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  1. until
    This webinar will serve as an introduction to Chicago Park District programs for parents of individuals with disabilities and also act as a hands-on guide for creating an Activenet account and using the Chicago Park District website and registration system. This is a 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.
  2. until
    Executive Functioning (EF) has become a popular term mentioned among educators. EF refers to the process in which we initiate a task, organize and plan how to accomplish the task, and lastly persevere and stay focused despite distractions until we complete the task. Although we typically think of executive functioning skills for middle and high school students, research shows the importance of explicitly teaching executive functioning skills to early childhood-aged children to foster independence, responsibility, and self-regulation. This webinar will give parents tools and strategies to help their early learners practice executive functioning skills, giving them a strong foundation to succeed! This webinar is for parents with early learners that have an IFSP, IEP, or 504 plan. This is a 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.
  3. until
    Attention Chicago moms of young children with developmental differences, you will have an opportunity to relax, rest, and relate to each other. You can release and eliminate any tension, hurt, anger, or negative toxic energy built up from everyday stress. Moms, you will leave feeling refreshed with the intention of having a positive year and having tools to implement self-care and remove stress. Moms can sign up for activities like Yoga with Guided Meditation, Personal Massage, Nature Walks, Courtyard Games, Art for A Purpose, and much more! This event starts on Saturday at 9 am and concludes on Sunday, August 13 at 4 pm. This is a free event, but RSVP is required. Please go here to register. Registration closes on July 31st, 2023. The retreat location is about 45 miles outside of the city of Chicago, more information for driving or chartered transportation will be provided when registering. This is an external partner event. Please contact the organization directly with any questions or concerns: ttjeanbaptiste@cps.edu.
  4. until
    Designed for young kids with developmental disabilities with a participating grown-up, this highly- interactive drama class will get the whole family moving and imagining! Bond with your little one through creative drama, music, and multisensory activities, while supporting your child’s motor development, communication skills, self-confidence, and blossoming creative spirit. This is a free event, but RSVP is required. Please go here to register. Lot parking is available at Chicago Children's Theater. This is an external partner event. Please contact the organization directly with any questions or concerns: ttjeanbaptiste@cps.edu.
  5. until
    How do Elementary and Middle Schools Provide and Inclusive Environment for all Students? A healthy, diverse and inclusive classroom environment can allow every student to thrive. Children should be given the opportunity to learn free from discrimination and feel comfortable expressing their identities within their classroom and school community. Parents will learn what practical steps schools take to build a welcoming environment for all students including differing cultures, gender identities and learning differences. Schools will share why creating an inclusive and diverse community is important for all students and families and what they are doing inside the classroom and with families to support these principles. Our panel of speakers will include representatives from: Bennett Day School Francis W. Parker School The Frances Xavier Warde School North Park Elementary School
  6. NPN Jana

