AutismNews Network

Current support groups meetings page

 This page is a list of support group meetings for those groups which have emailed an announcement of a meeting to this web site.  If you are looking for a meeting and it is not here, you may  have success finding a group by  checking the list of groups in the New Parent Packet or by looking in past issues of the monthly newletter, available from the home page.  This site is intended for Illinois parents.
To post here, please send an email to  Please do not send announcements as attachments in MS Word format.  We must keep the format simple-- fast loading and quickly updated.

Check the monthly newletter first.
This list is nothing fancy, as you can see.  We will try to keep the announcements in chronological order, and try to  update  the page weekly.

Last updated: whenever

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Family Matters

Parent Training & Information Center
#866-436-7842 ext 109


Professionals Welcome Too!

April 3, 2004
2501 W Windsor Road, Champaign
8:30 registration Workshop 9:00 am _Çô 4:00pm
Workshop Topics: You can attend either one of the workshops or spend the day!
9:00 am 12 noon

Autism & Literacy This workshop will provide participants with information on the benefit of literacy as a back door to learning and expanding language. Participants will see examples of adapted and interactive books from a variety of skill levels. Participants will create a book around a meaningful event, topic or song for their learners. Materials created will be useful at home as well as at school. Participants are encouraged to bring photos, brochures and artifacts about an event, topic or theme to use to create a book.
Presented by Cherie Layer, B.S. and Wendy Partridge, M.S.
Cherie Layer has been teaching for 16 years in a variety of settings. Currently she is teaching a preschool class for students with a diagnosis of Autism. She is a parent of two children, one of whom has a developmental disability.
Wendy Partridge is the Regional Consultant Manager for the Illinois Autism/PDD Training and Technical Assistance Project. For the past 6 years Wendy has worked with various agencies and districts across Illinois to support learners with autism in their home, school and communities. She provides technical assistance with special interest in inclusion, visual supports, friendships, literacy and technology. Wendy is the mother of two sons, one of whom has autism.
The SibShop is a FREE lively mixture of new games, discussion, and activities for brothers and sisters ages 6-13 years old of siblings with all disabilities. Participants should dress comfortably and be ready for action. LIMIT TO 20 CHILDREN. The SibShop is being offered by Mary Smith of STARNET.
12:00 noon 1:00pm
The Windsor Road Youth Group is offering lunch for $6.00 _Çô monies donated for their mission trip. Indicate Lunch when registering.
1:00 pm 4:00pm
Autism/PDD 101 Participants will better understand the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder in the young child and what to do next! Interventions for the home, school and community will be discussed and demonstrated. LOTS OF GREAT RESOURCES!
Presented by Sandy Valentine and Wendy Partridge, M.S.
Sandy Valentine is the Assistant Project Director for the Illinois Autism/PDD Training and Technical Assistance Project. Sandy is the mom of three children, Jack, the youngest has autism. Since the time Jack was diagnosed with autism, Sandy has devoted herself to helping others understand the way a child diagnosed in the spectrum learns, reads, and reacts to his/her world and other people. She also keeps! up with the latest research, treatments and ideas to help these children. Sandy was with STARNET for 9 years.
There is no charge for the conference, but you must register!
Limited space available for childcare
Pre-registration required (Information required: Name, Age, Any Special Considerations)
SIGN UP NOW! Space is limited for these workshops!
When registering, please specify if you will attend Literacy, Autism 101 or both.
To register: Call Carla Oldham at 217.351.6764 or email
This workshop is sponsored by the Illinois Autism/PDD Training and Technical Assistance Project in conjunction with its Family Resource Specialist Network. Carla Oldham is the Family Resource Specialist for East Central Illinois.

Giant Steps Illinois has two upcoming workshops for families:

January 24, 2004
Sibshop for Siblings of Children with Autism

Cost $10.00/ child

Lunch will be served

February 2, 2004
Behavioral Supports for the Home

This workshop will present techniques to address issues such as behavior
managment, self-stimulatory behaviors, toliet training, chores and responsibility.

This is a free workshop

Both workshops will take place at Giant Steps Illinois;
8320 S. Madison Street; Burr Ridge, IL

To register for either workshop, please contact Nicole Allgood @ (630) 455-5730

Center for Speech and Language

call 630-530-8551, ext 104. Elmhurst
April 15, 2003, 6:45-8:45 pm
Marrea Winnega, PhD presents a discussion of Intervention Strategies, including TEACCH, ABA, and Social Stories.

May 20, 2003, 6:45- 8:45 pm
Glen Penkava presents Toilet Training for Children with Special Needs.


Our next Meeting: Tuesday, March 4, 2003
Skokie Village Hall, 5127 W. Oakton, Lower Level - Annex Room, 7:00 to
9:00 P.M.

