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For Parents, Families, and All Caregivers

For Those Who Care

Whether you are a parent, family member, or caregiver and provide care for a loved with one with a disability, it can be hard to find the resources and support you need to ensure they receive proper care. CHATID wants you to know you are not alone! There is a lot of help out there and a lot of great resources that most people just aren't aware of and unfortunately, this means these resources are being highly under-utilized. It's time we take advantage of them!

Where do I start?

That is the question that almost every parents asks themselves. Luckily, we are here to help!

Find out more

Helpful Resources, Tips, and Other Information

Frequently Discussed Topics

Living independently offers a freedom that many find fulfilling. For individuals with disabilities, under the right circumstances, can have a shelter and family of their own. Which is why it is essential to understand Renters’ Rights and Housing Assistance is essential for independent living. This resource outlines the legal rights for individuals with disabilities and living arrangements from host homes to self-reliant apartment living. It prepares you on what to expect for your search for finding the best living situation; the barriers, benefits, and much more. Find out more now!


Continuing education is of the upmost importance for all individuals, regardless of their abilities. And we all know, getting a college degree is hard enough, but it presents a different set of challenges for people who have disabilities. If you have a disability, this guide can help you determine how to get financial aid, and access scholarships meant for people with disabilities. 


Home modifications can provide young adults with disabilities a greater sense of independence. Big Rentz focuses on the specific needs of you or your loved one, the space you have to work with, and whether renovating is the right option. This guide will help you in creating a space to increase you or your loved ones autonomy.  Another great resource is the Ultimate Disability Accommodation Guide,  which recognizes making adjustments to your home is becoming more commonplace than ever before. 


It’s no surprise that where you like impact your life. This resource provides you with a check list of considerations before making the big move such as; housing, employment options, health care and assistance services, and quality of life. How disability friendly is your city? Make your own determination when finding a place to call home.


Vocational training offers numerous benefits. It has a higher completion rate, takes less years to obtain a degree, and costs less than other pathways in higher education. This resource makes choosing the right school easier by helping you consider policies, building accessibility, and assistive equipment to make sure you receive quality training without compromising your wellbeing. The site provides information on several vocational schools that already addressing these needs as well as information you need to know to apply. 


Up to 80% of individuals with intellectual disabilities have sleep disorders, the most common being disrupted sleep during the night and difficulty falling asleep, both of which result in excessive daytime drowsiness. Sleep deprivation worsens our memory and ability to process information, which can be compounding for those with disabilities. This difficulty sleeping may be expressed through mood swings, or acting out or otherwise problematic behaviors that occur more often. A great amount of research has been provided here to help you find a way to give your loved ones the greatest restorative sleep possible! 


Advances in the understanding of disabilities, as well as adaptive technology, means that more and more individuals with disabilities are able to redesign their homes to mitigate the impact of their disability. This site includes checklists for specific safety adjustments for the most dangerous areas in a home, including the kitchen, bathrooms, and stairways. This is a great resource to help educate people on how to provide a little relief and added safety for individuals with mobility limitations.

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For Your Children

 

One of the first things you learn as a “special needs parent” is that other families who have traveled this path ahead of you are your best sources of wisdom and support. Once you stop reeling from shock, get your bearings and figure out a thing or two, then you get to pay it forward.


Wonder Moms is a project by three moms to share real talk, helpful information, and practical advice with parents of kids who have intellectual disabilities, Down syndrome, autism, language and speech delays, deafness, chronic illness, and traumatic brain injury.


 

PSA Healthcare cares for medically fragile patients in 16 states through their rapidly growing network of 78 branch offices. Utilizing a family-centered approach, PSA Healthcare nurses work closely with the families to build confidence, and create and implement the  right care plan that supports family involvement. Their care is designed  to improve quality of life and foster independence, offering dignity,  hope, and respect to each family and patient we serve. 


One of CHATID's passionate members, Kate Foley  is an author/illustrator with a background  in Communication, Education and Theater, whose personal experience  parenting a child with Autism as well as a child without has led her to  create stories to help children navigate their complex emotions while  teaching them to celebrate the uniqueness of themselves. She has a blog, and other exciting things going on in her personal site! Please check it out to see her books, blog, sensory ideas for your children, and many more!

Spotlight: Autism Spectrum Disorders

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About Autism

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), refers to a broad range of  conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive  behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication. According to the Centers  for Disease Control, autism affects an estimated 1 in 59 children in the  United States today.

We know that there is not one autism but many sub-types, most influenced by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.  Because autism is a spectrum disorder, each person with autism has a distinct set of strengths and challenges. The ways in which people with autism learn, think and problem-solve can range from highly skilled to  severely challenged. Some people with ASD may require significant  support in their daily lives, while others may need less support and, in  some cases, live entirely independently.

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ASD Specific Resources

Navigating today’s educational system is not an easy or straightforward task for anyone, whether students, parents, teachers, or administrators. For parents of children with ASD, making sure your kids get a fair and useful education involves even more complicated considerations and decisions. This guide discusses issues surrounding the education of students on the autism spectrum, including the rights and responsibilities of parties involved, plus governing laws, programs, and additional resources. The information also includes classroom concerns and accommodations, considerations for choosing an appropriate school setting, options for dispute resolution, and tips for further advocacy.


It can be difficult for children with autism and other special needs to fall asleep and stay asleep at night. Those lost hours of slumber not only take a toll on the children – who may be more irritable and prone to behavior problems – but also on their bleary-eyed parents. If you are struggling to help your child “power down” or relax at night, you are not alone. This Ultimate Guide to Helping Children With Autism Sleep Soundly at Night has some great tips to help!



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Creating a safe and functional home environment is an important task. ASD can have a huge impact on an individual’s development, lifestyle, and social connections. People on the spectrum can be particularly sensitive to lights, sounds, and other stimuli. Many crave order and routines to make sense of the world. Safety can be a concern for those who wander, are drawn to water, or are prone to head banging or self injury. Here is a great block that gives tips on how to create Sensory-Friendly Home Modifications! When moving to new homes, this can cause stress an anxiety for anyone, but it can be particularly challenging for individuals with ASD. Another great resource to check out on how to make this transition smoother is found here!


Lastly, traveling is a bit more complicated when you have a child on the autism spectrum, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do it. With some advance planning and a good safety strategy, you can make transitions and time in transit a lot more manageable. Here is some more great advice on how to handle safety, transitions, and time in transit!


For more really great resources, check out this Autism Resource Center and as well this site which gives families wonderful support resources and services!

Are You Passionate About Making A Change?

There are many ways you can get involved to make changes on a local, state, and even national level. The best way to start is by looking for a local government chapter that advocates on behalf of those who need a voice. For example, in Lackawanna County, there is the Disability Action Committee. They advise policy makers regarding the accessibility of county facilities  and programs for people with disabilities, resulting in a more inclusive  community. It advocates for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and serves as a conduit of information to and from people with disabilities. There are various committees like this all over, and that is the best place to look first. Remember, you can make a change no matter how small you feel your voice is!