Chicago Special Parent Summer 2018

Page 1

Specıal Parent CHICAGO




Finding balance


Going for gold A life-changing 50 years

SP_Cover_Summer_2018.indd 1

8/3/18 2:06 PM

The Special Recreation Network of Illinois (SRANI) provides information on the 34 cooperative agencies throughout Illinois called Special Recreation Associations (SRAs). These SRAs deliver a variety of community-based recreation services to children, teens and adults with disabilities through a cooperative agreement with their member park districts and recreation agencies. For a statewide listing of SRANI agencies, see our display ad in the Resource Directory or visit

SPECIAL RECREATION Your child will explore whole new worlds!

• Adaptive Sports • Aquatics • Cultural Arts • Field Trips

• Inclusion • Paralympic Sports • Social Clubs

• Special Events • Special Olympics • Summer Camps

• Unified Sports • Vacation Trips • Weekly Programs

Providing programs that will enhance socialization skills, improve self-help skills, build self-esteem, and develop fine and gross motor skills.

CSP0818_CV2.indd 1

8/2/18 9:35 AM

The Elmhurst Learning and Success Academy (ELSA)

An incredible college experience for young adults with differing abilities. Elmhurst College offers an excellent post-secondary experience for students with differing abilities. On our beautiful campus in Elmhurst, Illinois, students learn and grow in three key areas: • Academics and career exploration • Independent living skills • Social and recreational skills

LEARN MORE (630) 617-3752


This four-year certificate program is for students, ages 18 – 28, who have earned a high school diploma or certificate of completion. Students continue to grow as individuals and build their skills for lifelong-learning opportunities, with the goal to work productively and live as independently as possible. |

CSP0818_01.indd 1

Specıal Parent Summer 2018 CHICAGO



8/2/18 9:13 AM

AHSS Autism Center 2


Specıal Parent Summer 2018 CHICAGO

CSP0818_02.indd 1


8/2/18 2:59 PM


STAFF EDITOR Tamara L. O’Shaughnessy MANAGING EDITOR Hillary Bird DIGITAL EDITOR Katina Beniaris ART DIRECTOR Claire Innes EDITORIAL DESIGNERS Jacquinete Baldwin, Javier Govea CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Danielle Braff, Jerry Davich, Megan Murray Elsener, Randi Gillespie, Taylor Wood



50 years and counting


Tim Corrigan is one of the nation’s first Special Olympians

20 23

DISPLAY AD SALES Annette Coffee, Christine Griffith, Lourdes Nicholls, Karen Skinner

Sensory input gone awry No kid is exactly alike when it comes to SPD


Finding balance


The importance of meeting everyone’s needs in a special needs family

IN OUR SHOES 6 Schaumburg couple opens new playhouse n Essay: Sibling love n Boy’s invention inspired by sister’s hearing loss n News you can use n










Finding balance


Going for gold A life-changing 50 years

Cover kid: Jack Klawitter, 12, of Frankfort Photographer: Thomas Kubik of TK Photography Design: Jacquinete Baldwin

Alec Cabacungan is immortalized at Shriners Hospital for ChildrenChicago

Dan Haley

CONTACT PHONE (708) 386-5555 EDITORIAL ADVERTISING CIRCULATION Our offices are at 141 S. Oak Park Ave., Oak Park, Illinois 60302. © 2018 Wednesday Journal, Inc. All rights reserved. |

CSP0818_03.indd 1

Specıal Parent Summer 2018 CHICAGO



8/2/18 3:00 PM

Postsecondary Program for Young Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities STUDENT LIFE



P.A.C.E. at NLU is a postsecondary, residential program based in Chicago, designed for the transitional needs of young adults with multiple intellectual, learning and developmental disabilities.


P.A.C.E. provides: • Independent living skills instruction • Employment preparation • Functional academic courses • Social development and community living skills

REQUEST MORE INFO • 312.261.3770 4


Specıal Parent Summer 2018 CHICAGO

CSP0818_04.indd 1


8/1/18 3:20 PM

Changing Lives. Building Futures.

TREES NEED EVERY CHAMPION That’s why we work to engage visitors of all abilities.

Some of the tools and opportunities we currently offer: • A visual schedule • Discovery and sensory-themed Explorer Backpacks • Accessible buildings and restrooms At The Cove School, we provide specialized services and an individualized approach that enable students with learning disabilities to shine. Cove students are fully integrated in their school environment, participating in arts, athletics, college counseling, job training and authentic leadership opportunities. If you know of a student that could benefit from the exceptional and individualized K-12 program at Cove, contact Dr. Sally Sover, Executive Director, at 847.562.2100 or

Join us for a Coffee and Presentation on Wednesday, October 17, 2018 RSVP to 350 Lee Road Northbrook, IL 60062 847.562.2100 Fax 847.562.2112

• Manual wheelchair loans • A paved path around our most popular lake • Wheelchair-friendly paths to the treetops and a wheelchair-accessible boardwalk on Wonder Pond in the Children’s Garden • Manual wheelchair-accessible tram seats • Accomodations for people who are deaf or hard of hearing at select programs Visit The Morton Arboretum this summer to inspire all the tree champions in your family. Call 630-968-0074 or visit to plan your visit. THE MORTON ARBORETUM 4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle, Illinois 60532 |

CSP0818_05.indd 1

Specıal Parent Summer 2018 CHICAGO



8/2/18 9:17 AM

In Our Shoes

Giving fun a colorful whirl Schaumburg couple opening playhouse for all


irthday parties are big in the Adewuyi family. Finding a place to celebrate big with their 8-year-old daughter Gabby, family and her friends was easy. But when it came to 5-year-old Maxwell, who is on the autism spectrum, the challenge to find a place where kids on and off the spectrum could feel comfortable and make memories proved incredibly difficult. Rochelle Adewuyi sought a place “where they can play, they can laugh, they can make friends and be social and where the parents don’t have to worry about judgmental eyes.” They couldn’t find that place. Instead of complaining about the problem, though, Rochelle and



Specıal Parent Summer 2018 CHICAGO

CSP0818_06.indd 1

husband Paul Adewuyi decided they needed to be a solution. They took money out of their 401K to create the playplace they envisioned. Color Wheel Playhouse in Hanover Park ( is set to open soon. “We are just parents. We saw a need for our son and saw a need for other kids we met and said we can at least do our part,” Rochelle says. In their daily lives, Rochelle is a registered nurse with a background in sales and marketing and Paul works in finance at JP Morgan Chase. Maxwell showed signs of autism early, before 2, Rochelle says. He didn’t speak as early as his sister and he would hyper focus on cylindrical items. The couple started researching

In Mom’s Words The piece of advice that helped you the most early on? There is no such thing as a perfect mom; love and practice make progress. What advice would you give other parents? Love your children, have a true hope for the future, ask for/accept help and give yourself a break— after all you are just human. Your best mom survival strategy? Take mental holidays: 10-15 minutes each day go somewhere alone (bathroom perhaps?) take a deep breath, clear your mind, hum your favorite tune and remember your favorite vacation spot. What has been your worst moment? The day I was “that mom” at the grocery store, when my 2-year-old threw the biggest tantrum on the floor of the entryway while everyone stared. What has been your happiest moment? The moment I heard my babies cry for the first time; they took my breath away.


8/1/18 3:19 PM

autism and decided intensive ABA therapy 35 hours per week, with early intervention, speech and occupational therapy was the path they would take for Maxwell. “We wanted our son to be able to reach his full potential no matter what that looks like,” Rochelle says. “... Autism just happens to be a challenge.” It also meant packing up the family and moving from Texas to Schaumburg for better services. Today Maxwell is flourishing right along with Gabby, she says. But their life hasn’t been without the stares and judgment from others who don’t know what’s going on in their lives. That’s why it is so important to them that they create a place with none of that. Color Wheel, she says, will be that place for all members of the family to simply be themselves. “We believe that people are all on the spectrum somewhere. Let your life whirl, let it be colorful. It’s OK if you are on the spectrum, find your place and make the most of it,” Rochelle says about the meaning behind the playhouse’s name. The 2,000-square-foot playhouse will host private parties and open play times. It also will feature a partygoers club so that no child with special needs will have to face a birthday party without guests. The Illinois playhouse is just a start of their plans; they hope to take the concept nationwide. “We have to make a difference in kids’ lives, not just our own,” Rochelle says.

Therapeutic Preschool and Kindergarten Program Our Results Include Improved... • • • • • •

Functional Communication Skills Socialization with Peers Sensory Processing and Motor Planning Attention and Learning Capacity Gross and Fine Motor Skills Self-Feeding and Food Exploration

Our Daily Services Offer... • • • • •

Occupational Therapy Physical Therapy Speech Therapy ABA Therapy Feeding Therapy West Loop 312.243.8487 | Northcenter 773.687.9442 |

CSP0818_07.indd 1

Specıal Parent Summer 2018 CHICAGO



8/2/18 11:51 AM

Early Intervention Program

Bridge Program

Transition Program

(preschool-aged) 4-6 yrs old

(school aged) 7-10 yrs old

2-5 yrs old

Maintenance Program (school-aged) 8-13 yrs old




Specıal Parent Summer 2018 CHICAGO

CSP0818_08.indd 1


8/1/18 3:17 PM


Sibling love ‘I still wish you did not have Down syndrome’ BY RANDI GILLESPIE


few years back, I penned an article about my youngest child, Liam (then 7) and his older sister, Maddy (then 10). The heart of the article was that Liam was angry that Maddy had Down syndrome. Fast forward three years. Their sibling relationship has never been better. They share intimate secrets with one another that only loving and devoted siblings share. They never argue, they never provoke one another with name calling and that whole, “I wish my sister did not have Down syndrome” is no longer an issue. This is all fantasy. Three years later, Maddy still has Down syndrome and Liam is still trying to figure out his feelings surrounding their brother-sister relationship. There are days he confesses he “does not love her” and days when he tells me that he “does not like her.” To be fair, Maddy has expressed similar sentiments toward Liam. Liam does show affection, tenderness and joy towards Maddy. He just does not love that she has Down syndrome or all the “stuff” that comes with it. Although my heart aches to hear him admit how he feels, I cannot fault him. His ability to remain open in discussing what he is not getting from Maddy and the challenges that come with having her as a sister continue to amaze me. Throughout the years, there have been many rays of sunshine between them. They play together. They have real conversations with one another. They unite and come together when it suits both of their needs. They jump on the trampoline together without any yelling, screaming or tears. Liam will tell Maddy to “hop on” his electric scooter to give her a ride to the neighborhood playground. Liam will read Maddy her

favorite book, Pinkalicious, at bedtime while reminding her to “never, ever go into my room and touch my stuff…or else.” When I am preoccupied and pretending not to have eyes in the back of my head (like all moms do), I am able to see and hear the best versions of their sibling bond. I see Liam sneak Maddy an additional piece of chocolate during the day or slide her an additional slice of pizza during dinner, while whispering, “don’t tell Mom.” I overhear him teaching her addition and subtraction and I hear them playing Connect Four and UNO. He performs these small acts of kindness because he knows it will make Maddy happy. I no longer feel the need to step in and engineer their sibling relationship. I realize that if Liam truly did not enjoy being Maddy’s brother, he would not go out of his way to make her happy. I have watched Liam mature over the years. He has grown to accept everything that makes Maddy who she is. Creating meaningful moments between the two of them requires fortitude, resolve and a lot of patience. It also requires friendship and devotion. Fortunately, Liam embraces those qualities and is fulfilled by being the brother that can provide Maddy with those memorable moments. In addition to beginning to accept her for who she is, Liam also wants Maddy to be the best she can be. Recently, Liam “blocked” Maddy from walking up the stairs until she spelled her own name aloud. “Maddy Grace Gillespie is all you have to say if you want to walk up the steps. Just do it, Maddy.” After a few moments of non-compliance and ear-piercing screaming, she did it. She spelled her name for him. He told her he was proud of her for doing it and said, “just because you have Down syndrome does not

“It also requires friendship and devotion. Fortunately, Liam embraces those qualities and is fulfilled by being the brother that can provide Maddy with those memorable moments.” mean that you cannot spell your own name.” What ultimately matters to Liam is that Down syndrome will not be an impediment to Maddy’s learning and being successful. In an act of defiance, though, Maddy stuck her tongue out at him. Sibling love: the good, the bad and the ugly. I would not have it any other way. |

CSP0818_09.indd 1

Specıal Parent Summer 2018 CHICAGO



8/1/18 3:13 PM

At Shriners Hospitals for Children — Chicago, our mission is simple: deliver world-class care to children who need it most — regardless of their ability to pay. For over 90 years, thousands of families with children in need of orthopaedic care, specialized plastic surgery, cleft lip and palate repair, physical rehabilitation, and spinal cord injury care have come through our doors with hopes of finding the very best pediatric specialty care. Under our roof, those hopes are answered every day — by physicians, nurses, and specialists using the latest technology, innovative research, and a collaborative, family-centered approach. It’s how the 22 Shriners Hospital locations have provided care for over 1.3 million children.

Do You Know a Child For a consultation, or to refer a patient, call: Who Needs Expert Shriners Hospitals for Children — Chicago Specialty Care? 773-385-KIDS (5437)

2211 N. Oak Park Ave., Chicago, IL 60707

CSP0818_10.indd 1

8/1/18 3:10 PM


Personal mission Boy’s invention inspired by sister’s hearing loss BY DANIELLE BRAFF


retty soon, Raquel Bennett may be wearing a very special necklace her brother designed. It goes way beyond fashion, though. Avery, 12, was inspired to help kids like his 6-yearold sister, who has a cochlear implant. Raquel, the youngest of four in the Chicago family, was born with severe hearing loss. She compensated by teaching herself how to read lips so well that no one noticed she had sloping hearing loss, meaning she can hear in some frequencies but not in others. “It’s very emotional,” says Heather Bennett, Raquel’s mother. “I think that any parent who is dealing with a health surprise has a lot of processing that has to take place. At the end of the day, you want to do whatever you can do make your child’s life wonderful.” And even though they started late, the whole family pitched in to help Raquel. After 1½ years of hearing aids, speech language therapy and other testing at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital with little to no success, Raquel was ready for a cochlear implant, a surgically implanted electronic device that replaces the damaged inner ear’s function. Raquel received hers in October 2016 when she was 5. There’s one small catch: Just like all other electrical devices, her implant needs to be charged because it runs on batteries and right now, the battery is attached to the device on her ear. That’s when Avery figured out a possible solution to the

Photos by Jan Terry/Lurie Children’s Hospital

Raquel and Avery Bennett have a special bond.

somewhat cumbersome battery. “I tried to design a way to have the battery of my sister’s cochlear implant go into a necklace so it would be fashionable and portable,” Avery says. “My sister is a very small girl, and it stuck out behind her ear, and it looks uncomfortable.” Avery submitted his design

to the science fair at his school, Saint Clement School in Chicago’s Lincoln Park, where he won second prize. But he didn’t just stop there. Next, Avery sent his Cochlear Implant Battery Extension suggestion to MED-EL, the makers of Raquel’s implant, and became a finalist for the international

Ideas4Ears competition. The prize: a trip to Austria to MEDEL’s international headquarters. Avery will talk to other inventors from around the world and will learn more about the newest research at MED-EL. But the most important part of the trip will be a deeply personal one for Heather Bennett. Since each cochlear implant has a specific ID number on it, the implant can be traced back to the specific people who made it, so they can see in person the impact it’s had on Raquel’s life. “We’re going to get to thank in person the software engineers, the scientists, the people who made this for her in person,” Heather Bennett says. And that impact has been nothing short of a miracle. “I play the piano and the guitar,” says Raquel, a first-grader with no delays, starting to list the things she loves to do on a seemingly endless inventory. “I also pitch and run and exercise and have playdates, I play with my friends on the bus ...” |

CSP0818_11.indd 1

Specıal Parent Summer 2018 CHICAGO



8/1/18 3:38 PM


Eagle Scout helps Camp Red Leaf


J Gockenbach is doing something very few boys ever do—he’s becoming an Eagle Scout. But making his achievement even more unique, AJ has autism. AJ, along with mom Katie, family, friends and fellow scouts, spent a weekend on his Eagle Scout Service Project repairing and beautifying a 100-foot-long bridge at JCYS’s Camp Red Leaf in Ingleside, the only American Camp Association accredited camp serving kids and adults with disabilities in metro Chicago. AJ, 17, has attended Camp Red Leaf since he was 8. “That’s the place he feels he can be himself, one of the only places he feels he can be himself,” Katie Gockenbach says. She says he rebuilt the bridge walkway and rails, plus installed planter boxes on each side of the

bridge. Giving back is so typical of who AJ is. “ … He’s a good kid, lovable, caring. He’ll help anybody,” she says. Learn more about Camp Red Leaf at

Travel startup wants to help families with autism The new City Catt trip planning service has plans in the works to help travelers by hiring locals who will offer tips and advice on things to do around sensory challenges. Autism On The Go connects families with trained and certified residents in a destination city to find the best accommodations for special needs. The locals also help families build a customized itinerary.



Specıal Parent Summer 2018 CHICAGO

CSP0818_12.indd 1

“What happens is that, even though there are attractions in the destinations which could be enjoyed by kids with cognitive disorders, there’s barely any info online about it, so the parents feel lost and end up not risking facing the unknown,” says Lizia Santos, CEO of City Catt, a mom of three. It is currently hiring locals to become certified. citycatt. com


8/2/18 3:00 PM


Brookfield Zoo improves sensory space


elly Johnson and her son love visiting the Brookfield Zoo, but even though they visit often, it can still get overwhelming for her son. That’s why the Brookfield mom was pleasantly surprised to discover the new addition in the Hamill Family Play Zoo: a Sensory-Friendly Family Room with animal-themed sensory toys and an inclusion resource center offering noise-canceling headphones, visual schedules and social stories to help families get the most out of their visit. Not as noticeable, but perhaps most significant, is the hiring of Inclusion Specialist Lauren Reeder, who works with families to create an enjoyable zoo visit geared to their individual needs.

A grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services allowed the zoo to ramp up its efforts to make sure all families get the chance to connect with nature and see that the zoo is a safe, welcoming space for them no matter what their needs might be. In the sensory room, families will find a bean bag chair, love seat, light bubble tube filled with fish, weighted comfort creatures and fidget toys. Lights dim or brighten as needed. “It just seems natural that we’re doing this to just be able to have our guests come spend more time at the zoo and come as a family. It’s a really awesome thing,” says Dave Becker, senior manager of learning experiences at the zoo.

The sensory-friendly family room at Brookfield Zoo offers a quiet environment for kids who may need a break.

Apps to try The Field Museum’s Field for All app has improved to help families better prepare for a day out. The app, developed in 2016 for kids with autism visiting the Crown Family PlayLab, now includes videos of permanent exhibits for easier planning, an optimized map of each museum floor that shows accessible bathrooms and the busy and quiet times in each area. It also gives real-time tips and

info about the temporary exhibits and games. Free, available in Apple and Google Play store. We also reached out to Autism Home Support Services to see what apps its team likes these days. Colleen Horan, a

speech language pathologist at Autism Home Support Services, likes Animals 4D. It is a free app (but you must buy a deck of cards to go with it.) “The cards consist of animals and different types of foods the animals may eat. When the camera on the iPad catches the image on the card, it creates a 4-D image on the screen and can be put into “interactive mode.” This allows for a lot of language (asking and answering questions “what is he doing?” “what do you see?” “What do you hear?” and answering yes/no questions “is it a monkey?” “is he eating?”).” For fun with a dash of learning, Horan says the Toca Boca apps are popular. The various apps feature birthday party,

haircut, doctor, dance party, cooking, etc., and are great for language, plus they can be played with others to make it more social. The apps encourage turn taking, engaging with peers, labeling and identifying, asking and answering questions, she says. Prices vary in the Apple app store and on Google Play. |

CSP0818_13.indd 1

Specıal Parent Summer 2018 CHICAGO



8/1/18 3:35 PM


Day of Play Families spent a fun day out with Chicago Parent and trusted advertisers in May. From the Chicago Wolves’ popular mascot, Skates, to Anna and the Ice Queen, to sensory stations, there was plenty of hands-on fun for all. Photos by Thomas Kubik / TK Photography 14


Specıal Parent Summer 2018 CHICAGO

CSP0818_14.indd 1


8/1/18 3:35 PM

Celebrations discover abilities achieve potential realize dreams

MANNY HERRERA Occupational Therapist

SEASPAR is a special recreation association providing year-round, all-ages recreational programs and services to individuals with disabilities in the communities of: Brookfield • Clarendon Hills Darien • Downers Grove Indian Head Park • La Grange La Grange Park • Lemont Lisle • Western Springs Westmont • Woodridge

Learning Disabilities Association of Illinois

Has your child been diagnosed or do you suspect that your child has a learning disability? For Information contact:

LDA of Illinois

10101 S. Roberts Rd, Ste 205 Palos Hills, IL 60465 (708) 430-7532 2018 Fall Conference


Coming in October For more information, call (708) 386-5555 or visit

Volo Commerce Center 26575 W. Commerce Dr. Unit 506 Volo, IL 60073 T: 847.740.6229 F: 847.740.6447 e:

Come play with us! Social/Fitness/Art Programs Special Events • Trips Day Camps • Inclusion Special Olympics Training Wonders Multi-Sensory Room 630.960.7600 Voice 630.960.7605 TDD

Saturday October 27, 2018 at The University Center of Lake County 1200 University Center Drive Grayslake, IL 60030 Keynote Speaker: Eileen Kushner plus breakout sessions on issues related to Psychological Evaluations, Legal Requirements, Transition Issues, Behavior Management, Bilingual LD Issues, and Assistive Technology. |

CSP0818_15.indd 1

Like us at Learning Disabilities Association of Illinois on

Specıal Parent Summer 2018 CHICAGO



8/3/18 11:26 AM

Special Olympics then and now


Juan Carlos Pelayo / TK Photography

50 years



n a wall in Tim Corrigan’s bedroom, a rack struggles to hold many of his 200-plus Special Olympics medals won over the past 50 years. “I have more of them somewhere,” says Corrigan, proudly wearing one of his prized Special Olympics T-shirts. The 75-year-old multi-sport athlete competed in the first Special Olympics competition on July 20, 1968, at Soldier Field in Chicago. “I did track and field. I used to run pretty fast,” Corrigan says without a hint of hyperbole. “But not so fast anymore. So now I play golf and bocce ball.” Corrigan was 25 when he first competed as a Special Olympian.



