-based programs, we empower all ages to reclaim the joy of living. Brain Gym® movements, exercises, or activities refer to the original 26 Brain Gym movements that recall the movements naturally done during the first years of life when learning to coordinate the eyes, ears, hands, and whole body. The twenty-six activities, along with a program for “learning through movement” were developed by educator and reading specialist Paul E. Dennison and his wife and colleague, Gail E. Dennison who say that the interdependence of movement, cognition, and applied learning is the basis of their work. Clients, teachers, and students have been reporting for over 20 years on the effectiveness of these simple activities.

Caring 4 Our Kids: We are a group of parents who have children on the Autism Spectrum or who suffer from inflammatory diseases such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or Fibromyalgia. Recent studies suggest a link between these conditions. We each know how overwhelming it can be when your child is first diagnosed. As well, we understand the daily struggle as well as the joys of raising these very special children. We have come together to curate and create resources that have been helpful to us in the hopes that these will help other parents struggling to care for and to help their children thrive. emotional wellness for children Their mission is to support parents with the insights, skills and tools necessary to build the meaningful connections that parents and children need to thrive. Mindful is a mission-driven non-profit. They are dedicated to inspiring, guiding, and connecting anyone who wants to explore mindfulness—to enjoy better health, more caring relationships, and a compassionate society. Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International promotes equine-assisted activities and therapies (EAAT) for individuals with special needs. Children and adults with physical, cognitive and emotional challenges find strength and independence through the power of the horse each year.

Sensory Processing Disorder Resource Center: Through this site, you will finally begin to understand – or further understand, why your child does the things he/she does. Sensory Processing Disorder – also known as Sensory Integration Dysfunction – is still in the process of becoming widely accepted and treated by all professionals. Even though the theories have been around for almost four decades, much still needs to be done before the “word” has reached the millions affected by this neurological disorder. Now you can take this information and positively influence, understand, validate, “treat”, support, and help so many children who are behaviorally and emotionally “imprisoned” by their ineffective perception and interpretation of sensory input.

STAR Institute for Sensory Processing Disorder: To improve the quality of life for children, adolescents and adults with SPD, and their families by providing: Comprehensive assessment and effective intervention for Sensory Processing Disorder, Rigorous research with our collaborating university-based research partners, Education for caregivers, pediatric professionals, and educators; and Advocacy for official recognition of SPD worldwide.

Social Thinking: Our mission is to help people develop their social competencies to better connect with others and live happier, more meaningful lives. We create unique treatment frameworks and strategies to help individuals as young as four and across the lifespan develop their social thinking and social skills to meet their personal social goals. Three moms share real talk, helpful information, and practical advice with parents of kids who have intellectual disabilities, Down syndrome, autism, language and speech delays, deafness, chronic illness, and traumatic brain injury.

Additional Resources via .pdfs

Autism Speaks: Developing Independent Living Skills pdf

Autism Society: Building our Future, Living with Autism pdf

Glenwood: List of Apps for Social Skills and Autism Spectrum Disorders pdf

Berger Learning: Teaching Independent Behavior With Activity Schedules to Children With Autism

Safety Guides by Job Prices (UK based Blog that focuses around home maintenance work pricing that also posts useful safety guides and tips for the home) : How to Keep Young Children Safe in the Home– A Guide For New Parents

Helpful Articles (note these are articles we found useful with good, quality information, however we do not necessarily endorse the commercial companies that posted the articles or blogs):

How to Improve Emotional Self-Regulation Among Children with Autism and Attention Disorders

Create a Thriving Home For Disabled Children (UK builder site, but this page contains many links to ADA guidelines and government resources)

Sesame Street Autism Resources for Parents

Reduce the Noise: Help Loved Ones with Sensory Overload Enjoy Shopping

Resources for Military Families

Moving with Special Needs Kids

Home Modifications for Special Needs Kids

Academic Accommodation Resources

Estate Planning for Parents of Special Needs Kids

Managing Your Child’s Transition to Adulthood

Special Needs Checklist: How Disability-Friendly Is Your City?

Tenants Rights and Housing Assistance for the Disabled

Financial Planning Guide for Parents of Special Needs Children

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