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  1. until
    Join LEEP Forward and NPN for Autumn Adventures! This sensory-friendly, inclusive event is designed for all children, ages 2-5, with siblings of all ages welcome to join in the fun! Embrace the magic of autumn with a variety of engaging activities that promote exploration and creativity: Children can dive into our Leaf Sensory Bin filled with dried leaves, acorns, and other textures, or enjoy the Apple Sensory Bin where they can scoop and discover hidden treasures. We’ll have a Pumpkin Painting station where little artists can decorate mini pumpkins with non-toxic, washable paint, and a playdough Station featuring autumn colors for creative molding and shaping. For imaginative play, kids can dress up our friendly scarecrow using old clothes and hay, and relax in our Autumn Story Corner with cozy blankets and captivating fall-themed stories. Plus, don’t miss our guided Nature Walk, where everyone can collect autumn treasures! We will also have a bounce house for our little adventurers seeking more movement activities. Our event will also include a ball pit and sensory tables for more hands-on exploration. Finally, we’ll provide healthy, allergy-friendly snacks to keep everyone energized, and every family will be entered into a raffle for a night of respite or babysitting! Join us for a morning of sensory exploration, connection, and autumn fun in an inclusive environment. We can’t wait to see you there! Location: 1447 W Montrose
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    Celebrate Diversity at NPN's Developmental Differences Resource Fair! Hear from adults and teens who are living and thriving with developmental differences Connect with experts Find resources Take professional family photos Taste delicious food & beverages Win a raffle prize or giveaway Meet a welcoming, supportive community And there's more to come! Stay tuned! NPN Member Benefits > Free entry > Additional free raffle ticket > Swag bag full of goodies if you are one of the first 25 member families to arrive! Important Info Date: Saturday, September 7, 2024 Time: 2:00 - 4:00 PM Location: Wolcott College Prep Arts & Athletic Center, 1950 W. Hubbard St., Chicago, IL 60622 Parking: Free parking in attached lot and easy, free street parking on surrounding blocks Entry for NPN members: FREE! Entry options for non-members: > $10 donation/adult. If you can not afford a donation, use promo code thankyou24 to register for free. > Join NPN for just $35 with promo code join30off then RSVP for the fair for free and receive the member perks above, as well as all of the benefits of membership. Questions? Email NPN Executive Director Amy Johnson at amy@npnparents.org Providers: click here to exhibit and to learn how you can partner with us at the fair!
  3. Join NPN and Dr. Shelley Upton with Chicago Psychotherapy PLLC as we talk through how and when to get your child evaluated for developmental differences for those children presenting as early as preschool years through those with lower support needs who are starting to present after they have begun their education journey. Dr Upton will also speak through her experience with IEP' and how an IEP evaluation and a clinical evaluation differ and how best to utilize them to support your child's needs. Dr. Upton specializes in the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, learning disabilities, and other neurodevelopmental disabilities. She is skilled at conducting a variety of cognitive, neuropsychological, developmental, and adaptive measures with both typically developing and neuro-diverse patients (e.g., ASD, fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder). Dr. Upton also has experience in the administration of various specialty evaluations such as special education eligibility evaluations and evaluations for the purposes of procuring accommodations for high stakes tests (e.g., the ACT and SAT). She has an extensive background in working with neurodiverse clients across the lifespan and their families.
  4. until
    Join NPN and Dr. Shelley Upton with Chicago Psychotherapy PLLC as we talk through how and when to get your child evaluated for developmental differences for those children presenting as early as preschool years through those with lower support needs who are starting to present after they have begun their education journey. Dr Upton will also speak through her experience with IEP' and how an IEP evaluation and a clinical evaluation differ and how best to utilize them to support your child's needs. This will be a Live Webinar with an opportunity to ask questions. Dr. Upton specializes in the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, learning disabilities, and other neurodevelopmental disabilities. She is skilled at conducting a variety of cognitive, neuropsychological, developmental, and adaptive measures with both typically developing and neuro-diverse patients (e.g., ASD, fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder). Dr. Upton also has experience in the administration of various specialty evaluations such as special education eligibility evaluations and evaluations for the purposes of procuring accommodations for high stakes tests (e.g., the ACT and SAT). She has an extensive background in working with neurodiverse clients across the lifespan and their families.
