Resources for Families Who Have Loved Ones with Impairments

With all the hats you wear, dotting i’s and crossing t’s can feel truly overwhelming, especially if you or another family member has impaired functioning, such as Asperger’s, balance issues, a sensory disorder, or brain injury. Here are some terrific resources to help you manage your circumstances.

Families face tremendous challenges in our society. There are careers to maintain, homes to tend, cars to fix, and school functions to attend. We often feel we’re on the run continually. With all the hats you wear, dotting i’s and crossing t’s can feel truly overwhelming, especially if you or another family member has impaired functioning, such as Asperger’s, balance issues, a sensory disorder, or brain injury. Here are some terrific resources to help you manage your circumstances.

Self-Care.  Many people struggle with time management, decision making, and organizing for a variety of reasons. As a parent, it’s important to find ways to help your child succeed in these areas. It’s also critical that you take care of your own needs.

  • ADDitude offers a whole section of time management articles and information. Topics range from improving focus, single-tasking, time saving tips, more efficient use of time, and staying on schedule.
  • For those with an interest in general organizing and timekeeping help, some professionals suggest organizational systems, prioritizing, and using the internet for automated bill paying.
  • Try revamping a room in your home for a hobby room, flex room, meditation space, or home gym. Plus, it’ll raise home value if you plan to sell any time soon. Bonus rooms are sought after by house hunters these days.
  • Caring for someone with special needs can be intense. As they say, you can’t pour from an empty cup, so take steps to avoid burnout.
  • If you have a lawn or back yard, consider installing new fencing. Not only will a good fence keep your children and pets safe; it will also enhance the value of your home when the time to sell arrives.


Asperger’s. Some experts suggest exploring a wide variety of resources for families coping with Asperger’s Syndrome.

  • AspergerSyndrome.org.  The Autism Spectrum Connection, formerly known as OASIS@MAAP, is a broad collection of resources in one place. This website meets the needs of families, individuals, and medical professionals managing Asperger Syndrome, Autism, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder/Not Otherwise Specified (PDD/NOS).
  • ImproveYourSocialSkills.com. If you’re looking for practical information on improving social skills, this website offers simple and straightforward information.
  • WrongPlanet.net. Wrong Planet is a social networking website oriented toward those with Asperger’s Syndrome, Autism, ADHD and other PDDs. Users can access a section with informational articles, a discussion forum, a chat room, and a blog. It’s a great opportunity to reach out to others and enhance your support network.

Balance issues. Many people struggle with balance impairment, especially as they age. While physical therapists can assist with specific exercises and help to reduce the risk of falling, there are many other resources to delve into.

  • ChoosePT.com. great resource designed to help with understanding balance issues and falling. This website explores areas of risk such as vision impairment and muscle weaknesses, kinds of physical training to improve strength and balance, how therapists can encourage better balance, and some of the mental health issues that can be related to these types of conditions, such as anxiety and depression.
  • LearningCenter.APTA.org. This website offers a five section online course examining the mental and physical factors contributing to balance problems. It also explains how physical therapists can evaluate the home to improve living conditions and reduce risks.

Sensory impairment. For those with sensory impairment, there are websites offering resources with specific support information.

  • Blind and visual impairment. The American Printing House for the Blind offers a widely varied list of resources for visually impaired and blind individuals, including such well-known organizations as Lions Club International, Books Aloud, and the National Braille Association.
  • Deaf and hearing impairment. For resources for hearing impaired and deaf individuals, Deaf Websites offers resources on a rich variety of subjects. Career development, learning sign language, a sign language browser, psychiatric services and everything in between can be found in their generous listing.

Families face heavy stresses in our society. If you or someone you love is coping with impairment issues, things can be especially complicated. Wherever you’re looking to improve your knowledge and strategies, there are resources available for you.

Amanda Henderson amanda@safechildren.info

 Safe Children

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