Specıal Parent Summer 2018 CHICAGO

CSP0818_16.indd 1

and counting Tim Corrigan is one of the nation’s first Special Olympians

“Back then, we didn’t know it would turn into something so wonderful for him, and for our family,” says his youngest sister, Susan Forman. “The games have brought a lot of joy into Tim’s life, and into our lives. It has given Tim confidence and happiness.” For the past 17 years, Corrigan has lived with Forman and her husband, Pat, in their Oak Forest home. His bedroom reflects his passions like a mirror. A puzzle in progress waits for him in front of a TV set where he religiously watches every old western show and every new Chicago Cubs

game. In his younger days, he would pitch pretend baseballs in sync with the Cubs pitchers. He lives and dies with each game. “If the score of the Cubs game is too close for comfort, Tim can’t bear to look at the TV,” Pat Forman jokes. “Isn’t that right, Tim?” Corrigan replied with the sheepish smile of a young boy. He was born March 16, 1943, the oldest of four children to Fran and Beverly Corrigan. As a boy he had a big smile and even bigger eyes. His mother defended him, protected him, nurtured him and motivated him. He learned how to square dance, love Elvis Presley and play most every sport, from softball to floor hockey. Corrigan later got a job as

n 1968, Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke was a 23-year-old physical instructor at West Pullman Park on the southeast side. She came up with the then-extraordinary idea of gathering children with disabilities and helping them compete in a track meet and other sports. Today, Special Olympics is an international movement working to create a more inclusive world to more than 5 million Special Olympians from 172 countries. Still, despite its amazing success, people with intellectual disabilities face neglect, stigma and marginalization, advocates say. “For 50 years we have been breaking down barriers and creating solutions for real problems that people with intellectual disabilities face in the areas of isolation, inactivity and injustice,” says Special Olympics Chairman Timothy Shriver. “We need to accelerate this work in our next 50 years, but also demonstrate how our athletes, people with intellectual disabilities, are teachers of empathy and inclusion. We know firsthand how the Special Olympics experience—and our athletes—bring people together in ways that erase the lines of division.” In July, Special Olympics held a nearly weeklong celebration to mark its 50-year milestone. “Many people ask, ‘When are the Special Olympics?’ but we put on 201 competitions in 17 Olympic-type sports throughout the year,” says Alexandra McMillin, spokeswoman for Special Olympics Illinois.


8/2/18 3:02 PM

a groundskeeper with the Chicago Park District, maintaining ice rinks and even Soldier Field. He retired from the job in 2000. But not from Special Olympics, his true love in life. He has attended Special Olympics Games across the country, and served as an ambassador at the International Games in Ireland. In 1993, he participated in the organization’s 25th anniversary games. “Tim was lucky enough to light the Olympic flame that year,” says his sister Mary Ellen Longawa, of Alsip. In his home, Corrigan’s family shared a table full of photos from all his Special Olympics achievements, including one from the 1970s with former Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley, and another from 1988 on

the 20-year anniversary of the organization. Nearly 20 years ago, Corrigan stumbled onto a bowling league hosted by the South Suburban Special Recreation Association. He’s been a member ever since, participating in bowling, volleyball and bocce ball, among other sports. Most recently, he’s been playing unified golf, where he and a friend or family member play side by side on the course for a combined score. “Tim is a great guy, a wonderful spirit and a positive competitor,” says Tammy McMahon, program manager for SSSRA. “He is always greeting other athletes, shaking hands and asking if they are ready. Tim is looked up to by the younger athletes starting in Special Olympics.” When they find out that Corrigan competed in the

first Special Olympics in 1968, they ask to take a photo with him. “He has become a local celebrity in our region,” McMahon says. Just as Corrigan began to show off his beloved golf clubs in his home, his youngest sister leaned in for a hug. He gently leaned into her. “Tim has taught us so much in his life,” Forman say, her voice cracking with emotion. “Patience, loyalty, dedication and a loving spirit. He loves his nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews. He attends all of their sporting and school events.” Corrigan just smiled. In another corner of his bedroom, a golf putter rests next to a walking cane. “I still use one a lot more than I use the other,” he says with a chuckle.

Young Special Olympian finds his voice


ack Klawitter has never met Tim Corrigan, but it wouldn’t be surprising if he someday continues his Special Olympics legacy. The 12-year-old Frankfort boy, who was born with Down syndrome, has been in Special Olympics since he was 2. “For us as a family, Special Olympics has provided a community where Jack is like everyone around him,” says his mother, Brook Klawitter. “Jack is with his friends and he sees himself in his friends and they see themselves in him.” From age 2 until 7, Jack was in Young Athletes, an innovative sports play program for children who have intellectual disabilities. It’s designed to introduce children into the world of sports and Special Olympics. “It was the first time that as parents, we CONTINUED ON PAGE 18

START WITH NEUROFEEDBACK TO TRANSFORM YOUNG LIVES! Special Needs children usually have irregular brainwave patterns. Early treatment started with Neurofeedback can re-balance those brainwave patterns, and help normal development succeed.

Working with children birth to adolescence.

Get an early start with Neurofeedback! Call The Discovery Clinic in Glenview at 847-901-0909 to schedule a consultation or an evaluation.

WE ARE HERE FOR YOU!   773-750-7672 The Center for Speech and Language Development

WE ARE HERE FOR Specıal ParYOU! ent Summer 2018 |

CSP0818_17.indd 1




8/2/18 9:43 PM


got to openly celebrate Jack and his accomplishments,” his mother says. “We weren’t focused on the milestones he wasn’t achieving.” By 4, using skills he learned in Young Athletes, Jack joined the community t-ball team, helping him make friends and integrate into the school environment. The seventh-grader at Peotone Jr. High School has two younger sisters, Sophia, 10, and Mary, 7. Similar to Tim Corrigan, Jack is the oldest sibling, leading by example. At 7, he began training and competing in Special Olympics events such as basketball, track and field, swimming and unified golf through Lincoln-Way Special Recreation Area. At 8, he completed two days of training to become a Global Messenger, a component of a leadership program where he learned to give speeches on the benefits of Special Olympics. “Jack has already given 16 official speeches to as many as 300 people,” his mother says. He also loves to volunteer and raise funds for Special Olympics, especially at the annual Polar Plunge event and the Super Plunge, where he takes 15 dips into Lack Michigan in a 24-hour period each February. “I love cold!” Jack exclaims.

Jerry Davich

Jack Klawitter is a global messenger for Special Olympics.

Helping children and adolescents succeed socially. We work closely with parents.


(o) 847-446-7430 (c) 847-507-8834 (f) 847-446-7430

Susan Stern, LCSW 310 S. Happ Road,Suite 201 Northfield, IL 60093

is part of your favorite social networks Find us on Facebook Join the Twitter party! Follow us @ChicagoParent On Pinterest



Specıal Parent Summer 2018 CHICAGO

CSP0818_18.indd 1 | 312.278.0022 |


8/3/18 10:50 AM

A Full Spectrum of Fun

A playhouse where kids with sensory sensitives, Autism or other special needs can be themselves, play, make friends, and bring to life the imaginations they think about in their dreams.


CSP0818_19.indd 1

Specıal Parent Summer 2018 CHICAGO



8/2/18 9:16 AM

Sensory input

gone awry No kid is exactly alike when it comes to SPD



ne child can’t put on socks if the socks have seams. Another can’t do art projects because the feeling of paint on his hands is too overwhelming. Another can’t ever seem to stop spinning. All these children have something in common: they all have sensory processing difficulties. Statistically if you have met 10 children in your life, you have met at least one with sensory processing difficulties. Sensory processing difficulties have burst into parenting conversations in the last 10 years. More commonly referred to as Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), there are as many misconceptions about it as there are ways it manifests. As the conversation grows, however, sensory processing is becoming more understood, accepted, and, most importantly, more children are getting the interventions they need.

What is SPD?

are actually two additional senses that give us information about our surroundings: the vestibular (how are bodies are moving, spinning, etc.) and proprioception (where are bodies are in space). Someone with SPD can be overly sensitive and avoid certain textures and also be under-responsive to their vestibular inputs and feel the need to swing or spin to make up for the lack of input. Sarah Flood and Joanna Pasheluk, occupational therapists at Chicago Pediatric Therapy and Wellness Center, both work extensively with children and adolescents with SPD. They both warn against calling it a “disorder.” “The word disorder can be frightening to parents.” Flood says. “There is nothing

SPD can be boiled down to one core idea: the brain misinterprets input from any of the senses. From there it gets a bit more complicated. Sometimes the brain can amplify the input, making bright lights brighter, loud noises louder or tags in the back of a shirt unbearable, as a few examples. Sometimes it can mute the sensory input, making the body crave more input by telling the person to touch, spin or rock to make up for the lack of sensory input the brain is receiving. There is no single way SPD presents in babies, children or adults. And while we were taught in school there are five senses (sight, touch, smell, hearing, taste) there

Red flags for SPD

Adolescents and adults Preschoolers

Infants and toddlers u Problems eating or sleeping u Refuses to go to anyone but their mom for comfort


u Over sensitive to touch, noises, smells, other people

u Over sensitive to touch, noise, smells, other people

u Difficulty making friends

u Easily distracted, fidgety, craves movement; aggressive

u Irritable when being dressed; uncomfortable in clothes

u Difficulty dressing, eating, sleeping and/or toilet training

u Rarely plays with toys

u Clumsy; poor motor skills

u Resists cuddling, arches away when held

u In constant motion; in every one else’s “face and space”

u Cannot calm self

u Frequent or long temper tantrums

u Floppy or stiff body, motor delays

u Over sensitive to touch, noise, smells, and other people

u Easily overwhelmed u Difficulty with handwriting or motor activities u Difficulty making friends u Unaware of pain and/or other people

u Poor self esteem; afraid of failing at new tasks u Lethargic and slow u Always on the go; impulsive; distracted u Leaves tasks uncompleted u Clumsy, slow, poor motor skills or handwriting u Difficulty staying focused u Unmotivated; never seems to get joy from life

Courtesy of STAR Institute and Dr. Lucy Miller



Specıal Parent Summer 2018 CHICAGO

CSP0818_20.indd 1


8/1/18 3:29 PM

wrong with a child with SPD. They just need some strategies to help them become successful.”

How common is it? For a long time, sensory issues were very often associated only with kids with autism. While it is true that individuals with autism present with SPD, most individuals with SPD do not have autism. Recent research also points to SPD being more common than previously realized. Dr. Lucy Miller, widely considered the most prominent researcher of SPD, has been working in the sensory field for more than 45 years. She estimates the number of individuals with some sort of SPD around 10 percent. “Statistically there are at least one to two children in every classroom with SPD. Easily,” she says.

Identification and therapy One of the challenges around SPD is that it looks different on almost every person. Any number of the seven senses can be under-orover responsive at any time.

