Specific Disabilities and Developmental Delays

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder)
Provides information for individuals with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and their families. Membership and advocacy organization offering support and education for individuals, parents, teachers, professionals, and others.

Children with Special Needs: ADHD
This 2-page PDF created by the Head Start Center for Inclusion offers families and professionals a brief description of ADHD, some issues that a child with ADHD could exhibit and some strategies for overcoming challenges that may be associated with ADHD.

Early Warning Signs of ADHD
This article is all about the early warning signs that can be seen in a child who has ADHD. It also talks about what child with ADHD might say if they have it. The article describes what behaviors the parents might notice.

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity in children (Mayo Clinic)
This website gives a description and overview of what ADHD is. It talks about the symptoms somebody may have if they have ADHD. Lastly, the website sates when they think it is best to see a doctor if the symptoms are apparent.

All About ADHD (birth-preschool aged)
This website talks about preschool aged children and younger having ADHD. It answers a series of questions that a parent of a young child may have about ADHD.

Autism

Autism: Be Aware of the Signs
An Illinois Early Learning Project tipsheet for parents and caregivers. Also available in Polish and Spanish.

The Autism Program of Illinois (TAP)
TAP is a community-focused program at the University of Illinois. The Resource Room is housed in the Family Resiliency Center on campus and provides a place where families and professionals can find information or preview materials that might be helpful to them.

Autism Speaks
Autism Speaks is both an advocacy and support organization. Its Web site includes a definition of autism along with family resources, science news, and local chapters. View Illinois specific information. Also in Spanish.

Children with Special Needs: Autism Spectrum Disorders
This 2-page PDF created by the Head Start Center for Inclusion offers families and professionals a brief description of Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorders, some behavioral symptoms that a child with autism could exhibit and some strategies for overcoming challenges that may be associated with autism.

EITP: Autism Resources
The Early Intervention Training Program (EITP) website offers a variety of national and regional resources related to Autism.

Autism Spectrum Disorder Foundation
The Autism Spectrum Disorder Foundation sponsors this website. It has a wide variety of information of ASD. There are scholarships, support, definitions, and much more information of this website.

Autism Fact Sheet
This is a one-page document that has a multitude of information on ASD. This fact sheet talks about the signs and symptoms that a child with ASD might show.

A Parents Guide to Autism Spectrum Disorder
This web article is all about learning the signs of ASD and being able to ask for help. It answers questions such as, “how is ASD diagnosed?” The wed article also helps to find more information about ASD by direction you to other great sources.

Blindness/Visual Impairments

EITP: Hearing and Vision Resources
The Early Intervention Training Program (EITP) website offers a variety of national and regional resources related to hearing and vision.

Illinois Association for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments
IPVI provides support, information, and service to parents of children with visual impairments, including those with additional
disabilities. 

Family Connect
Family Connect is all about getting families who have children that are blind connected to many different resources. This is a big resource website that gives parents of blind children a place to support each other.

Development Charts
This website is a series of development charts. The charts are for babies who are blind or visually impaired.

Blindness
This article is written from a parent’s point of view. It talks about blindness and what is means in the mind of a blind child.  This is insightful and can help parents to understand a different perspective on blindness.

National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health
This comprehensive website provides information on vision development for providers and families, including milestones, screening tools, and a tool kit for providers and families. Many resources are available in Spanish.

Paths to Literacy for Students who are Blind or Visually Impaired
This website provides information to assist educators and families in the quest to provide literacy experiences for children who are blind or visually impaired.

Cerebral Palsy

Children with Special Needs: Cerebral Palsy
This 2-page PDF created by the Head Start Center for Inclusion offers families and professionals a brief description of cerebral palsy, some early signs of cerebral palsy that a child, usually under 3 years of age, could exhibit and some strategies for overcoming challenges that may be associated with cerebral palsy.

Cerebral Palsy: Causes, Treatment And Prevention
This web page is all about the causes, treatment, and prevention of cerebral palsy. It talks about the different types of cerebral palsy and statistics of how common cerebral palsy is.

