Are you raising children with special needs? We recently came across Netbuddy, a new website with a growing collection of practical tips and ideas from people with first hand experience of learning disability. We asked fellow blogger BlueSky to tell us what she thought…
When I take my little family out and about we attract a lot of attention. There’s aspie boy aged 9 who will be skipping along, flapping his hands and telling me all the latest pokemon news. He’ll also be telling his 14 year old sister to be quiet. She has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair and loves going out, so she’ll be laughing very loudly. Meanwhile my 18 year old will be a few paces ahead, iPod clamped over her ears, pretending she is not with us!
The first challenge is getting out at all, as aspie boy does not like leaving the house. If we do go out I need somewhere that is wheelchair-friendly. So I was delighted to be asked to review ideas for getting out and about on Netbuddy.
First impressions were great as the home page is really welcoming and uncluttered, and the whole site was so easy to navigate. Nice features are included such as the option to change the text size.
My first stop was the Get a Tip tab and this includes an ‘out and about section. The tips were brilliant, some I’d figured out for myself, and others I will certainly be trying. There was also a good mixture of tips – they didn’t just relate to one type of disability. I was especially impressed with the tips on how to manage bolting – a huge problem for familes rearing kids with autism.
There is also a forum on the website. Anyone can read this section, but you need to register if you want to post a question or a reply. Again there was great advice for families trying to get out and about, whether to church, hospital or even just travelling by bus. And if you want ideas for places to visit, check out the Arts and Leisure Information Pack. This has enough different options to keep the average special needs family busy for a year.
This award-winning website is great for dipping into, and I defy any family dealing with special needs not to find something useful here. Check it out!