Our March meeting will feature guest speaker Deborah Michael OT, in her
presentation Titled "Beyond Traditional Pediatric OT-PT-Speech Therapy
For Your Child with Autism Spectrum Disorders" Mrs. Michael will
discuss how specialized occupational and speech therapy can affect your
child's performance by enhancing your child's motor skills, expanding play
skills and supporting your behavioral support plans.

Deborah Michael earned her master's degree in occupational therapy from
Rush Medical Center in Chicago. Leading up to her post-graduate
training, Deborah worked as a mental health consultant for Head Start in
Chicago, as a teacher's assistant for an elementary school for children with
neurodevelopmental issues, and has spent many years as a volunteer for
several child-centered organizations.

Deborah is currently the founder and co-director of North Shore
Pediatric Therapy, Inc. (NSPT). The clinics are located in Glenview, Highland
Park, and Lincoln Park. They provide occupational, speech and physical
therapy services, specializing in sensory integration and oral-motor
techniques. Other services include social skills groups, therapeutic
listening, and parent support groups. NSPT understands the challenges that
families with children who have autism spectrum disorder faces. NSPT
collaborates with many top professionals in the Chicagoland area and
advocates for children who have Autism and other Developmental Disorders.
NSPT is the fastest growing therapy center in Chicago, and utilizes
family feedback, sensitivity, and never-ending education to bring hope and
progress to the children. Please plan to attend this meeting and learn
more about how OT-PT-Speech Therapy can help your child.


for Children Ages 6-12 -

Sibshops offer brothers and sisters of children with developmental, physical, and learning disabilities, emotional problems, and/or medical issues an opportunity to meet other siblings in a relaxed supportive and recreational setting.

They are able to discuss their common joys and concerns, learn how to handle common situations and have fun!

Sundays, March 2, April 6, May 4 & June 1, 2:00pm to 5:00pm. 255 Revere Dr., Ste. 200, Northbrook, IL

Fees: $25 per session (scholarships are available)  You may register for one, two, three or all the Sibshops.  To register for Sibshops or for more information contact Tamara Besser, LCSW at (847) 412-4357

"Out of Sync Club" Support group meeting

New support group for parents.  First meeting was held with two couples and a third mom in attendance and it was wonderful.  Parents come to hear each other's issues, network and get solutions.  An OT or a speech therapist and a counselor are assisting at each meeting.

Every-other Tuesday at the Glenview clinic (May add groups in Highland Park and Lincoln Park clinics in the future if there is a need).
7-8 PM for 1 to 5 year olds
8-9 PM for 6 to 10 year olds

North Shore Pediatric Therapy
1308 Waukegan Road, Suite 103
Glenview, IL 60025
Please RSVP to Deborah Michael or Katie Puszynski at 847-486-4140

How to Travel the Maze of a School District for Special Education Services

April 1, 2003 Springfield

The Asperger Syndrome Support & Awareness of Central Illinois Welcomes Mary Loken, Ph.d.

Dr. Loken is a consultant with the Sangamon ROE Staff Development Center, a position she has held since 1993. Prior to joining ROE 51, she served as an Administrator for Special Education and Alternative Programs with the Springfield Public Schools. She serves as n Adjunct Professor at the University of Illinois- Springfield and as Adjunct Faculty with the SIU Medical School in psychiatry and pediatrics.

Tuesday, April 1st  At the Springfield Lincoln Library (corner of 7th and Capital Street)  6:45 pm- 8:15 pm

There is free parking under the Lincoln Library. You enter from the North side of the Library as you are coming down 7th street.
They are asking for a $5.00 donation per person, if possible.
 R.S.V.P.: Diana Noble 585-7276 or

No other groups are listed yet.
Send your next meeting information so it can be listed here.

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North Suburban Autism Chapter

Our next Meeting: Tuesday, January 7, 2003
Skokie Village Hall
5127 W. Oakton
Lower Level - Community Room
7:00 to 9:00 P.M.
WE WILL HAVE AN OPEN DISCUSSION OF YOUR QUESTIONS AND CONCERNS - Please join us to network with other parents and professionals and use this opportunity to benefit from each others experiences.

Last month when Dr. Thomas Owle, MD, spoke we had over 40 people in attendance. One of our largest turn outs ever!!

Plan to attend this first meeting of the new year. It should be an interesting night of conversation on individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Our returning president Michael Kanter will be on hand to facilitate this meeting. Any questions: E-mail NorSubAsi@Aol.Com.