Mayo Clinic and Cerebral Palsy
This website talks about the symptoms and Causes, and diagnosis and treatment. This website is medically based and contains a lot of great information about cerebral palsy.

Cerebral Palsy and What You Need to Know
This site will answer many of your question you might what to know about cerebral palsy. From what it is to what causes it, this website it explains it all in an easily understood manner.

Deaf-Blindness

EITP: Hearing and Vision Resources
The Early Intervention Training Program (EITP) website offers a variety of national and regional resources related to hearing and vision.

Project Reach: Illinois Deaf-Blind Services
Project Reach provides technical assistance, information, and training to address the early intervention, special education, related services, and transitional services needs of children with Deaf-Blindness and enhance state capacity to improve services and outcomes for children and their families.

Finding Resources In Your State
The National Center on Deaf-Blindness will help you find resources in the state of Illinois and every state.  This will help you find your National Center on Deaf-Blindness

Materials for Families of Infants and Toddlers
This resource gives parents information on early intervention and Howe to communicate with their baby. It mentions other families that are associated with the Family Association for Deaf-Blind. This site also talks about National resources.

Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Deaf-Blind, Visually Impaired
This Illinois State Board of Education webpage lists many resources for families and educators. It includes fact sheets, guidance documents, information on licensure, and more.

Deaf or Hard of Hearing

See Hard of Hearing/Deafness

Down Syndrome

Central Illinois Down Syndrome Organization
Central Illinois Down Syndrome Organization (CIDSO) was established in 1974 to act as a support and educational service for the families primarily in McLean County who have been touched by Down Syndrome.

Children with Special Needs: Down Syndrome
This 2-page PDF created by the Head Start Center for Inclusion offers families and professionals a brief description of down syndrome, some common characteristics that a child with down syndrome may exhibit and some strategies for overcoming challenges that may be associated with down syndrome.

EITP: Down Syndrome Resources
The Early Intervention Training Program (EITP) website offers a variety of national and regional resources related to down syndrome.

Heart of Illinois Down Syndrome Association, Inc.
The Heart of Illinois Down Syndrome Association, Inc. (HOIDSA) is a local support group of parent volunteers that is committed to improving the quality of life of persons with Down syndrome, as well as those with other disabilities, by sponsoring local workshops and conferences on topics such as health, inclusive education, and behavioral support strategies.

Lincoln Land Down Syndrome Society
Lincoln Land Down Syndrome Society is a support network for families residing in and around Sangamon County to promote awareness, acceptance, inclusion and education of people with Down syndrome.

National Association for Down Syndrome
This Web site features information about Down syndrome, including facts about Down syndrome, links to local support groups, and links to other useful resources. The information is also available in Spanish. (serves Chicago)

UPS for DownS – United Parent Support for Down Syndrome
UPS for DownS is a parent directed, non-profit organization, located in Schaumburg, IL, offering support, education, and encouragement for parents, families and others who love and care about persons with Down syndrome.

Early Intervention and Down Syndrome
This article is all about early intervention and how a child with down syndrome can benefit from it. It talks about the different types of early intervention and how it affects the babies development.

What Is Down Syndrome
Everything you want to know about down syndrome is summed up in this website. The National Down Syndrome Society not only talks about what down syndrome is all about but it also talks about different language that may be of confusion.

Video About Down Syndrome
Cause, symptoms, diagnosis, and Pathology are all explained in this 10-minute video. It its helpful and really breaks down what down syndrome is all about.

Early Intervention

Early Intervention Central Billing Office
Central Billing Office (CBO) bills for services and collects payment for services.

Early Intervention Technical Assistance and Monitoring Program
Early Intervention Technical Assistance and Monitoring Program ensures compliance with regulations.

Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS)
The Bureau of Early Intervention within the Illinois Department of Human Services is the lead agency for services for children birth to age three with developmental delays or disabilities and their families in Illinois. 

