For many new special education teachers, finding effective material to help students learn is difficult. Even experienced teachers find it difficult to find up-to-date material on the subject on occasion, especially when working with children with very specific needs.

While the student you’re teaching and their special needs will help guide your lesson plan, there are some online resources that can be beneficial to you. Some online resources provide detailed lesson plans for children with disorders like ADD and ADHD, while others give general advice for educating children with special needs; however, they’re all helpful for new and experienced teachers alike who are looking to develop their skills and understanding of special needs education. Here are four online tools that you will find helpful if you are an educator for children with special needs.

1. The U.S. Office of Special Education Programs Tip Guide

In 2004, the U.S. Office of Special Education Programs crafted a guide full of useful, basic tips for teachers with the goal of educating them on how to effectively teach and help special needs students in the classroom. Examples of tips include how to begin and conclude lessons and how to deal with behavioral issues.

While 2004 might seem like a long time ago, the tips are generalized and stand up well to the test of time when it comes to teaching students with ADHD.

2. Technology in (SPL) Education

Technology in (SPL) Education is a website that was developed to help teachers, parents and other professionals work with kids with special needs. The site features a vast amount of information about how to interact with children based on their particular needs, and it even offers advice for parents and new educators.

For most parents and educators, the most interesting part of the site will be the app store, which actually separates helpful apps for products, like the iPad based, based on a child’s needs. For example, a parent or teacher could download apps from a special section designed specifically for children with autism.

Technology in (SPL) Education even offers a variety of free apps that parents and teachers can download and use without the commitment of having to pay for them. That way, they can try them out to see if they’re effective without spending too much.

3. EmergingEdTech

EmergingEdTech is a website that provides free information for educators on a host of disorders and conditions, allowing them to better understand the children that they’re teaching. It also regularly posts new information and keeps an archive related to teaching children with special needs, and it houses a large resources section when parents and educators can turn for information.

EmergingEdTech also has a YouTube channel and message board for parents and educators to gather even more information and communicate with one another regarding special needs education.

4. Time 4 Learning

Time 4 Learning is an educational website that offers detailed lesson plans, curriculum guides and a parent forum designed for children with special needs. For many parents who home-school their children, Time 4 Learning is an essential part of developing a lesson plan.

It can also be used by teachers to supplement their regular curriculum. Parents can use it to find information and ways to help their child learn at home, even if they don’t home-school.

Special needs education can be confusing for many teachers and parents. That’s why it’s so important to maintain awareness of new resources – so that you’ll always have the best and most up-to-date information, which will, in turn, allow you to better teach a child with special needs. Using technology and websites like the ones above can help you do exactly that.

Marcela De Vivo is a freelance writer from Southern California whose writing covers travel, health and marketing. As a mother of a child with special needs, she educates other parents with special needs children as well about special education law and inclusion.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons