This list includes both developmental and recreational resources for families in Wake County and surrounding areas. If you have a an addition that you think may be helpful, please feel free to forward it on; we want our families to be armed with knowledge about their kiddos and programming options!
The Autism Society of North Carolina
Offers family support and advocacy for individuals with autism.
Phone: (800) 442-2762
Family Support Network of North Carolina
The Family Support Network of North Carolina, a statewide network of affiliated local programs, believes that families can make informed decisions about services and support through the help and support that other families can provide.
Phone: (800) 852-0042
Disability Rights North Carolina
Disability Rights NC is part of a national system of federally mandated independent disability agencies. DRNC helps people across NC gain access to disability services and opportunities through its advocacy and legal expertise.
Phone: (877) 235-4210
North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services: Homepage for People with Disabilities
A great state-wide resource providing services, hotlines, fact sheets and advocacy for children, youth, and individuals with disabilities.
NAMI North Carolina
NAMI NC provides support, education and advocacy for the families and friends of people with mental illnesses.
Phone: (800) 451-9682
Special Olympics of North Carolina
SONC provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults in NC.
WCPSS Preschool Special Education Services
Wake County Public School System’s Preschool Special Education Services are designed for children from age’s three to five with disabilities and in need of specially designed instruction.
Phone: (919) 431-7700
WCPSS Special Education Services
The Wake County Public School System offers a website with information for services for students with special needs.
Phone: (919) 858-3149
Project Enlightenment is an early childhood education intervention program of the Wake County Public School System, serving teachers and parents of young children, age’s birth through Kindergarten. Services through the program includes parent education and counseling, developmental screening, teacher training, a resource center for teachers and parents and consultation for teachers and parents.
Phone: (919) 856-7774
Wake County Smart Start
Wake County Smart Smart works to ensure children, birth to five, are prepared for success in school and life. They Partner with non-profits in Wake County to provide comprehensive early childhood services for preschool children ages birth to five and their families.
Phone: (919) 851-9550
Wake County Pre-K Information Line: (919) 723-9298
North Carolina Prekindergarten Program
The NC Pre-K Program is designed to provide high-quality educational experiences to enhance school readiness for eligible four-year-olds.
Phone: (919) 662-4499
Alliance of Disability Advocates
The Alliance is a local nonprofit serving youth and individuals in the Triangle with disabilities. They are committed to assisting people with disabilities to live independently and become productive full participants in society.
Phone: (919) 833-1117
Carolina parent is a local magazine and resource offering family events and kids’ activities, camps, education, schools and parenting information and advice for families in the Triangle.
Provided by the UNC School of Medicine, TEACCH is an evidence-based service, training, and research program for individuals of all ages and skill levels with autism spectrum disorders. They provide clinical services such as diagnostic evaluations, parent training and parent support groups, social play and recreation groups, individual counseling for higher-functioning clients, and supported employment.
North Carolina Association for Parents of Children with Visual Impairment
NC-APVI is dedicated to sharing information and resources relating to raising visually impaired children. They provide leadership support and training to assist parents in helping children reach their full potential.
Phone: (919) 266-6119
Wake County Special Education and Inclusion Committee
Wake SEIC is a part of the Wake County PTA Council and works to provide education, training, in-school liaisons and on-line resources to help families be knowledgeable and informed about the special education services in Wake County.
Marbles Kids Museum
An interactive museum for children in Raleigh. Kids are encouraged to use their Marbles – learning new things through imagination, discovery, and play.
Phone: (919) 834-4040
North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences
The Museum of Natural Sciences encourages visitors to explore the natural world and their connections to it. Their programs, exhibits, and educational programs appeal to a wide variety of ages and audiences.
Phone: (919) 733-7450
North Carolina Museum of Life and Science
Located in Durham, the Museum of Life and Science works to create a place of lifelong learning where people, from young children to senior citizens, embrace science as a way of knowing about themselves, their community, and their world.
Phone: (919) 220-5429
North Carolina Museum of Art
NCMA offers tours, family workshops, and tours.
Phone: (919) 839-NCMA
North Carolina Museum of History
Provides exhibits, collections, programs and events for individuals and families.
Phone: (919) 807-7900
Frankie’s Fun Park
This is a family amusement and gaming park offering food, video games, bumper cars, and laser tag.
Phone: (919) 433-7888
Adventure Landing offers affordable family fun and features miniature golf, laser tag, an indoor arcade, batting cages, and an adventure speedway with go-karts.