Illinois Early Intervention Training Program
Early Intervention Training Program (EITP) provides training opportunities for early intervention professionals in Illinois.

Provider Connections
Provider Connections credentials, enrolls, and provides technical assistance to EI providers in the state.

What is Early Intervention?
Learn the signs and act early. This website talks about the different was Early Intervention is used. It also lets anyone find out if their child is eligible for services in their state.

Child and Family Connections
How can your family be helped through Early Intervention? This website will give you resources and connection.

A Guide for Families: Illinois Intervention Clearing House
All about the Illinois Early Intervention Program.

Early Literacy

Baby Talk
Baby TALK is a community family engagement model which provides the framework to guide home visitors, teachers, social workers, family support specialists and community partners in nurturing school readiness and optimal child development in their community by providing opportunities for infants, toddlers and their caregivers.

Encouraging Literacy Development in Infants and Toddlers  (IEL Resource List)
This list contains a variety of resources which can be helpful to teachers, parents, and caregivers in order to encourage literacy development in infants and toddlers.

Zero to Three: Early Literacy
This handout provides adequate information to parents for children who are birth to three years old. It goes into detail about how these early literacy skills unfold and develop.

Getting ready to read
This website provides many articles, videos, and activities to help early literacy develop. It can be helpful for teachers and parents in helping young children prepare for school.

Scholastics: Early Literacy
This handout gives information about early literacy and what can help expand it. It mentions how important family involvement is and even gives access to books.

Epilepsy

Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Southern Illinois
The Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Southern Illinois provides services and supports to individuals diagnosed with seizures, their families, and the community at large.

Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago
The Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago is a not-for-profit organization serving 44 counties in Illinois. We offer education, advocacy, and case management to people living with epilepsy, their families, and the communities in which they live, all in the service of helping our constituents seize the narrative back from epilepsy.

Sandford Children’s Health
This website talks about the definition of a seizure and all of the different kinds there are. It gives a good description of what causes a seizure and how they are diagnosed.

Mayo Clinic: Epilepsy
This article looks at what the symptoms and causes of Epilepsy is. It researches the risk factors and the statistics behind Epilepsy.

Epilepsy Video
The Epilepsy Foundation made this short video to talk about what epilepsy is and the statistics involved.

Family Support and Parenting

Parent Training and Information Centers (PTIC) are funded to provide information and training to parents of children of all ages (birth to 26). In Illinois, there are two PTICs – one serves eight counties in northeastern Illinois and the other serves the remainder of the state – staffed with parents of children with disabilities. Information Specialists and trainers provide individualized support, workshops, webinars, help with early intervention and school service plans, and connect families to local and state resources.

Family Support Network of Illinois
The Family Support Network, a program of the ARC of Illinois, works to uncover the resources, funding, and services needed to help people with developmental disabilities live fulfilling lives in their own homes.

Fussy Baby Network
Services available from the network include parent groups, a “warmline,” and an infant specialist who will work with parents to find effective ways to care for their baby. All services are available in English and Spanish.

Illinois Fatherhood Initiative
The Illinois Fatherhood Initiative (IFI) is the country’s first state-wide non-profit fatherhood organization. Founded in 1997, the IFI provides resources and programming to help Dads take an active role in the education of their children.

Illinois Organization of Mothers of Twins Clubs, Inc.
Multiples of Illinois, also known as the Illinois Organization of Mothers of Twins Clubs, Inc. or IOMOTC was founded in 1962 as an Illinois non-profit, educational, public service organization for mothers of twins and higher-order multiple birth children. Multiples of Illinois provides support, information, and networking services to parents of twins and higher-order multiples through its member club affiliates.

Supporting Illinois Brothers and Sisters
S.I.B.S.’ mission is to provide support to siblings of people with disabilities in Illinois by connecting them with information, networking opportunities, and resources in order to enhance the quality of life for their entire family.

