Annual special needs event draws hundreds of parents seeking info

This year’s Neighborhood Parents Network’s Developmental Differences Resource Fair seeks not only to give parents the information they need as they raise their kids but to connect parents with others who have walked a similar path.

If you go

NPN Developmental Differences Resource Fair

10 a.m.-2 p.m. March 26

DePaul College Prep, 3633 N. California Ave., Chicago

Free; RSVP at, but walk-ins are welcome


Amy Johnson, NPN’s director of partnership and programs, says the always-popular workshops focus on advocacy this year.

The first workshop offers parents who are newer to special needs the information they need to make the best decisions for their child’s treatment, including understanding the differences and anticipated outcomes of each of the therapies.

The second features a panel of parents of various ages who have successfully advocated for their kids at Chicago Public Schools. There will be plenty of time for audience questions, she says.

“It’s really powerful to have parents helping other parents and learning from people who have had similar personal experiences,” Johnson says.

The third session offers a panel of experts to help parents advocate for their children. They include a learning specialist, a child psychologist and a consultant who specializes in IEPs and insurance navigation, she says.

The workshops are free and are first-come, first-served. In addition to the workshops, 90 exhibitors ranging from therapists to schools to counselors will be on hand to offer parents information and answer questions.

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