Bright Beacon

Bright Beacon exists to provide a safe haven for parents of children with medical needs to meet, discuss their children, their children’s medical needs, and perhaps even their own personal stories: their victories, defeats, joys and sorrows. Access is free of charge.

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Disability is Natural: People First Language

The mission of this site is to encourage new ways of thinking about developmental disabilities, in the belief that changes in our attitudes and actions can help create a society where all children and adults with developmental disabilities have opportunities to live the lives of their dreams, included in all areas of life.

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National Downs Syndrome Society

National Downs Syndrome Society web site provides links to various support groups for parents of children and adults with Downs Syndrome.

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The Autistic Self Advocacy Network

The Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) is a non-profit organization run by and for autistic people. ASAN’s supporters include autistic adults and youth, those with other distinct neurological types and neurotypical family members, professionals, educators and friends. ASAN was created to provide support and services to individuals on the autism spectrum while working to change public perception and combat misinformation by educating communities about persons on the autism spectrum. Their activities include public policy advocacy, community engagement to encourage inclusion and respect for neurodiversity, quality of life oriented research and the development of autistic cultural activities and other opportunities for autistic people to engage with others on the spectrum.

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The Sibling Support Project

The Sibling Support Project is a national effort dedicated to the life-long concerns of brothers and sisters of people who have special health, developmental, or mental health concerns.

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Self Advocates Becoming Empowered

This group strives to make self-advocacy available in every state including institutions, high schools, rural areas and people living with families with local support and advisors to help. They work with the criminal justice system and people with disabilities to inform them about their rights within the criminal justice system. They close institutions for people with developmental disabilities labels nationwide, and build community supports.

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We The People

Provides legal services in 13 states, specifically preparing legal documents at a reduced cost than that which an attorney would charge.

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The Special Needs Planning Guide: How to Prepare for Every Stage of Your Child’s Life

By John W. Nadworny & Cynthia R. Haddad

This book is a general guide for helping families plan for two generations (i.e., the financial planning needs of the primary caregiver and the person with disabilities). For some readers, it will relieve their anxieties about planning, and for others it will raise their awareness about the need to plan. Since every family’s specific situation is unique, the book is not intended to provide a specific formula for success. However, it bridges the gap between the ultimate vision a family has for their child and the financial realities of making these dreams come true. The structure of the book follows a chronological guideline of the critical transition periods that families face. The book also focuses on identifying and protecting government benefits as well as strategies to supplement government benefits. In addition to the basics of financial planning, the book includes family case studies; sample intent letters, checklists, forms, and other planning tools; a glossary of terms; and resources.

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Legal Considerations in Planning for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders

By Ira M. Fingles, Esq., Hillary D. Freeman, Esq. & S. Paul Prior, Esq.

This article provides information on special education, adult services, guardianship, Medicaid and Medicare, estate planning, eldercare considerations and social security and supplemental security income.

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National Special Needs Network: A Brief Review of Guardianship

Provides information on the purpose and types of guardianship.

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