Chicago mom Melanie Schlachter is passionate about helping
parents with children with special needs find the help they
And she knows first-hand how tough it can
"As the parent of a child who was recently
diagnosed with a developmental difference, I've just been
absolutely amazed by all of the extraordinary resources that exist
to help kids with different challenges," says Schlachter,
Neighborhood Parents Network's associate executive director and
point person for this month's NPN Developmental Differences
"As a parent it's just a matter of finding
those resources," she says. "I think (the fair) gives people the
opportunity to explore some of those and make connections so they
can find the right resources for their family."
Chicago Parent, which has a huge interest in
helping special needs families find the information they need
through its semi-annual Chicago Special Parent magazine and
throughout the year, is one of the fair's sponsors again this
More than 50 exhibitors are expected for the
second annual event, including schools, businesses, speech and
occupational therapists and other therapeutic services.
The fair is aimed at families of children with
a wide variety of special needs up to eighth grade, she says.
Multiple workshops are planned throughout the
day, including one on health insurance, one on navigating the IEP
process and one by LEEP Forward on how to set a child up for
"It's the only fair of its kind, so it is just
such a unique offering," Schlachter says.
Tamara is the editor of Chicago Parent and mom of three.
See more of Tamara's stories here.
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