Autism News Network


New Parent Packet, continued

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.

Before you do anything else, read the following and make the phone call:

**Illinois Family Assistance Program**: pays a monthly stipend to help with the costs of caring for a child (17 or under, there is a separate program for 18 and up called the Home Based Support Services Program) with a severe mental disability. Autism is a covered disability. It pays $446 per month or $5352 yearly. This money is awarded by lottery only.  There is a family income requirement of less than $50,000 per year after deductions (I have heard this amount may be raised). The number for more information on this program (request a sign-up card!) is at the Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities - 800/843-6154.

Funding for this program is being reduced.  Contact  to see how you can help.


$2500 Consumer Stipends And The Importance of PUNS

In the not to distant future, there will be about $350,000 available for one-time consumer & family support stipends. Criteria for the stipends are not yet finalized. The maximum amount of a stipend will be up to $2,500.00. Attention will be given to geographic distribution. The two main priorities for the stipends are goods and services that improve the independence, productivity, and community integration of the person with a disability; and goods and services that increase the stability of the family unit and assist the family in supporting the person with a disability in the family home.

The catch is that in order to qualify for one of these stipends, you need tobe signed up on the Illinois Prioritization of Urgency of Need for Services (Illinois PUNS)!

The fact is that all future services/supports or changes in services/supports will be through the PUNS database. The PUNS database is for infants, children, adolescents and adults.

To register for the PUNS, you must contact the local Individual Service Coordination Organization in your area. If you do not know who that is, you can call the Illinois Life Span Project at 800.588.7002 or visit their website

For further information, contact the Illinois Life Span Project: 800.588.7002 or
Thanks to Tony Paulauski for this info!

The Arc of Illinois
The Arc of Illinois is committed to empowering persons with disabilities to achieve full participation in community life through informed choices.

Illinois Life Span is the statewide information and advocacy coordination system for people with developmental disabilities.

The Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS)  is implementing a statewide process to determine the number of developmentally disabled Illinois residents who are in need of services.

The PUNS process (Illinois Prioritization of Urgency of Need for Services) will allow Illinois to establish a database of developmentally disabled individuals and also prioritize their need for services. DHS has hired a consultant, Ms. Celia Feinstein, to oversee this process and initiative. She has been very successful in five other states in obtaining additional funding. The process involves completion of a PUNS form. The form is to be completed with a face to face conversation with the individual to be served, and the individualês guardian, primary care giver, or parent and the individualês PAS agency. If you donêt know your pass agency visit or call: Springfield: 217-524-0260 or Chicago: 312-814-2735.

The PUNS initiative is for developmentally delayed individuals of all ages and its purpose is to establish an accurate database. It is the first step in establishing a list of who needs what service. It is important to remember that ñinclusion in the database does not assume eligibility for services or guarantee the receipt of services.î Since DHS has been given the opportunity to collect this data, contact your PAS agency to obtain further information and determine your next step.


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!