The Importance of Special Needs Networking

There’s a saying that says, “If you’re not networking, soon you’ll be not working.” Today, I’d like to examine this from the perspective of a parent of a child with special needs. One of the major difficulties facing these parents in the past was finding a support group where ideas, success stories, and tips could be shared with others in similar situations.

Thankfully, that is changing, and there’s one less thing that parents of special needs children have to worry about.

Look for Support Online

With internet availability becoming more widespread and the growth of social networks like Facebook and Twitter, connecting with others and sharing information is becoming easier and easier. While every disability is different and each child is unique, digital collaboration through online communities has made finding a prescription for success much easier for everyone.

Widespread Accessibility

Additionally, the technology that is now accessible (although we realize not for everyone – which is exactly why we’re petitioning our lawmakers to cover the iPad under Medicaid) has progressed by leaps and bounds. The iPod and the iPad in particular can do things that no one thought possible even ten years ago.  The Conover Company currently has 90 apps in the iTunes App Store, with our two newest (the Functional Communication System and Functional Planning System) submitted just a couple of weeks ago.

Supporting the Cause

We see the enormous benefit in having these online support systems, which is exactly why The Conover Company is proud to support many contributors to these online communities, like Apps for Children with Special Needs (A4CWSN). A4CWSN is a site that posts video app reviews so that parents and educators can make informed decisions before spending their hard-earned money. They also recently completed a tour in which they handed out 50 iPads to 50 children in 50 states, and are having an “app party” on their Facebook page where they give out promo codes starting tonight at 7 pm EST.

It’s not easy having a child with special needs, but thanks to today’s technology, finding the answers you need (and applying them) can be.

By | 2017-04-30T16:18:31-04:00 December 27th, 2011|Education|2 Comments

About the Author:

Mike is the President of the Conover Company, an assessment company that focuses on transition, social/emotional learning, and independent living skills.

2 Comments

  1. Susan L. Blumberg December 31, 2011 at 5:55 am - Reply

    In fact, the importance of special needs networking has been known for decades. Parent to Parent organizations all across the country are based on the research regarding this type of mutual support and networking, first done at the Beach Center – see http://www.p2pusa.org for relevant information. In Colorado, our parent to parent agency has nearly 1500 members on our listserv, plus many more who use our website for resources and referrals http://www.p2p-co.org.

    • Mike Schmitz January 10, 2012 at 4:39 pm - Reply

      Thanks for sharing Susan! These look like great resources to share with our online community!

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