University of Illinois Extension
As part of the Land Grant system, the University of Illinois was established not only to provide world class education and pioneer research and discovery, but to put learning and discovery into practice, to benefit the health and wellbeing of residents and communities in every part of Illinois. Extension is the university’s statewide network of educators, faculty experts, and staff dedicated to that mission.

Illinois Early Learning Project
The Illinois Early Learning Project offers many videos to capture what positive parenting looks it. It has videos that help parents learn how to do things such as read to their children, or come up with projects, or playing with their baby. IEL’s Tip Sheets range in topics and are completely free.

Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services
This is the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services. Anybody can come on this site and it will direct them to information about what their child needs and how to get it.

General Early Childhood

Early Choices
Early Choices promotes increasing high quality inclusive early care and education for each and every child birth to age 5. Their goal is to increase the number of children with disabilities receiving specialized services in regular early care and education settings.

Illinois Division of Early Childhood
IDEC is the Illinois Subdivision of the Division for Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children

Illinois Early Intervention Clearinghouse (EIC)
The Illinois Early Intervention (EI) Clearinghouse identifies and collects research-based and best-practice early intervention information to share with families.

Illinois Early Learning Project
The Illinois Early Learning Project Web site is a source of evidence-based, reliable information on early care and education for parents, caregivers, and teachers of young children in Illinois.

Start Early
Start Early provides early childhood services for young children and their families, professional development for the early childhood field, evaluation and research on early childhood services, and policy & advocacy work on behalf of young children and their families.

STARNET Regional Offices
Provides training, consultation, and resources to the early childhood community in Illinois. Support and Technical Assistance Regionally.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
This website gives basic information on healthy development. It states effective parenting practices and talks about many developmental milestones.

What is Early Childhood Education?
PreschoolTeacher.org explains to people exactly what Early Childhood Education is. It gives information on how these schools are funded and the elements of the Early Childhood program.

General Health and Health Care

All Kids: Healthcare for All Kids
The All Kids program offers Illinois uninsured children comprehensive healthcare that includes doctors visits, hospital stays, prescription drugs, vision care, dental care and medical devices like eyeglasses and asthma inhalers

American Academy of Pediatrics, Illinois Chapter
ICAAP is an organization of approximately 2,000 pediatricians in Illinois. Primary activities include advocacy on behalf of children, families, and health professionals in Illinois; the provision of continuing medical education and other resources for pediatricians, pediatric specialists, and other child health care providers; and collaboration with other state organizations and agencies on programs and projects that improve the health and well-being of children.

Health Care for Children
The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provides low-cost health coverage to children in families that earn too much money to qualify for Medicaid. In some states, CHIP covers pregnant women. Each state offers CHIP coverage, and works closely with its state Medicaid program.

All Kids
All Kids is Illinois’ program for children who need comprehensive, affordable, health insurance, regardless of immigration status or health condition. All Kids covers doctor visits, hospital stays, prescription drugs, vision care, dental care, and eyeglasses. All Kids covers regular check-ups and immunizations (shots). All Kids also covers special services like medical equipment, speech therapy, and physical therapy for children who need them.

Centers for Disease and Control Prevention
This website offers information on how to keep infants and toddlers safe and healthy, different diseases and conditions, raising healthy children, and developmental milestones. Also in Spanish.

Hard of Hearing/Deafness

EITP: Hearing and Vision Resources
The Early Intervention Training Program (EITP) website offers a variety of national and regional resources related to hearing and vision.

Illinois Hands & Voices
This parent-driven, non-profit organization supports families with children who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing without a bias around communication modes or methodologies.

Illinois Sound Beginnings
As true partners, the IL EHDI (Early Hearing Detection & Intervention) and IL Hands & Voices Guide By Your Side (ILHV GBYS) staff work very closely to develop grant narratives, budgets, project methodology, work plans, and data measures. By having activities family-focused, this allows the program to address the screening and follow-up needs of all infants and their families in Illinois while reducing diagnostic loss to follow-up and increasing early intervention and parent-to-parent support enrollment.

