Health and special needs

With web pages that provide detailed information on child health and special education, this issue's NetWatch offers practical support resources for teachers and students.


by Lynda Scarrow


Proudly Canadian, KidKanuck offers a well-organized list of links to resources for kids and devotes an area to special needs. This area includes links to sites that focus on: AIDS, Attention Deficit Disorder, Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Diabetes, Learning Disabilities, and Vision, Hearing and Speech .

As a bonus, KidKanuck's education section has information and links organized under headings including: educational software, K-12, pre-school, public schools and teaching resources.

Overall, it's a nicely designed site that's a good source of Canadian-specific materials.

Assisting a child through the grieving process requires special resources. Unfortunately, there are few online materials available to assist children in dealing with death. Most sites offer in-house or in-school program information rather than tools for helping children.

The only web site that I came across that provides some decent information is Created by the Dougy Center for Grieving Families and Children located in Portland, Oregon, the site is divided into "I'm an adult" and "I'm a kid" categories.

The kids' section is divided even further into two more sections: for children 12 and under or children 13 and older. These areas have a minimal number of activities to assist children and a list of books and resources.

The adult section includes some good articles that may be helpful, such as "A Dozen Lessons I've Learned from Grieving Children and Adolescents" written by the executive director of the Center and "How to Help a Grieving Child/Teen".

Resources specifically for teachers include: "Helping the Grieving Student: A Guide for Teachers" and "When Death Impacts Your School: A Guide for School Administrators" which are excerpted from books of the same title.

The Children's Booklist

Here's a quick site to check out for books geared to children and anger management. Choices are sorted into: Books for Helping Children Understand Anger, Games for Helping Children Understand Anger, Other Tools for Helping Children Cope with Anger.


It's rare to find an online resource that provides so much useful information. Created by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Healthfinder has an easy-to-use searchable database with comprehensive information on asthma, allergies, deafness, diabetes, abuse and other health issues that may affect a student.


KidsHealth is a great site for both young children and teenagers and includes information on complex and difficult topics, such as cheating, parents fighting, running away, hazing, self-cutting, tattooing and plastic surgery.

The site is beautifully designed and makes good use of age-specific, kid-friendly colours and graphics. It also includes a number of interactive features such as the Daily Brain Buzz, memory games and quizzes.

Struggling to Learn: A Learning Disabilities Resource

PBS's Struggling to Learn site may be geared to parents but it has well-written information on learning disabilities. Sections are broken into reading, writing, math and attention disabilities. Content delves into the complexities of learning disabilities and how they affect children and their ability to function.

A frequently asked questions section provides responses from doctors and education specialists and a link to the Misunderstood Minds web site (
Here you will find testimonials about specific children with specific learning disabilities. Both sites are nicely designed and offer solid information for anyone working with a child who has difficulty learning.

Lynda Scarrow is the College's web editor. She can be reached at