7. National Early Childhood Transition Center (NECTC)
The National Early Childhood Transition Center (NECTC) examines factors that promote successful transitions between infant/toddler programs, preschool programs, and public school programs for young children with disabilities and their families. The NECTC comes from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs. Parents can utilize the website to download tips for what to expect at each transition stage and how they can better assist their children, how to talk to teachers so that they are aware and informed of the special education needs of the child, and how to prepare an older child for life beyond primary school.
8. Birth Defect Research for Children, Inc. http://www.birthdefects.org
For parents of those with IDD, the personalized attention at home can be the most important factor in a child's intellectual, social, and transitional development (Nachshen, & Minnes, 2005). The Birth Defect Research for Children association offers parents in-depth background information about specific birth defects such as Autism as well as parent matching to other families of children with similar defects for support (both at a parental level and for peer-to-peer connections for children). Children who make connections this way often create long-term friendships through which they can experience major transitional milestones together (such as grade changes or high school prom). Support groups are also available for social outlets, and are facilitated both online and at the state level.
9. Kids as Self-Advocates. http://www.fvkasa.org
Kids as Self-Advocates focuses on empowering teenage youth with physical, emotional and intellectual disabilities. They operate from the standpoint that youth can make choices and advocate for themselves if they have the information and support they need. Parents can look to this organization to help support their teen son or daughter's social development through peer relationships, educational development through counseling and specialized, supplemental training programs and also transitional skills as important topics including bullying in school and sexuality and relationships are covered.
10. Family Resource Center on Disabilities. http://www.frcd.org/resources
The Family Resource Center on Disabilities can help parents of children with IDD prepare their child for transitional experiences such as entering public school settings, working through bullying. Educational development can be enhanced through this group's work with parents of children age 14 and up with the development of an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). Support also includes response to intervention and contingency planning for improved intellectual outcomes and vocational options. Services are offered in both English and Spanish.
11. Job Accommodation Network. http://askjan.org
The Job Accommodate Network can help parents support their children transition to the world of full-time employment. Information is offered for vocational planning in advance of entering the job market, networking and interviewing skills, and creating a work plan that takes disability into account. Vocational support is offered through educational and training opportunities and referrals. Self-efficacy and social skills are also emphasized as people with disabilities are encouraged to also consider entrepreneurship which requires self-determination and the proper social aptitudes.
Pathways is a great organization for parents of children newly diagnosed with IDD. Parents can research and locate specialists and early intervention offices in their state to support their child's intellectual development. Early intervention can help a child adjust to their disability and learn early on how to lead a viable existence and be more self-motivated. Transitional development can be supported by Pathways provided tracking and milestone plans which parents can download and use with teachers. Parent-to-parent matching is available to connect families and offer greater social support and opportunities for children with IDD.
Hasman, L., & Zafron, M.L. (2010). An Analysis of Online Resources for Parents, Siblings, and Other Caregivers of Adults with Intellectual Disabilities. Journal of Consumer Health on the Internet, 14(1), 33-41. doi:10.1080/02763860903543312.
Nachshen, J.S., & Minnes, P.P. (2005). Empowerment in parents of school-aged children with and without developmental disabilities. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 49(12), 889-904. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2788.2005.00721.x.