  5. until
    How do Parents Advocate for their Neurodivergent Students in a Classroom and Support Student Self Advocacy? School can be an amazing place to learn and be in community with others. It can also be a really tricky place to navigate for Autistic and otherwise neurodivergent people. Although supporting students through a neurodiversity-affirming lens can lead to positive social-emotional and learning outcomes for all kids, awareness about neurodiversity and neurodiversity-affirming practices within the schools is just emerging. So, how do you share this information with some members of your school team? How can students learn to self-advocate for themselves in the space? Stephanie Boron, M.S., CCC-SLP, will share information on how to make this process easier and more approachable for you and your child that fosters genuine collaboration with your school team. Stephanie Boron, M.S., CCC-SLP is a licensed and Certified Speech and Language Pathologist and Assistant Clinical Professor at Northwestern University. With a focus on creating safe and inclusive spaces, Stephanie specializes in neurodiversity-affirming, child-led evaluation and treatment, with a special interest in gestalt language processing (i.e., communication through scripting/echolalia). Stephanie has an online advocacy presence on Instagram @BeMeSpeech. Stephanie's own neurodivergent identity impacts her advocacy work. She is passionate about creating space for others to listen to and learn from neurodivergent perspective. As a strong believer that disability rights are human rights, I love getting to actively mentor the next generation of clinicians to empower their clients and advocate for change in their communities.
  6. until
    It’s a night to be supported, to ask questions and share resources, and to be with other parents who get what it’s like to deal with special challenges for their kids. Parents of kids with all types of developmental differences welcome (sensory processing disorder, autism, ADD/ADHD, PDD-NOS, mixed receptive-expressive language disorder, Down syndrome, physical disabilities, medical issues, etc.). Parents/family only, please (no therapists, students or business owners). The Zoom link will be included in your eticket. Do you live south of the Loop and want to bring NPN's Developmental Differences Parent Support Group to your area? Email Amy at amy@npnparents.org to discuss.
  7. until
    It’s a night to be supported, to ask questions and share resources, and to be with other parents who get what it’s like to deal with special challenges for their kids. Parents of kids with all types of developmental differences welcome (sensory processing disorder, autism, ADD/ADHD, PDD-NOS, mixed receptive-expressive language disorder, Down syndrome, physical disabilities, medical issues, etc.). Parents/family only, please (no therapists, students or business owners). The Zoom link will be included in your eticket. Do you live south of the Loop and want to bring NPN's Developmental Differences Parent Support Group to your area? Email Amy at amy@npnparents.org to discuss.
  8. until
    It’s a night to be supported, to ask questions and share resources, and to be with other parents who get what it’s like to deal with special challenges for their kids. Parents of kids with all types of developmental differences welcome (sensory processing disorder, autism, ADD/ADHD, PDD-NOS, mixed receptive-expressive language disorder, Down syndrome, physical disabilities, medical issues, etc.). Parents/family only, please (no therapists, students or business owners). The Zoom link will be included in your eticket. Do you live south of the Loop and want to bring NPN's Developmental Differences Parent Support Group to your area? Email Amy at amy@npnparents.org to discuss.
  9. until
    It’s a night to be supported, to ask questions and share resources, and to be with other parents who get what it’s like to deal with special challenges for their kids. Parents of kids with all types of developmental differences welcome (sensory processing disorder, autism, ADD/ADHD, PDD-NOS, mixed receptive-expressive language disorder, Down syndrome, physical disabilities, medical issues, etc.). Parents/family only, please (no therapists, students or business owners). The Zoom link will be included in your eticket. Do you live south of the Loop and want to bring NPN's Developmental Differences Parent Support Group to your area? Email Amy at amy@npnparents.org to discuss.
