Category: Developmental Differences

Free or cheap ways to entertain your kids on winter weekends

Photo: Evelyn Perez-Horita

Is your whole family about to lose their minds to cabin fever? Don’t let it get you down! There is so much free or cheap indoor and outdoor fun to be had. Here are some activities you and your special-needs kiddo can enjoy.

Around town activities
Free museum days Adler Planetarium, Chicago Children’s Museum, dancing with the kiddos at the Chicago Cultural Center, sensory Saturday at the Field Museum, the Shedd Aquarium and the Chicago History Museum.
Con...

Posted on February 15, 2018 at 2:48 PM by Evelyn Perez-Horita

Tips for your next IEP meeting from a special-ed attorney

After working as a special education teacher for a few years, I attended law school with the sole intention of becoming a special education attorney who represented parents of children with special needs. In 1998—right out of law school—I was lucky enough to get a job doing just that.

For years, I attended hundreds of IEP meetings involving all types of special education issues. However, about five years ago, my perspective and practice were forever impacted when my own child was diagn...

Posted on February 05, 2018 at 12:49 PM by Lara Cleary

Holiday activities in Chicago for special-needs kids

With all the hustle and bustle of the holidays, our special kiddos can get lost in the "sensory-overload shuffle" and may not feel very festive. Here are a couple of suggestions to keep parents and kids full of the holiday spirit.

A sensory-friendly version of A Christmas Carol at the Goodman Theatre offers lower sound levels, the house lights left on and the opportunity for kids to walk around as much as they please. The theatre is also providing a designated area to retreat for those...

Posted on December 11, 2017 at 10:50 AM by Evelyn Perez-Horita

Your school should be helping your child with behavior challenges

Now that it's fall, the days are getting shorter and the honeymoon period for your child’s return to school has ended. Maybe you've begun to receive calls and e-mails from teachers and school administrators that your child is not following directions, is being disruptive in class, or is struggling generally. The school district may also be mentioning possible disciplinary action toward your child. You know that your child needs help, but what can you ask for and what are your child’s righ...

Posted on November 14, 2017 at 12:14 PM by Lara Cleary

Could your child benefit from a social group?

*SPONSORED POST BY LUMIERE CHILDREN'S THERAPY*

Social skills are more than just communicating with others; they are the ability to engage in conversation, problem-solve, recognize and relate to other’s feelings, and respect other’s differences and opinions. Social skills are the basis for friendships, and eventually the ability to succeed and keep a job. For some people, social skills do not come naturally and require time and effort to develop. 

What are social groups?
A social gr...

Posted on November 13, 2017 at 9:56 AM by Vasilikitsa Antonopoulos

Chicago venues that cater to kids with special needs

As parents to a wonderful, energetic special needs 8-year-old, my husband and I are constantly thinking of ways to enjoy our chaotic lives as much as possible. And because our lives are anything but "normal," it’s not always easy to enjoy all the typical fun things like dining out, going to live theatre, visiting a museum or taking a vacation. We are always fearful that Lia will act out because of boredom, frustration or sensory overload. If she gets upset, it is money wasted because you ...

Posted on October 04, 2017 at 2:01 PM by Evelyn Perez-Horita

ESDM is a life-changing breakthrough for autism

 

*SPONSORED POST BY CHICAGO ABA THERAPY*

The Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) has transformed the lives of many young children with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). If you are a parent of a young child who has a diagnosis of autism or shows characteristics of autism, ESDM can be hugely beneficial in teaching pivotal skills and enhancing interactions.

ESDM therapy is a comprehensive, early intensive intervention based on the principles of applied behavior analysis ...

Posted on September 25, 2017 at 9:45 AM by Evan Campa

Transition from summer to school year with these tips

Photo: Evelyn Perez-Horita

The transition from summer to the new school year can be difficult for any child. It definitely is for my 8-year-old special-needs child, Lia, so my husband and I have tried a lot of techniques and have found some things that work. We’ve also come across some great ideas from other parents. Keep in mind that not all of these suggestions or ideas will work for you, but it’s worth a try for kiddos that struggle getting back into the school routine every year.
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Posted on August 22, 2017 at 8:51 AM by Evelyn Perez-Horita

Surviving summer with your special-needs child

Photo: Evelyn Perez-Horita

I have an 8 ½-year-old little girl, Lia (pictured, above), who has been diagnosed with severe intellectual disabilities, sensory processing disorder, autism and hypotonia, and is non-verbal. I do not, nor will I ever, claim to be the resident expert in any given field except when it comes to knowing my own kiddo. With that said, I know how frustrated and bored my little darling is going to be this first week of summer vacation. My husband and I had to figure ...

Posted on July 06, 2017 at 9:35 AM by Evelyn Perez-Horita

5 tips for the Developmental Differences Resource Fair

Our March 26 Developmental Differences Resource Fair brings together service providers, school options and other resources in one place that focus on serving parents of children with developmental differences (developmental delays, sensory processing disorder, autism, ADD/ADHD, PDD-NOS, mixed receptive-expressive language disorder, Down syndrome and physical disabilities). Register now to reserve your spot for this free fair!

Here are our top 5 tips to be prepared for the fair:

1. P...

Posted on March 22, 2017 at 11:29 AM by Laura Baginski