Helpful Resources

Illinois State Agencies

Illinois Dept of Human Services Early Intervention Program For Infants and Toddlers Birth to Three

  • Illinois Dept of Human Services, Bureau of Early Intervention program’s mission is to assure that families who have infants and toddlers, birth to three, with diagnosed disabilities, developmental delays or substantial risk of significant delays receive resources and supports that assist them in maximizing their child’s development, while respecting the diversity of families and communities.

Illinois Early Child Intervention Clearinghouse

  • Illinois Early Childhood Intervention Clearinghouse, funded by the Illinois Department of Human Services, has been providing library and information services on early intervention issues throughout Illinois since 1986. It’s mission is to make available state-of-the-art library and information resources related to early childhood intervention to the citizens of Illinois.

Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services

  • A state agency dedicated to improving the lives of Illinois’ families and seniors by providing access to quality health care and ensuring that children receive the child support they are entitled to.

Illinois Department of Children and Family Services DCFS Child Protection

  • The Department of Children and Family Services shall, upon receiving reports made under this Act, protect the best interest of the child, offer protective services in order to prevent any further harm to the child and to other children in the family, stabilize the home environment and preserve family life whenever possible.

University of Illinois at Chicago/Division of Specialized Care for Children

  • Division of Specialized Care for Children (DSCC) is the Illinois Title V agency that provides care coordination for families and children with special health care needs. DSCC, governed by Administrative Rules, helps children with disabilities, and those who have conditions which may lead to disabilities, grow and develop to the full extent of their abilities.

Center for Parent Information and Resources

  • Parent Training and Information Centers (PTI) offer families with a child who has a disability information about the disability, early intervention, school services, therapy, local policies, transportation, and much more. Even if an office is not close to your home, they can usually put you in touch with resources in your community, as well as provide you with information and assistance about disability issues in your state.

Parenting Groups, Advocacy, and Family Support

Parent Groups / Advocacy / Family Support

Equip for Equality

  • Provides free self-advocacy assistance for parents of children with disabilities, free legal representation and educational seminars for parents and organizations.

The Family Defense Center

  • The Family Defense Center’s mission is to advocate justice for families in the child welfare system: a legal advocacy organization that provides high level systemic advocacy and grass-roots activities for families treated unfairly by state child protection agencies.

Special Ed Advocacy Center

  • The Special Ed Advocacy Center (SEAC) provides free legal services to low-income parents and caregivers of children with disabilities seeking to obtain appropriate educational services for their children provided under current law.

Voice-Advocacy

  • VOICE-Advocacy is an organization that provides support, training, and advocacy services for families of children with special needs in school settings. Our organization will assist you with your special education advocacy needs.

Neighborhood Parents Network (NPN)

  • Neighborhood Parents Network is the largest organized parent resource network in Chicago. NPN is the trusted resource for connecting Chicago parents. Find the support, information, and connections you need to tackle the every day challenges of being a parent. Get connected with other families all over Chicago online and in person. Easily find parents in your own neighborhood and with similar interests.

Fussy Baby Network

  • For parents struggling with a baby who is fussy, crying excessively, or has difficulties with sleeping or feeding. Infant specialists are familiar with all the latest research in infant crying, sleeping, and feeding issues and are available for private, in-home consultations, or hotline telephone support. Parents groups, baby clinics.

Technical Assistance Alliance for Parents

  • The Technical Assistance Alliance for Parent Centers is an innovative project that supports a unified technical assistance system for the purpose of developing, assisting and coordinating Parent Training and Information Projects and Community Parent Resource Centers under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

Parent Coalitions and Information Groups

  • A comprehensive Parent Support Group List compiled by The Family Resource Center on Disabilities (FRCD).

Autism Society of Illinois presents: Special Education Advocacy

  • ASI Special Education advocates are experienced in working with schools and families to determine the best IEP outcomes based on the individual needs of the child.

Community Education at JCFS

  • Community education courses on a wide range of topics for adults who want to enhance their knowledge of issues that affect people with disabilities. Open to professionals, people with disabilities, and family members of people with disabilities.

TAP Service Center

  • Training opportunities include: new diagnosis family orientation, first responder training, early intervention training, care providers/day care training, and early detection training for pediatric residents.

Family Matters Parent training and Information Center

  • Supplies information and training for parents and professionals who provide special education and related services to children with disability.

Little Friends Center for Autism

  • Provides training for parents and professionals.

Places to Go / Recreation (Chicagoland)

Indoor Play Areas

Little Beans Café (Evanston/Chicago)

  • Litttle Beans is a family cafe and imaginative indoor playground for kids.

Sod Room

  • Eco-friendly indoor play space in South Loop.

