Archive for Special Needs

Special Needs LEGO event – Sat. Nov. 12

altSaturday, November 12, 11am – 12p, Community Meeting Room, Main Library; Register NOW.

Come join us to meet up and play with LEGOs! This event is open to all families with children age 6 years and older who have special needs and/or would benefit from an environment that is friendly to all abilities. Parents can join in or relax and talk with other parents navigating a similar path.

Registration required; space is limited to 30 kids. Register online, by calling 847-448-8610, or come into the library.

Gender Expansive & Transgender Lego Meet up – Sat. Nov 12


Saturday, November 12, 9:30 am, Community Meeting Room, Main Library

Come join us to meet up and play with LEGOs! This event is open to gender expansive and transgender youth ages 5 – 12 accompanied by an adult or guardian. Parents can join in the LEGO fun or relax and talk in the company of other parents navigating a similar path.

Register NOW: call 847-448-8610 or come to the Children’s Desk or sign up online.

Gender expansive is defined as a range of gender expressions and identities including expanding beyond traditional gender identities or stereotypes. Gender expansive reinforces the notion that gender is not binary but a continuum and that many people express their gender in multiple ways.

Special Needs Parent Connection Support Groups – Thurs. Nov. 10

November Evanston CASE Parent Connections Support Groups

Thursday, November 10th at the CASE offices, 1940 Sherman Ave. Suite A in Evanston.

  • Brown bag lunch meeting from 11:30 am – 1:00 pm
  • Evening meeting from 7:00-8:30 pm
FYI —  There will be no Parent Connections meetings in December

2nd Special Needs Family Resource Fair – Sat. Nov. 5


Parents and caregivers are encouraged to attend and connect with local organizations and clinicians that provide services for special needs families. Among those participating are the Dyslexia Buddy Network, who will host a Dyslexia simulation experience. Other participants include Cherry Preschool, Moran Center, Institute for Therapy through the Arts, Wee Speech and Evanston/Skokie School District 65.

No Registration is necessary.

Saturday, November 5, 11am – 3pm

Main Library
Community Meeting Room
1703 Orrington Ave

Park School Open Door Day – Tues. Oct. 25


Tours Available at: 10:00 to 11:00 AM/1:00 to 2:00 PM

PARK SCHOOL 828 Main St. Evanston IL 60202

Park School is a public therapeutic day program serving students with the most significant special needs. Our “Open Door Days”, are an opportunity for prospective families, parents, friends, community members, and educational/related service providers to tour Park School and view our unique program. Though we require an RSVP for our “Open Door Days”, all interested parties are welcome to set up a tour or observation by appointment all throughout the school year.

Please RSVP by phone or email to: 847-424-2300 We look forward to welcoming you soon.

D65 Special Services 101 – Weds., Sept. 21

The Special Services department will be hosting three workshops to learn about D65 special services.  By participating, you can:
* Advocate for your child and other children with special needs in D65
* Have a voice in decisions made regarding special services
* Connect with other D65 families
* Take away tools, resources, and tips for supporting your child
Workshops will all take place at JEH (1500 McDaniel) from 6:30 – 8:00pm.  (Spanish interpretation will be provided)

September 21, 2016 – Special Services 101: helpful info for families navigating D65 special services

December 7, 2016 – Transitions: Supporting your child during key transitions in school
January 25, 2017 – Parent/Caregiver Toolkit: Practical tips to use at home
ALL parents are welcome to attend!

Evanston CASE Parent Connections Support Group – Thurs. Sept. 8

Evanston CASE (Citizens for Appropriate Special Education) will begin holding Parent Connections Support Group meetings in September.  This supportive and informative service will be offered monthly from September to May on the 2nd Thursday from 7-8:30 p.m. at the CASE offices 1940 Sherman Ave, Suite A in Evanston. Our first meeting will be held on Thursday, September 8th from 7-8:30.
We are offering a new program this year called the Drop-in CASE Clinic.  Bring your special education concerns or questions about your child’s IEP to receive a free consultation with CASE professional staff.  If needed, CASE can provide referrals for more in-depth services.  
The drop-in will be held every third Thursday from September to May at the CASE offices. Our first session will be on Thursday, September 15th from 11:30-1:00 pm.  
Evanston CASE and the Evanston Public Library are holding our 2nd Annual Special Needs Resource Fair on Saturday, November 5th, 2016 from 11:00 to 3:00.  Stay tuned for details in next month’s newsletter.

