Special Needs Services
Visiting the Library
Click on the link to the social story This Is My Library (Esta Es Mi biblioteca) to help prepare your child for your visit to the Library. This quick overview of the physical building and what activities to expect will help reduce the anxiety your child may feel about visiting the Library for the first time.
The Library has recently added a number of new resources to our Youth Services collection including adapted books, Braille books, ebooks and audiovisual materials.
Autism Speaks is a leading 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. Please email Chicago@AutismSpeaks.org or call 224-567-8573 at any time to connect to your Autism Speaks Chicagoland Chapter staff person.
The Autism Resource Center at Rush University Medical Center provides referrals for families who have a child with an autism spectrum disorder. The Autism Resource Center’s team has developed an online resource guide to help families find referrals in the following counties: Lake, McHenry, Kane, DuPage, Cook, Kendall, Will, Grundy and Kankakee.
Chicago Parent provides resources, tips, inspiration and more for parents of children with special needs.
Common Sense Media’s Learning Differences and Special Needs Apps Guide offers a host of fun, well-designed apps that were recommended and tested by field experts for use by children with special needs. Hopefully, they can become a part of your toolkit as you work with your child in the digital world.
The Facebook group Early Intervention Support for Parents in NW Suburban Chicago is administered by a local speech-language pathologist to offer a way for families whose children receive therapy services to connect.
Easter Seals DuPage & Fox Valley has become one of the largest and most highly regarded pediatric outpatient rehabilitation centers in the Midwest. Easter Seals DuPage & Fox Valley serves more than 3,200 infants, children and young adults with developmental disabilities each year. In addition to providing children and young adults with traditional physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy, our services now also include assistive technology therapy, medical nutrition therapy, evaluations, audiology, social services, community outreach programs, a child development center, specialty clinics, and a continuing education program.
The Illinois Early Intervention Program provides a collection of services for families of children from birth to age 3 who have disabilities or developmental delays or who are at risk of having developmental delays. Families are the key to successful early intervention. The mission of the Illinois Early Intervention Clearinghouse is to provide families with the information they need to support their children’s growth and development.
llinois STARNET provides a variety of opportunities for personal and professional growth for those who touch the lives of young children, ages birth through eight, with an emphasis on children with special needs. STARNET supports family-centered, researched and effective practices in early childhood education and care.
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has developed some web pages and resources specifically for parents of students with disabilities. Online tools include A Parent’s Guide – Educational Rights and Responsibilities: Understanding Special Education in Illinois. This document is available in English and Spanish. The appendices also include quick references, a glossary of terms, and sample letters. The Illinois Student Records Keeper: For Parents of Students Who Receive Special Education Services is a booklet for parents to use to keep important information about their child and his/her special education and related services. It is a companion to A Parent’s Guide – Educational Rights and Responsibilities: Understanding Special Education in Illinois.
Learn about your Rights and Responsibilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Make informed decisions about your child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) Learn more about Early Intervention and transition services.
Western DuPage Special Recreation Association (WDSRA) has programs for special needs children as young as 3 for many interests including competitive and recreational athletics, Special Olympics, adaptive sports, music, dance, art, theater, social clubs, camps, trips, special events and more.