Jump!Zone

  • Indoor inflatable party and play centers with bouncers, jumpers, slides, moonwalks, and other interactive games.

Exploritorium (Skokie)

  • A place where children and adults can come and explore together through interactive play.

Monkey Island

  • Largest indoor playground in Chicago.

LegoLand Discovery Center 

  • Explore a world of LEGO adventures on our interactive rides,Build & Test Zones, 4D Cinema, Pirate Adventure Island and more.

Kid City

  • Family-owned indoor play space designed for children to explore the function of a city through pretend play.

Explore and Much More

  • A family-centered playspace for children ages 6 months to 8 years old, offering exhibits and play structures to encourage active minds and bodies.

Pump it UP (Elmhurst)

  • First Tuesday of each month is Sensory Jump Night at Pump it Up in Elmhurst.

Movie Theaters

Sensory Friendly Films at AMC – Partner with Autism Society

  • Four shows per month – second and fourth Tuesday and Saturday; Turn the lights up, turn the sound down, and open for dancing, walking, shouting or singing.

Reel Movies for Real Needs – Marcus Theatre (Addison)

  • Reel Movies for Real Needs creates a welcoming and comfortable environment, with lower sound and lights up, where families with children who need accommodations will be able to share the experience of seeing family friendly films at a theatre. Showtime is at 10:30am, one Saturday each month.

SMG Special Needs Screenings – Studio Movie Grill ( Wheaton)

  • Family friendly movies free for children with special needs and their siblings, with adult tickets available for before-noon price. Special Needs Screenings are shown with the lights up and the volume lowered and children are free to move around, talk, or even dance in the aisles.

Parks

Adams Playground Park – 1919 N. Seminary

  • ADA-accessible lot.

Berger Park Cultural Center – 6205 N. Sheridan Road

  • ADA-accessible playground.

Indian Boundary Park – 2500 W. Lunt

  • Small zoo and duck pond and natural-habitat gardens.

Oz Park – 2021 N. Burling St.

  • Wheelchair-accessible playground.

Kilbourn Park and Organic Greenhouse – 3501 N. Kilbourn Ave.

  • Public fruit-tree orchard.

Mt. Greenwood Park – 3724 W. 111th St.

  • ADA-accessible playground equipment (includes musical sculptures).

Maggie Daley Park – 337 E. Randolph St.

  • 3 acre play garden, life-sized play ship, up to 600 children can comfortably play at one time. All pathways meet or exceed ADA requirements.

Museums

Chicago Children’s Museum (Navy Pier)

  • Second Saturday of every month hosts Play for All program, which provides families with children with special needs a chance to visit museum early. Registration required (312) 321-6551.

Kohl Children’s Museum (2100 Patriot Boulevard, Glenview IL)

  • Designed to be inclusive to all children and adults regardless of ability. Works collaboratively with community organizations to invite children with special needs to the museum to explore exhibits while closed to the general public.

DuPage Children’s Museum (301 North Washington Street, Naperville)

  • Third Thursday of each month, hosts special hours (5-7 pm) for families with children with special needs (quieter, less crowded, range of adaptive tools and equipment, variety of sensory-based exhibits, therapy dog, resources for parents).

Restaurants

All Aboard Diner – Downers Grove, IL

  • Food delivered by train; ice-cream parlor, video games, interactive train. Peanut-free restaurant.

American Girl Place – Chicago, IL

Zoos

Brookfield Zoo – 8400 31st Street, Brookfield IL 60513

  • Offers program to better serve children with disabilities – partnered with National Inclusion Project to rain Zoo Camp staff in inclusion techniques. Provides scholarships for children with disabilities.

Lincoln Park Zoo – 2001 N Clark Street, Chicago IL 60614

  • Parking lot, café, gift shops and main entrance are wheelchair accessible, service animals are allowed, tactile reference guide to enhance experience.

Parent Help Topics / Advice

Toileting

Feeding

Developmental Milestones

Play (Importance and How-to)

Transitions (to daycare, preschool, kindergarten)

Communicating with EC professionals

Understanding challenging behaviors

Tantrums and Defiant Behavior

Temperament Styles

Speech and Language

Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC)

Emotional Regulation

Social Skills

Reading

Gross Motor

Fine Motor

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)

Communicating with Early childcare professionals

Developmental Milestones

Emotional Regulation

Feeding

Fine Motor Skills

Gross Motor Skills

Play (Importance and How-to)

Reading

Social Skills

Speech and Language

Tantrums and Defiant Behavior

Temperament Styles

Toileting

Transitions (to Daycare, Preschool, Kindergarten)

Understanding Challenging Behaviors

Non Profit Resources / National Agencies

Nonprofit Resources / National Agencies

National Center for Latinos with Disabilities

  • Only state-wide-not-for-profit organization in Illinois focusing on Latinos with disabilities and their families. The Advocacy Program provides direct services to families of children and adults with disabilities to ensure they receive appropriate services in the most inclusive setting possible. Encompasses three components: advocacy, deaf and hard of hearing services and information and referral. Provides parent workshops.

