The Internet is great for many things—finding new crock pot recipes, looking for home decorating ideas, even shopping for a great new dress. But, the interent is not so great for some other things—like diagnosing an illness or trying to find reliable source of information about your child’s disability or disabilities.
I know when my son was first diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia, I felt overwhelmed. And while a few caring friends and our psychologist recommended some great books, I didn’t have time to sit down and read. Plus, the whole thing felt very overwhelming and urgent. I remember feeling like it was moving faster than I could read. Questions to answer, accommodations to make, tutors to secure—I couldn’t read all I needed to that fast. I felt like I was drowning. Over the years, I have weeded out some not so great online resources and complied a list of my trusted sources. I have summarized those sources for you below. These are great repositories of information curated and contributed to by leading experts in the field (parents, practitioners, and even students themselves).
Understood.org. Understood.org is my number one go to resource on the web for information related to learning disabilities (LDs) and ADHD. Understood.org is a join effort of 15 nonprofit organizations collaborating to support parents of children with learning and attention issues. The website offers access to state-of-the-art technology, personalized resources, access to experts, a fabulous and secure online community, simulations and loads of practical tips for navigating home, school and life in general. The information provided is vetted by experts, the webinars are exceptional and the parent community is a great place to exchange ideas and seek support. Understood is a parent’s mecca of information—from trusted sources, in easy to read (not overwhelming) formats on a wide range of topics related to LDs and attention issues.
Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity. The Yale Center is an incredibly interesting university-based and researcher-led center studying dyslexia. The website offers extensive information on outcomes, studies, strategies and more. The Center is headed by a husband and wife team who are the leading researchers in the field: He is a pioneer in the application of functional brain imaging for the study of reading and dyslexia and she has conducted substantial research that contributes to the basis for understanding dyslexia. The site is full of information and links as well as do
wnloadable resources, checklists, and a number of stories related to successful dyslexics. This site also contains extensive resources for educators and is a great place to point your child’s classroom teacher to gain a better understanding of dyslexia.
Dyslexia Institute of Indiana. Dyslexia Institute of Indiana was one of our first stops when my son was diagnosed with dyslexia. It was here that I found someone who understood what I was going through; it was here that I found someone who knew what my son needed to help him succeed. I loveDII’s website because it has two super easy to navigate tools to help
a parent answer some basic
questions when they are wondering if their child may possibly have dyslexia. First, there is a list of “Concerning Signs of Dyslexia” by age group. Second, the quick “Red Flag Quiz” which asks simple questions to which if the answer to most is yes, additional assessments are recommended. This quick quiz does not provide a diagnosis but may help rule out other issues. Remember that diagnosing dyslexia is a complex process that often involves several testing instruments administered by a licensed professional.
I hope these online resources help answer any questions you may have and provide great information for friends, family members or teachers who may have questions about dyslexia and other learning disabilities. What’s your favorite online resource?