“Sensory processing The difference between belongs in the domain in a child who simply might not like to get messy vs. OT,” Miller says. “We know a child with SPD comes about the integration with when aversions or sensoryphysical sensations.” seeking start to inhibit daily While there are many activities. products for children with “When a child literally SPD such as weighted cannot do things like art blankets, swings or sensory projects, sit for circle time jars, Miller argues the most important thing for parents or play on the playground, with children with SPD is instead of being able to do one simple word: play. the things but simply dislike “You don’t need to them, that is when we start spend thousands on a child to think there are sensory with SPD to help them,” she difficulties,” Pasheluk says. — Sarah Flood says. “Go to the playground, The path to identification put down your cellphones can be murky. and just play. That is worth Because SPD is not a formal diagnosis, there is no rigid set of tests. more than any weighted blanket.” With a little extra help, children with SPD However, more pediatricians, schools and can excel in their environments, and parents other professionals are becoming more adept can learn how to help make them successful. at identifying sensory problems early on. In fact, many children with SPD have been Many babies who come into OT for feedshown to be gifted. ing problems might actually have sensory “Sensory kids need to learn how to live issues. Teachers are starting to refer students life. They need to learn how to live with their for OT evaluations when they notice certain successes,” Miller says. behaviors as well.

“There is nothing wrong with a child with SPD. They just need some strategies to help them become successful.”

Creatively Removing Life’s Obstacles

• Call us for all of your ability needs • Wheelchairs for all shapes and sizes


• Permanent and temporary transfer solutions, as well as all home modifications and remodeling • We can help you enjoy your home again |

CSP0818_21.indd 1

Specıal Parent Summer 2018 CHICAGO



8/1/18 3:47 PM

The Ultimate Guide to Family Fun!

Going Places FREE | SUMMER 2018

Dog days of summer 220 winning ideas

Picnics, putt-putt

Fun on the cheap



GP Cover Summer 2018.indd 5

Summer edition now available!

4/23/18 10:30 AM

For more information, call (708) 386 5555 or visit

Don’t waste time searching all over the internet for school info We’ve made it much easier for busy parents Chicago Parent’s Local Education Guide keeps you in-the-know for news and events about the best private schools in Chicagoland — all right in one place

Visit 22


Specıal Parent Summer 2018 CHICAGO

CSP0818_22.indd 1


8/3/18 9:38 AM

Finding balance

The Abraham family selfie.

The importance of meeting everyone’s needs in a special needs family BY MEGAN MURRAY ELSENER


aperville mother of three, Dayna Abraham, used to describe each of her kids in the roles they filled for their family. Her oldest, who has special needs, was the drive that pushed her to be a better mom. Her dependable middle son was the glue who helped hold the family together in rough patches. And her youngest was the joy who made everyone smile no matter the situation.

Yet Abraham realized that she was putting each kid in a box. “I wasn’t connecting to who they really were and that everything was related to the struggles we were having.” Something had to change, she says. “Now we connect with each

of our kids at least once a month and they get to do something special that’s their day and with each parent.” Caring for a child who emotionally, physically or developmentally strays from the “norm” can come with lots of stressors on the whole family. The idea of

having a balanced life can feel near to impossible. “It takes a village to be able to give the necessary care and support to a special needs child,” says Erilda Borici, licensed clinical professional counselor at North Shore Pediatric Therapy. “This often leaves parents depleted and limited in their ability to meet all the needs of their other children or their partner.” Raising a child with special needs can also come with financial barriers, she says. “Many families find themselves draining their saving account to pay for therapists and doctors’ visits. This adds an additional challenge in being able to justify doing fun activities with the rest of the family and prioritizing self-care,” Borici says.

Set aside time As hard as parenting a child with special needs can be, it’s

important that parents address the unique needs of all their children. Borici suggests that parents make special dates with their typically developing child within the context of their schedule. “If you are going to the grocery store, bring them with you and let them know that this is a special trip and they can help pick out different foods they might like. Ask open-ended questions that allow them to share details from their life, and encourage open dialogue about any feelings your child might have about their special needs sibling,” she says. Life with a child with special needs involves tons of advance preparation. Alison Liddle, owner of M Street Pediatric Therapy, recommends carving out of time in your schedule not only for the special needs child, but for other |

CSP0818_23.indd 1

continued on page 24

Specıal Parent Summer 2018 CHICAGO



8/2/18 3:02 PM


from page 23

children in your household as well. “Have a standing date once a month with your other child,” suggests Liddle. “If needed, recruit family or friends to organize childcare for your special needs child to ensure the monthly time with your other child happens.” “It is also important to do the little things. Remind yourself to take 15 minutes to bake brownies together, create a special project they enjoy or let a sibling stay up late while the other child is sleeping for an evening game night,” says Liddle. As a mom of five children including her youngest with Down syndrome, Kelly Simkowski of Oak Park understands the struggle of finding balance and time for each family member. “There is always someone who wants or needs something,” says Simkowski. “I’m not really able to take the time to spend long amounts of quality time with each kid, so I’ve tried to figure out something special that each kid likes and capitalize on that when I can.” “One kid likes back scratches, so I try to wake him up with a back scratch when I can. One kid still loves to get her hair brushed every morning, so I’ll wake her up to do that before I leave for work. One kid loves to

As hard as parenting a child with special needs can be, it’s important that parents address the unique needs of all their children.

snuggle in my covers, so we do that for a few minutes every morning before I get out of bed. Little stuff like that helps me stay connected to them and gives us a few minutes of quality one on one time.” “For me, treating each kid as an equal, including the special needs child, is very important,” Simkowski says. “I try every day to do the same amount for each child so it doesn’t make one jealous or resentful of another.” Another way to gain balance is to consider inclusion, according to Courtney Schweiger,

regional manager at Total Spectrum Care. “Consider how can you include your family members in the activities that you already have them involved in,” Schweiger says. “Can siblings help the child with special needs during therapy? Can therapy for that child be taken to the community, such as to your other child’s baseball game? Finding ways to balance activities while including the other children is my definition of ‘work smarter, not harder.’” And remind yourself you don’t have to do it all. “There are so many therapies that a child with special needs can be placed into, but does not necessarily need every therapy under the sun,” adds Schweiger. “Prioritize the therapies you need now for your special needs child.” Then apply that idea to each child in the house. “What does each child need right now? We work so far ahead to plan for and involve children in so many activities, but this can be overwhelming to you and the children. Focus on maybe one activity, sport or group at a time for each child and during those activities, put the focus solely on them,” Schweiger suggests.


PYRAMID therapeutic preschool

therapeutic preschool

Enr ol fEonrr l now oa lll ClafoF ssreF lnow Cla sa!ll s ses


Strong Foundations for Successful Learning

Strong Foundations for Successful Learning

3048 N Milwaukee Chicago IL 60618 3048 N Milwaukee Chicago IL 60618 (312) 458-9865 (312) 458-9865

Individualized curriculum Individualized curriculum to therapeutic and toaccess therapeutic and access services help students services help students developdevelop social, and social, and academic,academic, developmental skills toskills be to be developmental successful learners in learners in successful classroom settings. classroom settings.



Specıal Parent Summer 2018 CHICAGO

CSP0818_24.indd 1


8/1/18 4:07 PM

Put your mask on first Parenting kids with special needs carries with it a unique set of responsibilities, stressors and rewards. While it might seem obvious that self-care is essential, many parents put themselves last. “Parents need to think of the airline reminders to ‘put on our own oxygen mask first.’ It’s crucial for special needs parents to find some time to make their self-care a priority,” says Borici. “Attempt to establish a non-negotiable ‘me time.’ This time can be set aside to do something that you enjoy, whether it’s meditating, a bath, reading a book or exercise. Letting the rest of the family know that this time is just for you can model self-care for everyone,” she says. Abraham admits she has not always remembered to take care of herself. “There were times I wasn’t eating right or drinking water, wasn’t sleeping and wasn’t seeing friends or talking to people outside of therapists,” says Abraham. “I was isolated, lonely and miserable. Now I know how important it is for me to fill my cup first.” It’s helped for her to plan to get up before

anyone else in order to get 30 minutes to herself. “I make my coffee, I sit down, I write what I’m grateful for from the day before and I plan my day. It gives me that big deep breath so that I can take on anything that happens that day,” she says. Another way to care for yourself as a parent is recognize that it’s OK to ask for help. “When there is a child in the family who requires much of the family’s time and

resources, it’s easy for others’ needs to not feel as urgent,” says Liddle. “It is important to be able to ask for help, know it is OK to ask for help and to identify a tribe you can ask for support when you need it.” It’s also crucial to know that balance may be different to each family, and isn’t always a 50-50 thing. “When people think of balance, they think of everything being even and everything working out perfectly at the same time,” Abraham says. “Like spinning 10 different plates on 10 different poles and honestly that is impossible.” Abraham embraces a different reality. “Instead, our family tries to create a lifestyle that allows for that ebb and flow of being able to put our attention towards something that is pressing and important during a short amount of time and letting the other plates take care of themselves for awhile. We find our focus, we make priorities and we make connection number one for our family and everything else falls into place.” Megan Murray Elsener is a Chicago Parent contributor, freelance writer and mother of three.



901 Hawthorn Drive Itasca, IL 60143

ABA Services School Supports Parent Support Groups Social Skills Groups Therapeutic School Readiness C.A.B.S. provides individualized consultation and therapy services to children and families living with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Services are provided in the home, school, community, and clinic settings. Using the guiding principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) our team works closely with you and your child to determine a treatment approach that will best meet your child and family’s needs.


CSP0818_25.indd 1

Specıal Parent Summer 2018 CHICAGO



8/2/18 9:46 PM

Playdate Fall

Sports Thrills • Character Visits • Bounce Houses Train Rides • Obstacle Courses

Saturday, October 13, 2018 Naperville Yard Sports Complex 1607 Legacy Circle • Naperville


Visit for advance tickets and info! 26


Specıal Parent Summer 2018 CHICAGO

CSP0818_26.indd 1


8/1/18 3:40 PM


Photo by Frank Pinc

Gigi’s Playhouse

ADAPTIVE SERVICES Blind or Visually Impaired, . . . . . . . 29 Deaf or Hearing Impaired, Down Syndrome . . . . . . . 30 Epilepsy, General . 31 Recreation . . . . . . 33 Support . . . . . . . . 34 Disabilities groups . . . . . . . . . 35 Education . . . . . . . 37 Vocational Training/ Programs . . . . . . . 38

Extended Home Living Services 210 W. Campus Drive Suite B Arlington Heights (847) 215-9490

Provides stair lifts, accessible bathroom remodeling, ramps and wheelchair lifts, ceiling mounted lift systems, home elevators, and general remodeling to provide accessibility. Get a free in-home consultation or visit the showroom.

Mobility Works 23855 W. Andrew Road Plainfield 9207 N. Milwaukee Ave. Niles 155 E. North Ave. Villa Park (877) 275-4907

Provides wheelchair vans and adaptive equipment to the disabled community, including sales, mechanical service, rental vans and mobile consulting.

RampNOW 2280 Cornell Ave. Montgomery (630) 892-7267

Rents, sells and installs lifts and ramps that assist individuals with mobility issues, granting access to places most people take for granted.

AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS Alexander Leigh Center for Autism 4100 Veterans Parkway McHenry (815) 344-2522

Nonprofit, full-day, year-round therapeutic day school approved by the Illinois State Board of Education. The school is for kids 3-18 with autism spectrum disorder, OHI, multiple disabilities, developmental delay and/or intellectual disability. Students receive 1:1 support in the areas of academics, speech, OT, music ther-

apy, life skills, behavior and community-based instruction. Serves Cook, DuPage, Lake, Kane and McHenry counties.

Autism Behavior & Childhood Services Chicago (773) 552-3810

Offers a wide range of therapies and approaches that are custom designed for each child, using the Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA Therapy) approach in-home.

ASPB Therapy Pathways 800 W. 5th Ave., Suite 104 Naperville

(630) 548-0749

Provides intensive intervention for kids under 6 with autism, with one-on-one learning opportunities and small group settings.

Autism Spectrum Therapies 670 W. Hubbard St. Suite 200, Chicago (312) 635-8989 3375 Commercial Ave. Northbrook (312) 635-8989

Offers a multidisciplinary approach to helping families live with autism throughout Chicago and the North Shore. Services include Applied Behavior Analysis

Autism Home Support Services 85 Revere Drive, Suite AA Northbrook 3385 N. Arlington Heights Road, Suite K Arlington Heights (844) 247-7222

In-home customized ABA behavior therapy for children with autism and other related disorders.

Autism Speaks Chicagoland Chapter 2700 S. River Road Suite 304, Des Plaines (224) 567-8573

Nonprofit organiza-

Find more information online


he resources you will find here are just an excerpt of the hundreds of searchable resources you will find online at If you are a resource provider and your services are not listed online, e-mail Hillary Bird at hillary@chicagoparent. com with your information or submit your information at |

CSP0818_27.indd 1

(ABA); individual, couples and family therapy as well as play therapy.

SpecÄąal Parent Summer 2018 CHICAGO



8/2/18 2:03 PM

AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS tion dedicated to awareness, funding, science, research and advocacy for autism. Also provides free services for families.

Behavioral Perspective Inc. 5375 Route 34, Oswego 3S140 Barkley Ave. Warrenville 9239 S. Route 31 Lake in the Hills (888) 308-3728

Provides ABA services to maximize independence and quality of life for individuals impacted by autism.

Center for Autism & Related Disorders Multiple locations 855-345-2273

Chicago Autism & Behavior SpecialistsC.A.B.S. 901 & 915 W. Hawthorn Drive Itasca (800) 844-1232

Treats children with autism and related disorders. Programs are based on the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis. In addition to language and communication skills, programs encourage flexibility, problem solving, impulse control, social referencing, and self-regulation. Social work, speech therapy and parent training are incorporated into treatment plans.

Chicagoland Autism Connection

CARD’s primary objective is to help each person attain his or her maximum potential in the least restrictive environment via behaviorallybased intervention. Each program is individualized in accordance with the particular deficits and skills identified through assessment.

CAC meets on the third Saturday of each month from September through June (except December). Each meeting includes one or more speakers on a topic of interest.

Charlie’s Gift Autism Center

Easter Seals Autism Programs-Joliet

Center for Autism and Related Disorders 415 W. Eighth St. Hinsdale (630) 323-7500

212 Barney Drive Joliet (815) 725-2194

Provides individual and group occupational, speech and mental health/behavioral therapy for children/families through a familycentered, team-based approach. Family education/support activities and sibling activities are offered throughout the year. After-school clubs and summer programs offered. A family lending library is available. Charlie’s Gift is a program of The Community House.



9449 S. Kedzie Ave., Suite 268 Evergreen Park (773) 329-0375

Offers a wide variety of programming for children with autism spectrum disorders including pediatric physical, occupational and speech therapy. A medical diagnostic clinic, social skills groups, sibling recreational workshops, family special recreation nights, inclusive birth-4 daycare, mental health therapy, educational materials and a parent support group.

Easter Seals DuPage & Fox Valley: Autism Diagnostic Clinic &

Specıal Parent Summer 2018 CHICAGO

CSP0818_28.indd 1

Photo by Thomas Kubik

All-In Swim at Bernard Weinger JCC Autism Services Centers in Villa Park, Naperville and Elgin (630) 620-4433

The clinic provides a comprehensive interdisciplinary team evaluation to determine the presence of an Autism Spectrum Disorder or other developmental disability. It assists families in determining their child’s specific needs related to their diagnosis. Families leave the clinic with a diagnosis, initial treatment guidelines and resources. Easter Seals also offers a variety of services that address the specific strengths and challenges of children with autism. A team of licensed professionals works with each family to develop a well-rounded therapy plan. Services are provided individually or in a group setting.

Easter Seals Therapeutic School and Center for Autism Research 1939 W. 13th St., Suite 300 Chicago

(312) 491-4110 or

This campus combines educational, therapeutic research, training, school-to-work transition and adult vocational services. The interior features include special acoustic finishes, lighting fixtures and observation rooms in classrooms rooms to help reduce distractions and promote more effective learning. Serves clients 3-22.

Have Dreams 515 Busse Highway, Suite 150 Park Ridge 2020 Dempster St. Evanston (847) 685-0250 (Park Ridge) (847) 905-0702 (Evanston)

Serves children, teens and young adults with autism. Offers individualized after-school programs, vocational, life skills and transition to employment programs, along with diagnostic and family support services. The continuum of services support individuals from

early childhood through adulthood. Programs include Special Olympics, Technology Club and a nationally recognized Film & Multimedia camp. Transition to adult services include Project SEARCH Collaborates for Autism at Northwestern University and Have Dreams Academy, as well as a variety of programs that focus on developing critical soft skills for employment, internship experiences and life skills. Also provides bestpractice autism training for professionals and individual and school consultative services.

physical, speech and language, and music therapy. Also offers psychotherapy, mental health and diagnostic testing, and behavioral services.

Howard Intervention Center 18324 Ashland Ave. Homewood (708) 794-6509

Provides home, center and community-based ABA therapy for autism up to age 21. Also offers parent support group the second Thursday of each month and parents’ night out on the third Saturday of the month (reservations required).

Helping Hand Center

KGH Autism Services

9649 W. 55th St. Countryside (708) 352-3580

1161 Lake Cook Road Deerfield (847) 498-5437

Therapeutic Day School for children with autism, ages 3-21, providing year-round best practice services. Pediatric outpatient clinic for children birth-21 with an array of disabilities and delays, providing occupational,

Offers a therapeutic ABA-based preschool, Play Pals Preschool, dedicated to teaching kids the skills they need to successfully transition into their district kindergarten with minimal support. Also offers indi-


8/2/18 2:02 PM

AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS vidual therapy services for infants, toddlers, and children with autism.

Little City Foundation ChildBridge Services 1760 W. Algonquin Road Palatine (847) 358-5510

Provides services for children 21 and under with autism and other intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families, including in-home personal and family supports, clinical and behavior intervention, 24/7 residential services, therapeutic art programs and special needs foster care and adoption services. The ChildBridge Center for Education provides progressive services for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as students with severe and profound needs on the autism spectrum. Also provides employment services and training, horticulture, art, recreational opportunities and residential services for young adults.

Little Friends Inc. 140 N. Wright St. Naperville (630) 355-6533

Operates three schools, vocational training programs, communitybased residential services and the Little Friends Center for Autism. Founded in 1965, Little Friends serves more than 800 people each year throughout DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Will, McHenry and western Cook counties.

PACTT Learning Center 7101 N. Greenview Ave. Chicago (773) 338-9102

PACTT Learning Center offers educational, residential, and vocational services for people with severe autism and their families. The therapeutic day school focuses on academics, independent living, communication and social interaction for students 3-21 and includes a transition program for older teens. PACTT also operates two group homes for children and two adult homes that focus on independent life skills and community integration.

Turning Pointe Autism Foundation 1500 W. Ogden Ave. Naperville (630) 570-7948

Offers a therapeutic day school, Career College life skills training, recreational opportunities and individualized programming for children, individuals and families navigating the lifelong impact of autism.

BLIND OR VISUALLY IMPAIRED Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired 700 Elm St. Winnetka (847) 446-8111

The largest provider of tuition-free distance education for individuals over age 14 who are blind or visually impaired. More than 100 courses are offered in five program areas: Family Education, High School, Adult Continuing Education, Professional Studies and Low Vision Focus. Materials are provided in a student’s

medium of choice including large print, braille, audio and online.

The Chicago Lighthouse for People who are Blind or Visually Impaired 1850 W. Roosevelt Road Chicago (312) 666-1331

Provides the highest quality education, clinical, vocational and rehabilitation services for children and adults who are blind or visually impaired, including deaf-blind and multi-disabled. The Lighthouse offers a nationally acclaimed school for children with multi-disabilities, a Birth-to-3 Early Intervention Program for infants and families, a blended preschool with children who are blind or visually impaired and those who are sighted, the Sandy and Rick Forsythe Center for Comprehensive Vision Care, a scholarship program for post-secondary education and a Tools for Living retail store with an extensive supply of adaptive technology.

The Chicago Lighthouse Vision Rehabilitation Center (The Chicago Lighthouse North) 222 Waukegan Road Glenview (847) 510-6200

Serves to meet the needs of residents on the north side of Chicago as well as in the northern suburbs. It houses a Birthto-3 Early Intervention Program for infants and families; a state-ofthe-art low vision care clinic offering optometry, |

CSP0818_29.indd 1

SpecÄąal Parent Summer 2018 CHICAGO



8/2/18 2:09 PM

BLIND OR VISUALLY IMPAIRED psychological counseling and occupational therapy services; a Tools for Living retail store offering a vast assortment of independent living aids tailored for people who are visually impaired; cutting-edge adaptive technology devices featuring the latest in innovative text-to-speech electronics, CCTVs; and an array of enrichment programs for children and seniors.

The Illinois Association for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments P.O. Box 316634 Chicago (815) 355-2098

Provides support information services to parents of visually impaired children.

DEAF OR HEARING IMPAIRED AGBMS-AEHI Alexander Graham Bell Montessori School 9300 Capitol Drive Wheeling (847) 850-5490

Provides an oral education program for deaf and hardof-hearing children using Cued Speech to enhance their ability to acquire age-appropriate literacy skills. Children are mainstreamed with hearing peers and receive support services from licensed teachers of the deaf and speech and language pathologists.

Special Recreation Associations in Illinois provide a lifetime of recreation opportunities for children and adults with disabilities. Please visit or contact WDSRA at 630-681-0962 to find an agency near you.

3444 Dundee Road Northbrook (847) 559-0110

Serves children and adults who have hearing impairments with additional handicapping conditions such as mental illness or developmental disabilities.

CHOICES for Parents P.O. Box 646 Highland Park (312) 523-6400 (866) 733-8729

Provides parents of children with hearing loss with support, information and resources.

Illinois School for the Deaf 125 Webster Ave. Jacksonville (217) 479-4200

Educates students who are deaf or hard of hear-

ing to be responsible, self-supporting citizens.

Project ReachIllinois Deaf-Blind Services 818 DuPage Blvd. Glen Ellyn (630) 790-2474

Provides technical assistance/consultation, information, training and family support to address the needs of children with deafblindness, their families and their schools.

