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Special Needs

Register Now for Carolina Parent's Education Guide

Be an important part of Carolina Parent’s 2017-18 Education Guide and in our online directories for education, preschool and child care resources.

Fun Things to Do The Weekend of March 31-April 2

Whether your kids love trains, animals, science, food trucks — or even flying space turtles — there’s a family-friendly event this weekend that fits the bill.

Understanding Sensory Sensitivity

Exploring the two primary reasons for how sensitivities develop.

Parents Gain Online Tools to Nurture Inclusive Friendships

The National Inclusion Project has just released “Power in Friendship” — online resource guides to help parents and children build inclusive friendships.

Raleigh Teen Author to Discuss Book on Dyslexia

A Raleigh teen will be discussing his new book about how he turned dyslexia on its head on Friday, Nov. 4, at So & So Books at 704 North Person St. in Raleigh.

Weekend Fun: Hands-on Birthday Party, Outdoor Movies, Kids Activities

Don't miss out on the fun this weekend at the Museum of Life and Science's Science at Sunset birthday party celebration. Enjoy outdoor movies, live theater and more.

Science Museum, DPAC Offer ‘Sensory-Friendly’ Events

Two Triangle venues are working to tailor their entertainment and educational offerings so they can be enjoyed by those who have special needs.

Weekend Fun: Storytelling Festival, Theater, Pokémon Hunting and More

Theater buffs, nature nuts, Pokémon fans and those who love story tales will find lots to love about this weekend's fun.

Keep Academic Skills Flowing Over Summer for Your Exceptional Child

Minimal summer schoolwork can lead to back-to-school success.

Parents get ready for the end-of-grade and end-of-course tests

Schools are preparing now for special education accommodations for the end-of-grade and end-of-course tests.

Walk A Mile in My Shoes

This Apex mom of an adopted child shares the pain of raising a child who has Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and explains why it's never OK to have a glass of wine when you're pregnant.

Push Play Sing! Offers Free Concert at UNC-Chapel Hill

Head out to Gardner Hall on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus 7 p.m. Thursday, April 14, for a free concert, where all the musicians have developmental disabilities.

Clinical vs. Home Therapy: What is Best for My Child?

Tips to choose the best location for your child's success.

Special Needs Parenting and Your Role as Advocate

Trust your instincts and seek second opinions when needed

Summer Camps Fair for Kids With Special Needs Feb. 18

Watts St. Baptist Church at 800 Watts St. in Durham will host a Summer Camps and Programs Fair for families of children with special needs 4-7 p.m. Feb. 18.

Push Play Sing!

A Raleigh-based business works to empower kids with disabilities by hosting hands-on musical workshops throughout the Triangle.

IEP Accommodations: Obtaining Classroom Notes

Students who require "copies of teachers' notes" will benefit from clear communication between parents and teachers.

Tips for Ensuring That Your Autistic Child Enjoys Halloween

Four suggestions for how to make Halloween fun for children with autism.

Public or Private? Weigh the Options for Special Education Students

For parents of children who learn differently, school choice can be a very personal decision. Since there are varying degrees of disabilities, there are also varying degrees of special education.

Museum to Host STEM Career Event

Register your student with disabilities by Sept. 30 for the third annual STEM Career Showcase for Students with Disabilities, a free event at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences Oct. 9.

Recommended Reading for Special Needs Families

We've rounded up books and websites helpful to families of special needs children.

Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorder

A deeper understanding and more accepting view.

“When We Knew We’d Be OK”

In a show of resiliency that can seem astonishing to outsiders, many special needs families are able to reclaim a sense of normalcy, finding satisfaction in daily victories or community among others who walk a similar path.

What Happens After Graduation?

Whether it involves college or vocational school, employment, or group or independent housing, helping your special needs child make plans for the future is an ongoing process that requires attention, direction and patience.

Finding a Home in Houses of Worship

It hasn’t always been easy for families with children who have special needs to find faith communities offering support, but that is changing.

NC Researchers Make Cutting-Edge Progress With Autism Spectrum Disorder

North Carolina is lucky to have several cutting edge research centers exploring the causes and treatments of autism spectrum disorder.

N.C. Senate Bill Offers Relief for ASD Patients

Group health insurers are now required to cover adaptive behavior treatments for children with autism spectrum disorder.

Brain Training Aims to Help Kids With Learning Challenges

Does this new approach to learning help student conquer educational challenges?

Study Finds Parent Intervention Improves Toddlers’ Autism

Tots with autism showed significant improvement in their developmental level after intensive early social intervention by parents rather than clinicians.