National Association for the Education of Young Children Of Young Children

  • Dedicated to improving the well-being of all young children, with particular focus on the quality of educational and developmental services for all children from birth through age 8. Public policy and advocacy.

National Lekotek Center

  • Helps families raising a child or children with special needs learn fun, creative, and healthy ways to play together.

Illinois Early Learning Project

  • Provides standards, resources, and events calendar, contacts and news regarding early childhood education.

Council for Exceptional Children – The Division for Early Childhood

  • Largest international professional organization dedicated to improving the educational success of individuals with disabilities and/or gifts and talents. CEC advocates for appropriate governmental policies, sets professional standards, provides professional development, advocates for individuals with exceptionalities.

Answers for Special Kids

  • ASK is a non-profit organization created to support and educate families of children with special needs or learning differences.

Child Care Association of Illinois

  • CCA provides services to abused, neglected and troubled children, youth and families of Illinois.

Family Matters

  • Family Matters was funded as a Family Support Program, in 1989, by the Illinois Department of Human Services in order to assist families to keep their children with disabilities living at home by providing, locating, or creating the needed supports.

Family Resource Center on Disabilities

  • Family Resource Center on Disabilities provides information and support for families, free seminars, Youth Advocacy Project and Parent-To-Parent Training Project.

Family to Family Statewide Health Information Resource For Families of Children and Youth with Special Needs

  • The Family to Family Health Information an Education Center is here to answer your questions about health and health care.

School Community Network

  • School Community Network provides tools and resources to engage families in student learning and build strong school communities.

The Illinois Provider Directory for Children with Disabilities

  • The directory includes general pediatricians, family physicians, pediatric specialists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech pathologists, audiologists, mental health specialists, pediatric dentists and other health care providers who serve Illinois children with special health care needs.

National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center

  • The National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center supports the implementation of the early childhood provisions of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Our mission is to strengthen service systems to ensure that children with disabilities (birth through 5) and their families receive and benefit from high quality, culturally appropriate, and family-centered supports and services.

NPN Parents serving the Parent Community

  • The Neighborhood Parents Network — a not-for-profit organization of neighborhood networks whose members are parents that provide support for each other and share resources and experiences that will better enable them to manage the common daily challenges faced by families everywhere.

Parent Coalitions and Information Groups

  • A comprehensive Parent Support Group List compiled by The Family Resource Center on Disabilities (FRCD).

Technical Assistance Alliance for Parents

  • The Technical Assistance Alliance for Parent Centers is an innovative project that supports a unified technical assistance system for the purpose of developing, assisting and coordinating Parent Training and Information Projects and Community Parent Resource Centers under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

Voices for Illinois Children

  • Voices for Illinois Children champions the full development of every child in Illinois to assure the future well-being of everyone in the state. We work with families, communities and policymakers on all issues to help children grow up happy, healthy, nurtured, safe and well-educated.

Zero to Three

  • We are a national nonprofit multidisciplinary organization that advances our mission by informing, educating and supporting adults who influence the lives of infants and toddlers. ZERO TO THREE’s mission is to support the healthy development and well-being of infants, toddlers and their families.

Women’s Counseling Center

  • Offers individual, group, couple and family counseling and psychotherapy, professional training and supervision.

Catholic Charities

  • Offers information and resources of local services and needs. Child development, adoption, child welfare, maternity/pregnancy, counseling.

Rainbow Families of Illinois

  • For lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender parents and their children and those considering parenthood. Sponsors social, educational and advocacy programs for adults and kids of all ages.

Community Support Services-Brookfield

  • Dedicated to improving the lives of children and adults with developmental disabilities. Respite services, family support, supported parenting.

Juvenile Protective Association

  • Advocacy and treatment agency provides information, research, and child abuse, domestic violence, and child neglect prevention and treatment.

Illinois Action for Children

  • Nonprofit Organization for low-income children; “A catalyst for organizing, developing and supporting strong families and powerful communities where children matter most.”

The Arc of Illinois

  • The Arc of Illinois is the largest statewide advocacy organization for people with developmental disabilities. The Arc has developed a new Assistive Technology Program. This program will fund, or partially fund, the purchase of assistive technology for individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities who have received an evaluation/assessment from a qualified provider but the purchase is not subsidized by Medicaid, Medicare or Private Insurance.