DOWN SYNDROME Down in the Southland P.O. Box 831 Tinley Park (708) 614-6118

Hartford Plaza 1070 S. Roselle Road Schaumburg (847) 895-2100

A volunteer parent-run

South Suburban Special Recreation Association (SSSRA) 815-806-0384,

Maine-Niles Association of Special Recreation (M-NASR) 847-966-5522,

South West Special Recreation Association (SWSRA) 708-389-9423,

McDonough County Special Recreation Association (MCSRA) 309-833-4526,

Southwestern Illinois Special Recreation Association (SWILSRA) 618-877-3059,

New Star Recreation Services (NSRS) 708-801-9966,

Special Recreation Association of Central Lake County (SRACLC) 847-816-4866,

Northern Suburban Special Recreation Association (NSSRA) 847-509-9400, Northern Will County Special Recreation Association (NWCSRA) 815-407-1819,

Gateway Special Recreation Association (Gateway) 630-620-2222,

Northlands Association for Special Recreation (NASR) Belvidere 815-547-5711, Freeport 815-235-6114, Rockford 815-987-1606,

Heart of Illinois Special Recreation Association (HISRA) 309-691-1929,

Northwest Special Recreation Association (NWSRA) 847-392-2848,

Illinois River Valley Special Recreation Association (IRVSRA) 309-347-7275,

Oak Lawn Park District/Special Recreation Cooperative 708-857-2200,

CSP0818_30.indd 1

Ups for Downs

Lincolnway Special Recreation Association (LWSRA) 815-320-3500,

Chicago Park District Special Recreation Dept. 312-742-5798,


International Down syndrome achievement centers that offer free educational and therapeutic programs and support for individuals with Down syndrome, their families and the community. Other Illinois locations include Chicago, Fox Valley, Oak Forest, McHenry, Rockford and Bradley.

Services include information and support for families at every stage of life, leadership and self-advocacy training for young adults with Down syndrome, education for professionals working with individuals with disabilities, and trained public speakers who present at hospitals, schools and other organizations in the community.

South East Association for Special Parks & Recreation (SEASPAR) 630-960-7600,

Northern Illinois Special Recreation Association (NISRA) 815-459-0737,

SpecÄąal Parent Summer 2018

2350 W. Higgins Road Hoffman Estates (847) 885-PLAY

1460 Renaissance Drive, Suite #405 Park Ridge (630) 325-9112

Lily Cache Special Recreation Association (LCSRA) 630-739-1124,

Champaign-Urbana Special Recreation (CUSR) 217-239-1152,


GiGi’s Playhouse

National Association for Down Syndrome

Special Opportunities Available in Recreation (S.O.A.R.) 309-434-2260,

Northeast DuPage Special Recreation Association (NEDSRA) 630-620-4500,

Fox Valley Special Recreation Association (FVSRA) 630-907-1114,

Down in the Southland is devoted to fostering the development of lifelong educational, social and life skills among individuals with Down syndrome and their families in the southern suburbs of Chicago. Provides educational support and programs that help children increase their future skills.

Kishwaukee Special Recreation Association (KSRA) 779-777-7285,

Look for our ad in this magazine.

Decatur Park District Special Recreation Assn. 217-429-7750,


Center on Deafness

River Valley Special Recreation Association (RVSRA) 815-933-7336,

Special Recreation Services of Northern Lake County (SRSNLC) Lindenhurst - 847-356-6011, Round Lake - 847-546-8558, Waukegan - 847-360-4760, Zion - 847-746-5500, Special Recreation of Joliet and Channahon (SRJC) 815-741-7275 x160, Springfield Park District 217-585-2941, Veterans Park District/Village of River Grove 708-343-5270, Warren Special Recreation Association (WSRA) 847-244-6619, Western DuPage Special Recreation Association (WDSRA) 630-681-0962, West Suburban Special Recreation Association (WSSRA) 847-455-2100,


8/2/18 2:01 PM

DOWN SYNDROME group for families, professionals and people with Down syndrome. Topical meetings are held on the third Tuesday of the month, from September through May at the Fox Links Golf Run Club House in Elk Grove Village. See website or email for more information on activities.

EPILEPSY Danny Did Foundation P.O. Box 46576 Chicago (800) 278-6101

The foundation’s website offers resources for parents, information on SUDEP and seizure safety, seizure monitoring devices and awareness-raising events. Funding goes toward families who cannot afford seizure devices and research.

GENERAL Access Living 115 W. Chicago Ave. Chicago (312) 640-2100

Offers peer-oriented independent living services; public education, awareness and outreach; individualized and systemic advocacy; and enforcement of civil rights on behalf of people with disabilities. All services are provided at no charge.

Anixter Center 6610 N. Clark St. Chicago (773) 973-7900

Provides an array of services, including education, employment, life skills, communication, recreation, health care, counseling and sup-

port, for people with disabilities. More than 10,000 children, teens and adults are served each year at locations across greater Chicago. Most people who receive services have physical, intellectual, developmental, sensory, psychiatric or HIV/AIDS-related disabilities. Advocates for the rights of people with disabilities to be full and equal members of society.

Blue Cap 2155 Broadway St. Blue Island (708) 389-6578

Blue Cap offers a school for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including autism, who are 3-21. On-site day care for children of all abilities age 2-5 is also available.

Center for Enriched Living 280 Saunders Road Riverwoods (847) 948-7001

Fun and learning join forces at the Center for Enriched Living where youth, teens and adults enjoy social, art and recreational programs in Riverwoods and in the community beyond. Offers a summer camp for teens and young adults, 13-22, as well as day programs for adults.

Center for Independence through Conductive Education Countryside, Lake Zurich, Chicago, Homewood (708) 588-0833

Provides intensive motor training programs based on the principles of conductive education for children with physical disabilities. Conductive education is an intensive

Photo by Thomas Kubik

Therapy Yoga Gymnastics Rocks method of teaching motor disabled children to be more functionally independent. The motivating, peer-supported program focuses on functional activities to improve independence and serves children with cerebral palsy ages 2-18. The transdisciplinary team of conductive education teachers, occupational therapists and physical therapists provide year-round and summer programming.

Clearbrook 1835 W. Central Road Arlington Heights (847) 870-7711

Provides experiences and opportunities through programs and services for people with autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy and other developmental disabilities.

Community Support Services Inc 9021 W. Ogden Ave. Brookfield 5416 W. 25th St. Cicero (708) 354-4547

Nonprofit serving suburban Cook and eastern DuPage people of all ages with intellectual/ developmental disabili-

ties and their families. Promotes independence and abilities to engage in community life with respite, CILA group homes and independent living arrangements, adult and parent support services, customized supported employment, transition planning and classes, cooking, art, health and wellness classes, and social activities. Cicero location focuses on family support services. CSS also owns and operates the Chicago Canine Club offering daycare, boarding, grooming, retail sales and conducting vocational training programs for people with disabilities to develop skills to work in the pet care industry.

Division of Specialized Care for Children Central Administrative Office 3135 Old Jacksonville Road Springfield (800) 322-3722

University of Illinois at Chicago-Division of Specialized Care for Children provides free care coordination for families of children with special health care needs. The staff helps

children who are residents of Illinois and have certain chronic, treatable conditions. Depending on specific needs and preferences, it might mean help accessing free testing to get a clear diagnosis, or offering information to learn more about your child’s condition. Care coordinators also find and arrange special medical care and explain insurance plans. Specialized Care for Children works with doctors, specialists and schools, to create a comprehensive plan of care that meets your family’s needs. Families that meet income guidelines may also get help paying for certain medical expenses. Care coordination services are delivered by teams located throughout the state to help families within their community. Teams are formed based on each family’s needs.

Eyas Landing 1409 W. Carroll Ave. Chicago (312) 733-0883

A family-centered pediatric therapy clinic for kids with developmental delays. |

CSP0818_31.indd 1

Institute on Disability and Human Development-UIC Family Clinics 1640 W. Roosevelt Road Chicago (312) 413-1647

UIC Family Clinics serve individuals with developmental disabilities and their families across the lifespan. Services include a Hispanic Diagnostic and Family Support program, Early Intervention program and an Autism Clinic.

Keshet: A Rainbow of Hope for Individuals with Special Needs 600 Academy Drive Northbrook (847) 205-1234

Provides educational, recreational and vocational programs for children and young adults with special needs. Year-round programs allow kids to play and work alongside their typically-developing peers. Multiple locations throughout the Chicagoland area.

Lexi Kazian Foundation-Helping From Heaven 21760 W. Washington St.

Specıal Parent Summer 2018 CHICAGO



8/2/18 2:01 PM

GENERAL Grayslake (847) 624-LEXI (5394)

Helps network families through fun events for the child with special needs that the whole family will enjoy. Also runs Lexi’s Closet, a place to request therapy equipment parents can’t get from their insurance company, are waiting to get delivered or are not sure might work for their child. Also accepts gently used therapy equipment to share with others.

Marklund 1S450 Wyatt Drive Geneva (630) 593-5500

developmental disabilities through residential and educational services. Campuses are located in Bloomingdale and Geneva. Services include residential services for developmentally disabled infants, children and adults; specialized developmental training for residents as well as community clients; and also includes Marklund Day School: specialized education and life skills training for children with medical, developmental and physical disabilities, and those on the Autism Spectrum.

MidAmerica Service Dogs’ Foundation

A nonprofit organization that makes everyday life possible for infants, children and adults with severe and profound

7630 S. County Line Road, Unit 3B Burr Ridge (630) 272-8159 midamericadogsfoundation. com

Provides service dogs and companion dogs to children and adults with disabilities free of charge. Dogs and people are matched based on their specific training and disabilities. Many dogs are obtained from shelters or rescue groups as well as donated by breeders. Program includes children, some with disabilities, that foster and train dogs for other clients in the program.

New Star 1005 W. End Ave. Chicago Heights 25930 S. Cottage Grove Ave., Crete 1624 E. 154th St., Dolton (708) 755-8030

Community service agency that provides services to individuals with developmental disabilities who reside in Southeast Cook County, Northeast Will County and Northwest Indiana.

Neumann Family Services

Oak Leyden Developmental Services

5547 N. Ravenswood Ave. Chicago (773) 769-4313

411 Chicago Ave. Oak Park (708) 524-1050

Provides education, housing, recreation, rehabilitation, training and employment opportunities to adults with disabilities and mental illness.

Individual and group therapy and support services for children birth-5 with developmental delays; community drop-in events for families with young


children; Music Together classes; day and residential services for adults with developmental disabilities.

Pioneer Center 4031 W. Dayton McHenry (815) 344-3815

A nonprofit organization located in McHenry County that provides adult and youth behavioral health services, intellectual and developmental disability programming and homeless services through McHenry County PADS.

Ray Graham Association 901 Warrenville Road Suite 500 Lisle (630) 620-2222

An innovative, person-

centered organization that supports and works with people with disabilities, their families and the community to improve the individual’s quality of life. Nearly 2,500 children and adults with developmental disabilities, including developmental disabilities, cerebral palsy and autism receive vocational, residential, educational, respite, therapeutic and recreational services and supports at 35 locations in DuPage County.

Shore Community Services Inc. 8350 Laramie Ave. Skokie (847) 982-2030

Provides programs for children and adults with intellectual and other developmental disabilities including:


We Offer Specialty Eye and Speech-Language Services for Children with Special Needs.

We provide exceptional service, quality care, and the latest technology. Our faculty and students have expertise addressing the unique needs of children with communication and/or visual impairment.

