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The Autism Program's July Newsletter

Our friends just call us TAP.  We're a community focused program of the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Illinois.  We focus on facilitating collaborations between agencies, schools, and individuals that enhance the community’s capacity and quality of services for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and their families.  Find more information about TAP on our website.

New at TAP

TAP at the University of Illinois was about to become another casualty of the state budget crisis.  The statewide TAP network colapsed in September 2015 and the local program had already made serious cuts and pieced together emergency funds and donations to stay afloat until this summer, but we could no longer continue without a funding stream.  It was announced June 24 that a significant gift from a private donor to the U of I College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences will help fund The Autism Program for the coming year. Read more

We are grateful for this donation as well as others that came in from the University of Illinois, community organizations, and private donors.  Like so many other communities throughout the state, there would be no TAP in Champaign-Urbana without this support.  These funds will keep the lights on and allow the internship program to continue so the doors can stay open.  It will also allow us to keep Director Linda Tortorelli and Resource Room Coordinator Anne Hall albeit at reduced hours. Our hours for July are Monday - Thursday 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM or by appointment.  We are closed on the 4th of July.  

Unfortunately, the current donations do not cover many of the costs associated with the free services we provide. If you have benefited from the wonderful visuals, teaching materials and current books on autism, please consider making a donation to enable us to keep these resources available to the community.

The Importance of Water Safety: Tips and Tools

Wandering Prevention Resources

Safety Tips from the Autism Community

7 Steps to Prevent Wandering at Your Child's School

Tips for an Autism-Friendly Fourth of July

C-U Special Rec

There is so much happening with CUSR this month it's hard to keep up: pool party, Chicago Cubs game, Murder Mystery boat tour and so much more!

YMCA Larkin's Place

Summer Session II Starts July 5th
OT, developmental music, Soccer without Limits, Fitness Club, and Friday Night Fun are happening at the YMCA this summer.  See their program guide for prices and details. 

Sensory Friendly Movie: Pets

July 23rd at 10:00 AM
Sensory friendly movies are back this time at Carmike 13.  This is largely due to parent advocacy.

CU Able Mom's Retreat

July 23rd and 24thThis retreat is designed for moms of children with disabilities.  There will be opportunities to get information, network, relax, enjoy activities, and simply have some peace and quiet on your own. All meals & overnight accommodations—only $40 per person. Find more information here.

Rebecca Saxe: Theory of Mind

July 20th 2:00 PM 
Rebecca Saxe is an Assistant Professor at MIT.  Her work addresses the human brain’s capacity for abstract thought and the origins of ‘theory of mind,’ the ability to understand the beliefs, hopes and plans of other people.  You can regester for this free webinar here.

Have you heard about Community Choices?

Many individuals with disabilities and their families feel isolated, frustrated, and at the mercy of others. Those families and individuals are demanding more control, independence and choices, as well as greater inclusion and freedom to participate in the community as equals. Community Choices believes in providing individuals and their families opportunities for support as well as ways to give back. They provide individualized supports that respond to the needs and desires of individuals with disabilities and their families.  Community Choices recently welcomed a new Executive Director, Becca Obuchowski.  For more information check out their website.


Sensory Processing Disorders and Autism

Did you know that sensory processing disorder isn't a formal diagonals even though it's often used to describe people who have difficulty reacting and integrating sensory information?  Some children with sensory processing disorders also have autism but others do not.  Scientists want to research the differences between these children to better understand the sensory piece of autism.  Read more here

Nutrition, Gut Microbiome, and Autism Study

Newly diagnosed 4-7 year old children needed for study relationship between diet, gut microbiome and autism symptoms. Parents will complete questionnaires and food records and will collect samples of their child’s stool 3 time points. A $30 gift certificate ($10 per sample) will be provided for completing the study. Call (217) 333-2685 or e-mail 

More research participant opportunities can be found here

Which one is for you?

C-U Autism Network - No Meeting this Month
This group is intended for for anyone living or working with persons on the Autism Spectrum.  Meets at the Stephens Family YMCA (2501 Fields Drive, Champaign) Community Room. Childcare is available. For more information contact Teresa O'Conner at or go to their website.

CU Able - July 14th at 6:30 PM
This group is intended for parents of children with disabilities.  Meets at the Stephens Family YMCA (2501 Fields Drive, Champaign) Community Room. For more information request to become a member of the Facebook group.

Adults on the Spectrum - 
This group is intended for adults who identify as having high functioning autism or being high functioning autistic.  Meets at the Illini Union (1401 W. Green St., Urbana) Courtyard Cafe. For more information check out their Facebook page.
Copyright © 2016 The Autism Program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, All rights reserved.

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