Understanding ADHD

On September 30, 2014, Carolina Parent hosted a live Facebook chat with Dr. Rebecca Jackson, Center Director of the Brain Balance Center of Cary, on understanding ADHD. Here's a transcript of the conversation:
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Calendar

June 2017

Rev it up with high horsepower fun on Father's Day at Marbles with rubberband cars, Build It Jam and other four-wheel fun.

Cost: $5 ages 1 and older

Where:
Marbles Kids Museum
201 E. Hargett St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Website »

More information

Take part in a class that teaches individualized ways to foster motor development for your child. Learn about tummy time alternatives, best positions for your baby, how to help your child learn to...

Cost: $18

Where:
Open Arts
1222 Copeland Oaks Dr.
Morrisville, NC  27560
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Sponsor: Babies On The MOVE
Contact Name: Rebecca Quinones
Website »

More information

Learn to fish the old-fashioned way. Supplies and instruction provided. Ages 5 and older with adult. Advance registration required online.

Cost: $1/person

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Rd.
Raleigh, NC
View map »


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Take part in a class that teaches individualized ways to foster motor development for your child. Learn about carry positions, best positions for your baby, how to help your child learn to crawl,...

Cost: $18

Where:
Open Arts
1222 Copeland Oaks Dr.
Morrisville, NC  27560
View map »


Sponsor: Babies On The MOVE
Contact Name: Rebecca Quinones
Website »

More information

On Father's Day, enjoy a gathering of dozens of the Triangle’s most popular food trucks, live music and more. Take a chair.

Cost: Free

Where:
Durham Central Park
501 Foster St.
Durham, NC  27701
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Website »

More information

To celebrate this important national holiday, the Nasher Museum welcomes all dads to enjoy free admission all day. Consider a celebratory brunch in the Nasher Museum Café.

Cost: $5 adults. Free for ages 15 and younger

Where:
Nasher Museum of Art
2001 Campus Dr.
Durham, NC  27705
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Website »

More information

Join Museum astronomer Rachel Smith to learn about the physics behind eclipses, the exciting science made possible by such events, and how you can be part of the 2017 solar eclipse taking place...

Cost: Free

Where:
N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences
11 W. Jones St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Website »

More information

Use clues and observational skills to identify a strange artifact. All ages. Children must have adult accompaniment. Drop-in program; registration is not required.

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Rd.
Raleigh, NC
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Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Museum astronomer Patrick Treuthardt highlights some of the common and uncommon events produced by the sun.

Cost: Free

Where:
N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences
11 W. Jones St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Website »

More information

Step back in time with a 19th-century costumed interpreter and watch the millstones at work grinding corn into meal. Registration encouraged online. Tickets available at the mill. ...

Cost: $5/adult, $3 ages 7-16. Free for ages 6 and younger

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Rd.
Raleigh, NC
View map »


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Discover the rich history of Harris Lake County Park. Take a walk through time to learn how people historically used and shaped the land in the park. Ages 8 and older. Advance registration...

Cost: Free

Where:
Harris Lake County Park
2112 County Park Dr.
, NC  27562
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Sponsor: Harris Lake County Park
Telephone: 919-387-4342
Contact Name: Joanne St. Clair
Website »

More information

Celebrate Father's Day with games and refreshments. All ages with parent. Advance registration required online. 

Cost: $1/person

Where:
Crowder District Park
4709 Ten-Ten Rd.
Apex, NC
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Telephone: 919-662-2850
Website »

More information

Go nutty for nature as children satisfy some of their curiosity about the world around them and parents share in the joy of discovery. Ages 3-5 with parent. Register online.

Cost: $12/resident, $16/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC
View map »


Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

More information

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Create a painting using fresh produce as stamps. All ages with adult. Registration is not required.

Cost: Free

Where:
Crowder District Park
4709 Ten-Ten Rd.
Apex, NC
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Telephone: 919-662-2850
Website »

More information

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Learn about the summer solstice and make a sun catcher to hang in a window. All ages. Drop-in program; registration is not required.

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Rd.
Raleigh, NC
View map »


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Ages 18 mos-5 years and caregiver learn, explore and play outdoors, while doing a fun nature-based activity. Register online. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Forest Hills Park
1639 University Dr.
Durham, NC  27707
View map »


Sponsor: Tinkergarten
Telephone: 919-806-7502
Contact Name: Kate Macartney
Website »

More information

Families enjoy a beginning Zumba class. Call to RSVP.

Cost: Free

Where:
East Regional Library
946 Steeple Square Ct.
Knightdale, NC  27545
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Telephone: 919-217-5318
Website »

More information

Ages 5-12 learn about healthy fruits and vegetables, kitchen and food safety, and enjoy a healthy snack. Meet in the bakery side of the cafe. Email sherry.thrasher@wholefoods.com to...

