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Autism Visual Supports

The Autism Center for Excellence at Giant Steps Illinois
Susan Hamre
8320 S. Madison St.
Burr Ridge, IL 60527
(630) 455-5730
DuPage County
Provides visual supports, schedules, training in how to make and/or utilize support systems.
Ages: 5 years and up.
Insurance not accepted.
Cost: $5 (small visual supports); $10 (big visual supports).
No wait list.

Autism Learn 101
Carol Rudd
(631) 821-1902
Website is dedicated to making visually structured activities designed to help develop multiple skills for persons with autism. Many of their activities contain different levels, creating a connected hierarchy. Learn by doing, then progress to each higher level to expand learned skills.

Fun and Function
Website for professionals and parents that provides sensory toys and therapy equipment for special needs children to help learn adaptive responses for what they may lack or crave

Little Friends Center for Autism, Inc.
1001 E. Chicago Ave., Suite 151
Naperville, IL 60540
(630) 305-4196
DuPage County
Staff create personalized visual training systems to assist parents and teachers in teaching particular skills.

  •   Ashley Can Tie Her Shoes: A visual system to help individuals learn to tie their shoes. Cost: $34.50.
  •   Bathing Board: A visual system for teaching the skills needed to shower independently. Cost: $23.31.
  •   Blood Draw Sequence Book: A visual system to help prepare and/or guide individuals through getting their blood drawn. Cost: $23.31.
  •   Brush Teeth: A visual system to teach individuals how to brush their teeth independently. Cost: $20.51.
  •   Combination First, Next, Then & Transition Board: Designed to help individuals with disabilities transition from one activity to the next. Cost: $14.92.
  •   Fingernail Clipping: A visual guide to the steps involved in getting one's fingernails clipped. Cost: $24.24.
  •   Grocery Store Shopping Book: A visual teaching tool for grocery shopping. Cost: $13.99.
  •   Grooming: This comprehensive visual system features six programs for teaching basic grooming skills. Cost: $60.61.
  •   Hand Washing Ring: A visual system to teach good hand washing skills. Cost: $13.99.
  •   Hand Washing Strip: A visual system for teaching individuals how to wash their hands. Cost: $10.26.
  •   Handicap Tag and Behavior Intervention System: For use in the community by parents of children with autism or other disabilities. Cost: $10.26.
  •   Menstrual Care: A visual system to teach menstrual care to women with autism or other disabilities. Cost: $29.84.
  •   Number Tab Board: A tool to help individuals with disabilities understand how much or how long an activity will last. Cost: $13.99.
  •   Relaxation Routines Book: A visual system for teaching relaxation routines. Cost: $18.65.
  •   Salon Hair Cut Program: A visual guide to the steps involved in getting a haircut. Cost: $23.31.
  •   Salon Shampoo Program: A visual guide to the steps involved in getting a shampoo. Cost: $23.31.
  •   Shaving: A visual guide to the steps involved in shaving. Cost: $23.31.
  •   Survival Kit: A visual system offering the tools for basic communication in the community. Cost: $16.73.
  •   Toilet Training Kit: A visual training system for teaching toileting skills. Cost: $34.50.
  •   Visual Social Manager Wheel: A tool to help teach and define social cues. Cost: $13.05.
  •   When I Sneeze: A visual guide to teach individuals how to use a tissue when they sneeze. Cost: $6.53.
  •   Wiping Board: A visual system designed to teach the learner how to independently wipe after toileting. Cost: $12.12.

Ages: birth and up.
Insurance not accepted.
Visual Training Systems Catalog available here.

Visual Picture Systems available for Naperville's first ever Autism Awareness Walk and Fun Run. Systems can be picked up at Little Friends, 140 N. Wright St., Naperville, IL or download from the agency's Web site. The visual picture system adapts walk activities to meet the needs of individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities. Participants can utilize the colorful number countdown picture system to take part in a variety of walk festivities, including walking, eating, drinking and playing in the event's fun-filled Kids' Area. Autism walk on Sunday, June 28. To register for the walk or contact Little Friends at (630) 355-6533.

A Place For Me
Elaine Reeves-Haywood
7548 S. Cregier
Chicago, IL 60649
(773) 931-9394
Cook County
Home-based support assisting parents or caregivers to make visual learning aids for child or adolescent.
Ages: 3 years and up.
Cost for visual aids: $15 to $35 (e.g. making friends, toliet training for girls and boys, grooming, etc.).
No wait list.

University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC)
Department of Disability and Human Development (DHD)
Assistive Technology Unit (ATU)
iPad Apps for AAC and Visual Strategies

This seminar provides a brief demonstration and overview of more than 25 apps for augmentative communication and visual supports. In addition information is provided about how to modify iPads for use as AAC systems. This seminar is designed for speech/language pathologists, occupational therapists, special educators and assistive technology specialists.
When: January 16, 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
Cost: register by January 4, for early-bird rate of $100 per person or $90 per person for a group rate of three or more attendees from the same location. After January 4, 2012 the rate is $120 per person. Space is limited for this course so please register early!

Western DuPage Special Recreation Association
Boardmaker Communication
(630) 681-0962
Boardmaker Communication picture schedules are available for the use in WDSRA’s autism spectrum disorder programs. Boardmaker can help individuals who cannot speak and is used as a tool for designing and printing augmentative communication tables. The software supplies a complete dictionary of picture communication symbols (PCS) from Mayer-Johnson, with verbal labels in various languages. Please contact the WDSRA office and they will be happy to set up the communication tool to meet your child’s individual needs.

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