CHILDREN REQUIRING EXTRA SUPPORTS
Resources for those with children requiring extra support to learn at home. Whether your child is on the autism spectrum and is now home without access to their EA or therapy services, or they simply don't respond to traditional forms of online or parent-led learning, we've got you covered. Please check back regularly as we are still vetting these resources and will be posting as we go. Feel free to email us if you know of great free or low-cost resources that we have not yet posted.
The team leaders at Vancouver Virtual Families acknowledge that not all inclusive language is universal and that some individuals prefer person-first language while others prefer disability-first language. If you feel that one of the resources we have posted is not in line with inclusive practices or our site language needs some revision to reflect the diversity of our community, please do not hesitate to send us an email. We always welcome new knowledge.
AUTISM AND SPD
The following resources are specific to ASD and/or SPD, though we recommend reading the section below as many of the non-specific resources will also be helpful to families with children on the autism spectrum. We recognize that autism and sensory integration therapies are not a 'one size fits all' approach and we encourage parents to support and advocate for their child in the best way they can. Vancouver Virtual Families will not endorse or discredit any particular therapy (ie. ABA, RDI, etc.) but we wish to encourage parents and caregivers to consider the perspectives of other autistic people when making their own informed choices. The Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) is a great place to start. While we understand some may disagree with the position of a particular resource, please don't hesitate to let us know if we have posted something that really shouldn't be up here (or send us something we should post). Note: we will not be posting any resources from Autism Speaks.
UNC FGP CHILD DEVELOPMENT INSTITUTE
This wonderful 60-page PDF titled "Supporting Individuals With Autism Through Uncertain Times" was developed in response to COVID-19.
SOCIAL THINKING ONLINE
Free read-aloud books and thinksheets, video lessons, webinars and Aha! Moments, and articles released each week. Check back on a regular basis for new materials.
RECREATIONAL RESPITE ONLINE
In response to COVID-19, this team of recreation therapists and community partners have come together to create unique interactive and innovative virtual (online) services that will offer experiential outcomes through 1:1 and small groups (5) programs. These services are for children, youth and adults with disabilities and mental health struggles. Services are recognized by public/ministry COVID-19 relief funding and private foundations for funding or reimbursement, for families who qualify. Mini Groups (5): $15.00 (+ applicable taxes). Virtual sessions promote engagement, social connectivity and are attached to experiential outcomes. Please note: this is not just for children with ASD/SPD.
GENEVA CENTER FOR AUTISM
Remote parent support groups and FREE online social skills program. You must register in advance for each webinar.
Supporting families during the COVID-19 pandemic and after. Pastel's easy-to-follow learning modules are based on the works of various professionals (ie. Dr. Stuart Shanker) and cover topics such as: educator-student relationships, sensory inclusive settings, self-regulation, and supporting transitions.
AUTISM COMMUNITY TRAINING (ACT)
Various resources for families during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Do2learn provides thousands of free pages with social skills and behavioral regulation activities and guidance, learning songs and games, communication cards, academic material, and transition guides for employment and life skills.
THE AUTISM CIRCUIT
A variety of printable tools (ie. visuals, first/then cards, choice cards, and other therapy activities). The website also includes a link to an online learning library.
AUTISM SCHOOL CLOSURE TOOLKIT
You can find visual schedules, token boards, and other resources in this PDF document created by the Easterseals Illinois Autism Partnership.
OTHER NEURODEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES
This section includes various learning and parenting supports for families with children who have other learning and/or neurodevelopmental disabilities, such as ADHD, FASD, speech-language delays, and/or intellectual delays. However, we acknowledge that there may be some overlap since some of these conditions can co-occur with ASD. We recommend checking out the resources in both categories.
Providing youth/young adults with disabilities, parents and professionals a secure online experience that removes social barriers and promotes independence, respect, acceptance and inclusion.
RECREATIONAL RESPITE ONLINE
This resource is listed twice, as it applies to multiple categories. In response to COVID-19, this team of recreation therapists and community partners have come together to create unique interactive and innovative virtual (online) services that will offer experiential outcomes through 1:1 and small groups (5) programs. These services are for children, youth and adults with disabilities and mental health struggles. Services are recognized by public/ministry COVID-19 relief funding and private foundations for funding or reimbursement, for families who qualify. Mini Groups (5): $15.00 (+ applicable taxes). Virtual sessions promote engagement, social connectivity and are attached to experiential outcomes.
Free K-6 math and reading activities for students requiring extra support or adapted activities. Based on US school curriculum but has some great explanations.
Free speech therapy activities and resources for parents and professionals supporting children with speech and learning difficulties (ie. dyspraxia, apraxia and ASD).
WIDE OPEN SCHOOL
From the creators of Common Sense Media, Wide Open School brings you tons of various resources for all children in many categories. This link takes you to the pre-K to grade 12 resources for special needs students learning from home.
