Autism News Network


Packet of Information for Parents New to Autism,

 (on-line version)

NEWSLETTERS    and Other Good Stuff

There is also now an on-line list, primarily for parents in Illinois, to network, ask questions, get updated meeting or conference information that  for more information or to sign up: click
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**StarNet** is an agency funded by the Illinois Department of Education which offers ìFamily Fellowshipsî of $300 to families to enable them to attend workshops and conferences in the area. StarNet also has a free, very extensive circulating library of books, audio and video tapes, a large percentage of which deal with autism. It is very up to date and you can always request that they purchase an item if they do not have it. They have a very small parent membership and a very large professional one and are striving to increase parental use of their services. There are different locations depending on your area: Northwest/Central Regions I & III (Macomb and surrounding):309-298-1634; Northern Region II (DesPlaines and surrounding):847-803-3565: Southern Region IV (Belleville and surrounding):618-397-8930;  Region V (Chicago):773-553-3413; South Suburbs are Region VI 708-957-7010. I do recommend calling the StarNet nearest you and getting on their mailing list - they also sponsor MANY workshops for parentís of children with soecial needs on all sorts of useful topics.

**Illinois Early Childhood Intervention Clearinghouse**  provides a similar program. The phone number for information on this program is 800/852-4302. The program provides up to $400 per individual (disabled, parent, guardian or immediate family member of a disabled person) to attend  conferences on disability issues (does not have to be local conference - I used one stipend to attend a conference in Maryland!) or $600 per family every 2 years.  They also have a huge library of books to loan, and articles  (copies are free). [Most of the articles listed in this  packet are available via the Clearinghouse or StarNet.]


Respite, a break for caregivers and families, is a service in which temporary care is provided to a child or adult with disabilities, or chronic or terminal illnesses, and to persons at risk of abuse and neglect. Respite can occur in out-of-home and in-home settings for any length of time, depending on the needs of the family and available resources.

As a vital part of the continuum of services for families, respite helps prevent out-of-home placements and possible abuse and neglect situations, preserves the family unit, and supports family stability.

National Respite Locator Service
helps parents, caregivers, and professionals find respite services in their state and local area. The service is also useful when a family travels or must move to another state.

There seems to be two different kinds of respite care available;  the first is funded by the United Way that pays for respite workers (you usually have to find your own worker but they will be paid) and the second is unfunded so you pay -at Clearbrook $50 per month for a volunteer who will come into your home each week for about 4 hours usually in the evenings to care for all your children or at Easter Seals you pay $8 per hour and there is no limit.  Some families use the first (free) kind to hire ABA therapists. With an autism diagnosis your child is probably eligible for about 15 hours per month of paid respite.  There are different agencies to contact for the funded type depending on your region. One knowledgeable agencyiss Glenkirk, call and  they will direct you to the appropriate agency for your location. They are at 847/394-2171. Other contacts are: Clearbrook Center at 847/634-2420,  Easter Seals 847/501-3921.  Or contact any social worker or social services ageny - if they do not provide respite they jolly well should be able to tell you who does in your area.

Autism Resource Network - has a quarterly newsletter full of  up-to-date information, and a wonderful mail order book store of the best literature on autism (also some educational toys etc.)  You will want to contact  them for a **free book store catalog** and sample newsletter.  Write the Autism Resource Network,  5123 Westmill Rd., Minnetonka, MN  55345.    (612)988-0088.

Autism Research Review - Another quarterly newsletter!  Summarizes a lot of the medical research that is going on regarding autism, so you donít have to read  dozens of pithy technical journals.  Published by Bernard Rimland, Ph.D.,  parent of an adult child with autism, and head of the Autism Research Institute. ARI also has accumulated collections of articles on related topics that can be requested for only a nominal zeroxing fee.

4182 Adams Ave.,
San Diego, CA  92116
Advocate - national newsletter of the Autism Society of America.  Includes information on conferences around the country,  parents stories,  etc.

Promise - quarterly newsletter of Illinois Autism Society -  good on relating activity in Springfield that may affect local education law, etc.  Contact:
**Autism Society of Illinois**
2200 S. Main St., Suite 317
Lombard, IL  60148
to join ASA, subscribe to Advocate/Promise, and learn whereabouts of local chapters. ASA / ASI also has lotsa info for new parents!

