Occasionally, I get calls or emails from parents who have a question about a specific situation they’re coping with. And that’s when I have to confess that no, I don’t know everything there is to know about special education in every state. But there are federally-funded state groups whose entire mission is to help parents of children with disabilities: the parent training and information centers and community parent resource centers.
Every state has at least one parent center, and some larger states have more. I can’t describe them better than they describe themselves:
Parent Centers serve families of all ages (birth to 26) and all disabilities (physical, cognitive, behavioral, and emotional). Parent Centers provide a variety of services including one-on-one support and assistance, workshops, publications, and Web sites. The majority of Parent Center staff and boards are parents of children with disabilities, so they are able to bring personal experience and empathy when working with families.
And of course, most of the parent centers have websites that offer a wealth of information, including brochures and webinars. Many centers also have training programs. Your tax dollars at work!
Are there any readers who have used their local PTIC or CPRC for assistance? Please feel free to share your experiences here.
Have an idea for Free Resource Friday? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A version of this news article first appeared in the On Special Education blog.