Resource Guide


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

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 Articles that are outdated or that don’t tell you when they were written aren’t as trustworthy.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.


Child care.
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 341-4100.

College planning and funding.
The U.S. Department of Education provides information on choosing and paying for 4-FED-AID (433-3243).

If you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, find out about the benefits of doulas at DONA International:,(888) 788-DONA (3662).

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:,(800) 899-4301.

Gifted children.
National Association for Gifted Children: 785-4268

Learning disabilities.
The Learning Disabilities Association of America is a good source of information on learning disabilities and special education, with local groups 341-1515. Also see LD 998-2600(WETA public broadcasting is the parent organization); the Council for Exceptional 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: 307-4PTA (307-4782).


A reliable source for information, individual support, and groups is La Leche League:,(800) LALECHE (525-3243).

General nutrition.
For solid information on food and nutrition, start, 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: 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:

Vegetarian eating and nutrition.
For well-researched information on nutrition and health, as well as creative recipes, visit the Physicians Committee for Responsible 686-2210.


All conditions.
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 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 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.

Asthma and allergy.
Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America: 7-ASTHMA (727-8462);
American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and 272-6071.

First aid, CPR training.
The American Red Cross provides training, information on preparedness, and opportunities to be helpful across the 773-2767.

Food allergies and anaphylaxis.
Food Allergy Research and Education:,(800) 929-4040.

For facts about medications, their uses, and possible side effects,

Oral (dental) health.
The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research has parent-friendly, and click on the “Health Info,” (866) 232-4528.

Poison control hotline.
A good number to have taped next to the telephone: (800) 222-1222. More information is The site has catchy jingles to help you memorize the number-worth a listen!)


All conditions: children’s health and behavior.
For clear and reliable information about all aspects of children’s health and behavior, see KidsHealth: 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: 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.

Information is available 394-3366; under “Topics,” click on “Adoption.” Also, North American Council on Adoptable 644-3036.

The Children’s Defense Fund advocates to improve the lives of children in many ways. The site gives you many ways to become active:,(800) CDF-1200 (233-1200).

Alcoholics Anonymous supports people getting free of alcoholism; Al-Anon and Alateen help families and children cope with alcoholism: 870-3400; 425-2666.

Stop Bullying Now,, 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.

Child abuse prevention.
Parents Anonymous supports parents who are seeking positive and nonviolent ways to raise their,(909) 621-6184.

Domestic violence.
The website of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence,, 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:,(212) 727-2700.

Foster families.
National Foster Parent Association, 557-5238.

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 467-8180.
Also see the Family Equality Council:,(646) 880-3005.

American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) Grandparent Information,(888) OUR-AARP (687-2277).

UNICEF: 686-5522, and 367-5437.
Save the Children also provides many ways for you and your children to become involved in helping others around the 728-3843.

Single parents.
For local support groups, see Parents Without,(800) 637-7974.

Social justice.
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: 414-7752.


A large national organization, Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD) provides information, advocacy, and parent support groups:,(800) 233-4050. Also, LD 998-2600(WETA public broadcasting is the parent organization).

The Autism Society is a very large organization with local chapters all over:,(800) 3-AUTISM (328-8476).

Eating disorders.
The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD):,(630) 577-1333. There is also a helpline: (630) 577-1330.

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,(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:,(202) 966-7300.

American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.Search for family therapists in your area: 838-9808.

American Psychoanalytic Association. Learn about psycho-analysis, and search for analysts in your area: 752-0450.

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: 374-2721.

Psychology Today, the popular magazine, runs a well-organized website with local listings of many psychologists, counselors, family therapists, and similar

The Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics (SDBP) 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.


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:,(800) 3-AUTISM (328-8476).
See Autism Society of America (page 895) and Easter Seals (pages 897–98).

American Council of the 424-8666;
American Foundation for the Blind: 232-5463;
National Federation of the Blind and National Organization of Parents of Blind 659-9314.

Brain injury.
Brain Injury Association of America: 444-6443.

Cerebral palsy.
United Cerebral 872-5827. Click on “Explore Resources” and then “For Parents and Families,” or go directly, a rich resource for education and supports, not limited to cerebral palsy.

Cystic fibrosis.
Cystic Fibrosis FIGHT-CF (344-4823).

National Center on Deaf-Blindness:,(503) 838-8754.

National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication 241-1044, a branch of the National Institutes of Health, provides solid information; the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of 337-5220, advocates for services for children and adults.

Developmental delay.

American Diabetes DIABETES (342-2383).

Easter Seals provides developmental services, including therapies, home-based and center-based education, camps, and medical services, in most 221-6827. A good overall resource is the Council for Exceptional Children: 232-7733.

Down syndrome.
The National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS), with information and a directory of local support groups: 221-4602. The National Down Syndrome Congress (a different organization) has local chapters and excellent annual

International Dyslexia 296-0232.

Epilepsy Foundation of 332-1000.

Fetal alcohol syndrome.
National Organization on Fetal Alcohol 785-4585.

Fragile X.
National Fragile X 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.

Intellectual disability.
The largest national organization serving children and families with intellectual disabilities is The Arc, 433-5255.

Lead poisoning.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides information on lead, including safe There is also a lead hotline: (800) 424-LEAD (424-5323).

Muscular dystrophy.
The Muscular Dystrophy Association provides information for families, programs, support groups, and more:,(800) 572-1717.

Rare disorders.
NORD, the National Organization for Rare Disorders, provides information on more than a thousand rare and genetic disorders, along with networking and 999-6673.

Selective mutism.
Selective Mutism Group, Childhood Anxiety The FAQ section is particularly helpful, and there are resources for finding clinicians skilled in treating SM.

Sickle cell.
Sickle Cell Disease Association of America (SCDAA): 421-8453.

Spina bifida.
Spina Bifida,(800) 621-3141.

The Stuttering 992-9392.

Tourette’s disorder (also called Tourette’s syndrome).
Tourette Association of 224-2999.

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