One Hope United

American Academy of Pediatrics / Healthy Children

Special Education

Special Education

Pyramid PreK

  • PYRAMID PreK is located in Logan Square/Avondale neighborhood. Based on the child development pyramid, the program addresses the tier of sensory motor stability, which support upper tiers of fine motor, cognition, and social-emotional development. To keep students motivated and engaged, developmental and academic challenges are designed according to each child’s abilities. Multidisciplinary teaching strategies (e.g., DIR/Floor Time or ABA/Applied Behavior Analysis) and modalities such as Therapeutic Listening and Interactive Metronome are available to our enrolled students. Our program strives to help students develop the academic, social, and developmental skills necessary to be successful learners in typical elementary classroom settings.

Advocating for your child (Advocacy Groups/Attorneys)

Chicago Early Learning

Chicago Public Schools: Office of Diverse Learner Supports and Services

  • The Office of Diverse Learner Supports and Services (ODLSS) provides the tools to ensure that all Diverse Learners receive a high-quality public education that prepares students for success. ODLSS is responsible for student evaluations, creating and monitoring Individual Education Plans,, and working with schools, staff, and families to fulfill these plans towards greater student development and achievement.

Illinois Council for Exceptional Children

Illinois Special Ed

  • Resources for helping the parents of Illinois Special Education Children

Illinois State Board of Education

Illinois State Board of Higher Education

Illinois State Board of Education Special Education Services

SEA200-Special Education Alliance

  • An organization to bring parents and educators within together to share resources, educate the community about disabilities and build a strong partnership to enhance educational programming for children with special needs.

STEP: Secondary Transitional Experience Program

  • The Illinois Department of Human Services’ Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) is the state’s lead agency serving individuals with disabilities. As part of its continuum of coordinated transition services for youth with disabilities, DRS offers a wide range of these services to students at local high schools through STEP, a training/placement program that helps students with disabilities prepare to transition to employment and community participation during and after high school.

Acacia Academy

  • Private therapeutic day school for children with learning disabilities, autism and intellectually challenged children. Transition services and work study programs are available. Natural habitat and nature center located on campus.

Elim Christian Services Christian School

  • State-approved school that serves children (ages 3 to 22) who have developmental and/or physical disabilities. There are two main programs: Cross-Categorical Special Education and a specialized autism program.

Beard Special Education Center (and Beard Elementary School)

  • ISBE approved. Offers education and treatment for ASD, emotionally disabled and cognitively delayed children. Eclectic approach of services including discrete trial, sensory integration, behavioral, music and art therapy. Ages 3-9.

Beacon Therapeutic Day Schools

  • Special education services to children with emotional, behavioral or learning needs that exceed traditional elementary, junior high and high school programs.

City Elementary

  • Offers an educational program tailored to children with diverse learning styles and developmental needs. 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. Kindergarten through 3rd grade. Insurance not accepted.

Easter Seals Therapeutic School and Center for Autism Research

  • Program serves more than 100 school districts, emphasizing a wide-range of curriculum and activities that are based on the specific needs of each student. School provides on-site after school and developmental training program. Ages 3-22 years. Multiple campuses.

Helping Hand School for Autism

  • Full day year-round program. School uses research-based intervention modalities and teaching methods to assure best practice. Relies on a trans-disciplinary team approach in designing each child’s individualized program and curriculum. Ages 3-18.

Therapeutic Day school at Jewish Child and Family Services (JCFS)

  • Serves students K-12 who had difficulty in traditional school settings. Low student-teacher ratio and programming designed to meet the needs of children with special needs by alleviating behavioral and emotional struggles.

Rush Day School

  • Not-for-profit education and treatment program for autism spectrum and emotionally disabled children. Goal for each student is to return to a less restrictive school environment. Ages 6-14.

Specific Diagnoses / Medical Resources

Autism / ASD / PDD

Autism Speaks

  • Autism Speaks was founded in February 2005 by Bob and Suzanne Wright, grandparents of a child with autism. Since then, Autism Speaks has grown into the nation’s largest autism science and advocacy organization, dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. We are proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish and look forward to continued successes in the years ahead.

Rush University Medical Center — The Autism Resource Center

  • The Autism Resource Center at Rush University Medical Center provides referrals for families who have a child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. There are many areas that can be impacted by Autism, including language, social skills and behavior. Our mission at the Autism Resource Center (“ARC”) is to link children and families with appropriate services in order to improve the development of children with Autism and related disorders. The ARC team has developed an on-line resource guide to help families find referrals, from evaluations to summer programs to therapeutic day schools. To find an appropriate referral, please visit us at www.rush.edu/autism.