Actors Gymnasium Classes for Kids with Special Needs

A new program gives students with disabilities and special needs access to the joy of circus. Circus arts is a non-competitive, creative recreational opportunity that allows individuals to shine. It has also been shown to increase focus, determination, fine motor skills, social skills, physical ability and self-esteem.

Current classes include Circus Arts for Students with Autism, ages 10 -14 and Circus Arts for Students with Disabilities, ages 16 and up.

See the class descriptions or register here, email or call the office at 847-328-2795.

Programs at Autism Family Center

Autism Family Center

Autism Family Center2More information and registration:

Park School Family Fun Fest – Fri. May 20


Meetings for Parents of Special Needs Kids


Evening Parent Connections Support Group Meeting 
May 11th 7:00-9:00 pm at 1940 Sherman, Suite A. in Evanston.

Brown Bag Lunch Parent Connections Support Group Meeting
May 18th 11:30-1:00 at 1940 Sherman Ave. Suite A in Evanston.
Bring your lunch and join us!

Let us know you are coming by calling (847) 556-8676 or email at   Drop-in’s are welcome.

Special Needs Parent Support Groups

CASEPlease join us for our April Parent Connections Support Group meetings:

Evening Parent Connections Support Group Meeting 
April 13th 7:00-9:00 pm at 1940 Sherman, Suite A. in Evanston.

Brown Bag Lunch Parent Connections Support Group Meeting
April 20th 11:301:00 at 1940 Sherman Ave. Suite A in Evanston.
Bring your lunch and join us!

Let us know you are coming by calling (847) 556-8676 or email at   Drop-in’s are welcome.

Dyslexia Panel Discussion – Thurs. April 14

Evanston CASE (Citizens for Appropriate Special Education) will be hosting a program onDyslexia at the Evanston Public Library.  Special Ed legal counsel and a developmental psychologist will join Cari Levin, CASE Executive Director and social worker for a panel discussion about diagnosis, interventions, and how to advocate for your child.
Dyslexia Panel Discussion
Thursday, April 14, 2016
7:00 – 8:30pm
Evanston Public Library – Main Community Meeting Room
No registration required, however if you have questions please feel free to contact Katie Smith

Autism Employment Symposium @ Northwestern – Sat. March 12

Daylong conference connects people with autism to employers, addresses issues

  • Northwestern, Autism Speaks host Midwest jobs symposium
  • About 85 percent of U.S. adults with autism unemployed or underemployed
  • Event features employees, researchers, companies that hire people living with autism
  • Graduates of Northwestern’s chapter of Project SEARCH available for interviews
  • Northwestern clock tower to glow blue in recognition of World Autism Awareness Day

Employees with autism will share their on-the-job experiences as part of the Autism Speaks Midwest Employee Symposium March 12 at Northwestern University.

The daylong event at the Norris Center brings together people with autism, families, researchers, business owners, entrepreneurs and others to help address a major concern in the autism community: employment.

It’s estimated that 85 percent of adults with autism in the United States are currently unemployed or underemployed, a major concern in the autism community. Among young adults between 21 and 26 years old, only 50 percent have ever had a paid job outside of their household, according to Autism Speaks.

The event features several businesses that employ people with autism, including:

  • 100% Wine, a St. Louis-based company that donates all profits to nonprofit organizations working to create jobs for people with a disability.
  • Highland Park’s Aspirtech, which provides domestic software testing services.
  • Sugar and Spice Extraordinary Sweet Treats in Evanston, which hires young adults with disabilities and runs a workplace training program for people with autism.

In opening remarks at the symposium, Molly Losh, associate professor and director of Northwestern’s Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Lab, and Denise Boggs Eisenhauer, a certified speech language pathologist, will highlight Northwestern’s dedication to the autism community through research, clinical services and strong community partnerships.

Working closely with local and national advocacy organizations, Losh started a Northwestern-based chapter of Project Search. The program places senior high-school students with autism in internships throughout the University to prepare them to enter the workforce after graduation. Graduates of the program are available for interviews.

