Healing Horse Stables

Thursday February 2nd, 2017

Come and hear about the benefits of therapeutic horsemanship and riding for people on the autism spectrum, including our experiences with autistic participants at Healing Horse Stables!

Please join us for a great discussion and networking.

  • Complimentary Childcare Options:
    • Ages 6 weeks - 9 yrs: Child watch offered by the YMCA

Sometimes the best therapists have four legs

Thursday December 1st, 2016

Martha Sherrill is a speech-language pathologist who is researching the use of Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) during rehabilitation treatment sessions to target speech and language goals. Therapy providers (physical, occupational, and speech) and educational specialists currently use AAT as a way to directly target social and communication goals with children on the autism spectrum across all ages and needs. This presentation will provide information on the various types of animal assisted interventions and categories (service dogs vs therapy dogs, etc.) as well as local resources for parents and professionals interested in further exploring AAT. A handler/dog team from Canine Connection will be present as well to demonstrate, interact, and answer questions.

  • Complimentary Childcare Options:
    • Ages 6 weeks - 9 yrs: Child watch offered by the YMCA

CTF Illinois Advocacy Center - Kyla Chantos

Thursday October 6th, 2016

Our meeting will feature Kyla Chantos. She is the new Advocacy Center Coordinator for CFT Illinois and will share information about the CTF Illinois Advocacy Center of Champaign. CTF ILLINOIS Advocacy Center of Champaign is a day service program for adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities living in the Champaign, Urbana, and Savoy area. Individuals working with their organization have a desire to speak up for themselves and want to speak up for others who feel they have no voice. They focus on developing tools and experiences that help the individuals take greater control over their lives.

  • Complimentary Childcare Options:
    • Ages 6 weeks - 9 yrs: Child watch offered by the YMCA

Supporting Siblings

Thursday September 1st, 2016

Our meeting will feature Amy Cohen, the Director of the new University of Illinois Autism Clinic. She will share information about supporting siblings of kiddos with autism.

Amy Cohen received her doctoral degree in clinical psychology from Rutgers University, and completed residency at Columbia University Medical Center in New York. She completed her post-doctorate fellowship in Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. Amy joined the faculty in the Department of Psychology as a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois in August 2015, and is the Director of the new University of Illinois Autism Clinic and Interim Director of the Psychological Services Center. Amy has been working with individuals with ASD and their families for over 15 years. Her presentation will focus on understanding the experience of children who have a brother or sister with ASD. More specifically, we’ll discuss current review of the research, common stressors unique to this sibling relationship, and best practices for offering support to siblings.

Please join us for a great discussion and networking

  • Complimentary Childcare Options:
    • Ages 6 weeks - 9 yrs: Child watch offered by the YMCA

Been There, Done That

Thursday May 5th, 2016

Come and learn from other parents whose children have autism? Our May meeting will feature several parents who have been in your shoes. Come and learn about the challenging and rewarding roads they have travelled.

Please join us for a presentation on Been There, Done That

  • Complimentary Childcare Options:
    • Ages 6 weeks - 9 yrs: Child watch offered by the YMCA
    • Ages 8+: Free Swim Water Program

Ask the Experts

Thursday April 7th, 2016

Do you ever wonder how those with autism see the world? If so, please join us for a presentation on Ask the Experts

We will have a panel of three adults with autism sharing with us what it was like growing up with autism and how they manage their day-to-day challenges.

  • Complimentary Childcare Options:
    • Ages 6 weeks - 9 yrs: Child watch offered by the YMCA
    • Ages 8+: Free Swim Water Program

Selective Eating and Sensory Challenges

Thursday March 3rd, 2016

Does your child have feeding challenges? If so, please join us for a presentation on Selective Eating and Sensory Challenges

Stacie Young, OTR/L , and Barbara Hoffmann, SLP/L, will discuss strategies and resources for expanding a child’s food choices. Sensory processing differences will also be discussed with strategies to try and resources presented to learn more about understanding sensory over-registration and under-registration as well as the connection between the picky eater and the tactile system.

  • Complimentary Childcare Options:
    • Ages 6 weeks - 9 yrs: Child watch offered by the YMCA
    • Ages 8+: Free Swim Water Program

Siblings and Autism

Thursday February 4th, 2016

Sibling relationships are complicated relationships, typically marked with lots of warmth and affection along with lots of conflict and antagonism. In this presentation, we will explore what sibling relationships are like when one or more of the children are on the autism spectrum. We’ll also discuss strategies that parents can adopt to promote more positive engagement and less negativity among their children, with an eye towards establishing supportive relationships in adulthood. Don’t miss this great information! Join us for a great discussion!