Illinois Speech Language Hearing Association (ISHA)
ISHA’s Mission is to support and advocate for speech-language pathologists, audiologists, and the individuals they serve with communication, hearing, and swallowing disorders.

Early Intervention For Children With Hearing Loss
This is a simple article about the early intervention that can help children with hearing loss. It mentions the 504 plan and laws that can help children’s development.

Identifying Hearing Loss in Young Children
Hearing loss can easily be misdiagnosed or easily overlooked but with accurate screening/ evaluation practices, hearing loss can be identified and early and appropriate intervention can be initiated without delay.

BabyHearing.org
This website, developed by a team of hearing specialists at Boys Town National Research Hospital, provides information about hearing, supporting language development in children with hearing loss, preparing for school, and early intervention. Also in Spanish.

Hearing First
This organization supports families with young children with hearing loss. The website includes articles, videos, handouts, and eBooks to help families support young children’s development.

Childhood Hearing Loss
This document from the World Health Organization outlines the prevalence and impact of childhood hearing loss. It highlights that the majority of causes responsible for hearing loss in children can be prevented and offers strategies for action.

Intellectual Disability

The Arc of Illinois
This statewide organization supports persons with disabilities and their families by hosting events & webinars, providing resources to help persons with disabilities and their families advocate, and other programs to help support families.

Defining Intellectual Disabilities
This website defines intellectual disabilities. It talks about different terms and their definition that would help someone who has been diagnosed with an intellectual disability.

Center for Parent Information and Resources
This website gives many different resources for parents of a child with an intellectual disability. It gives real life examples and goes on to give a lot of informational research.

Learning Disabilities

Everyone Reading Illinois
Everyone Reading Illinois’ mission is to improve the lives of children and adults with dyslexia and related learning disabilities through high quality professional development for teachers, increased public awareness and support for families.

Learning Disabilities Association of Illinois
LDA of Illinois provides support to people with learning disabilities, their parents, teachers and other professionals. At the national, state and local levels, LDA provides cutting edge information on learning disabilities, practical solutions, and a comprehensive network of resources.

Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA)
LDA provides support and resources for parents on specific learning disabilities and related disorders, including dyscalculia, dyslexia, non-verbal learning disabilities, and executive functioning disorders.

National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD)
NCLD advocates for improved local and national policy, provides scholarships & awards, and helps to empower young adults with learning and attention issues.

Mental Health

Illinois Association for Infant Mental Health
The Illinois Association for Infant Mental Health (ILAIMH) is a membership organization of diverse professionals working with infants, toddlers and their families. ILAIMH offers reflective practice groups for multidisciplinary birth to five professionals, along with student networking and membership events.

Mental Health America of Illinois
Mental Health America of Illinois (MHAI) has worked to promote mental health, prevent mental illnesses and improve the care and treatment of people suffering from mental and emotional disorders. Their three main focus areas are to educate, to advocate and to inform.

National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) Illinois
NAMI Illinois is dedicated to improving the quality of life for people with mental health disorders and their families through support, education, and advocacy.

The Importance of Infant Mental Health
This is a research article that shows a clear understanding of infant mental health. It gives definitions of what it means and describes different behaviors.

Infant Mental Health Blog
This blog gives parents and teachers advice on 10 things that they should know about infant mental health. It gives great research examples and great descriptions of why infant mental health may occur.

Speech and Language Development

Illinois Speech Language Hearing Association (ISHA)
ISHA’s Mission is to support and advocate for speech-language pathologists, audiologists, and the individuals they serve with communication, hearing, and swallowing disorders.

Speech and Language Developmental Milestones
Children vary in their development of speech and language skills. However, they follow a natural progression or timetable for mastering the skills of language. A checklist of milestones for the normal development of speech and language skills in children from birth to 5 years of age is available in PDF from the National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders.