The Autism Program Service Center at Easter Seals Metropolitan Chicago

Autism Society of Illinois

Chicagoland Autism Connection

Chicago Autism Resources

The Autism Program of Illinois (TAP)

The Northwest Suburban Autism and Special Needs Parent Support and Information Email Group

Have Dreams

  • Have Dreams aspires to help children with autism improve their abilities to learn, function independently and socialize so that they may realize their full potential and develop into contributing members of their communities.

ADD / ADHD

Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD)

  • CHADD is a national non-profit organization providing education, advocacy and support for individuals with ADHD and was founded by parents of children with ADHD looking for information and support. Over the past twenty years, CHADD has developed a rich network of information and resources to help parents.

Hearing / Vision Impaired

Accredited Online Schools – Helping Students with Visual Impairments

  • Resources, tools and technology for students and families to foster school success. This online guidebook provides information on scholarships, accessing campus resources and assistive technology.

Chicago Lighthouse for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired

Illinois Advocates for the Deaf/Blind

Illinois Families for Hands and Voices

  • Illinois Families for Hands & Voices is a parent-driven, non-profit organization dedicated to supporting families that have children who are deaf and hard-of-hearing without a bias toward communication modes or methodologies. We want to provide Illinois families with the necessary resources, networking, and information in order to improve communication access and educational outcomes for their children. Our statewide activities, advocacy efforts, and parent/professional collaboration are all focused on enabling our deaf and hard-of-hearing children to reach their fullest potential!

National Family Association for the Deaf/Blind

Down Syndrome

National Association for Down Syndrome

  • NADS is the oldest organization in the country serving individuals with Down syndrome and their families. It was founded in Chicago in 1961 by parents who chose to go against medical advice and raised their children with Down syndrome at home. Our mission is to ensure that all persons with Down syndrome have the opportunity to achieve their potential in all aspects of community life. We offer information, support, and advocacy.

Family Ideas Network for Down Syndrome – Crystal Lake

Gigi’s Playhouse

Behavioral / Mental Healthcare

Alexian Brothers Behavioral Health Hospital

DBSA – Depression & Bipolar Support Alliance

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
(AMI) – Greater Chicago

OCD Chicago

Pillars

Thresholds Program for Family and Youth

  • Thresholds provides healthcare, housing, and hope for persons with mental illnesses in Illinois each year. Through care, employment, advocacy, and housing, Thresholds assists and inspires people with mental illnesses to reclaim their lives.

Thrive Counseling Center -Oak Park

  • Thrive counseling Center is constantly working to alleviate suffering and empower individuals and families to live healthier and more hopeful lives through a range of professional mental health and community prevention services.

Child & Family Development Center

  • The Child & Family Development Center (CFDC) is an interdisciplinary public service and research Center located on the campus of the University of Illinois-Chicago. This website is a resource for professionals, caregivers, and family members who want to learn more about early education, care, and development. CFDC is home to programs and professionals who work with and on behalf of young children with and without disabilities and their families.

Testing / Evaluations/ Assessments

Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center: The Pediatric Development Center

  • Call (773) 296-7340 for more information.

Advocate Lutheran General Hospital: Developmental Pediatric Clinic

  • Provides screening and evaluation for children with developmental delays. When appropriate, staff provides recommendations for therapies and family support services for children 3 to 18 years. Contact James Weedon, MD at (847) 723-2210.

Alexian Brothers Pediatric Specialty Group: Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics

  • Provides a comprehensive medical, developmental, behavioral and psychoeducational evaluation for birth to 18 years. Contact Nancy Keck, MD at (847) 490-4222.

Children’s Memorial Hospital Outpatient Center: Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics

  • Provides interdisciplinary evaluations for children with developmental and behavioral problems, including comprehensive medical, behavioral and developmental assessments for autism spectrum disorder for children birth to 6 years. Contact Dana Brazdziunas, MD at (800) KIDSDOC.

NorthShore University Health System: Center for Neurodevelopmental Disabilities

  • Developmental pediatrician screen and monitor any neurodevelopmental disability. Work with families and school on an appropriate care plan for children birth to 18 years.
    Contact Suan Fielkow, MD at (847) 570-2577.

Alan I. Rosenblatt, MD: Neurodevelopmental Pediatrician

  • Dr. Rosenblatt has three specialties: neurology, psychiatry and pediatrics. A comprehensive approach that addresses the needs of the child and family will be applied in a supportive and caring setting. Ages birth to 18 years. Call (847) 677-1818..

Rush University Medical Center: Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics

  • Provides interdisciplinary evaluations for children with developmental-behavioral problems, including comprehensive medical diagnostic assessments for autism spectrum disorders. Ochoa provides a report with his findings and recommendations, which include: further medical testing, a treatment plan, and specific recommendations for school services. Ages birth to 18 years. Ask for Cesar Ochoa, MD, at (312) 942-5983.