  • Complimentary Childcare Options:
    • Ages 6 weeks - 9 yrs: Child watch offered by the YMCA
    • Ages 8+: Free Swim Water Program

Teaching Social

Thursday December 3rd, 2015

Our December meeting will feature Joan Storey Gorsuch, B.F.A., M.Ed., Social Thinking® Mentor. She will present "Teaching Social: Strategies for Teaching Social and Emotional Learning Skills," an overview of how social cognitive challenges impact individuals socially, emotionally, behaviorally, and in academics. Strategies such as developing perspective taking skills, increasing awareness of emotions, understanding non-verbal cues, and expanding social awareness in different environments will be discussed.

  • Complimentary Childcare Options:
    • Ages 6 weeks - 9 yrs: Child watch offered by the YMCA
    • Ages 8+: Free Swim Water Program

PACE’s Opportunities for Independence

Thursday November 5th, 2015

Our November meeting will feature Dylan Boot. Dylan is an employee of PACE, the local Center for Independent Living. He will be presenting on PACE’s Opportunities for Independence program. This program is specifically designed for individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities, such as Autism, residing in Champaign County. Dylan offers individual support to increase the individual’s independence. You are invited to come learn about the program and ask questions.

  • Complimentary Childcare Options:
    • Ages 6 weeks - 9 yrs: Child watch offered by the YMCA
    • Ages 8+: Free Swim Water Program

MeMoves

Thursday October 1st, 2015

MeMoves is a patented tool for self-regulation and emotional intelligence that uses an innovative combination of music, movement and the expressive features of emotion to fully engage the user. This easy to use interactive system has been widely praised by therapists, educators, parents, and researchers, as it has proven immensely effective in helping those of all abilities, and especially those with special needs like ASD, EBD, PTSD, anxiety/ depression, attention issues and other neurological challenges. In order to learn new things and navigate our way socially through the world our nervous systems must be calm and alert, we need to feel safe, and we need to be able to connect with other people. MeMoves activates the parasympathetic nervous system, resulting in a calm and attentive state, as it provides safety and affiliation for the user. Utilizing case studies, cutting edge research and real life anecdotes, this interactive presentation will provide best practices for implementing MeMoves in a variety of settings.

We're also having a presentation during the day from 12:00pm - 1:30pm at the Developmental Services Center. See the MeMoves 10-1-15 Flier for more details and make sure not to miss it!

  • Complimentary Childcare Options:
    • Ages 6 weeks - 9 yrs: Child watch offered by the YMCA
    • Ages 8+: Free Swim Water Program

PLAY Project

Thursday September 3rd, 2015

Our meeting will feature PLAY Project Home Consultants; Judy Ullom and Adrienne Morrison from Developmental Services Center. Through videotaped segments of PLAY Project sessions, they will demonstrate the principles and strategies used with different children. They will also discuss the theory behind the PLAY Project, evidence-based research, and how the PLAY Project differs from other interventions.

What is the PLAY Project?

The PLAY (Play and Language for Autistic Youngsters) Project is an evidence-based autism intervention developed by Rick Solomon MD, medical director of the Ann Arbor Center for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. The PLAY Project is devoted to helping parents develop a better connection with their child through play, and helping the child improve their language, development, behavior, and social skills.

Come ready to meet new friends, share your knowledge, and talk about what you want for the upcoming year.

  • Complimentary Childcare Options:
    • Ages 6 weeks - 9 yrs: Child watch offered by the YMCA

Skill Sprouts - available local programs

Thursday May 7th, 2015

Debbie Harper from Skill Sprouts will discuss the local programs offered by Skill Sprouts (premier educational, behavioral, and rehabilitation services and supports to children and young adults from birth to 25 years of age with a wide range of abilities and needs).

  • Complimentary Childcare Options:
    • Ages 6 weeks - 9 yrs: Child watch offered by the YMCA
    • Ages 9 years plus: Water Safety Program - Run by Jessie Theis

Been There… Done That… Parent panel!

Thursday April 2nd, 2015

We will have several parents whose children are various ages. They will be available to answer questions you might have about what to expect at the different ages in relation to autism.

  • Complimentary Childcare Options:
    • Ages 6 weeks - 9 yrs: Child watch offered by the YMCA
    • Ages 9 years plus: Water Safety Program - Run by Jessie Theis

March Administrator Panel

Thursday March 5th, 2015

Elizabeth deGry, Todd Taylor, and Christine Northrup, administrators from Champaign, Urbana, and Mahomet will be our March Administrator Panel. They will be available to answer your questions regarding Special Education. If you have specific talking points or questions to ask, please email those to Teresa@autismillinois.org no later than Tuesday, March 3rd at 5pm so she can share them with the Administrators!

  • Complimentary Childcare Options:
    • Ages 6 weeks - 9 yrs: Child watch offered by the YMCA
    • Ages 9 years plus: Water Safety Program - Run by Jessie Theis

Illinois Assistive Technology Project

Thursday February 5th, 2015

Our February meeting will feature Susy Woods, from Illinois Assistive Technology Project. She will be speaking about providing free special educational advocacy, including phone and email support, to prepare for a meeting on any special education related issue. She is also available to attend meetings via phone or in person. Her services are free and provided throughout the state of Illinois.
Please join us for a great discussion! We hope to see you there!