MRS. D'S CORNER
A step-by-step guide (with a video) on how to make a visual schedule for children with special needs.
EASTERSEALS VIDEO SERIES
Easterseals would like to help families affected by COVID-19 by providing some helpful resources. The Southeastern Pennsylvania district's Director of Behavioral Support Services, Danielle Franchini-Muir, MS Ed., BCBA, is developing a video series to help families implement positive behavior intervention supports at home. Click the link below to watch the videos.
DEALING WITH COVID-19: SPECIAL EDUCATION
COVID-19 visual supports, social stories and other resources for individuals with developmental disabilities.
A free reading program that uses interactive videos to teach children phonetic sounds of the English language. This resource has previously been recommended for children with dyslexia and other learning disabilities.
STRONGEST FAMILIES INSTITUTE
Strongest Families Institute is a not-for-profit corporation providing evidence-based services to children and families seeking help for mental health and other issues impacting health and well-being. They provide teaching skills through a distance coaching approach – supporting families over the phone and Internet in the comfort and privacy of their own home. Programs are designed to support children and youth from 3-17 years of age with:
Oppositional Defiance Disorder
Nighttime Bedwetting *Dependent on funding
STAY-AT-HOME GUIDE FOR CHILDREN WITH FASD
Suggestions for fun and calming home activities. While the site is specific to children with FASD, the resource itself seems useful for many children.
CHILDREN WITH VISION AND/OR HEARING IMPAIRMENTS
Home learning resources for families with children who are blind, visually impaired, deaf and/or hard of hearing.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a UK based organization has provided various activities designed to support youth with visual impairments but has activities that are fun for the entire family!
You can also join an interactive story session on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 4:00 GMT: https://www.facebook.com/PositiveEyeIdeaMachine
This externally created document provides pages of math game and activity links for visually impaired children. Resources have been grouped by age/grade level, though we have not vetted each link and cannot guarantee that all content is relevant or working.
Freedom Scientific is now offering JAWS, ZoomText, and Fusion free of charge for personal computers at home, until June 30, 2020. This offer is available to every household in the US and Canada.
Accessibyte is offering their online platform free for the next 45 days. Among other software packages, Accessibyte makes Typio and Accessibyte Arcade, accessible educational games and software for blind and visually impaired students.
"FLATTEN THE CURVE" ACCESSIBLE TACTILE GRAPHIC
A tactile (braille) printable graphic to help explain the term "flatten the curve" to children and youth (or adults) who are blind or visually impaired.
VCH DEAF WELL-BEING PROGRAM
An ASL video series on "How to talk to your kids about with image descriptions and transcripts.
DCS PRESCHOOL CORONAVIRUS VIDEO
The Deaf Children's Society of BC has posted a preschool coronavirus video lesson in ASL.
PEDIATRIC MENTAL HEALTH AND BEHAVIOUR
In this section, we will provide resources that can help support families with children or youth struggling with mental health and/or behavioural issues. Even children and youth with no history of mental health and/or behavioural issues may suddenly be struggling as a result of the isolation and disruption to routine that this pandemic brings, so these resources are intended to be general and may or may not be specific to a particular diagnosis.
KIDS HELP PHONE
Canada’s only 24/7 crisis line for kids and youth across Canada. Services available in English and French. Resources available on their website.
Free access to courses that help families cope with anxiety. Courses include: "My Anxiety Plan (MAP) for Children and Teens" and "My Anxiety Plan (MAP) for Adults".
MINDSHIFT™ CBT APP
MindShift™ CBT uses scientifically proven strategies based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to help you learn to relax and be mindful, develop more effective ways of thinking, and use active steps to take charge of your anxiety. Get the tools to tackle worry, panic, perfectionism, social anxiety, phobias.
LIZ'S EARLY LEARNING SPOT: KIDS ANGER MANAGEMENT
185 visual calming cards to help kids manage their own anger. Click the link to download the PDF.
TRIPLE P PARENTING
Top parenting tips for parents and carers in uncertain times.
NATIONAL EDUCATION ALLIANCE FOR BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER
A free webinar series to educate and provide skills to those struggling with a youth who has characteristics of BPD and/or emotion dysregulation.
10 APPS FOR SUPPORTING CHILDREN'S MENTAL HEALTH
A list of 10 apps for supporting children's mental health including free apps such as "Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame", low cost apps such as "The Zones of Regulation" and more costly apps (with free trials) such as "Calm Kids" and "Headspace for Kids".
KELTY MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCE CENTER (BCCH)
Run through BC Children's Hospital, this local mental health resource center is offering virtual drop-in counselling for young people ages 12-24 and their families.
In response to COVID-19, Foundry is offering virtual drop-in counselling sessions by voice, video and chat to young people ages 12-24 and their caregivers! It is free and no referral or assessment is required.