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The Autism Program's October Newsletter

Our friends just call us TAP.  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 or follow us:
I want to put an emphasis on what people can do. I want to see people get out and be productive and be happy - Dr. Temple Grandin

Temple Grandin Coming to CU 10/25

Register for the Conference

Evening Benefit Registration

TED Talk: The World Needs All Kinds of Minds

Temple's Website
New at TAP!

Funding Restored Through June

We are excited to announce that our funding has been restored through June! Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who donated emergency funds, called local legislators, and advocated on our behalf. This means we can restore our staff to full time and actualize programs that had been on the back burner. Unfortunately, because the clock is ticking, all of our current planning is focused on what we can do by June 30th instead of the strategic planning that our community needs. Luckily, because of the support of the community and the University of Illinois we are able to maximize the funds that are available during this time to build capacity for autism services in Champaign-Urbana and the surrounding communities.

Carol Ammons Gets 100% 

Only 3 legislators in the state of Illinois received a 100% on the disabilities scorecard and Carol Ammons is one of them. "The scorecard, titled ICLR (Illinois Community Living Report), analyzed ten bills from the 2016 Spring Session of the Illinois 99th General Assembly. Bills were chosen for their potential to help or hinder Illinois citizens with developmental disabilities access more included lives in their homes and communities. Rep. Carol Ammons, Rep. Will Guzzardi, and Rep. Elaine Nekritz achieved a perfect score of 100% on the scorecard. All three representatives have received IPADD’s 'Community Living Advocate Award.'" You can read the full report here.

Community Calendar: Don't Miss a Thing! Activities in the C-U Area this Month

Down Syndrome Buddy Walk

October 1st, 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM
This is a free family fun day at the Champaign County fair grounds with inflatables, touch-a-truck, raffles, Star Wars characters, and more.  Find more information here

ARC of Illinois Living with Autism Conference

October 6th, 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM
This conference on autism, neurodiversity, behavior, and the power of community will take place in Lisle Illinois and feature Steve Silberman as the keynote speaker. Here is the full brochure and registration page. 

Unit 4 SPED Q&A

October 8th, 10:00 AM
Amy Armstrong, member of the Champaign school board, will share her personal experience with special education in Unit 4 and answer questions that parents have regarding the specifics of Unit 4 policies and practices at the Champaign Public Library. Submit a question by October 5th here.

Disability Resource EXPO

October 15th, 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM
This is a free, family-friendly event at Fluid Event Center. There will be entertainment, kids’ activities, and prizes! Come and have fun while learning more about resources for people with disabilities in Champaign County and East Central Illinois. For More Information about the Expo: Contact Barb Bressner at (217) 840-3198 or  or Jim Mayer at (217) 892-8877 or

Person Centered Planning Part I

October 18th, 6:00 - 8:00 PM
This is the first session of a two part training regarding adult services and person-centered planning will take place at TAP. Also, you will learn about SSI (and complete an SSI application during the second session on November 1st). For more information or to RSVE please contact Meghan Burke,, 217-300-1226.

Autism Conference

October 25th, 8:00 - 4:00 PM
This conference presented by the Autism Society of Illinois' CU Autism Netwerk will feature Temple Granding, Eustacia Ctler, Sarah Curtiss, Joan Storey Gorsuch, Dr. Morton, and Adam Slagell. Get more information or regester here.


CU Autism Network Benefit

October 25th, 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
This event will be held on October 25th from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at I Hotel. Tickets are $50 per person and include dinner. Get more information or register here

Halloween Tips and Events

Here are some of our favorite tips for overcoming Halloween challenges:
  • Practice trick or treating during the day and then at night
  • Make a sign that your child can hold that says "trick or treat" to take the pressure off having to say it at just the right time
  • Spread the word about the Teal Pumpkin project - providing non-edible prizes for children with allergies and special diets.
We want to hear from you!  What have been your most successful strategies for Halloween?  We will share them on our Facebook page.You can share your strategies here.

Halloween events in our area:
Area Resources

Human Sexuality Education for Individuals with Autism

The University of Illinois Autism Clinic is offering a Healthy Relationships Group for teens 13 - 17. This will be an 8 session class on Wednesdays at 5:30 starting October 12th. Email Jon Bystrynski at to register or for more information.

On Thursday October 20th at 1:00 PM there will be a free webinar on The Friendships & Dating Program: A Curriculum for Supporting the Relationships and Sexuality of Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. You can register for the webinar here.

On October 25th during the Temple Grandin conference, Sarah Curtiss will be presenting on human sexuality education and autism. Sarah has taught sex education at the Developmental Services Center, Community Choices, and TAP as well as trained practitioners throughout the state. Her website,, is the most comprehensive Internet resource for teaching sex ed to individuals with special needs.

For more information on community resources, please see our website.

Looking for Mothers of Preschoolers with Disabilities

As a participant, you will complete a short family information questionnaire and be interviewed fro approximately one hour. In appreciation for your time, you will receive a $20 gift card. If you are interested in the study or would want more information please contact Hsiu-wen Yang at or 626-461-4431.

You can find more studies looking for participants here
Area Support Groups

Which one is for you?

C-U Autism Network - October 6th at 6:30
This group meets at the YMCA and childcare is available. For more information see their website or Facebook page

CU Able - October 13th at 6:30 PM
This group is intended for parents of children with disabilities. Child care is available. For more information contact their Facebook group.

Adults on the Spectrum - Check FB for date
This group is intended for adults who identify as having high functioning autism or being high functioning autistic.  For more information contact their Facebook page.

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The Autism Program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign · Doris Kelley Christopher Hall · 904 West Nevada · Urbana, Illinois 61801 · USA

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