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Autism Advocacy

  • A father blogs about experiences with his autistic son
  • Action Advokids
    Cindy L. Asselstine
    612 Bayview Point
    Schaumburg, 60194
    (847) 882-1225
    Cook County
    Asselstine has 11 years experience. She provides advocacy services for parents of children with special needs, such as review of school records, recommendations for school programs, available to attend school meetings, IEP development and parent advocacy training.
    Insurance not accepted.
    Cost: $300 (consultation fee); $75 (hourly fee).
    Payment plans available.
    No wait list.
  • "The ADA In Your Community" Survey
    How do people with disabilities rate their community's implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act? To find out this answer, The Illinois ADA Project, in conjunction with the DBTAC: Great Lakes ADA Center is conducting a Survey. People with disabilities, their family members, and their advocates are invited to complete the ADA Survey so that your voices are heard when accessibility issues are being addressed in your communities. Print copies and alternative formats are available upon request. To request the ADA Survey in an alternative format, or for additional information, contact Alan Goldstein by phone: (312) 341-0022 or email:
  • Advanced Case Management, Ltd.
    Catherine J. Oliver, RN, C, MSN
    1951 Merritt Lane
    Lake Forest, IL 60045
    (847) 615-9410
    Lake County
    Provides advocacy services which include risk assessment, IEP development, review and explanation of records, care coordination, parent education, medication management, problem solving and exploration of treatment options.
    Ages: birth and up.
    Insurance not accepted.
    Cost: call for fee schedule.
    No wait list.
  • The Answer, Inc.
    Provides support, resources, education, recreation and advocacy for parents and caregivers of people in the autism spectrum.
  • Autism Speaks
    Organization dedicated to funding global biomedical research into the causes, prevention, treatments, and cure for autism; to raise public awareness about autism and its effects on individuals, families, and society; and to bring hope to all who deal with the hardships of this disorder.
  • Belle Center of Chicago
    Susan Karr, program director
    1754 W. Wilson Ave.
    Chicago, IL 60640
    (773) 878-7868
    Cook County
    Advocacy work includes participating in a four-hour individualized education plan meeting at a Chicago public school. Staff participates in the development of annual goals, the identification of modifications and accommodations, and work to help ensure that children receive the LRE placement and supports to which they are entitled. Learn more.
    Ages: 3-16 years.
    Cost: call for fee schedule.
    No wait list.
  • CafeMom
    The largest online community for women created for parents of autistic children. In addition to the typical symptoms, treatments, and advice most guides have, they are interviewing parents of autistic children to get their real world stories in an effort to help parents who are just finding out about the ups and downs of parenting an autistic child.
  • Chicago Public Schools
    Office of Special Education and Supports

