HomeSchool Resources - Special Needs

Special Needs

Many of the websites listed under Special Needs are actually Early Learning websites due to the hands-on and tactile emphasis so helpful to this population. Link to the Early Learning page for more ideas. Another hint: try Pinterest for a quick display of theme related and age appropriate materials.

This website page has been created for homeschoolers as an easy way to locate items for subject based inquiries of interest to home educators. These links are website pages of free and low-cost resources online to assist in your child’s education.

Local Therapy Centers

Behavioral Innovations
Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA) help children and adults with autism and other developmental and behavioral disorders. Choose from center-based or adult services. Cost will vary. Insurance is accepted. The closest location to Weatherford is in Benbrook.

FEAT-NT (Families for Effective Autism Treatment - North Texas)
As a local resource for parents and professionals, this center in Richland Hills has a library of materials and schedules support group meetings, workshops, mentoring, family fun days and more for the autism community.

Special Needs and Struggling Learners

How to Homeschool 
This website offers selections on homeschooling the special needs child at home, such as the Best Special Needs Curriculum, Products & Services. Get access to free curriculum and resources from this website once a month by signing up via e-mail.

Learning Abled Kids
Curriculum suggestions, resources, articles, ideas and supports are offered on this website for homeschooling a special needs child.

Progressive Phonics
As a completely free phonics course, this gentle and slower approach incorporates all the Dolch sight words. It has been used successfully with developmentally delayed and remedial students. Some British spellings may be used.

Reading Horizons
Pinpoint and address the needs of struggling students with systematic instruction in decoding, spelling and pronunciation. See the home option when ready to purchase.

Reading Rocket
With proven strategies to assist struggling learners, Reading Rockets provides free resources to teachers and parents. Check out the Reading 101 course to get started.

Dyslexia Helps

Easy Spelling Aid

This top selling app helps you to independently spell words and phrases. The OpenDyslexic font and color overlays are especially useful for dyslexic students.

Homeschooling with Dyslexia
Encouraging families who homeschool children with dyslexia, this website highlights individualized, multi-sensory and research-based methods. Resources for purchase are available.

Research Based Instruction

Dianne Craft-Child Diagnostics
This is the “Right-Brain” training program for struggling learners and includes daily lesson plans, a writing program, and reading program for homeschoolers with supportive materials to purchase as needed. Free articles and advice are provided from this experienced Special Needs instructor and consultation and assessments are available for an extra cost.

As a company that sells products for the autism spectrum, this website catalog offers products with research based solutions like ABA. Enjoy the free articles and member rewards.

Little Giant Steps
As a company that emphasized neurodevelopmental methods, Little Giant Steps offers an in-home brain training program. The Neuro-educational Approach can be effective with learning difficulties and delays. Look at the Early Learning Foundations Curriculum to purchase or consider an individual evaluation.

Simple Steps Autism
Free teaching resources are available from this online learning platform. You can purchase an ABA training pack to understand how behavioral science helps children with autism and view video instructions on how to implement in your home.

Teach Town
Dedicated to improving the academic, behavioral, and functionality of students with disabilities, Teach Town sells evidence-based products developed from ABA practices.

Curriculum for Special Needs
Every Star is Different
As a Montessori inspired curriculum for the special needs child, many free resources are available at this website.

Memoria Press (Simply Classical)
This homeschool curriculum company is one of the few that offers a special needs option. Since many of the books are commonly found children’s literature, a cost-effective suggestion would be to purchase the guides and consumables only, and locate the remaining books at the library or a used bookstore.

Time 4 Learning
Linking to the Special Needs page at this popular educational product website, Time4Learning is comprehensive and builds incrementally while reinforcing reading, writing, and math skills.

Touch Math
Take the free Touch Math Teach Training program and learn how to apply to any math worksheet. Developed for disabled learners, this company now offers homeschool kits to purchase.

Text to Speech
Natural Reader App
Import text files or type your own text into the text box and convert to spoken language with the free version of this app; offers a great option for dyslexic students. A purchase is required to upgrade for more options.

Speech Notes
The dictation feature on this free app works only on a Chrome browser and a microphone is required. Click the microphone icon in upper right corner of the text box and begin speaking. Text should appear. Directions on punctuation and replay are explained. Premium features are also available.

Talk Typer
Free speech to text software can be downloaded for any computer. Instructions are on the left-hand sidebar. Students with spelling difficulties or learning disabilities can benefit from speech recognition software. Google Chrome browser is required.

