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NPN's 12th Annual Developmental Differences Resource Fair: Kids Welcome!


Community Calendar

Get the support and resources your child needs and enjoy family activities with The Red Kite Project at Chicago Children's Theatre


If your child has a physical, developmental, or intellectual challenge, NPN's 12th Annual Developmental Differences Resource Fair can help. Our free fair, designed for the whole family, puts you in touch with school options, therapy providers, and more resources that will encourage your child to reach his or her highest potential. Your child does not need to have a diagnosis for you to benefit from the resources offered at this fair. Parents with concerns about their child's development due to COVID regression will find help here. Children are welcome!


Your whole family can:


- Chat with speech, occupational, physical, and ABA therapy providers; schools; fun extracurricular options; and more at the exhibitor booths. List of exhibitors (updated weekly!)

- Learn at our session: Decoding CPS: Tips for Special Needs Parents and Advocates from Early Childhood through Middle School

- Act out during activities with The Red Kite Project at Chicago Children's Theatre

- Rest in the staffed Calm Room provided by Twenty-One Senses. A Calm Room is available to help anyone reset from the possible overload of the crowds, sounds, and smells, allowing you and your kids to continue to enjoy the event

- Pose for professional family photos from 2:30 - 4:00! Families can take selfies in front of the backdrop before our photographer arrives!
- Win: Enter our FREE raffle to win the Altitude Trampoline Park's Private Table 10 Jumper Package - valued at $450

- Pick up free snacks for kids

- Enjoy this child-friendly space


Event Schedule

12:00 - 12:30 Event opens with Chicago Children's Theatre's Red Kite Program activities in the 1st-floor lobby 

12:30 Exhibit hall opens on the 2nd floor (elevator access)

1:30 - 2:30 Decoding CPS: Tips for Special Needs Parents and Advocates from Early Childhood through Middle School (more info below)

3:30 - 4:00 Event closes with Chicago Children's Theatre's Red Kite Program activities in the 1st-floor lobby (Exhibit hall closes at 3:30)



When: Saturday, February 11, 12 pm–4 pm

Where: Chicago Children's Theatre, 100 S. Racine Avenue, Chicago, IL 60607

Who: Open to the public! Registration required. Children welcome!

Parking: Free parking on a first-come, first-serve basis. Free parking is available at Chicago Children's Theatre, Blue Bird Day, Intercultural Language Montessori School, and Soul City Church. Click here for a map.

Cost: $25 donation is recommended. Donate here. NPN is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. We rely on your financial support to bring free resources like this to Chicago families.


Session Information 

1:30 - 2:30 pm Decoding CPS: Tips for Special Needs Parents and Advocates from Early Childhood through Middle School


In this session, participants will learn how to decipher the differences within the cluster and blended classroom levels, the school assignment process, when and why to contact case managers and district representatives, and the overall breakdown of the intake process for students with disabilities entering the system. This session will cover early childhood through middle school. There will be time for Q & A at the end. Our presenters can answer general questions about support in high school and point parents in the right direction to get more details.


Our esteemed presenters are Kimberly Johnson and Carrie Comer-Yates.


Kimberly Johnson is the proud mother of a young adult who was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) at age six. Through advocacy, she has gained knowledge and skill sets as an advocate, due process, and IEP liaison for families, and is well versed in the Department of Human Services Waiver program, as it relates to options and consent decrees. For the past four years, she was a Ligas Family Advocate with The Arc of Illinois, a nonprofit organization supporting all persons with developmental and intellectual disabilities. She has been involved in the Chicagoland Autism Connection Parent Support Group for over 18 years and currently serves as President of the Board of Directors. Chicagoland Autism Connection Family and Professional Support Group is one of the largest family support groups in the state of Illinois. Kimberly received her formal education at Indiana Wesleyan University. Prior to her advocacy outreach, Kimberly worked for two large nonprofits as the membership marketing manager for a combined 20 years of service.


Carrie Comer-Yates is a native Chicagoan and proud product of Chicago Public Schools! She received a B.S. in Early Childhood Education and M.S. in Early Childhood Special Education from Southern IL University Carbondale. Additionally, she holds a C.A.S. in ESL and Curriculum Development. As an Educator with over 15 yrs. of experience in Early Childhood Special Education, in both Public and Private settings, it is imperative to continue assisting families to gain the foundational support they need in order for their children to be successful. In her current role as Sr. Manager, Carrie oversees the Programming for Early Childhood Special Education classrooms throughout Chicago Public Schools. Carrie, although an educator, personally experienced the struggles many parents face when their child is identified as having delays. Her son required multiple therapies from the age of six months-three years and received this through the State of Illinois Early Intervention Services. Consistency and building relationships with Service Providers provided him the skills necessary to transition into General Education PreK, as well as now being identified as Gifted. Her ultimate mission is to assure that all families have positive success stories navigating the Special Education process while having access to everything they need.


Questions? Email Events Manager Elizabeth Gourio at egourio@npnparents.org.

By registering for this event, you agree that NPN may share your name and email address with our presenting sponsors.


Interested in exhibiting or advertising opportunities? Find out more HERE.


Thank you to our presenting sponsor





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