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  1. 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.
  2. 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. Register for upcoming dates in 2023 here: November - This event is in person at Gigi's Play House, 3948 N. Lincoln Chicago, IL 60613. 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!
  3. 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. Register for upcoming dates in 2023 here: September - This event is in person at Gigi's Play House, 3948 N. Lincoln Chicago, IL 60613. October - virtual November - This event is in person at Gigi's Play House, 3948 N. Lincoln Chicago, IL 60613. 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!
  4. 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. Register for upcoming dates in 2023 here: July - This event is in person at Gigi's Play House, 3948 N. Lincoln Chicago, IL 60613. August - virtual September - This event is in person at Gigi's Play House, 3948 N. Lincoln Chicago, IL 60613. October - virtual November - This event is in person at Gigi's Play House, 3948 N. Lincoln Chicago, IL 60613. 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!
  5. until
    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.
  6. until
    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
  7. until
    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. Our Esteemed Presenter: Anna Eisner Seder, Attorney, Matt Cohen & Associates Anna joined Matt Cohen & Associates in 2022. She practiced in the areas of product liability and commercial litigation for several years before taking time off to raise her children. From 2014-2017, Anna worked as an Adjunct Professor of Legal Writing at Loyola University Chicago School of Law. Anna became interested in special education advocacy through volunteer work as well as through her own experiences as a parent. Anna looks forward to helping families obtain special education services and support and Section 504 accommodations. Anna earned a B.A. in Rhetoric and Spanish from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She earned her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.
  8. until
    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 programs available Chicagoland area for special needs kids. Our Esteemed Panelists: Dana Hutchins, MS DT, Chief Clinical Executive Director, LEEP Forward. Cheryle Yallen, Executive Director, One In A Hundred Summer Camp Sam Mauceri, Director of Education & Access Programs, Chicago Children's Theater 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
  9. until
    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. Our Esteemed Presenters: Lorell Marin, M.Ed., LCSW, BCBA, DT, Founder/CVO, Quantum LEEP Academy Lorell Marin founded LEEP Forward in 2001 out of her desire to create innovative and inclusive learning environments for all children that focused on social-emotional development. She expanded this vision in 2018 to include a school focusing on diverse learners. Lorell holds a master’s degree in both Social Work and Teaching (specializing in Special Education ). Lorell believes passionately in the potential of all children. This belief has driven her to continue to build up her toolbox and evolve with her clients. Just as no two children are alike, neither can the approach we take to support them along their path. Kaitlyn "Kait" Mullahey, M.S., C.A.G.S., Head of School, Fusion Academy Lincoln Park Kait earned a Bachelor of Science from Le Moyne College in Psychology and Elementary and Special Education, and a Master of Science in Inclusive Education from Syracuse University. She then went on to earn a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study from Loyola University Chicago’s School of Law in School Discipline Reform and stands as a doctoral candidate in Loyola University of Chicago’s Curriculum and Instruction doctoral program. Prior to joining Fusion, Kait served as a high school English and special education teacher and personalized learning instructional coach in city schools in New York. She has also held the roles of director of student support and assistant principal on Chicago's South and West sides. Passionate about teacher preparation, Kait has also worked at Loyola University Chicago as a doctoral research assistant and adjunct professor at LUC and Roosevelt University. Thank you to our Presenting Sponsor:
  10. until
    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) MUST-KNOW INFO 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
  11. until
    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. Our Esteemed Speaker: Arthur F. Jimenez MS ABA, BCBA, LBS1, Founder, B.E.T.H. Services, Ltd. Arthur F. Jimenez is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and a licensed special education teacher. As a first-generation college graduate and a son of a parent who immigrated to this country, he understands the very real sacrifice and value, of family, community, and hard work. He is currently finishing his masters in counseling psychology to become a licensed therapist and is beginning his PhD in Applied Behavior Analysis to help develop a framework that works to serve and strengthen family dynamics to develop a language of acceptance and understanding for all individuals.

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