This newsletter the the best way to get updates and information about autism and autism services in the Champaign-Urbana area.

TAP's September 2015 Newsletter
8 Ways to Use Color Coding
Schedules, supplies, and sports gear! (Oh my!) Color coding is a strategy for supporting children with executive functioning difficulties stay organized.  Get color-coding tips from Understood - a website with resources for learning and attention issues.  Our favorite was using different color bracelets as homework reminders.  Even if color-coding isn't up your alley, we think you may find helpful information and tools on this website.

Happenings at TAP
Without an Illinois state budget, the TAP network continues to receive no funding as we are an 100% state grant funded program.  During this time of budget upheaval and uncertainty, it is difficult to create plans for the future.   Although other sites throughout the state are closing, the CU-TAP has enough emergency funds and donations to stay open through the fall semester with reduced programming.  This means at least one more semester of amazing interns, fun social skills programs, and getting to engage with the Champaign-Urbana community.  Speaking of which, look for us by the food trucks at the Urbana Farmer's Market at the Square September 5th and 19th. 

Parent to Parent Program
Are you a parent who would be interested in mentoring other parents as they navigate the world of autism?  Are you a parent who wants some help figuring things out from someone who has been there?  If so, the Hope Institute has a program for you.  Please contact Jennifer Lipscomb at 217-588-7528 pr for more information. 

Spotlight on Community Programs
Part of the mission of TAP is to help spread word to the autism community about the resources and programming that is available in the area.  We are excited about these local opportunities.

Social Thinking Group  from Elliot Counseling
The group will run from September 14th - November 2nd on Monday evenings from 5;30 to 6:30 and has been designed for 6 to 11 year olds.  The Curriculum is based on the work of Michalle Garcia Winner's Social Thinking concets and helps children to develop peer relationships, adapt to new people and situations, and recognize and respond to social cues.  Most major medical health insurance will cover part of the costs of group therapy and a sliding scale is also available.  For more information or to register call 217-398-9066. 

Superstar Yoga from Daily Bread Yoga
After a successful run this summer, Superstar yoga will be back this fall with FREE classes on September 28th, October 26th, and November 30th.  This is a fun and empowering yoga practice for youth (ages 13+) with special needs.  No equipment or previous yoga experience necessary.  For more information or to register email Rachel at  

Larkin's Place at the Y
These classes are open to members and non-members of the Y and range from $60 - $100 dollars depending on member status and which class you select.  The first session starts August 1st and runs through October 18th and the next session picks up on October 19th and runs through December 13th.  Groups include early childhood playgroup (ages 2 -5), handwriting group (ages 5+), Saturday social hour (ages 10 - 13), music and movement (ages 2 -5), and early elementary music therapy (ages 5 - 10).  There are also Friday night fun groups once a month for youth (ages 14+) which are $10/$15 each session.  For more information or to register see their website 

Stay-n-Play Playgroup
Looking for a place to learn and have fun with your child and other families?  This group doesn't start until next semester, but spaces fill up quickly and is FREE.  Stay-N-Play is a playgroup is run by students from the University of Illinois under the supervision of faculty to promote interactions between children and their caregivers.  For more information or to register contact Kimberly Hile at 217-333-0260 or

Research Participant Opportunities
At TAP, we are excited to support cutting edge autism research from the University of Illinois.  These are the projects that are currently recruiting participants.

I-Pics is...
A research project that teaches parents of young children (ages 2- 6) with autism or developmental delays to use naturalistic communication strategies to improve their children's communication skills .
5 online training modules
Receive one-on-one coaching
You receive $100 when you complete the project!
Contact Hedda: 217.333.0260

Platform Health Project
Are you interested in having your own “cloud” where you can store all of your own or your child’s medical information? We need parents of children with disabilities to participate and give us feedback as we design this service.

If you are interested in participating or have any questions, please contact Aaron Mann at: (student lead on the project) 

 Writing Practices Research
A graduate student in the Dept. of English is researching the writing practices of U of I students with an ASD. This project involves conducting interviews with students who self-identify as having an ASD and are interested in sharing their experiences with writing both in and outside of the classroom. Participants must be 18 or older, have an official ASD diagnosis and be a current or recent U of I graduate.
Contact: Pamela Saunders,

Community Calendar

Don't miss a thing!  Activities in the C-U area this month.