Welcome, (or welcome back), to the North Suburban Autism Chapter! Your decision to join this organization is appreciated!  As an affiliate member of the Autism Society of America, you will receive the National, State and Chapter Newsletters, and all other mailings on the most current events related to Autism. This membership also entitles you to a vote in all elections held by these organizations and special discounts on conferences.  Additionally, your local membership will provide you with an opportunity to network with other families and professionals involved in the education and welfare of those with autism spectrum disorders, through attendance at monthly meetings.  Please contact our chapter president, Michael Kanter with questions: (847) 541-9969.

Northeastern Illinois AS
Our speaker from MedicClaim Consultants will be unable to speak at the 1/9/03 meeting. We will reschedule this topic for later in the year.

We will have an open parent discussion night and also discuss the upcoming Autism Awareness month as well as the 5k Run/walk.

The Classroom Connection

January 21st, 7:00p.m.

Dr. Neil Margolis, Developmental Optometrist, will discuss Functional Vision and the Development of your Child.
Wine and Cheese will be served.
No charge for presentation, but please RSVP to 847  681 0324.

 2868 Skokie Valley Road; Suite Four;
Highland Park, IL  60035

Special Needs Support Group Meeting:
Presenter:  Jennifer Bollero
Topic:  Negotiating an Effective IEP
Date:  Monday, January 27, 2003
Time:  7:30 to 9:00
Place:  Community Therapy Services / 2700 Keslinger  Road / Geneva, IL
Please r.s.v.p. to the CTS clinic at 630-208-8880

Northwest Suburban Autism Chapter
Next Meeting: Tuesday, January 28th, 2002 at 7:30 p.m.
Schaumburg Township Meeting Hall. 1 Illinois Blvd. (Corner of Illinois & Schaumburg Rd.)

At the January meeting we will be having a presentation by Dr. Micheal Frey PH.D and his associate, Dr. John Frampton PSY.D from Comprehensive Psychological Services in Arlington Heights. It should be very informative, so mark your calendars!!

North Suburban Autism Chapter

Monthly Meeting

Our next Meeting: Tuesday, February 4, 2003
                              Skokie Village Hall
                              5127 W. Oakton
                              Lower Level - Community Room
                              7:00 to 9:00 P.M.

Our February 4, 2003, meeting will feature guest speaker Diane Gould, LCSW, who will discuss issues confronting siblings of those with Autism Spectrum Disorder in "Aren't I special Too? " Ms. Gould, Has broad experience which includes development of support groups for parents, siblings and grandparents: a home visiting program for high-risk mothers and infants, inclusion consultation, parent education programs, and family camps.
     Ms. Gould has also administered respite and recreation programs for youth and adults with special needs. She has published on the subject of home based support services. Ms. Gould has worked for both private agencies and school systems including fifteen years at the Jewish Children's Bureau. She was part of the professional team that rewrote the Illinois Day Care Licensing Standards to make them more inclusive. Ms. Gould was a member of the Safe Environments Committee for the Illinois Department of Human Services and also serves on the Professional Advisory Committee of the Illinois Autism Society and is a facilitator for the Illinois Autism/PDD Training and Technical Assistance Project. Ms. Gould is a frequent presenter on family support issues on the local, state, and national level. She currently works for the Niles Township District for Special Education and has a private social work practice in the suburbs of Chicago. Plan to attend this meeting as you will not want to miss this most informative speaker.

District U-46 presents "How to prepare for an IEP" panel discussion.
February 4, 2003, 7-9 pm
355 E. Chicago St, Elgin, IL
847-888-5000, ext 5068

Autism Society of America-Northeast Illinois Chapter

February 13th 2003  7:00 p.m.
Warren Special Recreation Association building - southwest corner of
Washington and Almond Gurnee Illinois

Brian Rubin and Mary Ann Ehlert discussing Special needs trusts and financial planning
contact Eric L. Smith 847-543-4502 for information

District U-46 Calling-All-Support-Groups Forum

February 25, 2003
Elgin Central, 355 E. Chicago St., Elgin, IL, 7-9 pm.
A night for parents of children with all disabilities.  Parents are given the opportunity to form their own groups and exchange information.  Existing support groups (autism, ADHD and others) will also be there to join.  Special Oympics, NW Special Recreation, and Elgin Parks and Recreation will also make a 5 minute introduction of their services for children with disabilities.
Child care will be provided free for all ages.  Call 847-888-5000, ext 5068 to RSVP child care needs.

On February 4, 2003, the District will host a panel discussion on How to Prepare for an IEP Meeting. 7-9 pm

On Janurary 22, 2003, the Superintendent stated that the District would implement cuts which will targeted Special Education most of all.  (See the excerpt of the news page.)  Paid consultants suggested cutting a huge portion of the Special Education budget.  Your help is needed to prevent these ill-conceived cuts. Please come to the above meetings and sign up for a citizen's task force to save your child's future.


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