Eisenhauer directs Northwestern’s Center for Audiology, Speech, Language, and Learning (NUCASSL), which offers a developmental diagnostic clinic for children ages zero to three who present with concerns related to social communication.

The Autism Speaks Midwest Employment Symposium is co-sponsored by Northwestern’s Center for Audiology, Speech, Language, and Learning (NUCASLL) and the Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Lab in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders.

In recognition of World Autism Awareness Day, Northwestern’s 100-foot clock tower, which stands in the middle of the Rebecca Crown Center, will glow blue on April 2.

For more information, contact Denise Eisenhauer.

It Takes a Village: Autism Summit – Sat. March 20

This summit examines the impact on families of having a child diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).  It will offer strategies for working collaboratively in a multi-disciplinary approach with parents of diverse backgrounds (culture, race, ethnicity, religion, socio-economic status) and present a tertiary model for empowering the family and building a support team across settings so that all family members experience an improved quality of life.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Crystal Ballroom
529 Davis Street
Evanston, IL 60201

Register for A Child's Brain: Using Neuroanatomy to Improve Assessment and Intervention in Autism, Asperger's and PDD in Chicago, IL on Eventbrite


Special Needs Friendly Lego Event @ EPL – Weds. Nov. 11

Wednesday, November 11, 9:30-10:30 am, Large Community Room, Main Library

Come and join us to meet up and play with LEGOs!  This event is  led by Beth Weiss, who facilitates over 500 LEGO workshops a year, and is open to all families with children, ages 6 and up, who have special needs and/or would benefit from an environment that is friendly to all abilities.  Parents can join in or relax and talk in the company of other parents navigating a similar path.

Space is limited to 30 people; registration is required for each person attending.  Call or come in to the Main Library at 1703 Orrington Ave. to register: 847-448-8610

Robotics Program for High School Students with Autism

Do you have a teenager on the Autism Spectrum? 

Thanks to a grant from the Special Kids Foundation and a robotics kit provided by the Service Club of Chicago, Have Dreams will offer a new Robotics Program with the goal of forming one of the first robotics teams in the United States made up of students on the autism spectrum. The Robotics Program team will compete in local tournaments such as the Illinois First Robotics Competition. The program is for high school students (ages 14-18 years old) who are at grade level in math and science. It will be held:

Saturdays, 10:00 – 11:30 a.m.
September 21, 2015 – March 19, 2016
Have Dreams – Evanston: 2020 Dempster Street

Students will learn how to design, build, and program robots by applying real world math and science concepts. Additionally, students will develop problem solving, organizational and team building skills.

·  Maximum 10 students only  ̶ this program is expected to fill up quickly!
·  Must register for the entire program: September 21, 2015  ̶ March 19, 2016.
·  Cost: $1,450 for the entire session; payable in installments.

See flyer for more information HERE
Check out the other wonderful afterschool andSaturday programs at Have Dreams:

Play Group for North Shore Special Needs Families



This new play group for North Shore Special Needs Families is partnership between North Shore Pediatric Therapy and Little Beans Cafe! Come enjoy comraderie, play time, make new friends, or bring another friend!

The Little Beans Playspace includes an imaginative village and age appropriate toys great for kids 0-6 years (our Evanston location includes an additional recreation based space for kids 5-12 years as well). The café offers an assortment of coffee drinks and snacks. At Little Beans, kids have the freedom to play, learn, imagine and create in our custom indoor playgrounds. Open play, camps, classes, events, parties and workshops are all offered at both

Visit for more information.


Park School Family Fun Fest – Thurs. May 28


Evanston CASE Parent Connections Meeting – Tues. May 12

Don’t miss the last Evanston CASE Parent Connections meeting until the fall:
Tuesday, May 12th 7-9 p.m.

Parent Connections meetings provide an opportunity for you to engage with other parents who understand and share your concerns.  We share information, resources and ideas you can apply to your own situation.  Struggling to get services for your child at school can be very stressful and upsetting. Join us to learn some strategies to support your goals.

1940 Sherman Ave.
Call 847-556-8676 for directions if needed.

Cari Levin, LCSW
Director Evanston CASE