Resources for neurodivergence, autism support, and ADHD support
I will continue to grow this list as I add resources to my repertoire. This is what I have so far. Some are wholly free, others offer some free and some paid aspects.
So much of what we see is about helping kids. Here is a set of resources to help parents. Either parenting advice or a friendly place to vent parenting woes.
https://www.aspergerexperts.com/ is a site where parents can share stories and get advice from experts and other parents. www.autismallianceofmichigan.org is a resource where parents can access a coach for parenting or help for their children. I am a provider on the site.
Facebook and Instagram both have pages to follow where parents can get a shoulder to cry on and someone who shares their experiences on some level. Some favorites of mine on Facebook are https://www.facebook.com/groups/4073743852713466 (for those of us married for autistic spouses), https://www.facebook.com/groups/244321327583/ (Parents of aspies, now known as HFA 1), https://www.facebook.com/groups/182056741912616 (homeschooling on the spectrum), https://www.facebook.com/groups/RaisingPoppies (parenting gifted kids), https://www.facebook.com/groups/157870140967873 (gifted and 2e homeschooling), https://www.facebook.com/groups/AspergersGrowsUp (looking forward for aspie parents), and https://www.facebook.com/groups/embracingautismgroup (autism support). There are also local groups specific to states or regions. On Instagram, I follow @theautismpages and @mindplay_. I am @kendrarogersauthor on Instagram and https://www.facebook.com/adayinthelife926 on FB.
Those with autism struggle with dental care as well. The following points to a site that has a guide to helping those with autism navigate dental visits: https://www.byteme.com/community/resources/article/dental-care-children-with-autism-guide/
Parents of those with special needs often worry about their children's future schooling as well. Here is a resource that helps parents secure funds and directions for students with special needs. https://www.elfi.com/when-how-to-start-a-college-fund-for-your-child/
As our children age and approach driving, it can be challenging to teach our special needs people how to develop these skills. Here is a helpful guide for teaching driving skills.
Chewlry and Fidgets
Chewlery and fidget toys are integral to those with sensory processing struggles. Here are some great places to buy that aren't Amazon!
IEP and 504 information
School is tough. Even harder when navigating special documents to help make the learning environment fair and safe for different learners. Here are some tips for 504 and IEP planning.
Understanding which plan to seek is the first step in accessing the assistance of either a 504 or IEP. This website has a helpful comparison chart of the two: https://www.understood.org/en/school-learning/special-services/504-plan/the-difference-between-ieps-and-504-plans
Once you know which plan you need for your child, you can discuss a meeting with the teacher, resource provider, and administrator of the school. Often, information from a primary care doctor, therapist, or other medical professional overseeing your child's care will be included in the discussion. Having an advocate to help sort through the terms used in the meetings can be helpful to many parents. If you are able to get suggestions from your child's psychology team for adaptive materials, arriving at the meetings with an idea of what your child needs to succeed can be helpful to expediting the meetings and achieving your educational goals for your child. Find autism support, ADHD support here.
Large sensory itens
Larger movements are also necessary to aid in development. Here are activities you can do for free, or low cost along with products to help with flex seating and other large muscle movement needs.
There are about as many therapies out there as their are autistics! Here is a good breakdown of what's offered.
Traditional therapies include ABA and CBT. These two therapies attempt to help the autistic person adapt to the society. They try to teach autistics to blend in and act "normal". There is a lot of controversy surrounding them, especially ABA. Though it has long been used as the gold standard for autistic therapy, many in the community find it abusive and inappropriate. CBT is a bit different in that it accesses the person's strengths, but it still attempts to change the autistic person to fit in with the society. Occupational therapy, feeding therapy, and physical therapies can be helpful to address specific struggles. They gradually encourage a person to perform certain tasks through desensitization processes. There are also talk and play therapies that help people learn about themselves and the world. We use these therapies to help autistics, and others, learn what they need and why.
Alternative Therapies include equine (animal), music, and art therapies help people calm and connect with themselves in different ways. They help people learn deeply about themselves.
Some MI local alternative therapy sites include https://www.oatshrh.org/