Cost: Free

Where:
Whole Foods North Raleigh
8710 Six Forks Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27615
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Telephone: 919-354-0350
Contact Name: Sherry Thrasher

More information

Children with special needs enjoy the great outdoors and activities that incorporate teamwork and bolster confidence. Participants must be able to communicate and move independently over uneven...

Cost: $9/resident, $12/nonresident

Where:
Bond Park
801 High House Rd.
Cary, NC  27513
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Website »

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Learn about the summer solstice and make a sun catcher to hang in a window. All ages. Drop-in program; registration is not required.

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Rd.
Raleigh, NC
View map »


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Ages 3-6 enjoy fun games and drills. Call to RSVP.  

Cost: $5/child

Where:
Fitness4Life
6701 Glenwood Ave.
Suite 103
Raleigh, NC  27612
View map »


Sponsor: Fitness4Life
Telephone: 919-787-2250
Contact Name: George Whitten
Website »

More information

Learn about different frogs and toads that live in our area and what they sound like. Make frog sounds, look for live toads and make a craft. Ages 3-5 with an accompanying adult. Register...

Cost: $5

Where:
Wilkerson Nature Preserve
5229 Awls Haven Dr.
Raleigh, NC  27614
View map »


Sponsor: City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources
Telephone: 919-996-6764
Contact Name: Wilkerson Nature Preserve
Website »

More information

Learn fascinating facts about butterflies and moths. Ages 6-13. Meets at the Beech Shelter. Registration required.

Cost: Free

Where:
Lake Crabtree County Park
1400 Aviation Parkway
Morrisville, NC  27560
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Sponsor: Lake Crabtree County Park
Telephone: 919-460-3355
Contact Name: Carol Cunningham
Website »

More information

Explore the astronomical aspects of a Midsummer's Day, hear a few quotes from Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and search for evidence of faeries. All ages....

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Rd.
Raleigh, NC
View map »


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Join park staff for an informal fishing experience. Take your own poles or borrow one through the Tackle Loaner Program. Bait and basic instruction provided. All participants 16 years and older...

Cost: Free

Where:
Lake Crabtree County Park
1400 Aviation Parkway
Morrisville, NC  27560
View map »


Sponsor: Lake Crabtree County Park
Telephone: 919-460-3355
Contact Name: Carol Cunningham
Website »

More information

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Listen to nature-themed books and enjoy hands-on explorations in the garden. Ages 3-5 with caregiver. Register online.

Cost: $3/child

Where:
North Carolina Botanical Garden
100 Old Mason Farm Rd
Chapel Hill, NC  27517
View map »


Sponsor: North Carolia Botanical Garden
Telephone: 919-537-3370
Contact Name: Elisha Taylor
Website »

More information

Kindergarten students entering year-round school practice a lunch line, get moving at recess, hop on a school bus and explore circle time.   

Cost: Free

Where:
Marbles Kids Museum
201 E. Hargett St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Website »

More information

Enjoy a slice or two of pizza while watching the movie "Beauty and the Beast" (2017). Ages 11 and younger must be accompanied by an adult. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $5/person, $2/ages 2 and younger

Where:
Halle Cultural Arts Center
237 N. Salem St.
Apex, NC  27502
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Website »

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A wonderfully kid-paced hour featuring music, play and dancing with toddler stars singing on the mic at Cotton's gently amplified & participatory music show. Children delight in...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Pump It Up Raleigh
10700 World Trade Blvd, #112
Raleigh, NC  27617
View map »


Sponsor: Pump it Up
Telephone: 919-828-3344
Contact Name: Owner/manager Kellie Paterson McHugh
Website »

More information

Meet Ms. Inger R. Jarmon as she discusses and displays her beautiful paintings. Drop-in program. 

Cost: Free

Where:
East Regional Library
946 Steeple Square Ct.
Knightdale, NC  27545
View map »


Website »

More information

Enjoy a kitten shower at SAFE Haven for Cats. Shop the registry (available on the website) and take your gifts to the shelter. Preview the kittens and cats up for adoption. Suggest names for the...

Cost: Free

Where:
SAFE Haven for Cats
8431 Garvey Dr., #137
Raleigh, NC  27616
View map »


Website »

More information

Kids enjoy a fun-filled night including exhibit play and exploration, a movie and dinner. This drop-off event is for children ages 3-9; children must be potty-trained. Kids will exercise their...