Call 630.743.4500 to make your appointment. Speech-Language Institute & Eye Institute Your Family’s Home for Healthcare



Specıal Parent Summer 2018 CHICAGO

CSP0818_32.indd 1

3450 Lacey Road Downers Grove, IL 60515 630.743.4500


8/2/18 2:00 PM

GENERAL autism, cerebral palsy, epilepsy and many secondary mental and physical disabilities for birth-adult. Programs include Residential, Early Intervention, Supported Living, Home-Based Services, Senior Program, Vocational, In-Home Respite and Adult Day Services. All programs are tailored to meet the individuals’ needs and can focus on daily living skills, mobility, cognition, communication, socialization, fine and gross motor development, independent living, pre-vocational training, job training and job placement.

St. Coletta of Illinois 18350 Crossing Drive Suite 103 Tinley Park (708) 342-5246

Provides early childhood through high school education. The school program serves about 80 students who are developmentally disabled or autistic. The Vocational Training Center in Tinley Park provides opportunities for 250 individuals with special needs to become self-sufficient and learn the responsibilities and benefits of working. St. Coletta’s residential program is designed to provide quality housing for special needs individuals, allowing clients to be integrated into the community and become productive members of society. The program consists of 30 groups homes within 15 southwest suburban communities of Chicago.

Suburban Access Inc.-SAI 900 Maple Ave., 3rd floor Homewood (708) 799-9190

Nonprofit agency handles case management and service coordination to individuals with developmental disabilities in 18 townships of south and west suburban Cook County.

Trinity Services Inc. 301 Veterans Parkway New Lenox (815) 485-6197

Trinity serves 3,500 children and adults who have developmental disabilities or mental illness needs. Services for people with developmental disabilities include residential options, Trinity School for K-12, adult learning programs, employment services, a therapeutic horseback-riding program, crisis prevention and intervention services. Trinity’s Behavioral Health program provides comprehensive therapeutic services for people with a mental illness or dual diagnosis, residential programs, services specific to autism and fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, traditional counseling for individuals, families and groups.

V.I.P Service Dog Foundation P.O. Box 851 Oswego (866) 439-3362

Trains service and companion dogs for the disabled.

RECREATION Chicago Children’s Museum Navy Pier 700 E. Grand Ave. Chicago (312) 527-1000

On the second Saturday of every month, the museum hosts its Play For All program, which provides families with

children with special needs a chance to visit the museum early and play in a quiet, more manageable setting. Opens at 9 a.m. for the pre-registered guests and offers a quiet room with special lighting. Museum opens to the public at 10 a.m. The first 250 to register (limit six per family) receive free admission.

Enrollment Open for our Therapeutic Preschool!

Special Stars 2230 Cornell Ave. Montgomery (630) 896-8277 stephaniesacademyofdance. com

A therapist supported program that offers specialized and inclusive dance classes for kids with learning differences ages 2 through adult. Classes promote cognitive, social and emotional, speech and language, fine motor and gross motor goals. Students are mentored by their peers of typical development.

KGH Autism Services provides individualized care, a multidisciplinary team and is here for your whole family. Whether your child was recently diagnosed or you are looking for a new therapy path, we are here to support you from infancy through young adulthood. We provide ABA therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, mental health services and social skills groups and offer services in our center, in your home, or wherever you need us. From coordinating insurance to creating a customized therapy plan, we help families find happier days. Contact us to learn how we can help! 224-326-2206 • • 1161 Lake Cook Rd. Deerfield, IL 60015

KEEN: Kids Enjoy Exercise Now

Home Modifications and Lifts Free In-Home Consultation

Chicago (312) 876-2535

Nonprofit, volunteerled organization that provides free one-to-one recreational opportunities for people 5-21 with developmental and physical disabilities. KEEN pairs a trained volunteer “coach” with a young athlete in sports and swim program. Programs take place at UIC Sport and Fitness Center, UIC East Campus, Loyola Park, Alcott College Prep High School and Sky High Sports.

Karate Can-Do 2081 Johns Court, Glenview (847) 729-0001

Karate training in group and private setting for all ages and all abilities.

847-215-9490 North • 630-717-4445 West 773-775-6122 Chicago • 847-590-1728 FAX

Visit Our Showroom!

210 W Campus Drive • Arlington Heights, IL 60004 $

off 300 w a ne ft li stair

Let us make your home more accessible and comfortable for everyone in the family. We can enhance your home with: • Stairlifts • Wheelchair Lifts • Ramps • Ceiling Mounted Lifts • Bathroom Modifications

Extended Home Living Services… Family Owned and Serving Chicagoland Since 1991

• Partnering with multiple funding agencies. • Dedicated to the lives of children with special needs. Please mention this ad to receive the discount. |

CSP0818_33.indd 1

Specıal Parent Summer 2018 CHICAGO



8/29/18 8:33 AM

RECREATION Right Fit Sport Fitness Wellness 7101 S. Adams St. Unit 7 Willowbrook (630) 850-4050 1045 S. LaGrange Road LaGrange (708) 639-4199 10498 163rd Place, Unit B Orland Park (630) 738-2728

Right Fit’s Raise the Bar fitness programs and camps are offered year round for youth and adults with autism spectrum disorders and those physically and mentally challenged. Right Fit is a partner with PAK (ProActive Kids), training youths who struggle with obesity and providing support to the families.

School of Performing Arts Spectrum Program 200 E. 5th Ave., Suite 132 Naperville (630) 717-6622

Workshops in music, theater, dance and visual arts geared toward children with special needs. Also offers summer camps for children with special needs.

Second City Improv for ASD 1616 N. Wells St. Chicago chicago

The Second City Training Center has created an Improv for ASD and anxiety curriculum, offering both teens and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders a unique 12-week mentoring and development experience that includes improv games and exercises to help with the exploration of relationships and social cues.

Sky High Sports 2244 Corporate Lane Naperville 6424 Howard St. Niles



(630) 717-5867 (Naperville) (847) 801-5867 (Niles)

Once a month, Sky High Sports turns off the music and dials down the distractions for special jumpers. One court remains especially quiet for kids with sensory disorders who need an extra peaceful environment. Even children with physical disabilities can join the fun. A parent can take their child out of the wheelchair and lay them on the trampoline. Then mom or dad jumps, gently bouncing their child on the trampoline. Jumps are held from 3-6 p.m. the first Tuesday of each month. Cost is $5 for three hours for the special jumper with a parent or therapist $5. Siblings, friends and others who jump are also $5.

Special Gifts Theatre P.O. Box 2231 Northbrook (847) 564-7704

An educational- and therapy-based drama program for individuals who have special needs. SGT uses the stage as a platform to develop social skills, increase selfconfidence and improve speech communication. Multiple locations and programs are available year-round for children and adults.

Special Olympics Illinois Northern Office 500 Waters Edge, Suite 100 Lombard (630) 942-5610

Provides sports training and competition for children (8 and older) and adults with intellectual disabilities. Check website for competition schedule and locations in

SpecÄąal Parent Summer 2018 CHICAGO

CSP0818_34.indd 1

The Cove School Chicago area.

Special Olympics Illinois Young Athletes Program (630) 942-5610 (309) 888-2551

Special Olympics Illinois Young Athletes is a gross motor training program for children with and without intellectual disabilities between 2-7. Young Athletes focuses on motor development and preparation for participation in future sport. Young Athletes trainings and events happen at the local, regional and state level. For information about starting a Young Athletes program in your home, school or community, contact youngathletes@

Special Recreation Associations in Illinois

The Special Recreation Associations Network of Illinois (SRANI) is a network of therapeutic recreation agencies. Special Recreation Associations provide communitybased special recreation

services to children and adults with disabilities. These agencies are members of the Illinois Therapeutic Recreation Section of the Illinois Park and Recreation Association (IPRA).

The Sensory Garden Playground 2751 Navistar Drive Lisle

The Sensory Garden Playground is a combination of sensoryintegrated playground equipment and amenities along with gardening areas. Phase 1, which opened in 2015, includes a 2-5-year-old playground area, fragrance garden and sound garden.

Therapy Yoga Gymnastics Rocks Locations in Chicago, Libertyville, Niles and Northbrook (773) 991-7316

Provides pediatric Occupational and Physical Therapy in fun gymnastic and yoga centers. Certified therapists create fun individualized sessions that use

gymnastics equipment and yoga activities to improve physical, social, cognitive and life skills

skills and opportunities to realize full lives.


11 E. Adams St., Suite 1002 Chicago (312) 939-3513 (312) 939-3519 TTD

Celebrate Differences 14 Stonehill Road, Unit E Oswego (630) 885-3006

An all-inclusive community resource center, welcoming all children and their families regardless of age or disability. Offers informative monthly workshops, sibling workshops, a resource library, an annual summer and holiday party, a Next Chapter book club, play groups and more. Connects families through outreach projects, social activities and social networking.

Center for Independent Futures 1015 Davis St. Evanston (847) 328-2044

A not-for-profit organization that helps individuals with disabilities and their families access the

Family Resource Center on Disabilities

Provides information and support for families, free seminars, Youth Advocacy Project and Parent-To-Parent Training Project.

Illinois Parents of Adults with Developmental Disabilities (IPADD) Unite 3104 Treesdale Court Naperville (630) 922-3232

Closed Facebook group for parents of teens and adults to share online support and resources specific to Illinois on topics including transition, employment, self-employment or supported employment, volunteerism, day programming, funding, legislative advocacy, housing, social security, Medicaid and Medicare and transportation.


8/2/18 1:59 PM

SUPPORT The Orchard 1330 N. Douglas Ave. Arlington Heights (847) 392-4840 theorchardarlingtonheights. org

Children (birth-12th grade) are included in classes with trained volunteers while parents attend the worship services Sundays at 9:30 a.m. Special Needs Parent Network meets for prayer and support the first Monday of the month. Childcare provided. Additional locations at 1301 S. Grove Ave., Barrington, (847) 852-2200, and Itasca, 716 E. George St. Itasca, (630) 773-1883,

Protected Tomorrows Charities 103 Schelter Road

Lincolnshire (847) 522-8086

Not-for-profit dedicated to helping families with special needs optimize the lifelong care of their loved ones. The mission is to provide resources, research and education for families of individuals with disabilities and the elderly.

South Chicago Parents & Friends 10241 S. Commercial Ave. Chicago (773) 734-2222

Supports people of South Deering, South Chicago, South Shore, Pullman and Roseland communities with developmental disabilities, enabling them to become productive, valued members of society by allowing them

to learn, work, play and live just like others.

Supporting Illinois Brothers and Sisters 3800 N. Lake Shore Drive, #3E Chicago (708) 989-3619

Nonprofit organization providing support to siblings of people with disabilities in Illinois by connecting them with information, networking opportunities and resources to enhance the quality of life for their entire family. For more information, e-mail

The Apraxia Connection

The volunteer board of directors, advisors and helping hands of the

community strive to connect neighborhood resources and information on apraxia and associated disorders with the individuals, families, therapists, educators and other professionals who need them.

DISABILITIES GROUPS Aspire Kids Chicago 1815 S. Wolf Road, Hillside (708) 236-0979 3235 W. Montrose Chicago (773) 878-7868

Provides an innovative, family-centered approach to inclusive education and community life that supports kids with disabilities and their families. Offers such services as career training,

occupational therapy and speech therapy.