    Web site designed to provide resources and information for parents, students, schools and community members to promote the success of all students with disabilities who attend Chicago Public Schools. Many parent resources. Browse through more than 100 pages of free printable items suitable for task creation.
  • Connect 4 Success
    Brian R. King, LCSW, has created a web site where you can find his articles as well the latest articles from around the Web. King will also post quotes to stimulate supportive and educational dialogue.
  • Countryside Association
    Advocates on behalf of persons with disabilities and their families and to support them in their efforts to live and work successfully in their chosen community. Programs and services offered include work and training centers, developmental training, supported employment, client and family support, in-home respite and contracted production services.
  • Disability Benefits Help
    This calculator can estimate how much an an adult with autism can expect to receive if he or she is approved for Social Security disability benefits. The calculator will work for both Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) applicants.
  • DisabilityGoTo, Inc.
    Provides phone or off-site consultation, planning, advocacy services, and support assistance to organizations serving people with disabilities and individuals with autism spectrum disorders.
  • From Advocacy to Action
    Pam Labellarte, special education advocate
    231 Bingham Circle
    Mundelein, IL 60060
    (847) 401-5053
    Serving Illinois counties: Lake, McHenry, Cook, DuPage & Kane.
    Serving Wisconsin counties: Kenosha & Walworth.
    Special education advocate and parent of two children with a disability. Provides the educational/transition process. Services include: education, peer counseling, 504 plan multiple disciplinary conference (MDC-3 year evaluation, manifestation determination-discipline and mediation).
    Cost: call for fee schedule.
    No wait list.
  • Good Shepherd Center for Exceptional Children
    17314 Kedzie
    Hazelcrest, IL 60429
    (708) 335-0020, ext. 22
    Cook County
    Provides advocacy coaching, community outreach - local voice on legislation that affects families and children in Illinois and ongoing DCFS approved training.
  • Illinois Council of Developmental Disabilities
    The council's work is carried out across the state through a network of advocates that educates the public on system issues while encouraging change. ICDD listens to the needs of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families by investing in new programs to improve the delivery of services and supports they deserve.
  • Illinois Life Span Project of The Arc of Illinois
    Contact Person: Mike Kaminsky
    20901 S. LaGrange Road, 2nd floor
    Frankfort, IL 60423
    (800) 588-7002 or (815) 464-1832
    Will County
    Provides information on advocacy, supports, and services, searchable by service type and county to people with disabilities and their families statewide. They do not provide direct services of any kind — they are an information and referral resource. Families that do not have internet access or those who are unable to locate the information for which they are searching can call for assistance. There is no charge to users or providers listed on the ILS site.
  • Illinois Yellow Pages for Kids with Disabilities
    Provides reliable information and support. State Yellow Pages: Provides many useful resources, evaluators, educational consultants, academic tutors, support groups, grassroots organizations, advocates, attorneys and others who help parents get services for their children in your state.
  • JJ's List
    Website designed for people with disabilities to review businesses and services that are committed to serving people with disabilities in a welcoming, flexible and respectful way so that they can become an integral and natural part of community life. Website was designed, developed and tested by people with disabilities.
  • Maximum Potential Autism Directory for Illinois
    Directory for advocates in Illinois.
  • MedicClaim Consultants, LLC
    Gail Borgerd
    1716A Pickwick Lane
    Glenview, IL 60026
    (847) 657-1157
    Provides help to individuals and businesses to secure maximum benefit from your health insurance. MedicClaim was founded in 1998 and to date has assisted hundreds of families.
    Cost: call for rates. 
  • National Autism Association
    Web site created to educate and empower families affected by autism and other neurological disorders, while advocating on behalf of those who cannot fight for their own rights. Two important grant-funded programs are Family First and Helping Hand. Visit the website for applications and for the location of statewide chapters and the Find a Friend program.
  • Neighborhood Parents Network (NPN)
    Non-profit 501(c)3 that connects a diverse community of families with the resources they need to navigate parenting in the city. Expectant, new and seasoned parents come to NPN to find what they need to tackle the everyday challenges of being a Chicago parent. Whether online or in person, NPN makes it easy to find support, must-have information and amazing city events. NPN has been connecting Chicago parents for more than 36 years. Website provides: parent-to-parent interactions such as social and support groups and active discussion forums; parent education opportunities such as the Parent to Parent print newsletter and Parent University Speaker Series; school choice resources such as our annual school fairs and online school directory.
  • North  Shore Pediatric Therapy team's blog
  • Our Amazing Kids
    This is a local free, on-line support group for parents and educators of a child with a disability. Monthly meetings are planned for kids and then others for adults only. Please use the board to start discussions, post questions and events. Your posts will be automatically sent to all members unless emailing someone directly. They also have a calendar to post events with reminders. Suggestions are welcomed.
  • Pay It Forward For Autism (PIFFA)
    Provides peer support and networking for children with autism and their families.
  • A Place for Me
    Agency offers various services that include initial and on-going consultative support, training and resources.
  • Protected Tomorrows
    Advocacy firm that enhances the lives of people with special needs through a comprehensive life planning process in the following areas: education, residential, financial, legal, health care, government benefits, employment and recreation.
  • PUNS - Understanding PUNS: A Guide to Prioritization for Urgency of Need for Services
    PUNS is a statewide database that records information about individuals with developmental disabilities who are potentially in need of services. The State uses the data to select individuals for services as funding becomes available, to develop proposals and materials for budgeting, and to plan for future needs.
  • PURE (Parents United for Responsible Education)
    Builds support for and enhance the quality of public education in the city of Chicago by informing parents about educational issues, bringing the views of parents into the decision-making process, and acting as an advocate for parents in their relationships with the school administration.
  • RAMP 
    Local service provider for students with disabilities and their families.
  • Self Advocacy Council of Northern Illinois
    Support group for youths and adults with disabilities and the people that support them. Some topics planned are: self-directed IEP and transition plans, scheduling "Self Advocacy 101" workshop presentation, voting rights and how to affect legislation, social security and employment rights, the right to live in your own community, inclusion in education, recreation and the community, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Americans with Disabilities Act. Group meets on the second Thursday of each month, 6:30-8:30 p.m. For additional information, RSVP or email:
  • Special Ed Advocacy Center
    Provides free legal representation to low-income parents and caregivers of children with disabilities seeking to obtain appropriate educational and early intervention services for their child. SEAC seeks to educate parents, caregivers and school personnel concerning their rights and responsibilities under current special education law. Download brochure or call (847) 736-8286.
  • Transition Tool Kit
    Provided by Autism Speaks, Family Services. Tool kit serves as a guide that can provide you with options to think about and explore as you and your adolescent with autism begin to plan for adulthood. The kit is broken down into different sections. At the end of each section, resources are provided specific to that section, as well as forms to help you keep track of the many pieces that constitute a transition plan. Since the transition process is different in each state, they have developed timelines for each state, with state agency information that may be helpful to you throughout the process. Download free tool kit.
  • Transportation Security Administration (TSA) - Travelers with Disabilities and Medical Conditions
    Information for travelers with disabilities -  TSA now provides a Passenger Support Specialists (PSS) to help them get through Chicago Midway International Airport. The PSS provides assistance to wounded warriors and people with disabilities. 
  • VOICE-Advocacy
    Provides support, training, and advocacy services for families of children with special needs in school settings and beyond. Organization will assist you with your special education advocacy needs and provide training.
  • Wrightslaw
    Provides accurate and reliable information about special education law, education law and advocacy for children with disabilities.

If you are interested in adding your organization or would like to make changes to a current listing on our website, please contact Natalie Forburger, LCPC, at (312) 563-2272 or