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Social Skills Play Groups
857 Center Court, Suite D
Shorewood, IL 60169
(815) 730-1818
Will County
The social skills play groups are each structured for children to learn to follow directions, work on shared goals, and communicate needs appropriately. They will also work on developing appropriate play skills, imaginative and pretend play and language acquisition.
Cost: contact them for more details.

Arlington Pediatric Therapy Management Services, Ltd.
Let's Play
Facilitator: Krista Stewart, developmental therapist
3105 N. Wilke Road, Suite H
Arlington Heights, IL 60004-1450
(847) 255-8690, ext. 137
Cook County
Let's play together and make some friends. In this group, there will be a lot of hands on play and learning experiences. A variety of materials and play will be introduced that your child can explore. A multi-sensory approach consists of movement, body awareness, role playing, music, art and sensory exploration.
When: call for upcoming dates.
Ages: 3-6.
Cost: $112.

The Center for Hope & Healing
Jessica K. Paganis, MSW, LSW, P.L.A.Y Project Home Consultant
16W241 South Frontage Road, Suites 35 & 36
Burr Ridge, IL 60527
(630) 468-2341
DuPage County
Therapists help strengthen each child's social-emotional development by forming a close relationship that allows children to express and regulate emotions. The Center for Hope and Healing is committed to providing therapeutic interventions that optimize the social, emotional, developmental and behavioral needs of children and families affected by autism and related disorders. Business hours: Monday-Friday, 9:30 a.m.-7 p.m., Saturdays to be determined by parent and therapist.
Ages: birth to 14 years.
Limited private insurance accepted.
Cost: varies by service.
No wait list.

Stacey Glorioso, OTR/L
13246 S. Route 59, Suite 100
Plainfield, IL 60586
(815) 351-5770
Will County
Play group focusing on socialization, integrating sensory information and communication skills.
When: time and date to be determined.
Ages: birth to 18 years.
Private insurance accepted.
Cost: $20 (per session).
3-month wait list.

Elena Kaiser, MA, ATR-BC, LCPC
Counseling and Art Therapy
2956 Central St.                              
Evanston, IL 60201
(847) 337-2377
Cook County
Provides non-directive play therapy. Consistent with the principles developed by Virginia Axline, Elena develops a warm and friendly relationship with the child. Within this relationship, the child feels free to express his or her feelings. Elena does not hurry the therapy process along nor does she attempt to direct the child's actions or conversations. She allows the child to lead while she remains alert to recognize the feelings the child is expressing. Elena reflects these feelings back in such a manner that the child gains insight into his or her behavior. Play therapy available at home or school-based. Offers flexible daytime, evening, and Sunday hours.
Ages: 3 and up.
Private insurance accepted (BCBS PPO among other insurance providers).
No wait list.

Learning Through Play Center for Child Development
633 W. Addison
Chicago, IL 60613
(312) 458-9865 or (773) 615-3202
Cook County
Provides Therapeutic Playgroups that concentrate on auditory, visual and verbal cueing for organization and incorporate music, art, and play for fun and skill-building for children. Structured playgroups utilize specific strategies to help children transition more easily from one activity to the next. Socialization Playgroup uses music and art to motivate children to participate in group activities, learn to communicate with others, and gain confidence in social situations. Feeding group for children also available for children with oral sensory or social feeding issues.
Staff includes: Speech Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Developmental Therapists, Behavioral Therapists, and Music Therapists.
These classes are for children with Autism, PDD, sensory dysfunction, speech delay, or other developmental delays. Classes often incorporate at least 1-2 typically developing children as peer models.
(schedule varies—please call for more information)
Ages: 2-6
Insurance accepted.
Cost: see website or call for information.
No wait list.

Structured Developmental Playgroup: uses specific strategies to help children transition easily from one activity to the next. This class is for children who are high-functioning ASD/PDD or developmental delays (Tuesday and Thursday, 9-11 a.m.).
Ages: 2-5.
Insurance not accepted.
Cost: see website or call for information.
No wait list.

LEEP Forward, Inc.
Toddler Purposeful Play Groups
Lorell Marin, MST, DT, Founder
2320 N. Damen Ave., Suite 2F
Chicago, IL 60647
Cook County
A fun, supportive play group in an environment nurtures social-emotional development, emotional processing, imaginative and cooperative play (e.g. turn-taking, sharing), and communication. Includes a high child-to-therapist ratio. Therapists utilize DIR/Floortime, PECS, social stories, and Michelle Garcia Winner's Social Thinking Curriculum.
Ages: 2-4.
Insurance not accepted. They do provide invoices for clients to submit to insurance companies.
Cost: depends on the size and needs of the group.
No wait list.

Little Friends Center for Autism, Inc
Summer Social Skills Group - Play and Friendship
Contact: Mary Crissman
1001 E. Chicago Ave., Suite 151
Naperville, IL 60540
(630) 305-4196
DuPage County
Focus: Meeting and making new friends, sharing, turn taking, waiting turns, and following simple rules while having fun with friends. Each week will start with a snack, and playing a board game before moving to Therapy Gym for focused playtime.
When: call for upcoming dates.
Ages: 4-5 (boys and girls).
Cost: $360 (due first day of class).

Meetup Mothers of Autism
Shari Hurckes
Meeting location varies
Naperville, IL 60540
(312) 446-3739
DuPage County
Play group for children who have sensory issues, autism, Asperger's disorder and PPD-NOS.
Ages: 3-12.
Cost: no fee, unless a special event.
No wait list.

