- YOUR CHILD, AGE BY AGE
- FEEDING AND NUTRITION
- HEALTH AND SAFETY
- RESOURCE GUIDE-RAISING MENTALLY HEALTHY CHILDREN
- COMMON DEVELOPMENTAL AND BEHAVIORAL CHALLENGES
- GETTING HELP
- CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
- Brain injury.
- Cerebral palsy.
- Cystic fibrosis.
- Developmental delay.
- Down syndrome.
- Fetal alcohol syndrome.
- Fragile X.
- Intellectual disability.
- Lead poisoning.
- Muscular dystrophy.
- Rare disorders.
- Selective mutism.
- Sickle cell.
- Spina bifida.
- Tourette’s disorder (also called Tourette’s syndrome).
It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the universe of online information and hard to know what to rely on. This guide lists reliable and informative government and nonprofit sites (website names ending in .gov and .org, rather than .com). Most of the sites include articles for parents, guides to further reading, and directories of local groups and professionals; many also have interactive discussion groups and special features for children and teens. Most of the sites have Spanish-language sections as well as English.
You’ll need access to the Internet, which is available through most public libraries. For those who cannot go online, the guide includes telephone numbers as well; some are for hotlines, others are for the main office of the organization.
To help you find what you need, the list is organized according to the major sections of this book, then alphabetically within each section. There are too many sites to include in these pages. You can find more listings, along with other helpful information, at drspock.com.
A word of caution: Even for well-respected sites, there is no guarantee that all of the information on them is accurate. Check the authorship before you read the article. Every article should list the author and his or her qualifications. Is the author someone you’d trust to advise you about your child? You should also be able to see when the article was last updated. Articles that are outdated or that don’t tell you when they were written aren’t as trustworthy. Finally, you have to use your own common sense: If something you read seems wrong or suspect, look at other sites and sources, or ask your child’s doctor.
YOUR CHILD, AGE BY AGE
The National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (NACCRRA) provides information on child care, and links to local agencies that provide referrals to high-quality infant and child care:www.childcareaware.org, (703) 341-4100.
Emotional development and care.
Zero to Three is a well-respected nonprofit that provides information for parents and professionals about young children’s emotional development. The organization was founded many years ago by leading doctors and researchers, and continues to support excellent research, policy, and education. There’s a large selection of wonderful materials to help parents raise emotionally healthy children. Zero to Three is also a leader in early childhood education: www.zerotothree.org,(800) 899-4301.
The Learning Disabilities Association of America is a good source of information on learning disabilities and special education, with local groups nationally:www.ldanatl.org, (412) 341-1515. Also see LD Online:www.ldonline.org, (703) 998-2600(WETA public broadcasting is the parent organization); the Council for Exceptional Children:www.cec.sped.org, (888) 232-7733.
Parent involvement in schools.
The National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) is a good resource for information on parent involvement, examples of successful programs, and local groups: www.pta.org, (800) 307-4PTA (307-4782).
FEEDING AND NUTRITION
For solid information on food and nutrition, start withwww.nutrition.gov, run by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. You’ll find, among other things, links to the U.S. Nutrient Database, which lists the nutrient makeup of nearly every food. Another good source is the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: www.eatright.org, (800) 877-1600.
Healthy eating on a budget.
The Iowa State University Extension has a creative interactive site that teaches how you can save money and eat better:http://www.extension.iastate.edu/foodsavings.
Vegetarian eating and nutrition.
For well-researched information on nutrition and health, as well as creative recipes, visit the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine:www.pcrm.org, (202) 686-2210.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
Maybe the best source for basic medical information-definitions of medical terms and facts about illnesses and medications-is MedlinePlus, a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine:medlineplus.gov, (888) FIND-NLM (346-3656). There is an easy-to-use medical dictionary and a helpful tutorial on how to make sense of medical jargon. The alphabetical list of drugs and supplements is complete and well organized. The medical encyclopedia provides short but accurate articles on most topics.
Another reliable and helpful set of health information is atwww.cdc.gov, (800) CDC-INFO (232-4636), the website of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC publishes information on infectious diseases and epidemics, as well as growth charts, dental health, safety, nutrition, emergency preparedness, travel medicine, and a host of other important topics.
Also, see the listings for KidsHealth, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, below in the section on Raising Mentally Healthy Children.
For facts about medications, their uses, and possible side effects, seemedlineplus.gov.
Poison control hotline.
A good number to have taped next to the telephone: (800) 222-1222. More information is atwww.poison.org. The site has catchy jingles to help you memorize the number-worth a listen!)
RESOURCE GUIDE-RAISING MENTALLY HEALTHY CHILDREN
All conditions: children’s health and behavior.
For clear and reliable information about all aspects of children’s health and behavior, see KidsHealth: www.kidshealth.org. The articles are written in plain language, but they give enough detail to be helpful. Although the writers are not named, the articles are reviewed by named doctors or psychologists whose credentials are published; you can also see the date of the latest update. There are separate sections for kids and teens, which are fun but still informative. There is a helpful Spanish-language option throughout the site. The number for the parent organization, the Nemours Foundation, is (904) 697-4100.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) runs a large website: www.aap.org, (847) 434-4000. The AAP is the main professional group for pediatricians, and it writes the guidelines that define good pediatric care. A lot of the information on the AAP site is intended for doctors and other health professionals, but the home page has a link to articles for parents on a range of topics, including immunizations and injury prevention, and many issues in the areas of behavior and mental health.