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We will remain open for the fall semester!


Mondays, Wednesdays, & Fridays
9 am - 5 pm
Tuesdays & Thursdays
9 am - 6 pm
Saturdays (after Labor Day)
9 am - 12 pm
904 W. Nevada Ave. Urbana
TAP Programs

Make It Take It

Saturday, November 7th
9:00 am - 12:00 pm
The Autism Program

Get stocked up and visual supports and structured teaching materials for your classroom with this fun, hands on workshop.  Space is limited (15 teachers) so make sure to RSVP to Linda Tortorelli at or (217)244.0928

Community Support Groups &
Parent Meetings

C-U Autism Network

Thursday, Sept. 3rd
6:30 - 8:00 pm

Stephen's Family YMCA

This meeting will feature PLAY Project Home Consultants; Judy Ullom and Adrienne Morrison from Developmental Services Center. For more information or to register for child care, please go to their website.

Larkin's Place

Thursday, Sept. 10th
6:30 - 7:30 pm

Stephen's Family YMCA

Our LP Parent Network is working! Check out this new Facebook page for families.  CU Able: Need ideas, resources, support or just a place to talk with other families in the CU area that have family members with special needs.

Puzzled Minds Vermilion County

Monday, Sept. 14th
6:00 - 7:30 pm

AMBUCS Park, Danville

Puzzled Minds welcomes you to the start of the new school year with its Fall Kick Off!  All are invited, plan to attend, and invite families that would benefit. Please bring a dessert or snack to share.  Drinks and paper products will be provided.

Workshops & Conferences

For Parents

Executive Dysfunction: A Crash Course for Parents

Saturday, Sept. 12th
9:00 am - 12:00 pm

The Vineyard Church, Urbana

This workshop is presented by Jill Fahy, M.A., CCC-SLP and sponsored by Family Maters.  Participants will gain insights and strategies to assist children who forget to turn in homework, always have messy rooms, or are unable to finish work on time.  Registration required by Sept 2 or call 866.436-7842.

Teach Your Kids Self-Regulation

Wednesday, Sept. 23rd
6:00 - 7:30 pm
Stephens Family YMCA
$10/$15  members/public

This is part of Larkin's Place family education series.  To register go to their website.   

For Professionals

Teaching Functional Skills to Adults with ID/DD in Day Training Settings

Wednesday, Sept. 16th
9:30 am - 4:00 pm


This workshop is sponsored by the Illinois Crisis Prevention Network and presented by Jeanne Brower, B.C.B.A. Providers often face the challenging task of teaching adults with ID/DD meaningful and functional skills in the day training setting.  It is imperative we teach skill the individuals want to learn, are useful to them, and promote their independence.  To register or for more information go to

The Challenge of Challenging Behavior

Friday, Sept. 25th
9:00 am - 3:30 pm
Eastern Illinois University, Charleston
$50 for professionals, $10 for students

This conference is presented by the Department of Communication Disorders at Eastern Illinois University and East Central Illinois Speech-language & Hearing Association with a focus on understanding and effectively addressing behavioral challenges of students with ASD.   To register go to their website or contact Sandi Thiele at 217-581-2712.

For Parents, Professionals, and Self-Advocates

Living with Autism Conference

Thursday, October 1st
8:30 am - 4:00 pm
Hilton Hotel, Lisle
Cost varies ($95 - $180)

This event is sponsored by the ARC of Illinois.  There will be three featured keynote speakers.  Dr. Patrick Schwartz, Ph.D., "From Possibility to Success: Achieving Successful Outcomes." , Marrea Winnega, Ph.D., B.C.B.A., "Capturing Motivation: The Key to Changing Behavior.”  Carol Stock Kranowitz,  “The Out-of-Sync Child: Understanding Sensor Processing Disorder.” For more information check our the brochure or to register go tho their website and click Events.

Check out our website for more information about community events. 

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