When it comes to parenting a child with special needs, moms and dads can get frustrated quickly because the resources they need can be difficult to find or spread out across Chicagoland.
That’s why Chicago Parent publishes the semi-annual Chicago Special Parent empowerment guide for parents with children with special needs. It’s also why Neighborhood Parents Network, along with sponsors Chicago Parent, Leep Forward, Bellybum Boutique and Marmalade Photography, is hosting its first Developmental Differences Resource Fair Feb. 4.
“I think the biggest draw is having multiple types of resources in one location at one time,” says Sarah Cobb, executive director of Neighborhood Parents Network.
NPN is well known for the 30-year success of its school fairs, but leaders of its long-time developmental differences support group urged the organization to consider doing something for families who might have different needs.
The result is the Feb. 4 event, created by experts in developmental differences and experienced parents.
The number of exhibitors grows daily, with a goal of 40.
So far, exhibitors include a wide spectrum of resources, from businesses to speech therapists to representatives from Chicago Public Schools to help parents navigate the CPS school process.
“We hope it will give families access to some of the resources that they may have heard of or found online or haven’t even come across yet and be able to have that one-on-one interaction with them,” Cobb says.
Hopefully they will discover enrichment services or a medical provider or get answers to their questions about health insurance or IEPs, she says.
Three free workshops will be offered:
- 10:30 a.m., Understanding and Dealing with Health Insurance with Gail Borgerd of MedicClaim
- 11:30 a.m., Setting your Child Up for Success with Lorell Marin of Leep Forward
- 12:30 p.m., Navigating the IEP Process with Susan R. Singerman
“I think the combination of having resources and workshops all in one place is a really unique opportunity,” Cobb says.
Gordon Tech is handicapped accessible, with an adjacent parking lot and ample street parking to make it easy for families to navigate.
If you go
NPN Developmental Differences Resource Fair
10 a.m.-2 p.m., Feb. 4
Gordon Tech High School, 3633 N. California Ave., Chicago
Free, RSVP suggested but not required
More info, visit npnparents.org/expos/444