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Resource Guide: Parents of Children with Cognitive Disorders By Robbin Zirkle

Specific population: Parents of children with cognitive disorders in State College, Pennsylvania

Situation: Librarians at the Schlow Public Library in State College, Pennsylvania, has noticed that parents with children afflicted by cognitive disorders such as autism are coming to the library for programming, but do not have much information about services or resources available to their children and to the parents themselves. The Library would like to create a guide of services and resources available internally and externally for parents.

Resources for Parents of Children with Cognitive Disabilities "Disability Scoop." 2013.Web. <http://www.disabilityscoop.com/>.

News website provides daily news articles related to issues of developmental disabilities. Like other news sites, Disability Scoop covers topical areas including health and behavior, education, politics, living, and money in addition to disorder-specific information.

This is a widely-recognized news source that is useful to parents because it explores the intersection of developmental disabilities and real-world events. For example, during the October 2013 United States Government Shutdown, Disability Scoop published an article entitled What the Shutdown Means for Disability Services. The content here is relevant

2 and well-curated in addition to being of interest for parents of children with cognitive disabilities.

"Easter Seals Western and Central Pennsylvania." 2013.Web. <http://westernpa.easterseals.com/site/PageServer?pagename=PAWS_homepage>.

Easter Seals is an important organization in the State College area that supports individuals with disabilities and special needs as well as their families. The website includes a menu of Easter Seals services as well as resources and an events calendar. The resources are particularly useful, as they focus on many facets of life, including household safety, school reading, work rights, and a number of other topics.

Easter Seals website is a valuable resource because of the wealth of local information available. This particular website is for the Western and Central Pennsylvania chapter, and include a number of resources for children with disabilities in addition to parents. It also emphasizes advocacy for this particular population, which is another area about which parents may be passionate.

Family Center on Technology and Disability. "Search Member Organizations." 2013.Web. <http://www.fctd.info/organizations>.

3 This particular subpage of the FCTD website gives searchers the opportunity to search for members and/or organizations of the FCTD initiative by geographic location, organization type, and specific disorder.

The Search page here is helpful in finding condition-specific information that is localized. The page will be useful for parents doing a survey of organizations to learn more about in their geographic area.

"National Center for Learning Disabilities." 2013.Web. <http://www.ncld.org/>.

This nationwide website provides a great deal of information about various types of learning disabilities as well as means of coping with and/or treating those disabilities. The website also includes a large collection of resources for parents.

While this website may, at first, appear to be redundant in consideration of other items on this list, its value lies in its resources page, which provides checklists, worksheets, podcasts, videos, and e-books. The variety of media available is optimal because it supports a number of different learning styles.

National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities. "Disability & Education Laws." 2012.Web. <http://nichcy.org/laws>.

4 The Disability & Education Laws subpage of the NDCCD website explains a variety different federal laws and regulations that are imperative to understand on behalf of a child with a cognitive disability.

While a number of websites address these laws and regulations, this particular website is affiliated with a reputable and frequently-updated website. Furthermore, the descriptions are short and somewhat easy to understand, making them accessible to a large number of parents.

State College Area School District. "Annual Public Notice of Special Education Services and Programs, Services for Gifted Students, and Services for Protected Handicapped Students." 2012.Web. <http://www.scasd.org/Page/1210>.

The Annual Public Notice on the SCASD website is important for parents of children with cognitive disabilities to be aware of if they live in the State College area. It includes information about the program itself as well as about the evaluation of students who may receive learning support.

State College is a large enough school district that it is reasonable to assume that many of the parents bringing in children would likely have them enrolled in the SCASD. The process of qualifying a child for special education can be rather involved, so understanding the process and accessing a summary of what services are provided to students is imperative.

---. "LifeLink."Web. <http://www.scasd.org/Page/1205>.

This subpage of the SCASD web site provides a historical overview of the LifeLink program as well as what participants in the program may do. The LifeLink program works to enable independent living for people with disabilities beginning when they are teens.

While many of the parents this document is intended to reach will not have children old enough to participate in the LifeLink program, awareness of its existence and qualification therein is helpful in planning for the growth of a student with cognitive disabilities. It may also guide a parents decisions about what sort of support to seek for their student during adolescence.

Web Accessibility in Mind. "Cognitive Disabilities." 2013.Web. <http://webaim.org/articles/cognitive/>.

Cognitive Disabilities is a guide introducing parents to different types of cognitive disabilities as well as the needs of those people. It breaks down cognitive disabilities into functional and clinical disabilities, and then further into issues of memory, problem-solving, attention, reading/linguistic/verbal comprehension, math comprehension and visual comprehension.

6 This particular resource has more elevated language than the others in this guide, but it provides a much more digestible explanation of the different types of cognitive disabilities than would be found in a medical textbook. This particular page could serve as a reference tool for parents throughout their childrens development.