Moraine Business and Conference Center

  • Event Time 9:00 AM-4:00 PM
  • Event Date November 17, 2017
  • Event Location 9000 W College Parkway

8th Annual ABC Conference

(Autism, Behavior, Complex Medical Needs) Conference

hosted by the Illinois Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics (ICAAP)


8th Annual ABC Conference, “Lives in the Balance: Caring for Children with Special Needs, Their Families, Their Communities, And Ourselves in These Precarious Times”

Friday, November 17, 2017,

Moraine Business and Conference Center (Building M)
9000 W College Pkwy
Palos Hills, IL 60465


Despite rhetoric at the federal level, Illinois’ struggles are a reality that will not end in the foreseeable future. Illinois had been without a state budget for over two years. Vital organizations that serve our children, families, and communities have either scaled services back dramatically or have disappeared. Yet the basic needs for attention to health for children with special needs, their families, and the communities in which they live are still very visible. From the perspective of a statewide organization, the uncertainty we have been living with here in Illinois has contributed trauma and toxic stress for so long, many of us are stunned, frustrated, and angry. While we may be in a unique position to help, we are also vulnerable to the stress and challenges of working with children with special needs who suffer their own psychological and physical realities. We endure compassion fatigue—the cost of caring.

All of these factors impact the physical, mental, and behavioral health of children and families.  They also impact our ability, as those who serve the community, to be empathetic and emotionally effective in our work. Therefore, there is a greater need for sharing tools and supports that enable providers to recognize and address some new truths about the realities of health from children’s social, economic, physical, and educational environments.

The 8th Annual ABC Conference will deliver valuable information about navigating the current realities of service delivery, advocating for those we serve, and professional self-care, family self-care, and community self-care in order to enable providers across many disciplines to recognize and address these realities when caring for children and families with special healthcare needs, including those impacted by trauma and adverse childhood experiences.