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
This ASHA page provides a collective resource of norms and milestones for speech-language development

Spina Bifida

Illinois Spina Bifida Association
The Illinois Spina Bifida Association works to improve the quality of life of individuals and families living with spina bifida by promoting skill development and independence, supporting individuals and families, and funding scholarships, equipment, research, and emergency help.

Living With Spina Bifida – CDC
In addition to adjusting to life with a new baby, parents of a child with spina bifida also need to learn as much as possible about the condition to prepare for the needs of their child.

Kids Health: Spina Bifida
This article provides information on the signs & symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and treatment of spina bifida.

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
This fact sheet provides information on spina bifida, diagnosis and treatment, and improving care for people with spina bifida.

Spinal Cord Injury

United Spinal Association Illinois Chapter
The United Spinal Association Illinois Chapter is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization providing information and support resources for people paralyzed by trauma and medical conditions, family members, and health care and related professionals that serve the SCI community.

Mayo Clinic: Spinal Cord Injury
This article discusses symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and treatment for spinal cord injuries.

Birth Injury Guide
When infant spinal cord injuries occur, the results of such a traumatic injury can leave children with a host of medical issues. This article provides information about types of damage, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment for spinal cord injury.

Acute Spinal Cord Injury in Children
An acute spinal cord injury (SCI) is when the spinal cord is damaged from an accident or other event. An SCI may be a bruise (contusion), a partial tear, or a complete tear (transection) in the spinal cord. SCI is a common cause of long-lasting (permanent) disability and death in children. Acute SCI is a medical emergency.

State Agencies

Illinois Department of Children and Family Services
DCFS provides oversight of child care licensing, child welfare services, and background checks for providers in Illinois.

Illinois Department of Healthcare & Family Services
The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) is responsible for providing healthcare coverage for adults and children who qualify for Medicaid, and for providing Child Support Services to help ensure that Illinois children receive financial support from both parents.

Illinois Department of Human Services
IDHS provides oversight of early childhood, family & community, mental health, rehabilitation, developmental disabilities, and substance use prevention / recovery services.

Illinois Department of Public Health
IDPH provides oversight of public health in Illinois, including disease & injury prevention, food and water protection, health promotion, community health, and emergency preparation and responses.

Illinois State Board of Education
ISBE provides oversight of public education in Illinois.

  • ISBE Early Childhood department – The Early Childhood department provides leadership and technical assistance to support state programs serving children prenatal to age 8, and their families.

Traumatic Brain Injury

Brain Injury Association of Illinois
The Brain Injury Association of Illinois (BIA of IL) is a statewide non-profit organization providing an information & resource call center, education, programs and services to individuals who have sustained a brain injury (traumatic and acquired), family members/caregivers, rehabilitation professionals, and the community at large.

What to Expect
The cognitive impairments of children with brain injury may not be immediately obvious after the injury, but may become apparent as the child gets older. These implications can create lifetime challenges for living and learning for children, their families, schools, and communities.

Infant Brain Damage
To better understand infant brain damage, it’s important to educate yourself on how these types of infant brain injuries occur, the symptoms to look out for, how they are diagnosed, and finally, which treatment methods may be best for your child.

Violence Prevention/Child Abuse Prevention

Child Welfare Information Gateway
Child Welfare Information Gateway promotes the safety, permanency, and well-being of children, youth, and families by connecting child welfare, adoption, and related professionals as well as the public to information, resources, and tools covering topics on child welfare, child abuse and neglect, out-of-home care, adoption, and more.

  • 2021/2022 Prevention Resource Guide – The child abuse prevention guide seeks to highlight the innovative ways that communities around the country are doing purposeful prevention work to help children and families thrive.
  • Protective Factors Conversation Guides for Partnering with Families – The conversation guides in this chapter were created to help you engage parents and caregivers in personalized, constructive conversations about how the protective factors contribute to positive outcomes for families.

Creating Positive Childhood Experiences
Children and families thrive when they have access to safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments. These relationships and environments are essential to creating positive childhood experiences and preventing adverse childhood experiences.