Misericordia Heart of Mercy
Tina's Playgroup
Contact: Anne Maddock
6300 N. Ridge Ave.
Chicago, IL 60660
(773) 273-3064
Cook County
Interactive playgroup for children with special needs and their families. The playgroup is open to all levels of ability and participants are not required to attend every meeting. There is a wide variety of toys that focus on development and fun. Resources about additional services available in the community will also be available.
When: meetings are held on the second and last Saturday of every month from 10:30 a.m. to noon.
Ages: birth to 7 years.
Cost: play dates and parking are free.

Oak Leyden Developmental Services
Chandra Dean
411 Chicago Ave.
Oak Park, IL60302
(708) 524-1050, ext. 132
Cook County
Play group works on gross motor time, circle singing, each month has a different theme, snack-time and other activities planned.
When:  Mondays, 9:15-11 a.m.
Tuesdays, 9-10:15 a.m. and 10:30-11:45 a.m.
Wednesdays, 10:30-11:45 a.m.
Fridays, 10:30-11:45 a.m.     
Ages: birth to 3 years.
Private insurance accepted. Limited number of public insurance accepted.
No wait list. Call for more information.

A Place for Children
Play Group
Alexandra Koroleva-Regalado, MEd
7830 W. North Ave.
Elmwood Park, IL 60707
(847) 387-5342
Cook County

Second location:
2425 W. Pratt Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60645
(847) 387-5342
Cook County
Class allows your child to interact with children his/her own age. In this class, your child will be challenged to learn social and pre-academic skills throughout art projects, story time, snack time and free play. The play groups are monitored by a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and are staffed with trained therapists.
When: Group meets Wednesdays (at Pratt location) and Tuesdays and Thursdays (at Elmwood Park location) from 9 to 11 a.m. 
Ages: birth to 3 years.
Private insurance accepted (BCBS).
Cost: $20 (per class).
No wait list.

Chicago P.L.A.Y. Project
Tamara Kaldor, MS, developmental therapist & advocate
2128 W. Belmont
Chicago, IL 60618
(773) 426-6290
Serving: Cook County and North Shore suburbs.
Ages: birth to 13 years.
Insurance not accepted.
Cost: varies by service. Sliding scale is available.
No wait list.

Potanos and Associates
Social Skills Groups
Jenny Potanos, MA, CCC/SLP-L
1N031 Coventry Drive
Wheaton, IL 60188
(630) 510-8021
DuPage County
Cosley Zoo Play Camp
Ages: preschool to 3rd grade (summer group-7 weeks, 2 hrs., 1x per week).
Bowling with Friends
Ages: Third grade to middle school (summer group-seven weeks, two hours, once per week).
Integrated Play Groups
Ages: birth to 18 years (group meets all year long).
Insurance not accepted.
Cost: varies; will work with families on this. 
Possible wait list. Contact Ms. Potanos around April to get into summer groups.

TMS Psychological Services, P.C.
Therapeutic Play Dates
Theresa Schultz, PhD
1515 N. Harlem Ave., Suite 304
Oak Park, IL 60302
(708) 383-3405, ext. 10
Cook County
Play dates will be structured like groups, in the sense that there will be an initial commitment to a predetermined number of sessions/dates. The initial meeting and the first half of the sessions will likely take place in a group room. The second half of the sessions will ideally be conducted in each participant's home, in order to provide an opportunity for the emotional regulation and social interaction skills that are learned in this process to transfer to the home environment. The size will be limited to two to three participants.
Ages: not age specific.
Private insurance accepted.
Cost: call for details.
No wait list.

Play Group at TMS
Facilitators: Erin Marek, PsyD, and Helen Jonas, MA
Group designed for children who have difficulty playing and getting along with their peers or siblings. This group will help children learn appropriate skills in order to initiate and maintain play with their peers. Skill building will focus on communication and listening, sharing and turn taking, appropriate play, and friendship building.
Ages: 4-7.
Private insurance accepted.
Cost: call for details.
No wait list.

Although our Web site includes links providing direct access to other Internet sites, the Autism Resource Center at Rush University takes no responsibility for the content or information contained on those other sites, and does not exert any editorial or other control over those other sites.

The information on this Web site is provided for general reference purposes. It does not constitute medical or other professional advice and should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your child and adolescent psychiatrist or other physician. Only a qualified, licensed physician can determine the individual treatment that is appropriate for your particular circumstances. All decisions about clinical care should be made in consultation with a physician. Inclusion of information on this Web site does not constitute an endorsement of views, persons, methodologies or products. The health care providers whose information is available on the Web site are not necessarily the agents or employees of Rush University Medical Center. In consideration for use of this Web site, Rush University Medical Center or any other party involved in producing or delivering this Web site will not be liable to you for any action or nonaction that you take in reliance upon the information provided on this Web site.

Autism is a complex disorder. Our Web site provides information and resources for families with a child with autism. If you feel your child is experiencing behavior and/or symptoms that may be associated with autistic spectrum disorders, please contact your pediatrician or a licensed physician. A comprehensive evaluation may be needed from a psychologist, neurologist, psychiatrist, speech therapist and other professionals.

The Autism Resource Center's referral and resource list is not an all-inclusive list and is subject to change. Each day the team will be adding new resources and building to our Web site. If you have trouble finding a referral within your area, we encourage you to call (312) 563-2272 for further information. We hope that you visit our Web site again for any future referrals.




Contact Name
Autism Resource Center
Contact Phone
(312) 563-2272

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