Resources for Children with Special Needs

The following is a list of resources that families with special needs children may find useful. There are many additional resources, although we have attempted to list most local groups — or regional/ national organizations if a local resource does not exist.

Links to additional resources for specific special needs are also available at Illinois STAR Net Region II.

See Early Intervention for Special Needs, which describes the process parents go through to determine services for a child.

Please note that many of these resources depend upon local, state, or federal funding and that availability of services may vary based upon government funding levels.


Local School Districts

Forest Park (District 91) Student Services Department
925 Beloit Avenue, Forest Park 60130 Phone: 708-366-5742

Oak Park (District 97) Special Education
260 Madison, Oak Park 60302 Phone: 708-524-3000

River Forest (District 90) Special Education
7776 Lake Street Phone: 708-771-8282


General Resources

Provides email newsletters; maintains electronic chat board.

Council for Exceptional Children – The Division for Early Childhood
Promotes policies and practices that support families and enhance optimal development of young children who have or are at risk for developmental delays and disabilities.

Disability Resource Monthly
Lists a variety of disability resources in Illinois.

Illinois Department of Human Services Early Intervention
Website for families with children from birth to age 3 with diagnosed disabilities and developmental delays.

Information Connections
Information Connections, a website for parents of children with developmental disabilities and chronic diseases was developed by the Marianjoy Medical Library Staff with a special focus on Austism, Cerebral Palsy, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Down Syndrome, and Traumatic Brain Injury, among others.

Center for Parent Information and Resources
Referral center and clearinghouse for information about disabilities.

One Place for Special Needs
A compendium of information for families with special needs.

Information about law and advocacy for children with disabilities.


Local Resources

Parents of Extra Special Kids

Parents of Extra Special Kids is a supportive and inclusive group of parents of kids with special needs or other challenges.  Parents share experiences and resources, as well as have regular parent/caregiver meet ups, learning opportunities, as well as social events for kids and families.  Parents are from Oak Park area and the surrounding suburbs.

Advocate Illinois Masonic Center
836 W. Wellington Ave., Chicago 60657 Phone: 773-296-7450 Fax: 773-296-7370
Audiology, developmental therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, social-emotional/mental therapy and speech therapy.

Aspire Children’s Services
1815 South Wolf Road, Hillside, IL 60162 Phone: 708-236-0979
Provide family-centered early intervention and specialized services for children with developmental delays or disabilities, and their families.

Comunity Support Services
9021 W. Ogden, Brookfield 60513 Phone: 708-354-4547
Case management/ social work; developmental disabilities services; parent/support/training; respite care.

Division of Specialized Care for Children (DSCC)
at University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) Phone: 800-322-3722
Care coordination for children from birth to age 21 with physical disabilities. Financial assistance with medical costs for qualifying income-eligible families. Information available in English and Spanish.

Dynamic Lynks
1100 Lake St., Suite 100C, Oak Park, IL 60301
Phone: 708-620-2373
Holistic therapeutic center, music and movement for children with Autism. Individual and group music therapy sessions, adaptive yoga, voice, piano, guitar and ukulele lessons. All ages.

Family Resource Center on Disabilities
20 E. Jackson Blvd, Room 300, Chicago 60604 Phone: 312-939-3513
Provides information, training, and support for families who have children with disabilities.

Fussy Baby Network at Erikson Institute
Phone: 888-431-BABY (2229)
Variety of services including free parent support phone line, home visit program, English and Spanish support groups, and fussy baby clinic.

Helping Hand Rehabilitation Center
9649 W. 55th St., Countryside 60525 Phone: 708-352-3580, ext. 383 Fax: 708-352-9728
Developmental therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech therapy.

Illinois Early Intervention Clearinghouse
Phone: 877-275-3227 Fax: 217-522-4670
Provides library and information services to Illinois residents on health, educational and developmental concerns of infancy and early childhood; call to order materials at no cost.

Imagine Pediatric Therapy
606 W. Roosevelt Rd., Chicago 60607 Phone: 312-588-5050 Fax: 312-588-5040
Occupational therapy, physical therapy and speech therapy.

Kids Unlimited Therapeautic Services LLC
820 North Blvd. (side entrance) Oak Park 60302 Phone: 708-524-2445 Fax: 708-524-2443
Occupational therapy, physical therapy and speech therapy.

Lekotek (National Center)
2001 N. Clybourn, Chicago 60614 Phone: 773-528-5766 Fax: 773-537-2992
Toy Resource Helpline: 800-366-PLAY
National resource on toys and play for children with special needs.

Lakeview Speech and Language Clinic, LLC 
Phone: 773-573-7709
Lakeview Speech and Language Clinic provides in-home speech and occupational therapies to children and their families in Oak Park – River Forest, and Chicago, IL. Their mission is to connect with your child and family to promote and teach skills in order to enrich your lives in all environments. Therapy sessions are energized and motivational, and use naturalistic materials and activities.

Lurie Children’s Outpatient Center at Westchester
2301 Enterprise Dr. Westchester 60154 Phone: 708-836-4800 Fax: 708-836-4805
Audiology, occupational therapy, physical therapy and speech therapy.

Oak-Leyden Developmental Services
411 Chicago Avenue, Oak Park 60302 Phone: 708-524-1050 ext. 107
Individualized, family centered services for young children from birth to age 5 with developmental delays or disabilities. Program services include: physical, occupational, speech, and developmental therapies, play groups, family training and support, and family events. Developmental screenings available upon request.

6918 Windsor Ave., Berwyn, IL 60402
708-745-5277 (phone); 708-795-4834 (fax)
Social-emotional/mental health therapy.

Smart Love Family Services
610 S. Maple Avenue, 2nd Floor, Oak Park, IL 60403
773-665-8052, ext. 4 (phone); 708-660-4301 (fax)
Mental health services for children and adults; diagnostic evaluations; individual and group counseling; play therapy; psychological and neuropsychological testing; autism treatment program.

STAR Net Region II
2626 S. Clearbrook Drive, Arlington Heights, IL 60005
224-366-8579 (phone)
Support and Technical Assistance Regional Network provides training and technical assistance to parents of children with special needs (birth – age 8) in western Cook County.

Thrive Counseling Center
120 S. Marion St., Oak Park, IL 60302
708-383-7500 (phone); 708-383-7880 (fax)
Social-emotional/mental health therapy.

Vital Rehabilitation
5820 W. Irving Park Road, Chicago, IL 60634
773-685-8482 (phone); 773-685-8479 (fax)
Developmental therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, social-emotional/mental health therapy and speech therapy.

West Suburban Special Recreation Association (WSSRA) & Lekotek
2915 Maple Street, Franklin Park, IL 60131
847-455-2100 (phone)
Cooperative extension that provides recreational opportunities for children and adults with special needs, disabilities, or handicapping conditions. WSSRA also offers Lekotek, a lending library of toys for children with disabilities.


Additional Support Services

Autism Society of Illinois
2200 S. Main St., #205, Lombard, IL 60148
Information and referral to support groups and providers/services. Offers IEP consults and advocacy at no charge.

The Chicago Lighthouse
1850 W. Roosevelt Rd., Chicago, IL 60068
Educational, clinical, vocational and rehabilitation services for children, youth and adults who are blind or visually impaired.

Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago
17 N. State St., Ste. 1300, Chicago, IL 60622
Programs and services for children youth and adults with epilepsy.