Parents of children with special needs are often overwhelmed with paper. Documents and notes can easily get piled up and if that pile isn’t dealt with it in a timely fashion it becomes a great big mess.

Having organized paper copies of documents make us feel prepared to produce any VIP (Very Important Papers) we might need to our child’s education and medical team. But there is another way to organize those need to have papers.

Creating and organizing digital copies of all of your child’s school and medical documents is a great way to make sure nothing ever gets ripped or even lost . The great news is technology today gives us lots of options. You can scan it and then organize in a file folder on your computer.

Don’t have a scanner?  No worries.  Technology now let’s us take a photo of any document using our smartphone and it will work it’s magic to save it as a crisp and even editable document. Seriously it is that EASY and it’s FAST.

There are different OCR (Optimal Character Recognition) apps available for this type of task but I used Cam Scanner from Apple. This app allows you to take a photo of any document with your cell phone or tablet and edit it, make notes on it and even select text to extract from it. You are basically creating an image or PDF with a piece of paper from your kitchen table or desk. Cool eh?

So if you don’t want to go the traditional route with a scanner, try any OCR app scanner for your smartphone or tablet.

How to know what to scan

1. Anything medical/educational with VIP status (assessments, anything with a Dr.’s signature on it).
2. Stuff that might need to be referenced to support your child’s access to services or supports down the road or prove the need for them.
3. Anything the school team does not have the ability to make their own copy of. (e.g. report cards they have, private assessments they don’t)

One last tip…

Anything you scan should be saved somewhere that is password protected or encrypted. Remember this is your child’s confidential information.

Saving it on your personal hard drive may not be a great option either as computers do break down. Ultimately a password protected folder in the cloud (Dropbox, Google Drive, One Drive) are good options and then you can also access the documents as you need from anywhere.

So pull out all those documents (if you haven’t already), decided what is digital worthy and get scanning/snapping.  You won’t regret having these documents organized and ready to share.