    Sensory Stride

    until
    Join us at LaBagh Woods for our Run, Walk, or Ride Event to bring more inclusion and community supports for people with invisible disabilities like Autism, ADHD, Anxiety, Depression, and Trauma. $15 for kids, $30 for Kids / Family. Team discounts are available. No RSVP is required, please go here for more information. Plenty of parking right at our pavilion. This is an external partner event. Please contact the organization directly with any questions or concerns: jen.puccini@twentyonesenses.org.
  7. Raising a child is expensive, especially when your child has special needs. Government benefits are helpful however understanding the process can be overwhelming. Well NPN is here to help! In this session, we will discuss what types of benefit programs exist, which benefits programs are available to you, and what is needed for the application process. You will walk away with clarity about government benefits and how to set your child up with financial support as they become an adult. This session is helpful for parents of special needs children from ages 3 to 22. Our Esteemed Presenter: Sherri Schneider, founder, Family Benefit Solutions, Inc For more than 25 years, Sherri has been tirelessly dedicated to helping individuals with special needs and their families. Her career began as a Case Manager in a Community Integrated Living Arrangement (CILA) where she helped those with developmental disabilities and mental illnesses acquire the government benefits they so desperately needed, including SSI, Medicaid, and food stamps. She was instrumental in creating one of the first Community Living Facility (CLF) facilities funded under a Medicaid waiver. Sherri now meets privately with families to thoroughly assess their individual situations and pursue the appropriate benefit assistance program(s), personally guiding them through the application process. Based on her vast experience, she has skillfully established and maintained open, productive relationships with government agencies involved in the decision-making process. Professionals find her in-service expertise to be invaluable as they navigate the government benefit process.
  8. until
    Unique Sweets and Chicagoland Autism Connection (CAC) present a night of uplifting stories, music, and dancing as we come together to celebrate and honor our journey. This exciting event will feature comedic storytelling from both members of the autism community and comedians followed by music and dancing from DJ EdLo. $35 Donation. RSVP required. Please go here for tickets. Valet parking during operating hours. Street parking is extremely limited near Joe's. Pay lots are in the area and their price ranges from $10 - $20. This is an external partner event. Please contact the organization directly with any questions or concerns: kljohnsonevans@cps.edu.
  9. until
    Join Illinois Action for Children for giveaways, family fun, activities for kids, and early childhood development and resources! Illinois Action for Children (IAFC) in collaboration with early childhood community partners is hosting a resource fair at the Southside YMCA. We invite you and your family to come and learn about important early childhood resources, developmental screenings, health services, and join in some family-friendly activities. There will also be some giveaways! This is a free event. RSVP is required. Please go here to register. Parking is available at the Southside YMCA. This is an external partner event. Please contact the organization directly with any questions or concerns: Rossmayaross@gmail.com.
  10. Does your child struggle with focus, irritability, or sleeping? Have you noticed that your child has become more clingy, fidgety, or finicky with food? Are you concerned about a change you observe in your child's behavior? Trying to figure out what is the root cause of a change in a child's behavior can be overwhelming. Well, NPN is here to help. In this session, we will discuss anxiety and bring clarity around what anxiety symptoms look like, when a diagnosis is appropriate, and what supportive resources and treatments are available. This webinar is for children ages 2 - 8 years old who are neurodiverse or neurotypical. Our Esteemed Panelist: Dr. Chrisna M. Perry, Ph.D., Founder & Director, Comprehensive Learning Services Dr. Bill Pasola, Psy.D., Psychotherapist, Smart Love Family Services
  11. until
    Designed for early learners with developmental disabilities and a participating grown-up, this highly- interactive drama class will get the whole family moving and imagining! Bond with your little one through creative drama, music, and multisensory activities, while supporting your child’s motor development, communication skills, self-confidence, and blossoming creative spirit. This is a free event, but RSVP is required. Please go here to register. Lot parking is available at Chicago Children's Theater. This is an external partner event. Please contact the organization directly with any questions or concerns: ttjeanbaptiste@cps.edu.
  12. Does your child have an IEP or 504 plan? Are you having challenges receiving supportive services in school for your child? Are you overwhelmed with understanding what therapies your insurance will cover and will not cover? Did you know your child can receive accommodations even in college? Do you know your child's rights within the state of Illinois? Well NPN is here to help! In this session, you will learn when it is appropriate to seek legal advice, what rights your child has in the state of Illinois, what are your child's health care rights in the state of Illinois and so much more! Our expert will provide valuable information as well as be ready to answer your questions.
  13. NPN Jana