University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital: Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics

  • Provides screening and evaluation for children with developmental delays. Staff will evaluate child’s strengths and challenges and work with family to develop a care plan for ongoing developmental, behavioral and learning successes. When appropriate, staff provides recommendations for habilitative therapies (speech, occupational, developmental, physical) tutoring and family support services for children 3-5 years. Michael Msall, MD (Section Chief).

<h3Hearing/Audiology

Belle Center of Chicago

  • Provides assessment and speech and language therapy for ages 3-16. For more information, please contact Robin Schroud, Associate Director of Community Initiatives, at (773) 878-7868.

Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago: Pediatric Audiology

  • The Audiology Department offers comprehensive, collaborative and individualized hearing healthcare to children from infancy to young adults to 21 years of age. They provide state-of-the-art audiological services to diagnose, treat and habilitate children with hearing loss using evidence-based practices. Services include: early detection of hearing loss; referral to an ear, nose and throat (ENT) physician for evaluation if needed; fiting hearing aids or providing cochlear implantations; assistive listening devices to improve understanding speech in noise; referral for aural habilitation therapy and speech-language therapy; collaboration with community based physicians, audiologists, aural habilitation therapists, speech pathologists, classroom teachers and hearing itinerant teachers; community resources and education to families and their hearing impaired children; a social network to children and families.

Loyola Medicine: Pediatric Audiology

  • Offers help for the hearing and communication needs of children from birth through age 18. Provides children and their families with the most advanced diagnosis and treatment services in the field of audiology. Loyola’s audiologists partner with pediatricians, developmental specialists, speech therapists, reconstructive surgeons and otolaryngologists to offer treatment and support for a range of problems, including: apraxia of speech, auditory neuropathy, auditory processing disorders, deafness, ear injuries, genetic hearing loss, language and speech delays, nonverbal communication, tongue thrust, voice and resonance disorders. Please call (888) 584-7888 to schedule an appointment.

Advocate Lutheran General Audiology Services

  • Our Audiologists at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital offer a wide range of diagnostic, hearing aid and assistive listening device dispensing and counseling services to patients of all ages. For more information, please contact the Parkside Outpatient Rehab Services at (847) 723-7500.

Resurrection Medical Center Chicago Audiology Services

  • Audiological services are provided for the diagnosis and treatment of hearing disorders, including screenings, evaluations, and hearing aids for patients of all ages. For more information, please contact Resurrection at (773) 792-5258.

Neurological

Lurie Children’s Hospital: Division of Neurology

  • Provides comprehensive neurological assessments and follow-up testing for ages birth and up. Please contact Charles Swisher, MD at (800) 543-7362 to schedule an appointment.

Children’s Memorial at Central DuPage Hospital: Division of Neurology

  • Provides comprehensive neurological assessment and evaluation to determine diagnosis or provide follow-up testing for ages birth to 18. Please contact David B. Sperry, MD at (630) 933-1600 to schedule an appointment.

Elmhurst Center for Health

  • Provides comprehensive neurological assessments and follow-up testing for ages birth to 18 years. Please contact Rita Yadava, MD at (630) 530-5577 to schedule an appointment.

Glenbrook Hospital: Pediatric Neurology and Neurodevelopmental Disabilities

  • Provides comprehensive neurological evaluations to determine diagnosis and follow-up testing for ages birth to 18 years. Please contact Kent Kelley, MD at (847) 570-2577 to schedule an appointment.

Loyola Center for Children’s Health: Pediatric Neurology

  • Provides comprehensive neurological assessment and evaluation to determine diagnosis or provide follow-up testing for ages birth and up. Please contact Eugene Schnitzler, MD at (708) 216-3519 to schedule an appointment.

Neurotech

  • Specializes in conducting home-based EEG studies. A 24 hour EEG or longer (Ambulatory EEG) is the preferred method to properly diagnose seizure activity and frequency. Neurotech’s EEG technologists have experience working with adults and children, as well as individuals with physical and mental disabilities. Cal toll free (866) 374-7648; Main office (262) 754 – 0809. Ages birth and up.

Northshore University Health System: Pediatric Neurology and Neurodevelopmental Disabilities

  • Provides comprehensive neurological evaluations to determine diagnosis and follow-up testing for ages birth to 18 years. Please contact Kent Kelley, MD at (847) 570-2577 for more information.

Rush University Medical Center

  • Provides comprehensive neurological evaluations to determine diagnosis and follow-up testing. Please contact Peter Heydemann, MD and Elizabeth Berry-Kravis, MD at (312) 942-4036 to schedule an appointment.