  • Complimentary Childcare Options:
    • Ages 6 weeks - 9 yrs: Child watch offered by the YMCA
    • Ages 9 years plus: Water Safety Program - Run by Jessie Theis

The Transition Years

Thursday December 4th, 2014

Jim Mayer from Rural Champaign County Special Education Coop will be discussing the Transition Years and the IEP... Ideas to consider regarding the "Big 3" transition goal areas: Employment, Post-Secondary Education/Training, and Independent Living...with a special focus on employment.

  • Complimentary Childcare Options:
    • Ages 2-5: Normal Childcare
    • Ages 6+: Yoga/Activity Group

Having a vision for the future

Thursday November 6th, 2014

Kevin Polonus, financial representative from Northwestern Mutual in Champaign, will be speaking about the importance of having a vision for the future, personally and financially. He will discuss the five step planning process that he uses with his clients, as well as topics involving Social Security, Medicaid, Special Needs Trusts, and Letters of Intent.

  • Complimentary Childcare Options:
    • Ages 2-5: Normal Childcare
    • Ages 6+: Yoga/Activity Group

Advances in the Diagnosis of Autism

Thursday October 2nd, 2014

CU Autism Network is pleased to welcome Dr. Michael Schneider. This accomplished geneticist will speak about Advances in the Diagnosis of Autism. Dr. Schneider is particularly interested in inherited syndromes associated with developmental delay and autism. Don't miss the opportunity to meet this outstanding member of the medical community!

  • Complimentary Childcare Options:
    • Ages 2-5: Normal Childcare
    • Ages 6+: Yoga/Activity Group

C-U Autism Network's September Meeting

Thursday September 4th, 2014

This is our first scheduled meeting for the 2014-2015 school year. Our meeting will feature Jonathan Westfield and David Smysor from the Champaign and Urbana Police Department. They will be discussing the Person’s with Disability Emergency Information forms. This is a form that they police departments will keep on file to provide critical information to emergency responders in the event of a crisis.

Come ready to meet new friends, share your knowledge, and talk about what you want for the upcoming year.

You can see a video of our September meeting on YouTube! http://youtu.be/8c73606PptQ

This year our childcare Yoga group will be run by Kathryn Fitzgerald, the co-founder/co-owner of Amara Yoga & Arts. She holds a Masters in Fine Arts and Special Education and has over 15 years teaching experience working with kids with Aspergers, Autism, and other special needs.

  • Complimentary Childcare Options:
    • Ages 2-5: Normal Childcare
    • Ages 6+: Yoga/Activity Group

Benefits of therapeutic horseback riding

Thursday May 1st, 2014

Our May meeting will feature Dorey Riegel and Terry Plampin from Healing Horse Stables in nearby Pesotum, Illinois. They will be presenting on the many benefits of therapeutic horseback riding for riders with autism, such as improving balance, enhancing proprioception (body awareness in space), building core muscle strength, improving hand/eye and fine motor coordination, improving social skills and self-regulation. 

This meeting will be held at:
Christopher Hall-Family Resiliency Center, 904 W. Nevada, Urbana

Please join us for a great discussion! We hope to see you there!

  • Complimentary Childcare Options:
    • Ages 2-5: Normal Childcare
    • Ages 6+: Yoga/Activity Group

Counseling: What is it and how can it help?

Thursday April 3rd, 2014

Our April meeting will feature Sue Keller, Social Work Counseling Intern, Faculty Staff Assistance Program, University of Illinois. Sue will discuss Counseling-What is it and how can it help? We all experience stress when faced with challenges in life. Living with a family member with different needs presents its own unique difficulties and opportunities. Counseling can provide you a confidential place to build your strengths and expertise with a professional who is caring yet objective. Counseling questions we will explore include when and how to seek help, finding that right match, knowing what to expect, and how to advocate for what you need. Please call Sue at 217-244-5312 if you have questions. Please join us for a great discussion! We hope to see you there!

  • Complimentary Childcare Options:
    • Ages 2-5: Normal Childcare
    • Ages 6+: Yoga/Activity Group

What is Executive Function and Strategies that can help!

Thursday March 6th, 2014

Joan Storey Gorsuch, M.Ed. Social Thinking® Mentor. She discussed: What is Executive Function and Strategies that can help! Executive function is a set of mental processes that helps connect past experience with present action. People use it to perform activities such as planning, organizing, strategizing, paying attention to and remembering details, and managing time, space, objects and people. Our students with social learning challenges often have difficulties with executive function. Joan introduced strategies to help our students that struggle with executive function.