    Road Map to IEP

    until
    This webinar is for parents, caregivers, and families of special needs children. In this session, we will discuss what is special education, who is eligible for special education services, how to initiate services, and what rights children have within the State of Illinois. Parents will also be able to ask questions and hear directly from Kimberly Johnson, Parent Involvement Specialist CPS ODLSS. This is an online and free event. RSVP is necessary. Please go here to register. This is an external partner event. Please contact the organization directly with any questions or concerns: ttjeanbaptiste@cps.edu.
  14. Spring is here and that means summer is just around the corner! Yes, parents, it's that time to plan for Summer Activities and Camp! This process can be overwhelming especially if you have a child with special needs. Well NPN is here to help. There are many options, whether it's art, music, drama, speech, executive functioning, or swimming! In this session, you will hear about summer activities, camps, and extended school year programs available in the Chicagoland area for special needs kids. Our Esteemed Panelists: Dana Hutchins, MS DT, Chief Clinical Executive Director, Quantum LEEP Academy, Cheryle Yallen, Executive Director, One In A Hundred Summer Camp, Sam Mauceri, Director of Education & Access Programs, Chicago Children's Theatre, Shannon Tovey, Human Resources Manager, SEASPAR, Joel Gutierrez, Senior Program and Event Coordinator, Chicago Park District, Bradley J. Dembs. J. D., Attorney & ESY Advocate, Matt Cohen & Associates
  15. Choosing the right therapeutic preschool for your child can be an overwhelming task, especially in Chicago where there are so many options. With so many different therapeutic approaches, how do you know which approach works for you and your family? In this discussion, you will learn about a variety of therapeutic preschool approaches, hear examples of good questions to ask and things to think about when you are researching therapeutic preschools, how insurance coverage works, and walk away confident in your ability to choose a therapeutic preschool that is a good fit for your family. Our Esteemed Panelists: Lorell Marin, M.Ed., LCSW, BCBA, DT, Founder/CVO, LEEP Forward., Dr. Connie Weil, Clinical Director, Tuesday's Child, Kimberly Shlaes, Director of Preschool Programming & Developmental Therapy, PlayWorks Therapy Inc., Katelyn Suski, Director, Chicago Speech Therapy Academy, and Dr. Jennifer King, Director, Blue Bird Day Wheaton Thank you to our Presenting Sponsor LEEP Forward.
  16. As the world begins to normalize neurodiversity, more and more educational options are becoming available for special needs kids. In Chicagoland, there are several private school options for diverse learners. In this session, you will hear from Lorell Marin, Founder, of Quantum Leep Academy, and Kaitlyn "Kait" Mullahey, Head of School, Fusion Academy Lincoln Park. Our presenters will discuss why parents should consider private school options for their diverse learners, what questions parents should ask on their search, what an academic curriculum with therapeutic support looks like, and how tuition coverage works.
  17. until
    Join Autism Eats for Lunch at The Isle. This event like all Autism Eats events is entirely autism family friendly and all behaviors are welcome. Price: $20 per adult; $10 per child RSVP Required: Please go here to RSVP. Lot and nearby street parking available. This is an external partner event. Please contact the organization directly with any questions or concerns: lzohn90@comcast.net.
  18. until
    Choosing the right therapeutic preschool for your child can be an overwhelming task, especially in Chicago where there are so many options. With so many different therapeutic approaches, how do you know which approach works for you and your family? In this discussion, you will learn about a variety of therapeutic preschool approaches, hear examples of good questions to ask and things to think about when you are researching therapeutic preschools, how insurance coverage works, and walk away confident in your ability to choose a therapeutic preschool that is a good fit for your family. Our Esteemed Panelists: Lorell Marin, M.Ed., LCSW, BCBA, DT, Founder/CVO, LEEP Forward. Dr. Connie Weil, Clinical Director, Tuesday's Child Kimberly Shlaes, Director of Preschool Programming & Developmental Therapy, PlayWorks Therapy Inc. Katelyn Suski, Director, Chicago Speech Therapy Academy Dr. Jennifer King, Director, Blue Bird Day Wheaton Thank you to our Presenting Sponsor LEEP Forward. By registering for this event, you agree that NPN may share your name and email address with our presenting sponsor.
  19. It was an early Sunday morning in March 2012. I did not get much sleep the night before, because I was 4 months pregnant with our second child, and our first child, Luke, had just received a diagnosis of autism and epilepsy. To say that I was stressed would be an understatement. Related: Your Child Received a Diagnosis, Now What? After speaking to my nursing pediatrician, it was recommended that I join a few community groups for support and resources. It was in this search that I found out about a resource fair that was created for parents just like me - parents that were overwhelmed, stressed, and on the hunt for resources and community. I was determined to provide my children with the best options available and realized that attending this fair might help me do just that. Overwhelmed with loneliness, desperation, and fear of our new normal we went to our first NPN Developmental Differences Resource Fair (DDRF) that morning. If I close my eyes right now, I can remember the moment I walked into my first NPN Developmental Differences Resources Fair. I can remember looking around and seeing so many resources and so many families, like mine, all in one room. Instantly, my stress levels decreased and I breathed a sigh of relief as the feeling of hope, which had escaped me for several months, came flooding back. I was able to connect with so many resources at once! The biggest takeaway was the connections with the other families I met; just knowing I was not alone gave me so much encouragement. The following year, I returned for my second DDRF. This time I was more confident, I knew exactly which resources I needed, and I was prepared with questions to ask. My biggest takeaway that second year at DDRF was that there is literally a resource for everything. Education, extra-curricular activities, therapies, government benefits, financial planning, whatever it is - there is a resource for it. I just had no idea where to look to find all of the information that I needed and had been too exhausted as a new mom to seek out the resources on my own. Related: Raising a Black Autistic Boy in America Fast forward to today and my son is now 12 years old and thriving! I have to say that being an advocate for my son and utilizing the resources that I found at NPN’s DDRF have made all the difference. I am proud to report that we have been able to change the trajectory of our son’s progress for the better. One of the best decisions I ever made was to pull my exhausted, desperate, hopeless, and stressed self out of bed that morning in March 2012, and take the first steps towards building our community and support network.
  20. This session is for parents who are concerned about their child’s development and/or trying to make sense of the many therapies available to support their child. In this session, we will discuss ABA, speech, and occupational therapy, individual talk therapy, and family therapy. We will explore how all or some of these therapies might work together to meet your child’s needs and what an approach that incorporates multiple therapies might look like.
  21. 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. Register for upcoming dates in 2023 here: December - virtual 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!

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