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Homeschooling: Special Needs
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National Organizations

The following is a list of some of the available national organizations/newsletters that home educators with special needs children might find beneficial. This list is not meant to be exhaustive. If there are additional organizations that home educators have found to be helpful, information concerning them would be greatly appreciated. Inclusion in this list is not meant as an HSLDA endorsement. The views and opinions held by the organizations are not necessarily those of HSLDA.

American Association of Christian Counselors
The world’s largest Christian counseling association. Here parents can find support, counselors, and resources for troubled kids, eating disorders, chemical dependency, depression, anxiety disorders, and other mental health and behavioral difficulties

The American College of Pediatricians
This is a national organization of pediatricians and other healthcare professionals dedicated to the health and well-being of children. The college produces sound policy, based upon the best available research, to assist parents and to influence society in the endeavor of childrearing.

Autism Speaks
Autism Speaks has grown into the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization, dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families.

Autism Speaks also maintains a Family Services Resource Guide. Families can search the guide, which contains over 50,000 local resources, to find support groups, services, activities, social skills groups, and much more. It is the largest most comprehensive autism database in the world and contains local services in all 50 states!

Bethesda Lutheran Communities
This national organization supports people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. They offer respite, career help, assisted living, day programs and more. The staff at Bethesda assists people in pursuing the faith communities of their choice. As a Recognized Service Organization (RSO) of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, they are an independent service provider committed to fostering the mission and ministry of the church.

“We seek to nurture not just the physical aspects of one’s life, but their spiritual needs and desires as well. Bethesda’s mission is motivated by Christian faith and sharing the good news of Jesus Christ with people who have intellectual and developmental disabilities. We welcome all people to be part of our community. People of all faiths are welcome.

Can Learn Academy
Toni Hager
1412 W. Central Ave
Spokane, WA 99205
509.362.3418
canlearnacademy@gmail.com

Toni Hager operates a small Christian school for students with special needs, which has an extension program that homeschoolers throughout the country can utilize. She also offers neurodevelopment evaluations, in-home program design and consulting for homeschoolers across the nation.

Christian Cottage Home School Services
Teri Spray
3560 West Dawson Road
Sedalia, CO 80135
303-688-6626
christiancottage@aol.com

Teri and Mike Spray operate Christian Cottage Home School Services, a national education service organization that seeks to support parents as confident and competent teachers of their children. They provide homeschooling families with answers through testing, curriculum design, teaching strategies, and even proven educational therapies.

The Christian Medical and Dental Association
This organization has a doctor search tool on their website. To access the search tool click here.

The International Dyslexia Association
Chester Building/Suite 382
3600 LaSalle Road
Baltimore, MD 21286-2044
410-296-0232
Email: ods@pie.org
www.interdys.org
This association is a source of helpful information for persons who have difficulty in reading and other subject areas.

Joni and Friends
P.O. Box 3333
Agoura Hills, CA 90301
www.joniandfriends.org

This organization offers a free monthly newsletter. They sponsor family camps in the summer, where attendant care is provided for the physically disabled.

Key Ministry
http://www.keyministry.org/

Key Ministry provides knowledge, innovation and experience to the worldwide church as it ministers to and with families of children impacted by mental illness, trauma and developmental disabilities.

National Challenged Homeschoolers
Associated Network (NATHHAN)
P.O. Box 310
Moyie Springs, ID 83845
208-267-6246
Email: nathanews@aol.com

This is a national organization of parents who home school their special needs children. NATHHAN coordinators Tom and Sherry Bushnell publish NATHHAN NEWS-an easy-to-use internet magazine at www.nathhan.com.

Neurodevelopmental Organizations:
Neurodevelopmentalists are professionals trained in the neurodevelopmental approach; these practitioners look at causes of problems and train parents to work with their child at home on an individualized learning plan specific to their child’s unique needs and issues.

The neurodevelopmental approach has been in practice for over 40 years and the theory behind this approach is based on the truth of neural plasticity (the ability of the brain to change and adapt vs. a traditional fixist view of the brain). With this approach, individuals are evaluated, problem areas are identified, and hope is provided for functional progress as this approach is rooted in the philosophy that function determines structure. In other words, the manner in which the brain is used impacts the function and structure. Brain function can be improved through specific stimulation of the central nervous system. This approach, intersects and integrates with information processing theory which relates to the way individuals receive, process, store, and utilize information.

Scottish Rite
Scottish Rite is a private, philanthropic organization that provides The RiteCare® Childhood Language Program, which offers facilities for the diagnostic evaluation and treatment of children with speech and language disorders, as well as learning disabilities.

Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation
Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation offers an abundance of services and programs for professionals, parents, and anyone interested in knowing more about the sensory challenges that affect children academically, socially, and/or in their emotional development. They offer a treatment directory of professionals, a parent connections group, blog, articles, and much more. 

National Institute for Learning Development
801 Greenbrier Blvd
Chesapeake, VA 23320
www.nild.org

NILD provides workshops for parents of struggling learners and teachers . NILD also administers educational therapy services in home and private-school settings for struggling learners. Go to http://www.nild.org/educational-therapists-find.asp to locate an educational therapist in your area or call 757-423-8646.

The Organization for Autism Research
http://www.researchautism.org/about/index.asp

The Organization for Autism Research (OAR) was created in December 2001—the product of the shared vision and unique life experiences of OAR’s seven founders. Led by these parents and grandparents of children and adults on the autism spectrum, OAR set out to use applied science to answer questions that parents, families, individuals with autism, teachers and caregivers confront daily. No other autism organization has this singular focus.

Pacer Center
www.pacer.org
PACER is a Minnesota-based, nonprofit, tax-exempt organization and a national parent center that provides information, training, and assistance to parents of children and young adults with all disabilities; physical, learning, cognitive, emotional, and health. Its mission is to improve and expand opportunities that enhance the quality of life for children and youth with disabilities and their families.

Understood
www.understood.org/en/about
Understood is an on-line, non-profit organization that seeks to help the millions of parents whose children, ages 3–20, are struggling with learning and attention issues. They strive to empower parents to understand their children’s issues and relate to their experiences. With this knowledge, parents can make effective choices that propel their children from simply coping to truly thriving.


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