PEAK Parent Center
An advocacy organization that creates curriculum and materials focused on including students who have disabilities as active members of their schools and communities has compiled a wonderful collection of materials.  To get you own  list of PEAK resources write:
PEAK Parent Center, Inc.
6055 Lehman Drive,  Suite 101
Colorado Springs, CO  80918  

Brimstone Bulletin

is a newsletter for parents of children with special needs published by the Mothers From Hell 2 (most of whom have kidlets on or near the spectrum!).  Itís stated ìPurpose:  The Brimstone Bulletinís function is to be the voice for an activist group of mothers with children with a variety of special needs.  We hold ourselves accountable to be advocates; we hold  systems accountable to provide services in accordance with the law; and we provide support, information, and resources to the public.î  It is also  confronts ìdisability issues with combustible humor and sentiment.î    Everyone needs a laugh once in a while, and these moms are on my wavelength!  Heck - I am one of them (the original Oregon-based Motherís have retired and handed over the shebang to a few of use hellish  Illinois mommies. Hence the ì2î. ) For more info (and a free copy of the Bulletin)  contact us:
Mothers from Hell 2
P.O. Box 19
German Valley, IL  61039
phone 815-362-5303
Mothers From Hell2

Exceptional Parent
Is a monthly publication for parents of children or young adults with a disability  or special needs. I have been reading Exceptional Parent for about five years, now, and although not every issue has an article specific to autism, the overall information I have gleaned on insurance, special education laws and inclusion practices, advocacy, etc has more than justified the subscription price ($32/12 issues).  To subscribe call  1-800-562-1973 - or look for the magazine at local Borders Bookstores.

**Different Roads to Learning**
Has a great catalog chock full of stuff useful to the parent of a special needs kiddo.  Toys, photo cards, books, computer games - and most everything particularly geared towards the needs of the child with autism. Small wonder - it is another mom of a kid like ours who has formed this company and sends out this catalog!  I highly recommend you call 1-800-853-1057 and request a free catalog today!

Retts Syndrome - If your daughter has been thus diagnosed, please contact the Rett Syndrome Association of Illinois at 847-342-9105.  They will be a lifeline of support and information.

The Morning News
contains  useful articles each issue that can be used to help more advanced children with autism/Aspergerís correctly interpret, and appropriately use social language.   The Morning News  is an excellent publication, largely written by Carol Gray, creator of Social Stories. To subscribe send $18 for four big quarterly issues to:  The Morning News, Jenison Public Schools, 2140 Bauer Rd., Jenison, MI  49428.  Or - just write and ask for a list of all Grayís publications on Social Stories (including several useful books.)

Family Resource Center on Disabilities

20 E. Jackson Blvd, #900
Chicago, IL  60604
Publishes a  newsletter on disability rights and benefits.  Provides up-to-date information on SSI (Social Security Income - some of you may find your children qualify as autism is a covered disability.), Medicaid, IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act), etc.  Lots of information on your childís education rights, how to deal with your local school and write  an  appropriate Individual  Education  Plan (IEP)  and  more ( they keep their eye on  the antics in Springfield!).  A great resource.  They will also train you to participate in an IEP meeting.

National Information Center for Handicapped Children and Youth (NICHCY)
your federal tax dollars at work providing free  general information on disabilities, including Autism/PDD, education rights, and more:

National Information Center for
Handicapped Children and Youth
Box 1492
Washington, D.C.  20013-1492

Have a "runner"??? This is not a newsletter or group, but useful.
Perimeter System allows transmitter-wearer child to play in yard.  If a runner leaves, an alarm alerts parents/care giver.  Mobile Locator finds child up to a mile away, day or night.  Door Alarm alerts family and identifies which door has been opened when the child leaves home.  Family comes and goes without triggering alarm.  Monitors 8 doors.  Purchase, rent, lease-to-own.    Contact:  Care Trak, Inc.; 1031 Autumn Ridge Rd.; Carbondale, IL  62901; phone: 800-842-4537

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!