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Netbuddy Community - Learning Disabilities Information and Support

  • Published: 2011-10-26 (Rev. 2014-03-09) - Contact: Wendy Taormina-Weiss
  • Synopsis: The Netbuddy website features ideas and handy tips submitted by parents teachers care providers and therapists who have experience with learning disabilities.

Main Document

"The Netbuddy website is focused on gathering the large amounts of expertise parents, teachers, care providers, and therapists have in relation to learning disabilities."

Netbuddy is a website filled with bright ideas and handy tips submitted by people including parents, teachers, care providers, and therapists who have experience with learning disabilities.

The www.netbuddy.org.uk site started with a simple conversation between friends over coffee. Linda Goldberg and Deborah Gundle met each other through Deborah's son Zach, who experiences forms of learning disabilities. At the time, Linda was the CEO of an award-winning organization known as, 'Cosgrove Care,' that focused on supporting people with special needs.

The idea Linda and Deborah came up with while talking and drinking coffee was to create a type of handbook, one full of helpful hints and tips for parents, teachers, care providers, and therapists who interact with people with learning disabilities on a regular basis. The handbook would be a kind of, 'by and for you,' presentation of practical solutions to everyday issues that arise. Over time and a many more cups of coffee, the handbook Linda and Deborah produced became the website now known as Netbuddy.

Netbuddy's Goal

Linda and Deborah were aware of the vast amount of wonderful suggestions and tips available through many forums on the Internet. They wondered just how much of this valuable information was getting lost. Linda and Deborah want to collect these ideas into one website, an interactive one that keeps growing over time as people like you contribute to it.

The Netbuddy website is focused on gathering the large amounts of expertise parents, teachers, care providers, and therapists have in relation to learning disabilities. Anyone who has first-hand experience with learning disabilities will find the opportunity to learn more and contribute to the Netbuddy site. Netbuddy is a place to share your ideas and advice; it is a place that can help people to overcome problems as well as celebrate their success in a community of people who understand what learning disabilities are all about.

The Team at Netbuddy

In the time that has passed since the launch of Netbuddy, Linda and Deborah have found themselves with a friend! Her name is Emma Sterland, and she is working with Netbuddy as their Project Coordinator. The organization also has an incredible team of, 'Site Champions,' who are helping them to make Netbuddy a welcoming and friendly place for new visitors to the site.

Some of these Site Champions are parents; others are professionals who work with people with learning disabilities. Together, these Site Champions have volunteered time and continue to make the Netbuddy website a success. The organization, as well as visitors to the site, are extremely grateful to have these Site Champions. The forums at Netbuddy are where you can find the organization's Site Champions. They greet people and help visitors out. Stop in and say hello!

Netbuddy Forums

The Netbuddy Forums are great places to visit, whether you are looking for useful ideas, or want to pass along some suggestions. The Forums are there for you; all you have to do to use them is register. The Netbuddy Forums also give you the opportunity to meet the team of Site Champions. They are online in the Forums, waiting to welcome you and answer any question you have. The Forums are designed to be supportive and friendly and include a number of sections such as:

Introductions: Introduce yourself, say hello, and meet others.

Netbuddy forum: Trade ideas and practical tips with other Netbuddies.

Happy stories: A place where you can share your breakthrough moments and successes.

Ask an expert: A forum where you can meet specialists and receive answers your questions.

Site champions: A Forum where you can meet Netbuddy's Site Champions and get answers to your questions.

Netbuddy Tips

There are over a thousand tips from people who have first-hand experience with learning disabilities at Netbuddy right now! Everything from challenging behavior, brushing teeth, bed-wetting, or constipation - there is a tip on the Netbuddy site!

The organization has received awards because of the practical tips and other information it makes available to others in relation to support of people with learning disabilities; I highly recommend Netbuddy. The tips, sent in by parents, professionals, care providers, and others in the community, are organized into a number of areas:

Behavior: Tantrums, Rewarding, Repetitive and Obsessive Behavior, Challenging, Chewing...

Everyday Stuff: Activities around Home, Safety, Food and Eating, Health and Hygiene, Routines, Out and About, Computers/Gaming, Sleeping and Night Time

Family: Siblings, Parents, Grandparents, Extended Family, Holidays, Birthdays

General Health/Resources: Bathing, Teeth, Medical Appointments and Medicines, Personal Grooming, Brushing Teeth, Hair, Constipation, Toilet Issues/Periods/Catheters, Bed Wetting, Hospital Stays, Epilepsy, Feeding Tubes...

Help and Support: Undiagnosed Conditions, Social Services, Support for Carers, Finance and Benefits, Respite Care/Holidays

'I Can Do It': Non-Verbal Communication, Verbal Communication, Sensory, Physical, Dressing and Undressing, Clothing and Accessories, Shoes and Socks, Hats, Gloves, and Glasses

Netbuddy's Info Packs

You might think that Linda, Deborah, Emma, and the Site Champions were doing enough, right? The exceptional people at Netbuddy have gone the extra mile and created Information Packs that you can use! The Packs include information by topic, tips, ideas, links to websites and more. Netbuddy has useful tips and information related to several areas including:

  • Holidays
  • Financial help
  • Arts & Leisure
  • Apps for the ipad
  • Challenging behavior
  • Jobs & Training for people with learning disabilities

Netbuddy adds new Information Packs regularly; if you don't see exactly what you are looking for, be sure to check again. You can also let the team know if there is something you think they should cover.

One of the things I like about Netbuddy is the fact that they don't use information for commercial gain. It is an organization that describes itself as, 'Small but Mighty,' and they certainly are. Netbuddy is also open to questions about their website, or any suggestions you may have that can help them grow. What this tells me is that Netbuddy really is an organization made up not only of the people at the organization itself, but of participation through people in society. Everyone involved with learning disabilities can benefit through participation at the Netbuddy website.

Related:

  1. Parents and Carers Create First Online Special Needs Handbook - Netbuddy is the first online resource of its kind offering hundreds of simple, yet ingenious solutions to everyday issues encountered by parents, carers, teachers and therapists working with learning disability.
  2. Starbright World a Community for Sick Teens gets Makeover - Having a serious medical condition makes it hard for teens to cope with already-difficult realities of being a teenager. That is why Starlight Children's Foundation created Starbright World, an online social network for sick teens and teen siblings of sick kids.
  3. Livewire a Disability Community for Kids - Livewire is an online social network dedicated to youth with illnesses or disabilities. Livewire provides a safe and fun online community where members can share experiences, play games, access blogs and enter chat rooms.









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