Autism News Network


Packet of Information for Parents New to Autism,

 (on-line version)

(an on-going work in progress. Many parents have provided input -   contact JFS ,  with info.)

This project preceded the broadband, internet age.  When I was writing the print edition of the AutismNews, many parents would call for advice, and I would mail them a printed package.  We no longer mail out a monthly newsletter, nor mail a printed package of the information listed on these pages.  We have included the contents on this web page instead.  Keeping the packet up to date has proved elusive, so if the information listed on these pages is not current, your best bet is to contact the on-line group.

There is help "out there" for parents of newly diagnosed children.  One difficulty is that not only do you need to learn about many different therapies, treatments, and potential support services all at once, but also have to decide what help to seek first - set up an ABA program or do floortime?  Try a special diet, or do an overnight EEG?  Arrange for private speech and OT, or accept as sufficient what your local school offers?  It helps to reach out to other parents, both on the phone and in person, and the best place to find them is through a support group.  I have listed here all I know of in Northern Illinois - do not hesitate to call  the person listed for each group for meeting dates and times.

Most important: join the on-line list.  If the information you seek is not on the page, then some one on the 500-member list might know.  You can most any autism-related question.  You can choose from several delivery options, from individual emails as replies are posted, or get one daily digest.  We like to swap contact information for different therapists and therapies, and pass on promising research.

Packet Contents

Support Groups Illinois Family Assistance Program Books Articles
Newsletters Therapies/Treatments Private Schools Dietary Treatments
"Twelve Commandments" Research More Resources ABA
Educational Materials Autism Society therapy summary Extra Stuff tax deductions updated link!
Help for Visitors


Important first steps

Support Groupsribbon

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Algonquin  Parent Support Group Bram 847/352-7678
Aurora Aurora East Child Service Center Karen Lotito 630-966-9640
Bloomington McClean County
(309) 661-9440
Bolingbrook -  Far West Suburban ASI Chapter. Joanna:  630/969-1094
Chicago -  Metropolitan ASI  Chapter. Grace:  773/233-4716
Chicago -  Illinois Masonic Parent Support Group Wendy: 773/296-5677
Chicago-  Chicago South Side ASI Chapter Wanda 773/778-5125
Elgin  Parent Support Group at  Easter Seals ext. 123 847/742-3264 
Elmhurst  Parent Support Group  Center Speech & Language Disorders
Flossmoor -  Chicago South Suburban ASI Chapter Marie 708/206-0379
Freeport -  Special Needs Parent Support Group Beth 
Geneva -  Spectrum Support Group. Shelley S 630/208-8880
Gurnee  Northeast ASI Chapter. Eric 847/543-4502
Hickory Hills Parent Support Group Druanne 708/599-0098
Macomb Tri-State Autism Association Peggy Roth (309) 837-5297
Naperville Parent Support Group Bernie 630/357-8569
Oak Lawn Parent Support Group Amalia 708/346-1356
Oak Park Aspergers/High-Functioning  Support Group Debbie 708/383-1209
Park Ridge Parent -2-Parent Eva: 847/699-1223
Peoria Parent Support Group Lauri 309/697-3300
River Forest Interdisciplinary Council on Development & Learning Disorders Jane 708/771-1918
Rockford Northwest Illinois Autism  Support Group Patty 815/965-3379
Romeoville Parent Support Group Miki: 815/886-0080
Schaumburg Northwest Suburban ASI  Chapter Randee 847/884-9194
Skokie  North Suburban ASI Chapter Michael 847/541-9969
Villa Park Parent Support Group Sharon 630/620-4433
Wheaton Advocacy 200 Brian 630/690-6385

there are also Sibling support groups listed below.


First things: Since there is a lot of stuff in this packet I have **starred** what to read or contact first.


Especially get on the mailing list for free StarNet and the Illinois Early Intervention Clearinghouse newsletters and info.

I have loosely organized the following information based on type (books, articles, newsletters, therapies, etc). I should note that I am  predisposed to favor information about ABA  and  checking for abnormal overnight EEGs.  This preference is simply because those therapies help my kid - other parents have kids whose respond better to different therapies, dietary treatments, etc.  You will be able to access those parents and find out more then I provide here about those topics by, again, attending support groups, and contacting the sources I do include in this packet.  What therapies you  invest your time, money, and hopes for improvement in you childís quality of life need to be carefully considered.  Ultimately,  you will base your choices on what proves to help your child the most, not on any doctor or therapistís charisma, or pressure from other parents to do what they have found helps their kid.  Given that caveat, let us proceed  - the first book I wish to mention is one I  recommend as a very balanced and objective overview of available treatments.