Esperanza Community Services

Association for Individual Development (AID)

520 N. Marshfield Ave. Chicago (312) 243-6097

309 W. New Indian Trail Court Aurora (630) 966-4000

Nonprofit organization that provides instruction and services to children and adults with developmental disabilities, including autism and behavioral needs to help them become as independent as possible. It provides a full array of services, including a private, therapeutic day school for students age 5-21, an adult day program and vocational skillbuilding program, a 24-hour residential program that supports independent living and an in-home case management program.

Nonprofit, communitybased organization serving more than 5,000 individuals throughout Kane, Kendall, DeKalb, DuPage, suburban Cook and Will Counties. More than 20 programs are available for individuals with physical or developmental disabilities, and those in need of behavioral health services or crisis intervention. CARF accredited and is also a child welfare agency licensed by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

At Southwest Dental

we take special care of

special needs.

Exceptional care and patient comfort go hand in hand at Southwest Dental Group. This gives special needs children and adults an experience they can feel good about - with the option of IV sedation for situational anxiety. We believe there’s no need too special.

(708) 403-3355 16600 South 107th Court Orland Park, IL

Dr. Tentler holds diplomate status in the American Society of Dentist Anesthesiologists. Dr. Robert L. Tentler and Associates, General Dentistry

Dr. Bob Tentler |

CSP0818_35.indd 1

SpecÄąal Parent Summer 2018 CHICAGO



8/2/18 1:59 PM

Jacob Sanchez Diagnosed with autism

Lack of speech is a sign of autism. Learn the others at



SpecÄąal Parent Summer 2018 CHICAGO

CSP0818_36.indd 1


8/3/18 10:13 AM

DISABILITIES GROUPS Illinois Spina Bifida Association 2211 N. Oak Park Ave. Oak Park (773) 444-0305

Nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life of people with Spina Bifida through direct services, information, referral, research, and public awareness.

Learning Disabilities Association of Illinois 10101 S. Roberts Road Suite 205 Palos Hills (708) 430-7532

Serves families of people with learning disabilities throughout Illinois.

Park Lawn Association 10833 S. La Porte Ave. Oak Lawn (708) 425-3344

Non-profit offering a variety of supports, including adult developmental training, residential facilities, vocational training, supported employment and more. Park Lawn’s mission is to provide services that promote independence, choice and access to community for people with developmental disabilities. 355 E. Erie St. Chicago (800) 955-2445

Strives to empower parents and health professionals with free educational resources on the benefit of early detection and early therapy for children’s motor, sensory and communication development. Pathways. org materials (brochures, handouts, videos, etc.) are available on its website.

The Arc of Illinois 20901 La Grange Road Suite #209, Frankfort

(815) 464-1832

A clearinghouse of information committed to empowering people with disabilities to achieve full participation in community life through informed choices.

EDUCATION Blue Bird Day School 310 N. Loomis St. Chicago (312) 243-8487 1921 W. Irving Park Road Chicago (773)-687-9442

Intensive pediatric therapy program designed to foster socialization, sensory regulation and academic learning in kids 2-9 with autism/ autism spectrum disorder, sensory processing disorders, Asperger’s Syndrome, ADHD, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, stuttering and feeding disorders.

Brain Balance Achievement Center 1101 S. Milwaukee Ave. Suite 105 Vernon Hills (847) 821-1328

Works with children with developmental and learning disorders such as ADD, ADHD, Asperger’s, dyslexia, Tourette’s, PDD and Autism Spectrum Disorders. An individualized program that uses a comprehensive, multi-faceted approach designed to address each child’s specific deficiencies while combining proper nutritional guidance.

City Elementary 1100 E. Hyde Park Blvd. Chicago (872) 240-2489

Classrooms are structured to provide small group instruction for children on the autism spectrum, those with

significant attentional issues, and those with sensory-integration challenges who use language to communicate.

Cognitive Solutions Learning Center Inc 2409 N. Clybourn Ave., Chicago Chicago (773) 755-1775

Specializes in learning disabilities and ADHD, offers educational and psychological testing, one-on-one tutoring, neurofeedback, psychotherapy and executive functions training.

Easter Seals Gilchrist - Marchman Child Development Center 1312 S. Racine Avenue Chicago (312) 492-7402

Full-day, full-year inclusive early childhood and education services for children six weeks to 5years. State certified, credentialed and bilingual teaching staff.

Elim Christian Services

Questions? Interest in learning more about Life’s Plan Trust Services? Contact Scott Nixon, Executive Director



13020 S. Central Ave. Crestwood (708) 389-0555

Elim Christian School serves students 3-22 who have developmental and/or physical disabilities.

Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. School for Exceptional Children St. Coletta’s of Illinois 18350 Crossing Drive Tinley Park (708) 342-5200

The vision is to provide a positive school environment where students become independent through a variety of experiences focused on academics, community involvement, occupa-



Our big party guide inside

Coming in October


The ‘perfect’ myth

For more information, call (708) 386-5555 or visit

Tricks & treats Playdate goes west

CP_Cover_October_2017.indd 3

9/6/17 11:43 AM |

CSP0818_37.indd 1

Specıal Parent Summer 2018 CHICAGO



8/3/18 9:37 AM

EDUCATION tional skills and social emotional learning.

and disorders of relating and communicating.

Safe Haven School

The Cove School

906 Muir Ave. Lake Bluff (847) 604-3903

350 Lee Road Northbrook (847) 562-2100

Therapeutic school that accepts students fourth grade through high school who have severe to profound emotional disturbances, learning disabilities, autism, and/ or other health.

A private K-12 day school that serves students with learning disabilities. Children from diverse backgrounds receive an individualized educational experience. Cove provides students with customized learning strategies to complete an academic curriculum, while at the same time facilitates the development of students’ social and emotional skills and self-advocacy.

Soaring Eagle Academy 800 Parkview Blvd. Lombard (630) 323-2900

A not for profit, Illinois State Board of Education-approved therapeutic day school for students ages 3 through 21 with autism

The Lily Garden Child Care Center 830 S. Addison Ave. Villa Park

(630) 261-6283

The Lily Garden provides child care services for children six weeks through six years of age in a nurturing environment where children learn and grow together. The Lily Garden is committed to fostering independence, compassion, knowledge and respect for children of all abilities.


residential housing, job placement and workshops.

Donka Inc. 400 N. County Farm Road Wheaton (630) 665-8169

Provides computer training that teaches disabled students who demonstrate special accessibility requirements and low income levels how to use computers to read, write, continue an education or advanced skills needed for the workplace.

Elmhurst Learning and Success Academy

Avenues to Independence 515 Busse Hwy. Park Ridge (847) 292-0870

Helps people with special needs and developmental needs through

Elmhurst College 190 Prospect Ave. Elmhurst (630) 617-3752

Offers a four-year certificate program is for

students, ages 18-28, who have earned a high school diploma or certificate of completion.

122 S. Michigan Ave., Suite 3013 Chicago (312) 261-3281

P.A.C.E. is a three-year, post-secondary program offered by National Louis University, designed to meet the transitional needs for young adults with multiple intellectual, learning and developmental disabilities.

Easter Seals Metropolitan Chicago 17300 Ozark Ave. Tinley Park (708) 802-9050

Provides employment opportunities for people living with autism spectrum disorders and other disabilities. Team members are integrated into all aspects of business operations and receive individualized training with customized supports. Part of Easter Seals Chicagoland.

National-Louis University Path to Academics, Community and Employment (P.A.C.E.)

We Grow Dreams, Inc. 1055 W. Washington St. West Chicago (630) 293-0100

Training and employment for people with disabilities through the greenhouse and garden center.

Fun for all abilities! RAINBOWPLAYS.COM 300 Corporate Woods Pkwy

RainbowPlay SystemsOfChicago rainbowplay systemsofchicago 38


Specıal Parent Summer 2018 CHICAGO

CSP0818_38.indd 1

Vernon Hills, IL. 60061

127 Ambassador Dr.

Naperville, IL. 60540

847-955-9300 630-527-1400

Showroom Hours:

MON - FRI 10am-6pm • SAT 10am-4pm • SUN 11am-3pm |

8/3/18 8:58 AM

Our family of family magazines

JUNE 2018


Specıal Parent CHICAGO



Finding balance



Finding balance





CHIPAR_June2_2018.indd 3

Every month

Dog days of summer 220 winning ideas

Fun on the cheap




ways to your


Picnics, putt-putt


Windy City wins

awesome summer!

Going Places

Going for gold A life-changing 50 years


5/10/18 3:55 PM


*Cover HEY BABY Spring 2017.indd 1

3/23/17 12:11 PM


Twice a Year

GP Cover Summer 2018.indd 5

4/23/18 10:30 AM

Online at |

CSP0818_39.indd 1

Specıal Parent Summer 2018 CHICAGO



8/3/18 9:31 AM


The ball is in Alec’s Court Teen is recognizable face of Shriners Hospital for Children


lec Cabacungan doesn’t see himself as an inspiration. But others do. Now the 16-year-old Oak Park and River Forest High School student, who has been a patient at Shriners Hospital for Children-Chicago since he was just 2 months old and is a national spokesman for it, has something to memorialize that fact.

Shriners Hospitals for Children-Chicago’s indoor basketball court now bears his name. Alec has osteogenesis imperfecta, or brittle bone disease, and has broken more than 60 bones in his lifetime. Since 2014, he has been the face of Shriners, starring in national commercials for the hospital that have aired on channels such as MSNBC, Fox News and the USA networks. “At our international headquarters in Tampa we receive letters on a daily basis from people all over the country who are touched by Alec, by his life, his can-do spirit and his warm

personality,” Stephanie Herron, chief development officer, Shriners Hospitals for Children, said at the dedication ceremony. “In a world that is so often filled with cynicism and turmoil, Alec brings people joy and gives them hope. And, Alec reminds us of what is good in the world.” As the hospital’s national spokesperson, Alec has become something of a celebrity. The OPRF teen can be seen on a YouTube video from 2017 prepping for an appearance on TNT’s Inside the NBA, where he crosses paths with one of the show’s co-hosts, former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal. “I know you,” O’Neal tells Alec. “I’ve seen you somewhere before. Yeah, on the commercial, right? Yeah! I knew I’d seen you before on the commercial.” Alec’s dad, Gil Cabacungan, says the family is deeply humbled by the court’s dedication. Cabacungan says that Alec has undergone many surgeries, hours of physical therapy, X-rays and clinical visits. He’s such a presence at Shriners, he says that the staff considers him family. “Alec doesn’t see himself as an inspiration,” Cabacungan says, “but millions of people do.”

Photos courtesy of Shriners Hospital for Children — Chicago



Specıal Parent Summer 2018 CHICAGO

CSP0818_40.indd 1

“In a world that is so often filled with cynicism and turmoil, Alec brings people joy and gives them hope. And, Alec reminds us of what is good in the world.”

Michael Romain


8/2/18 2:26 PM

Looking for more special needs content? Sign up for our monthly special needs newsletter at

CSP0818_CV3.indd 1

8/3/18 10:24 AM

CSP0818_CV4.indd 1

8/2/18 9:34 AM