Vision (Pediatric Optometry and Ophthalmology)

The Eye Specialists Center

  • Full-service ophthalmic care facility caring for children and adolescents with special needs. Specialties include expertise in visual issues related to education, ocular coordination problems, strabismus, amblyopia, retinopathy or prematurity, genetic ocular diseases, as well as surgical care of pediatric eyelid and facial abnormalities, ptosis, cataracts, glaucoma and tear duct obstruction for children birth and up. Please contact Alex Khammer, MD and Benjamin Hendrik Ticho, MD at (708) 423-4070 to schedule an appointment.

Rush University Medical Center: Pediatric Ophthalmology

  • Provides comprehensive, state-of-the art treatment for pediatric eye problems. Services include: normal vision care, glasses, glaucoma, cataracts, strabismus, inflammatory conditions, retinopathy, retinoblastoma, and eye cancers for birth and up. Please contact Nancy Hamming, MD; Diany Morales, MD; Katherine Brito, MD at (312) 942 – 5315 for more information.

Lyons Family Eye Care

  • Provides comprehensive care of family’s eye and vision needs and a wide range of services by doctors and staff committed to using the most advanced technology and techniques to provide exceptional eye care. Experience with children with special needs. Services include: Eye exams, optical collection, contact lenses, vision therapy, infantSEE. Please contact (773) 935-2020 to schedule an appointment; or visit their location in 3250 N. Lincoln Ave, Chicago IL 60657.

Advocate Children’s Hospital: Ophthalmology

  • Leaders in pediatric ophthalmology, they offer state-of-art diagnostic, surgical and treatment capabilities for everything from simple eye conditions to the most complex cases. Services include: eye examination and testing, glasses, laser treatment in the nursery for retinopathy of prematurity, pediatric cataract surgery with intraocular lens implantation, silicone tube treatment of tear duct obstruction, surgical intervention. To find a specialist, call: (855) 312-KIDS (855-312-5437).

Neil N. Margolis, FCOVD

  • Eye care services, including eye exams and vision therapy for children and adolescents with special needs, ages birth to 18. Please contact (847) 255-1040 to schedule an appointment or visit their location in 1120 N. Arlington Heights Rd, Suite 200, Arlington Heights, IL 60004.

Dental Care

Smile Dental Care – Sukhjit Kaur

  • Birth to 10 years. 7011 W. Archer Ave, Chicago IL 60638.

Tall Grass Dental – John W. Milgram, DDS

  • Dental care services for children and adolescents with special needs. 24111 W. 103rd St, Naperville IL 60564.

Fredric S. Tatel DDS and Associates, Ltd.

  • Dental care services for children and adolescents with special needs. 16345 Harlem Ave, Tinley Park IL 60477.

Yummy Dental – Grace Yum, DDS

  • Dental services for children and adolescents with special needs. 3500 N. Lincoln Ave, Chicago IL 60657.

Other diagnoses, syndromes, or disorders

United Cerebral Palsy (UCP)

  • UCP is the leading source of information on cerebral palsy and is a pivotal advocate for the rights of persons with any disability. As one of the largest health charities in America, the UCP mission is to advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people with disabilities through an affiliate network.

Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago

American Association for Klinefelter Syndrome Information and Support

The United Brachial Plexus Network

  • UBPN is a registered non-profit 501(c)3 organization devoted to providing information, support and leadership for families and those concerned with brachial plexus injuries worldwide. Available resources include: Our extensive website; Online registry, various outreach and awareness programs, and Outreach, our in-depth publication. Beginning in 2000, UBPN will also produce an annual comprehensive Resource Directory.

Spina Bifida Association of Illinois

The National Organization for Rare Disorders

  • NORD is a unique federation of voluntary health organizations dedicated to helping people with rare “orphan” diseases and assisting the organizations that serve them, and is committed to the identification, treatment, and cure of rare disorders through programs of education, advocacy, research, and service.

Tourette Syndrome Association of Illinois

American Brain Tumor Association

Brain Injury Association of Illinois

Shriner’s Hospital

Spinal Cord Injury Association of Illinois

Oppositional Defiant Disorder

Sensory Processing Disorder

Fragile X Syndrome

Speech Disorders (Childhood Apraxia of Speech, Dysarthria, Orofacial Myofunctional disorders, Speech Sound Disorders, Stuttering)

Intellectual Disability

Obsessive-Compulsive disorder (OCD)

Other medical resources

Medlineplus

  • MedlinePlus will direct you to information to help answer health questions. MedlinePlus brings together authoritative information from NLM, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and other government agencies and health-related organizations. Preformulated MEDLINE searches are included in MedlinePlus and give easy access to medical journal articles. MedlinePlus also has extensive information about drugs, an illustrated medical encyclopedia, interactive patient tutorials, and latest health news.