Phone: (919) 872-1688
NC Botanical Garden
A research center for research, conservation, and interpretation of plants located in Chapel Hill. Their mission is to inspire understanding, appreciation, and conservation of plants in gardens and natural areas and to advance a sustainable relationship between people and nature. They offer many programs and educational events for children and families.
Phone: (919) 962-0522
The Sarah P. Duke Gardens provides a place where people of all backgrounds and ages come for beauty, education, horticulture, solitude, discovery, study, renewal and inspiration.
Phone: (919) 684-3698
Morehead Planetarium and Science Center
Located in Chapel Hill, MPSC was built for students of all ages with all interests.
Phone: (919) 962-1236
Raleigh Parks and Recreation
The Parks and Recreation Department maintains over 9000 acres of Parkland around Raleigh. In addition to programs, classes, and recreational centers around the city, they offer the Capital Area Greenway System, a network of public open spaces and recreational trails.
Blue Jay Point County Park
A 236 acre park on the shores of Falls Lake.
Phone: (919) 870-4330
Provided by the Museum of Natural Sciences, Bug Fest is an annual with educational and entertaining displays, exhibits, and activities related to insects held each September.
Great for birthdays, Jump Zone is an indoor inflatable party and play center with jumpers, slides, moonwalks, and other interactive games.
Phone: (919) 249-7320
Monkey Joe’s is a play center featuring inflatable slides, jumps, and obstacle courses.
Phone: (919) 510-6925
Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts
This center features performances and shows for everyone.
Phone: (919) 996-8500
Sheppard Software: Fun free online learning games and activities for kids
This website has hundreds of free games for kids to learn and have fun at the same time! Games are organized by subject (geography, math, animals, and science) and the games include various levels of difficulty for children of all ages.
This website is filled with educational games for K-8 kids and teachers.
Discovery Kids inspires kids to explore the awesome world around them and satisfy their curiosity with innovative games, activities, quizzes and articles.
Provided by the famous children’s television network Nickelodeon, this site offers kids games and activities for children of many ages. They also offer crafts, coloring pages, games with popular TV show characters, and sections for families to explore.
Disney Online Games
Another popular website filled with games and activities for kids.
Provided by the National Geographic Society, Animal Jam is an online virtual playground for children who love animals and the outdoors. Children can have fun while learning about plants and animals and can also chat with others in a safe and moderated online environment.
HelpKidzLearn is a website full of games and free software for young children with learning disabilities to play online.
a fun and interactive environment with a variety of animated and simple games with sound effects.
Children’s Storybooks Online
Features illustrated children’s stories for kids of all ages, as well as free storybooks to read, riddles, and quizzes.
A site filled with interactive online games, music and stories that parents and preschoolers can enjoy playing together.
Created by the National Center for Family Literacy, Wonderopolis offers the Wonder of the Day. Wonders of the Day are simple activities for parents to share and explore the wonders of life with their children.
Ready! Set! School!
Ready! Set! School! Provides activities and resources to help parents prepare their pre-schoolers for kindergarten, including a checklist for parents and information and activities for students.
Get Ready to Read!
A 20-question research-based screening tool to test your four-year-old child’s reading skills. The site also provides activities and resources to improve reading skills.
PBS Early Math
A comprehensive site offering games, tips, and resources to help children learn important math skills. The site targets information and activities to three levels of children: infants and toddlers, PreK and K, and Grades 1 and 2.
Mother Goose Club
Offers nursery rhyme activities and tips for parents and teachers. Reading, reciting and singing mother goose rhymes are an excellent way to help a preschooler get ready to read.
National Parent Teacher Association
As the largest volunteer child advocacy association in the nation, National Parent Teacher Association® (PTA) provides parents and families with a powerful voice to speak on behalf of every child and the best tools to help their children be safe, healthy, and successful—in school and in life.
PBS Parents offers parents resources on child development and early learning.
Safety Resources for Parents
This website provides a comprehensive collection of information on the most common injury risks for children. The site is grouped by risk area and includes check-lists tips, and how-to videos to keep children safe.
What Do I Do in an Emergency?
Provided by KidsHealth, this website provides instruction sheets to help parents handle some common childhood emergencies.
Immunizations and Check Ups
This resource, offered by the Center for Disease Control, provides information on important immunizations your child needs, as well as a chart and checkup schedule for children in different age groups.
Cooking with Preschoolers
Cooking can help young kids learn and practice some basic math concepts and build language skills.