Alcoholics Anonymous supports people getting free of alcoholism; Al-Anon and Alateen help families and children cope with alcoholism:
www.aa.org, (212) 870-3400;
www.alanon.alateen.org, (888) 425-2666.
Stop Bullying Now,www.stopbullyingnow.gov, is a project of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The site has a wonderful section for children, and includes information on cyberbullying and many materials to use with schools.
The website of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, www.ncadv.org, provides practical information to help victims of abuse find safety; most of the pages have a button that navigates away from the site instantly, making it less likely a victim will be caught using the site. The national domestic violence hotline is (800) 799-SAFE (7233); TTY (800) 787-3224.
Environment and environmental health.
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has a very helpful section on living green, with information on how to minimize waste and environmental hazards in everyday life: www.nrdc.org,(212) 727-2700.
Gay and lesbian parents.
Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) provides information to help families adapt to and support a gay, lesbian, or transgender child:www.pflag.org, (202) 467-8180.
Also see the Family Equality Council: www.familyequality.org,(646) 880-3005.
UNICEF: www.unicef.org, (212) 686-5522, and www.unicefusa.org(800) 367-5437.
Save the Children also provides many ways for you and your children to become involved in helping others around the world:www.savethechildren.org, (800) 728-3843.
The Southern Poverty Law Center provides tools to teach children to value diversity and speak up for justice; the site is mainly for professionals, but the magazine Teaching Tolerance is well worth a look: www.tolerance.org, (888) 414-7752.
COMMON DEVELOPMENTAL AND BEHAVIORAL CHALLENGES
A large national organization, Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD) provides information, advocacy, and parent support groups: www.chadd.org,(800) 233-4050. Also, LD Online:www.ldonline.org, (703) 998-2600(WETA public broadcasting is the parent organization).
Mental health, all topics.
The National Institute of Mental Health provides a wealth of information on ADHD, anxiety, depression, and many other mental health issues for parents and children. Check out “Health Topics” at www.nimh.nih.gov,(866) 615-6464.
Mental health professionals.
The sites below all offer directories of doctors, counselors, or therapists; some are more complete than others. Before searching online, a better first step is often to ask your child’s doctor for a personal recommendation.
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Information on ADHD, depression, anxiety, and other common child mental health problems. There is a computerized listing of psychiatrists, with limited information: www.aacap.org,(202) 966-7300.
American Psychological Association. The website includes a Psychology Help Center with information on many different topics for both adults and children, as well as a directory of psychologists: www.apa.org, (800) 374-2721.
Psychology Today, the popular magazine, runs a well-organized website with local listings of many psychologists, counselors, family therapists, and similar professionals:www.psychologytoday.org.
The Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics (SDBP):www.sdbp.org. Developmental-behavioral pediatricians aren’t psychologists or psychiatrists, but they have special training in helping parents and children deal with many different medical and behavioral challenges.
CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
There are organizations that provide support for children and families affected by virtually every condition. What follows is only a partial listing.
The Autism Society is a very large organization with local chapters all over: www.autism-society.org,(800) 3-AUTISM (328-8476).
See Autism Society of America (page 895) and Easter Seals (pages 897–98).
American Council of the Blind:www.acb.org, (800) 424-8666;
American Foundation for the Blind: www.afb.org, (800) 232-5463;
National Federation of the Blind and National Organization of Parents of Blind Children:www.nfb.org, (410) 659-9314.
United Cerebral Palsy:www.ucp.org, (800) 872-5827. Click on “Explore Resources” and then “For Parents and Families,” or go directly towww.mychildwithoutlimits.org, a rich resource for education and supports, not limited to cerebral palsy.
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders:www.nidcd.nih.gov, (800) 241-1044, a branch of the National Institutes of Health, provides solid information; the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing:www.agbell.org, (202) 337-5220, advocates for services for children and adults.
Easter Seals provides developmental services, including therapies, home-based and center-based education, camps, and medical services, in most communities:www.easterseals.com, (800) 221-6827. A good overall resource is the Council for Exceptional Children: www.cec.sped.org, (888) 232-7733.
The National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS), with information and a directory of local support groups: www.ndss.org, (800) 221-4602. The National Down Syndrome Congress (a different organization) has local chapters and excellent annual conventions:www.ndsccenter.org.
National Fragile X Foundation:fragilex.org, (800) 688-8765. This site provides a great deal of information and support for children and adults affected by fragile X, as well as for professionals.
NORD, the National Organization for Rare Disorders, provides information on more than a thousand rare and genetic disorders, along with networking and publications:www.rarediseases.org, (800) 999-6673.
Selective Mutism Group, Childhood Anxiety Network:www.selectivemutism.org. The FAQ section is particularly helpful, and there are resources for finding clinicians skilled in treating SM.