Children With Special Needs

-Author Unknown-

Reasons for using the library with your special needs child:

  • Recreational/community outings for your family.
  • Choose and check out  a variety of materials.
  • Practice social skills (sharing, using indoor voice, waiting, etc.)
  • Social opportunities (asking questions, asking for help) 
  • Storytime programs specifically designed for children with special needs.

Tips for taking your special needs child to the library:

  • Know your child - if your child is uncomfortable in settings similar to the library, visits might need to start out very short and incorporate a highly motivating activity or item.
  • If there are sensory experiences that disturb your child, have a back up plan available.
  • Give your child plenty of information about the library visit, including how long you will be there, what activities you will do, and what will happen next.

Special needs programs at the library

Fridays in February and March from 10:15- 12:15 pm No Shushing Movies
Come enjoy a movie in a family-friendly, casual setting. Chatting and snacks from home are welcome. This program welcomes people of all abilities. Please contact the library one week in advance if you need accommodations. No registration. (SEB)

2/1 Show Dogs (2018, PG)
2/8 Cats and Dogs (2001, PG)
2/15 Quill: The Life of a Guide Dog (204, NR)
2/22 101 Dalmations (1996, G)

3/1 Bambi (1942, G)
3/8 Won't You Be My Neighbor (2018, PG-13)
3/15 Smallfoot (2018, PG)
3/22 Hamilton: One Shot to Broadway (2017, PG)
3/29 Alaska: Spirit of the Wild (1997, G)

March 9, 16, 23 and April 6 and 13 from 11-11:30am Sensory Storytime
This storytime is especially for children ages 3 to 8 with developmental delays and sensory needs. A small group will help your child thrive in this program designed for you and your family. Siblings are welcome. Please click this link to register.  Presenter: Lydia Bryant, CTRS  (ML)

March 19, 6:30-8:30pm Help Your Special Needs Child Develop Strong Relationships
Family and sibling relationships can have some of the most challenging dynamics but they are the most important ones for your special needs child. You need those relationships to be strong for your child so they have those people in their lives to help them when you are unable to be there. Come join speakers from Advanced Behavioral Solutions as they discuss how to build a solid foundation between your special needs child and their siblings, other family members and caregivers so they have the support they need both now and in the future. Presented in English with interpretation in Spanish.  Please click this link to register.  (ML)
Speaker: Advanced Behavioral Solutions, Inc. 
Hosted By: The Citizens’ Advisory Council, School District U-46 and Community Libraries. 

Materials for check out from the library

In Jesse's Shoes: Appreciating Kids With Special Needs by Lewis, BCheck our catalog

David's World: A Picture Book About Living With Autism by Mueller, DCheck our catalog

Understanding Sam and Asperger Syndrome by Niekerk, C. Check our catalog

Armond Goes to a Party: A Book About Asperger's and Friendship by Carlson, N. Check our catalog

Parenting Children With Health Issues: Essential Tools, Tips, and Tactics For Raising Kids With Chronic Illness, Medical Conditions & Special Healthcare Needs by Foster, C. Check our catalog

The Special Needs Handbook:Critical Strategies and Practical Advice to Help You Survive by Singer, JCheck our catalog

Supportive Parenting: Becoming An Advocate For Your Child With Special Needs by Campito, J. Check our catalog

Special-Needs Kids Eat Right: Strategies to Help Kids on the Autism Spectrum Focus, Learn, and Thrive by Converse, J. Check our catalog

The New Language of Toys: Teaching Communication Skills to Children With Special Needs by Schwartz, S. Check our catalog

The Potty Journey: A Guide to Toilet Training Children With Special Needs, Including Autism and Related Disorders by Coucouvanis, JCheck our catalog

Neurotribes: The Legacy of Autism and The Diversity of Neurodiversity by Silberman, S. Check our catalog

Autism Solutions: How to Create a Healthy and Meaningful Life for Your Child by Robinson, R.  Check our catalog

Does Your Baby Have Autism?  Detecting the Earliest Signs of Autism by Teitelbaum, O. and P.
Check our catalog

Different Abilities by Rebecca Pettiford Check our catalog.

Shapes by Fleur Star Check our catalog.

Makin' Music: Come Outside to Play by Kelly & Fink  Check our catalog

Nursery Rhymes by Jenkins, E. Check our catalog

Peaceful Baby by Advanced Brain Technologies  Check our catalog

Toys and Kits
Anything that spins is often a draw for children with autism, as they tend to like repetition; gear sets are a smart choice. 
Gears!  Gears!  Gears!  Check our catalog

Children with cerebral palsy often have involuntary, spastic movements, so toys with big parts are better.  
Stack & Nest Sensory Toys (Flowers)  Check our catalog

For kids with autism, focus on cause-and-effect toys (push a button, get a response), especially those that promote interaction by encouraging a verbal reply. 
LeapPad Learning System  Check our catalog

Kids with Down syndrome can have difficulty with fine motor skills, so games and puzzles with just a few large pieces to work with are often a hit.
Pets Peg Puzzle  Check our catalog 

For children with ADHD think open-ended toys with no definite right or wrong answer because focusing on directions can be  
Tobbles Check our catalog

Resources in the community

Easter Seals' Autism Diagnostic Clinic offers a hopeful start to families and children seeking answers.

Easter Seals provides services for infants, children and adults with disabilities to achieve maximum independence, and to provide support for the families who love and care for them.

Click on the following link for more information.

Northern Illinois Special Recreation Association offers programs for children with special needs, including programs for children ages 3-6 years, such as Bouncing Bears (all ability levels), Tots O Fun (all ability levels), and Music, Movement and Rhythm (for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders). 

Together We Play! -  Dreams and hard work have brought a beautiful Inclusive Playground for everyone to South Elgin.  This play environment is one of the most exciting park improvements in the community in recent memory.  It is an attractive and inviting playground for kids; however, it is unique in one very important aspect – it has been designed for the exclusive use of all children.  Its design removes all barriers that may inhibit children with disabilities to enjoy the many benefits of physical activity and social development experienced by their non-disabled peers.  Here all children will play together.  Read about it by clicking on the following link -- 

Star Net Region II serves special needs kids ages birth to 8 years.  This resource provides workshops on a variety of topics for parents and professionals, and can help families find other resources or parent groups.  To contact them call 224-366-8579, find them on Facebook, or online at

AMC Theatres: Sensory Friendly Films
This program provides a special opportunity for families to enjoy their favorite films in a safe and accepting environment.  The auditoriums dedicated to the program have their lights up, the sound turned down and audience members are invited to get up and dance, walk, shout or sing!  Click on the following link for more information.

Useful websites

By Your Side offers speech/language therapy, ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis), occupational therapy, cognitive therapy, social groups, and AAC (augmentative & assistive communication therapy).  The organization serves individuals as young as 2 years who have speech/language delays, developmental delays, and speech articulation disorders as well as those with a diagnosis of autism.

UPS for DownS serves families of children from birth to 8 years who have Down Syndrome.  Click on their Family Fridays link for information on local events.

Advanced Behavioral Solutions offers testing for children from 3 years and older including cognitive, intellectual, emotional, behavioral, and neuro-psychological.  

Joyful Chaos  is a blog written by a mom of four children with special needs. Carrie not only writes about solutions and resources, but also honestly expresses her times of coping with doubt and discouragement. Carrie also makes weighted blankets that are helpful for some children with anxiety and sleep disorders. Joyful Chaos

Raising a child who is blind?  Visit to discover:
  • An online network of parents who are raising children with disabilities
  • Parent-tested resources and products


1 comment:

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    Special Needs School


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