  10. NPN Sitaara

    Making Travel Au-some

    Traveling with children can be fun, exciting and challenging and traveling with a child with a special needs child adds a whole new dynamic. I’m a mom of three: I have one 3 year old son and 5 year old boy/girl twins and my oldest son, Owen, has autism. To get ready for a trip, whether that be an outing in the city, a car trip or a flight, I prepare well in advance, know my resources, plan for the day and embrace a positive attitude. Prepare in advance: Clear expectations, visuals and schedules help Owen process new outings. When preparing for our trip to Florida, we worked with Owen’s incredible and life changing therapy team at Chicago Pediatric Therapy and Wellness Center and utilized a social story. To our delight, Shannon Hurst, Owen’s Occupational Therapist, even went as far as to create a mock trip to Florida to help him prepare. During this mock trip, Owen boarded a flight with his own ticket, practiced wearing headphones to block out loud noises, engaged in a few typical Florida activities while working through sensory challenges such as using sunscreen, playing in the sand and wearing a bathing suit and sandals, and practiced boarding a flight home. This mock trip approach helped Owen know what to expect and equipped him with the tools to navigate uncomfortable situations, such as counting when applying sunscreen and wearing sandals when walking on the beach. Know your resources: Did you know that airports offer a variety of services such as TSA Cares to assist travelers with diverse needs? On the TSA Cares website, you can submit a request for assistance through the screening process and indicate any foreseeable challenges. For Owen, it is imperative that he carry his comfort item through security so I request that a hand scanner is used. We have been very fortunate flying out of O’Hare and have worked with extremely compassionate TSA Cares representatives. Additionally, airlines offer accessible travel options. Since most airplanes can be overwhelming sensory experiences, you can request to board early to get settled and some airlines even offer special perks like a children’s activity packet with a sensory calming strip. When traveling locally, seek out sensory friendly kid attractions. One of our favorites is Lincoln Park Zoo. They do a fantastic job hosting sensory friendly events throughout the year, including a sensory friendly evening during Zoo Lights. Like many other museums, sporting venues and concert arenas, they have a partnership with KultureCity, a non-profit that is dedicated to “creating sensory accessibility and inclusion for those with invisible differences”. When dining out, be sure to indicate your family’s needs when you make your reservation. Request a table or quieter spot in the restaurant that might suit your child best and provide the restaurant with any relevant allergy information. Plan for the day of: Preparation is key for any type of travel and if possible, allow your child to engage in gross motor play prior to and during the trip. If you’re driving, take a minute to walk around the rest stop. If you’re in an airport and see an empty gate, take advantage of open space. Be sure to throw some extra clothes in for the unexpected spill or accident. And of course pack many highly preferred snacks, as you can’t go wrong with snacks. YumEarth has Elderberry lollipops infused with vitamins and they are allergy friendly - a win win, boost your child’s immunity while giving them a calming treat. Additionally, Melissa & Doug mess free coloring sheets and workbooks as well as fidget tools provide entertainment for those long trips and potential delays. Embrace a positive attitude: Traveling can be an exciting opportunity for children to see the world in a new way and certainly will come with many hiccups. It has been helpful for us to break down the travel day into steps and explain each part to our children and celebrate as we make it through the various parts of the day. And yes, there are moments when I look at my husband and wonder, “Why did we sign up for this? Are we crazy?” and then we remember, we are turning therapeutic moments into valuable experiences and making lifelong memories.
  11. until
    It’s a night to be supported, to ask questions and share resources, and to be with other parents who get what it’s like to deal with special challenges for their kids. Parents of kids with all types of developmental differences welcome (sensory processing disorder, autism, ADD/ADHD, PDD-NOS, mixed receptive-expressive language disorder, Down syndrome, physical disabilities, medical issues, etc.). Parents/family only, please (no therapists, students or business owners). This event is in person at Gigi's Play House, 3948 N. Lincoln Chicago, IL 60613. Do you live south of the Loop and want help starting NPN's Developmental Differences Parent Support Group in your neighborhood? Email Amy at amy@npnparents.org to discuss!
  12. until
    It’s a night to be supported, to ask questions and share resources, and to be with other parents who get what it’s like to deal with special challenges for their kids. Parents of kids with all types of developmental differences welcome (sensory processing disorder, autism, ADD/ADHD, PDD-NOS, mixed receptive-expressive language disorder, Down syndrome, physical disabilities, medical issues, etc.). Parents/family only, please (no therapists, students or business owners). This event is in person at Gigi's Play House, 3948 N. Lincoln Chicago, IL 60613. Do you live south of the Loop and want help starting NPN's Developmental Differences Parent Support Group in your neighborhood? Email Amy at amy@npnparents.org to discuss!
  13. until
    It’s a night to be supported, to ask questions and share resources, and to be with other parents who get what it’s like to deal with special challenges for their kids. Parents of kids with all types of developmental differences welcome (sensory processing disorder, autism, ADD/ADHD, PDD-NOS, mixed receptive-expressive language disorder, Down syndrome, physical disabilities, medical issues, etc.). Parents/family only, please (no therapists, students or business owners). This event is in person at Gigi's Play House, 3948 N. Lincoln Chicago, IL 60613. Do you live south of the Loop and want help starting NPN's Developmental Differences Parent Support Group in your neighborhood? Email Amy at amy@npnparents.org to discuss!