  • Complimentary Childcare Options:
    • Ages 2-5: Normal Childcare
    • Ages 6+: Yoga/Activity Group

Sensory processing types and their behavioral affects

Thursday February 6th, 2014

Stacie Young, Occupational Therapist; Program Director at Larkin’s Place (YMCA). Stacie explained the theory behind sensory processing and how various types of sensory processing affect behavior in children and adults. Activities for various developmental stages were shared that are often used by occupational therapists when treating sensory processing disorders. Parents learned the reasoning behind sensory processing treatment used by occupational therapists. They learned strategies that can help foster organized sensory processing in everyday life. She also shared how accessibility has grown at the Y and what programs are available to persons with various abilities. She answered questions about membership, participation and ways to get support while attending Y programs.

  • Complimentary Childcare Options:
    • Ages 2-5: Normal Childcare
    • Ages 6+: Yoga/Activity Group

The PUNS Database and What It Might Mean to You

Thursday December 5th, 2013

Michael Granse, a PAS Agent and Independent Service Coordinator with the Champaign County Regional Planning Commission. If you are living with someone who has a developmental disability, you will want to know more about your local PAS agents and the PUNS database. Being on the PUNS list is essential for receiving developmental services through the Illinois Department of Human Services.

  • Complimentary Childcare Options:
    • Ages 2-5: Normal Childcare
    • Ages 6+: Yoga/Activity Group

Family Matters PTIC

Thursday November 7th, 2013

How to:

  • Understand special education eligibility and the IEP process
  • Use communication as a tool
  • Use effective methods for resolving disputes about educational services

  • Complimentary Childcare Options:
    • Ages 2-5: Normal Childcare
    • Ages 6+: Yoga/Activity Group

How therapy can help children

Thursday October 3rd, 2013

Paige S. Spangler, a Licensed Professional Counselor with a Master of Clinical Counseling degree, works primarily with children and adolescents and their families. Paige has specialized training in play therapy, which she finds to be particularly helpful in working with children who need help processing traumatic events and learning new coping skills. Paige has a Bachelor Degree in Fine Art. Her experience as an artist helps her to understand that other forms of communication, such as movement, visual art and play can often express much deeper themes and feelings than verbal communication, especially in children who do not have the vocabulary to express all that they feel. Paige's presentation explored the role play therapy can have with helping children. Children are often at a disadvantage when it comes to verbal expression and play therapy can unlock doors to new ways of communicating.

  • Complimentary Childcare Options:
    • Ages 2-5: Normal Childcare
    • Ages 6+: Yoga/Activity Group

Meet and Greet

Thursday September 5th, 2013

Meet and greet with the new Associate Director, Teresa O'Connor, discussion of survey results topics for the year, new school year strategies.

  • Complimentary Childcare Options:
    • Ages 2-5: Normal Childcare
    • Ages 6+: Yoga/Activity Group

Music Therapy & Autism: A Multi-Modal Musical Approach to Therapy

Thursday May 2nd, 2013

Sarah Scully, MT-BC, a Board Certified Music Therapist with over 13 years of experience working with children with special needs both in the school setting and in private practice. She presented about Music Therapy & Autism: A Multi-Modal Musical Approach to Therapy.

  • Complimentary Childcare Options:
    • Ages 2-5: Normal Childcare
    • Ages 6+: Yoga/Activity Group

Parent Satisfaction with School Services for Children with Autism Spectrum

Thursday April 4th, 2013

Hyejin Park, a PhD candidate from the Department of Special Education at the University of Illinois. She discussed her research into Parent Satisfaction with School Services for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

  • Complimentary Childcare Options:
    • Ages 2-5: Normal Childcare
    • Ages 6+: Yoga/Activity Group

How to Navigate the Adult Service World

Thursday March 7th, 2013

Jennifer Knapp, spoke about adult services. After a young adult turns 22, he or she is no longer entitled to services. In this informal presentation, the discussion included the range of options in services for adults with disabilities and how individuals and their families can access these services. Both residential and day options were talked about, as well ashow the system works, and how families can advocate for what they want. Jennifer Knapp is:

  • Executive Director, Community Choices
  • Community Organizer, Community Partnership Project funded by the Coleman Foundation
  • Organizational Consultant, Illinois Self-Advocacy Alliance

  • Complimentary Childcare Options:
    • Ages 2-5: Normal Childcare
    • Ages 6+: Yoga/Activity Group

How to Effectively Participate in IEP Meetings

Thursday February 7th, 2013

Sarah Phillips, a central Illinois Parent Mentor for the Illinois State Board of Education. "How to Effectively Participate in IEP Meetings" Helped parents to better understand their role in the IEP process and increase their advocacy skills.

  • Complimentary Childcare Options:
    • Ages 2-5: Normal Childcare
    • Ages 6+: Yoga/Activity Group