Financial Resources and Links for Families

The ARC of Illinois presents: Technology Assistance

  • Program will fund, or partially fund, the purchase of assistive technology for individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. Maximum is $500 per person or family.

AutismCares – Family Support Awards

  • Awards grants of up to $1,500 for families facing crisis.

Celebrate Differences

  • Provides academic scholarships to individuals with disabilities and siblings/peers residing in the state of Illinois.

Council for Exceptional Children (CEC)

  • Five awards to enable people with disabilities to gain access to technologies which advance independence.

UIC Specialized Care for Children

  • Care coordinators who help families gain access to special services regardless of income. Services include (but are not limited to): accessing free diagnostic tests, finding specialized medical care, using insurance and All Kids/Medicaid, finding resources and information, developing a care coordination plan, communicating with doctors, school and specialists, preparing for transition. Financial assistance available based on income guidelines. Assistance available for specialized medical treatment such as surgery, medication, therapy, wheelchairs and hearing aids.

UnitedHealthCare Children’s Fund

  • Offers medical grants to families with young children who need access to medical services (therapy or costly procedures) but are either not fully covered or not covered at all through their commercial insurance plans (BCBS, UHC, Aetna, etc. DOES NOT include Medicaid) The grant offers up to $5,000 annually per child ($10,000 lifetime). Families do not need to be insured by United.

PUNS – Prioritization of Unmet Need for Services

In 2003, the Illinois General Assembly created a cross-disability database or waiting list for services for people with disabilities in Illinois. The State now collects information from families using a survey tool called the Prioritization of Urgency of Need for Service (PUNS). The PUNS is for anyone anticipating the need for services in the next five years.

How to get listed on the PUNS?

Call your local Pre-Admission Screening (PAS) Agency (or “ISC Agency”). They must fill out the survey for you with your input. You can identify your PAS agency on the web at http://www.dhs.state.il.us/OfficeLocator or see the list at the bottom of this document.

Your PAS agency representative will make an appointment to meet with you, either in your home or in their office. We are also working with PAS agencies to set up convenient “PUNS registration events” on weekends or at night. The process of filling out the form involves a face-to face conversation between the PAS agent and the person with a disability, a family member or a guardian, and any other person the individual with a disability wishes to include. The survey represents the combined perception of all these parties.

The PUNS survey must be updated on an annual basis. After twelve months, a notice should be issued to all parties of the need to update the form. If not updated, an additional warning will be submitted of the intent to close the PUNS record.

Also, please remember that inclusion in the database does not assume eligibility for services or guarantee the receipt of services.

Just what are Pre-Admission Screening agencies and what do they do?

Pre-Admission Screening (PAS) is really a service that is provided by Independent Service Coordination (ISC) Agencies. Eighteen such agencies are located around the state for easy access. You do not get to choose which agency you want to use. You must use the one in your geographic area. Pre-Admission Screening is a process through which eligibility for certain state-funded services is determined. Independent Service Coordination Agencies can help connect individuals with disabilities to services for which they have been determined eligible. They can also connect you to other helpful services. Independent Service Coordination Agencies are the backbone of the service system as they provide choices and options to people and their families as they access the maze of services.

Service Coordination Agencies (aka “PAS agencies”)

Find which is yours by typing in your county and “Developmental Disabilities” here: http://www.dhs.state.il.us/OfficeLocator

 

Options & Advocacy of McHenry Country 815-477-4720
Pact, Inc, Lombard 800-637-7181
Suburban Access, Homewood 708-799-9190
Service, Inc., Joliet 815-741-0800
DayOneNetwork, Batavia 630-879-2277
Community Service Options, Chicago 773-884-1000
Community Alternatives Unlimited, Chicago 773-867-4000
Access Services Northern IL, Loves Park 815-282-8824
Community Service Options, Moline 309-278-0022
Western IL Service Coordination, Macomb 309-833-1621
Central IL Service Access, Pekin 309-527-7202
Livingston Co. 708 Board, Pontiac 815-844-7708
Champaign Co. Regional Planning, Urbana 217-328-3313
D.D. Service Metro East, Belleville 618-236-7957
West Central Service Coordination, Pittsfield 217-285-5227
Prairieland Service Coordination, Decatur 217-864-0494
Great River Service Coordination, Jacksonville 217-243-2330
Southern IL Case Coordination, Centralia 800-828-7422

Call them TODAY and get listed.

Who knows, you may even find that you are eligible for existing services. Even if you are not, the State needs to know that we are out there and in need of help.

Adapted from Family Support Network

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