Local Fun For Special Needs  

Heritage Park Playground (Disability Inclusive)
As one of a handful of all-inclusive parks in the DFW area, this playground was designed to serve children who may be autistic, hearing impaired or have spina bifida or cerebral palsy and other disabilities, as well as children without disabilities. Exploration is encouraged by allowing for different developmental stages while also providing a sensory-rich environment. 

Miracle League of Parker County
A safe and fun place for those with limited abilities to experience baseball in their own stadium and modified for success and joy. Follow the above link for information on registration.

Special Needs Swim
On selected Fridays starting June 1st, the City of Weatherford provides exclusive access to the Cherry Park Pool for children with special needs and their guardians, parents, and immediate family members. See the city website link above for dates. Pool staff will be on scene. The event is free.

Behavior and Communication Help
American Sign Language University
This online sign language curriculum offers free lessons and self-study materials. For documentation, there is a tuition cost and required assignments, but access to the information is still free. Sign language is often helpful for communication with special needs individuals, regardless of the diagnosis.

I Can for Autism Method
Take this free evaluation quiz to assess your child’s communication level. This website also sells a communication app for autism.

This freeware is a tool for creating visual schedules for use by teachers and parents. Fast search options and automatic sizing make it even more user-friendly.

Practical Autism Resources
As a website that provides resources to individuals who work with children with autism, browse through more than a 100 free printables. The links and tips offer great helps as well.

Social Express
These webisodes teach skills for emotional and social learning. Interactive research-based lessons are animated and includes online and offline curriculum activities. Choose the home option when purchasing.

Trainland Tripod PECS (Beyond Autism)
All kinds of PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) ideas and links can be found at this free resource page, like downloadable Boardmaker files, picture resources and sign language options. On the Communications page, explore additional assistive technology resources.

Games and Apps
Autism Speaks
Apps are listed in alphabetical order or use the filters for a more specific search. As the most vocal advocacy group for autism, this website contains tons of additional resources for autism.

Cognitive skills are developed through an engaging video-game format, and the BrainWare SAFARI

 is the original program and recommended for learning disabilities. More programs are available for purchase.

Daily Jigsaw Puzzle
Use this free puzzle generator to interest children who enjoy puzzles as a reward, reinforcement or just to pass the time. There is a Puzzle of the Day or browse for one you like, then choose difficulty level. You can also choose "random," but the most unique feature is the option to upload a personal photo and create your own!

Zac Browser App
This free internet browser for children with autism compiles websites while offering strong parental controls and interesting selections for children on the spectrum. By reducing interface controls, the browser simplifies the Web and reduces frustration. Support is encouraged through donations as a premium subscription to keep it free for those who cannot afford to pay.

Software for Special Needs

DTT Trainer
Based on Discrete Trial training, this ABA based software provides an affordable tool for independent learning. A video modeling software package is also available for purchase.

GCompris App
This high quality educational software suite includes a large number of activities for ages 2-10 or for special needs individuals. It is adaptable to your own needs. Here’s the link to the Google store for GCompris app purchase.

Laureate Learning
“These research based, innovative software programs (for purchase) have recently been acquired by Attainment Company and are specifically designed to improve the lives of children and adults with special needs, especially language challenges.”

More Resources
Busy Toddler
Tons of cute and easy to put together toddler activities are free and demonstrated visually online. These are also great with special needs children.

Thousands of free pages are available for individuals with special needs, covering social skills, behavior activities, learning songs, games, communication cards, academic materials, life skills and transition to employment guides.

File Folder Heaven
Created by a special needs teacher, these printable file folder activities provide hands-on basic skills practice. Sample free printables, or purchase low-cost selections as well as budget friendly packages.

GCF Learn Free
The EDL (Every Day Life) Project uses interactive, every day situation-based lessons to teach functional life skills. Adobe Flash Player 10 or higher is required to view these free educational materials.

HSLDA-Struggling Learner
The Homeschool Legal Defense Association provides suggestions for special needs help. Scroll down and click on right-hand arrows to open all the links to resources.

SEN Teacher
Free printables, software downloads and search tools are available for all levels of special and remedial education. Resources include an AAC generator, printables, thematic units, eye gaze software, sensory software, and much more. Be aware that this is a UK website, so some British terminology may be used in the resources.

Texas Homeschool Coalition-Special Needs Curriculum
The THSC’s page for special needs offers a modification video as well as this downloadable resource.

Disclaimer: The Desoto Public Library is providing this resource to assist local homeschoolers. A great amount of the information is useful for all educators and parents. It is not an endorsement of any product or business mentioned or a promotion of homeschooling as a preference over other choices in education.