Okay, so no one cheers when it’s revealed that their child has a learning disability. You should, however, cheer that your child was born into a world with today’s technology. Never before have so many Special Education Resources been available so quickly, so inexpensively and on such a global scale. You are not limited to local support groups and information the way parents of twentieth century children with learning disabilities were. If you want to access the best information while still using your time efficiently, you may have to develop a couple of skills you haven’t needed in the past.
To many, these tips will seem very elementary, but for most at least one will resonate. (For me, it’s tip #3)
1. In Your Quest For Specific Special Education Resources, Words Matter
If you have never done much searching on the internet for a specific topic there are a few tricks that will help you get the best search results. Use one of the large search engines (Yahoo, Bing, Google) to get the quickest and largest set of results. Be specific in your search. In the world of search engines, the words you want to use are called key words. For example, don’t just type in “dyslexia” if you are trying to find a tutor for your child with dyslexia. Instead, put in “dyslexia, tutor, math” or whatever specifics apply to your search. It takes some experimenting to come up with a combination but, you’ll get the hang of it quickly.
2. Take Your Time And Dig Deep
Many people stop after they have looked at the first 3-5 listings on the first results page of their internet search. If this is your general practice, it’s time to make a change. Read through the first three or four pages of your search result. You do not have to click on each link of your results, just read them. Then go back and check out the ones that seem to be the most helpful.
3. Do Your “In-Page” Homework
As you begin reading websites related to your search don’t simply go by the first page that pops up. Read the “About” page. It’s important to know who is behind the information you read before you simply accept that information. While many non profit organizations host excellent, informative websites that does not mean that you should ignore for-profit company websites. Many spend money and time providing their potential customers excellent, non-biased information. These sites allow you to access this information with no obligation. For me, this is the tip I struggle with the most. Remembering to be consistent in exploring all aspects of a website I find useful, is tough for me!
Remember to bookmark sites you find helpful. Also sign up for updates, newsletters and other notices from those sites. Finally, don’t forget apps! Search which apps will best help you stay organized and/or help your child. Always check new websites for apps that work for you. Once you begin to use these three tips you’ll find your internet searches are more productive and more enjoyable. In fact, it can become a bit like a scavenger hunt with your child as the beneficiary.