Cost: $25/first child, $15/sibling

Where:
Kidzu Children's Museum
201 S. Estes Drive
Chapel Hill, NC  27514
View map »


Sponsor: Kidzu Children's Museum
Telephone: 919-933-1455
Website »

More information

Catch and release lightning bugs. Learn why they glow through hands-on discovery, games and more. All ages with adult. Advance registration required online.

Cost: $1/person

Where:
Crowder District Park
4709 Ten Ten Rd.
Apex, NC
View map »


Telephone: 919-662-2850
Website »

More information

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Celebrate National Pollinator Week. Take a tour of Durham's pollinator gardens, engage in fun pollinator-related activities and learn why birds, bees, butterflies, and bugs alike are so...

Cost: $10-$18

Where:
Various locations in Durham
Durham , NC


Sponsor: Keep Durham Beautiful
Telephone: 919-560-4197 x. 2122
Contact Name: Britt Huggins
Website »

More information

Go nutty for nature as children satisfy some of their curiosity about the world around them and parents share in the joy of discovery. Ages 3-5 with parent. Register online.

Cost: $10/resident, $13/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC
View map »


Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

More information

Ages 18 mos-5 years and caregiver learn, explore and play outdoors, while doing a fun nature-based activity. Register online. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Forest Hills Park
1639 University Dr.
Durham, NC  27707
View map »


Sponsor: Tinkergarten
Telephone: 919-806-7502
Contact Name: Kate Macartney
Website »

More information

Discover three new decorated model homes while enjoying a day of free, family fun that features live music from local artist Jacob Briddle; magic tricks from Joel Givens; face painting,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Preserve at White Oak
2513 Sidewinder Court
Apex, NC  27523
View map »


Sponsor: Taylor Morrison
Telephone: 919-230-9856
Website »

More information

Take a 30-minute tour to view the main power drive and milling machinery. Tickets available inside the park's visitor center. Online registration encouraged.

Cost: $5/adult, $3 ages 7-16. Free for ages 6 and younger

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Rd.
Raleigh, NC
View map »


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Ages 5-8 embrace science and nature while developing skills and knowledge about the natural world. Register online.

Cost: $8/resident, $10/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC
View map »


Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

More information

Explore the historic nature of Leigh Farm Park with a friendly guide. Venture inside the historic farmhouse while being captivated by tales about life at Leigh Farm throughout the years.

Cost: Free

Where:
Leigh Farm Park
370 Leigh Farm Rd.
Durham, NC  27707
View map »


Sponsor: Durham Parks and Recreation
Telephone: 919-560-1116
Contact Name: Natalya Buckel
Website »

More information

Jump into bookbinding with a simple pamphlet style starter. Create woven designs for book covers and learn to stitch a pamphlet binding to use as gifts, making notes, drawings and...

Cost: $20 (Tuition + Materials)

Where:
The Scrap Exchange
2050 Chapel Hill Rd
Durham, NC  27707
View map »


Sponsor: The Scrap Exchange
Telephone: 191-921-31278
Contact Name: Anna Graves
Website »

More information

Enjoy all-thing blueberry, food trucks and more at the 3rd annual Blueberry Festival. Vollmer Farms' Back-40 Country Playground will be open and features a giant jumping pillow,...

Cost: $12 advance tickets, $15 after June 20

Where:
Vollmer Farm
677 NC Hwy 98 East
Bunn, NC  27508
View map »


Sponsor: Vollmer Farm
Telephone: 919-496-3076
Website »

More information

Learn basic canoeing skills and explore the pond's features as only seen from the water. Ages 5 and older with adult. Advance registration required online.

Cost: $10/boat

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Rd.
Raleigh, NC
View map »


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Enjoy live music by The (919) and food trucks. All ages.

Cost: Free

Where:
Great Meadow Park at Briar Chapel
Beacon Ridge Blvd.
Chapel Hill, NC  27516
View map »


Website »

More information

Discover what's happening in the forest as the sun sets and listen to stories around a campfire. All ages with adult. Register online.

Cost: $18/resident, $24/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC
View map »


Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

More information

Enjoy German food and music, as well as music from Beethoven. Purchase tickets online. Kids 12 and younger admitted free on the lawn. 

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Booth Amphitheatre
8003 Regency Pkwy.
Cary, NC
View map »


Website »

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Annual Guides

Education Guide

The 2016-17 Education Guide offers 643 education resources in the Triangle, including area preschools, private schools, public school systems, charter schools, boarding schools and academic resources.

The Triangle Go-To Guide

Our debut Triangle Go-To Guide connects you to family fun resources across the Triangle. Plus, find out who our 2017 Readers' Favorites are.