Daily Food Plan for Kids and Preschoolers
This is an interactive tool for learning about nutrition and healthy eating habits for preschoolers and young children.
Color Me Healthy: Healthy Eating Tips
Color Me Healthy is a program developed to reach children ages four and five with fun, interactive learning opportunities on physical activities and healthy eating. Through the use of color, music, and exploration of the senses, Color Me Healthy teaches children that healthy food and physical activity are fun.
This online resource offers medical expertise, parental experience, and a focus on healthy living in a searchable, interactive library of resources to make raising healthy families easier.
Comprehensive resource on learning disabilities and ADHD. The site features essays, artwork, multimedia, hundreds of articles and columns, and more.
A North Carolina based website offering social skills and behavioral regulation activities and guidance, learning songs and games, communication cards, academic material, and transition guides for employment and life skills.
Let’s Play Projects
This is a great website that provides families with ways to play and keep their children active through the use of assistive technology.
Imagine is dedicated to supporting people who experience disabilities and exhibit, what some have called, “difficult behaviors.” In David’s view, what’s most needed when a person engages in difficult behaviors is imagination.
The Assistive Technology Training Online Project (ATTO)
ATTO provides information on assistive technology applications that help students with disabilities learn in elementary classrooms.
This site offers information about tics and tourettes disorders and can be used by parents and children.
National Tourette Syndrome Association
Provides parents, children, and educators with resources and information on Tourette Syndrome. The site is divided into four sections: conferences, children, parents, and adults with Tourette Syndrome. Each section offers a variety of information and resources.
Asperger Syndrome: Autism Speaks
This site Focuses on research into the causes, prevention and treatment of autism and asperger syndrome. The site includes information on advocacy, characteristics and causes of the disorders, and a toolkit for parents and families.
OASIS @ MAAP: the online asperger syndrome information and support center
The online asperger syndrome information and support (OASIS) center has joined with MAAP services for autism and asperger syndrome to create a single resource for families, individuals and medical professionals who deal with the challenges of asperger syndrome, autism and pervasive developmental disorder / not otherwise specified (PDD/NOS).
Offers information about ADHD with resources for children, teenagers, adults, families and educators. There are toolkits organized by grade level as well as videos and treatment links to facilitate the best possible care for children and individuals with ADHD.
Buzzle.com: List of Disabilities and Disability Facts
A comprehensive website with articles and information grouped by categories on developmental disabilities, mental disabilities, physical disabilities, and chronic disabilities.
Fast Braiin looks at ADHD not as a disease or disorder but instead as a unique ability: an ability to effectively handle a number of tasks simultaneously, to respond quickly to changing environments, changing tracks and back again, to do more and be more.
Attention Deficit Disorder Association
ADDA provides students, parents and professionals with articles and resources on life with ADD. The site offers webinars for professionals as well as support groups for parents and families.
Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
DBSA provides hope, help, and support to improve the lives of people living with mood disorders.
The National Institute of Mental Health
NIMH works to transform the understanding and treatment of mental illnesses through basic and clinical research, paving the way for prevention, recovery and cure.
Understanding Special Education: A Parent Guide
A comprehensive guide for parents about special education, the IEP process and school success. This website explains 504 plans, parental rights, and discusses Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
The Child Anxiety Network
The Child Anxiety Network provides thorough, user-friendly information about child anxiety for parents, teachers and professionals. The site lists specialized treatment programs as well as gives descriptions and resources for a variety of anxiety disorders including generalized anxiety disorders, separation anxiety disorders and phobias.
Worry Wise Kids
Worry Wise Kids works to improve the quality of life for anxious children and their families by providing parents, educators, and mental health professionals with comprehensive, user-friendly information on the full range of anxiety disorders. The site, created by the Children’s Center for OCD and Anxiety, provides information about causes, treatments and medication, cognitive behavior therapy, parenting tips as well as a link for teachers with anxious children in their classrooms.
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Provides research and information on neurological diseases. This site contains resources for a wide variety of disorders, including learning disabilities, autism, and ADHD.
Briarcliff Elementary School offers a list of fun and interactive sites organized by category and grade level for
Kindergarten, 1st Grade, and 2nd grade. The site offers a lot of games and fun learning activities to develop math, science, language, technology, and reading skills.
National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities
NICHCY offers a wealth of information on disabilities, including state resource sheets for developmental disabilities, learning disabilities, and health-related disabilities.