  14. until
    Due to the cold weather, this meeting has been changed to a virtual meeting. Register now to receive the Zoom link in your email confirmation. It’s a night to be supported, to ask questions and share resources, and to be with other parents who get what it’s like to deal with special challenges for their kids. Parents of kids with all types of developmental differences welcome (sensory processing disorder, autism, ADD/ADHD, PDD-NOS, mixed receptive-expressive language disorder, Down syndrome, physical disabilities, medical issues, etc.). Parents/family only, please (no therapists, students or business owners). Do you live south of the Loop and want help starting NPN's Developmental Differences Parent Support Group in your neighborhood? Email Amy at amy@npnparents.org to discuss!
  15. until
    It’s a night to be supported, to ask questions and share resources, and to be with other parents who get what it’s like to deal with special challenges for their kids. Parents of kids with all types of developmental differences welcome (sensory processing disorder, autism, ADD/ADHD, PDD-NOS, mixed receptive-expressive language disorder, Down syndrome, physical disabilities, medical issues, etc.). Parents/family only, please (no therapists, students or business owners). The Zoom link will be included in your eticket. Do you live south of the Loop and want to bring NPN's Developmental Differences Parent Support Group to your area? Email Amy at amy@npnparents.org to discuss.
  16. until
    It’s a night to be supported, to ask questions and share resources, and to be with other parents who get what it’s like to deal with special challenges for their kids. Parents of kids with all types of developmental differences welcome (sensory processing disorder, autism, ADD/ADHD, PDD-NOS, mixed receptive-expressive language disorder, Down syndrome, physical disabilities, medical issues, etc.). Parents/family only, please (no therapists, students or business owners). The Zoom link will be included in your eticket. Do you live south of the Loop and want to bring NPN's Developmental Differences Parent Support Group to your area? Email Amy at amy@npnparents.org to discuss.
  17. until
    It’s a night to be supported, to ask questions and share resources, and to be with other parents who get what it’s like to deal with special challenges for their kids. Parents of kids with all types of developmental differences welcome (sensory processing disorder, autism, ADD/ADHD, PDD-NOS, mixed receptive-expressive language disorder, Down syndrome, physical disabilities, medical issues, etc.). Parents/family only, please (no therapists, students or business owners). The Zoom link will be included in your eticket. Do you live south of the Loop and want to bring NPN's Developmental Differences Parent Support Group to your area? Email Amy at amy@npnparents.org to discuss.
  18. until
    It’s a night to be supported, to ask questions and share resources, and to be with other parents who get what it’s like to deal with special challenges for their kids. Parents of kids with all types of developmental differences welcome (sensory processing disorder, autism, ADD/ADHD, PDD-NOS, mixed receptive-expressive language disorder, Down syndrome, physical disabilities, medical issues, etc.). Parents/family only, please (no therapists, students or business owners). This event is in person at Gigi's Play House, 3948 N. Lincoln Chicago, IL 60613. Do you live south of the Loop and want help starting NPN's Developmental Differences Parent Support Group in your neighborhood? Email Amy at amy@npnparents.org to discuss!
  19. until
    It’s a night to be supported, to ask questions and share resources, and to be with other parents who get what it’s like to deal with special challenges for their kids. Parents of kids with all types of developmental differences welcome (sensory processing disorder, autism, ADD/ADHD, PDD-NOS, mixed receptive-expressive language disorder, Down syndrome, physical disabilities, medical issues, etc.). Parents/family only, please (no therapists, students or business owners). This event is in person at Gigi's Play House, 3948 N. Lincoln Chicago, IL 60613. Do you live south of the Loop and want help starting NPN's Developmental Differences Parent Support Group in your neighborhood? Email Amy at amy@npnparents.org to discuss!
  20. until
    This will be an ongoing monthly discussion around the language of inclusion. Tips and strategies for parents on how to ensure their child is placed in the least restrictive environment. (LRE). We will also explore the updated Federal Inclusion Policy Statement. This is a repeating event and will take place on February 6, 2024; March 19, 2024; and April 16, 2024, from 6 - 7pm. This is an online, free event, but RSVP is required. Please go here to register. This is an external partner event. Please contact the organization directly with any questions or concerns: ttjeanbaptiste@cps.edu.

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