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In This Issue
Parent Connections February 19th
LEGOLAND special needs event
Reading Strategy
Advocacy Win
Obama - Sports access
CHADD P2P Webinars
Quick Links


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LogoEvanston Citizens for Appropriate Special Education (CASE) is a community advocacy organization working to improve the range, quality and accessibility of special education services in Evanston/Skokie District 65 and ETHS District 202.

We provide information and support for parents of children with special needs through Parent Connections meetings and our CASEline number.
We are commited to advancing disability awareness in the Evanston community.

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On the CASE
February 2013

Hello Evanston CASE members,


In this issue of On the CASE:

  • Information about the topic for our next Parent Connections meeting on February 19th. 
  • Special event offered by LEGOLAND Chicago for kids with special needs. 
  • A reading strategy from Lindamood Bell
  • A CASE member's advocacy win
  • Obama Administration is telling schools around the country that they must allow kids with disabilities to participate in sports.
  • CHADD P2P Webinars

Special thanks to a parent who "won" an advocacy argument to allow her child to get accommodations for the MAP test.


I hope you find this information useful.


Warm regards,


Cari Levin, LCSW

Founding Director

Evanston CASE 


Parent Connections meeting February 19th



Topic: "Discipline in the Theraplay Spirit"

Presenter: Dafna Lender, Clinical Director at The Theraplay Institute in Evanston


Your patience is running low, your frustration is running high, and your kid is running everywhere!  We've all had bad days when we've used up everything in our bag of tricks and nothing seems to calm the craziness.  Managing your child's difficult behavior can be overwhelming, especially when it is a constant battle.  Often when children aren't behaving well on the outside, they aren't feeling well on the inside.  If time-outs and other traditional discipline methods don't seem to be working, trying another approach is probably a good idea. 

Learn to manage your child's behavior the THERAPLAY® way!

  • Integrate playful, reciprocal interactions to enhance your child's self-esteem and sense of well-being, and therefore decrease negative behavior
  • Help your child to feel more comfortable accepting your guidance and leadership
  • Move away from constant rewards and threats of punishment
  • Discipline in a way that fosters learning, rather than making your child feel ashamed and vengeful
  • Nip negative behaviors in the bud without being punitive

7-9 p.m. at the Evanston Public Library Downtown Branch

Contact CASE to let us know you're coming! or 847-556-8676

Legoland Discovery Center special needs event


On February 22nd, Legoland Discovery Center Chicago will stay open late exclusively for children with special needs and their families, offering programming and access to their "Super Heroes Event".


Merlin's Magic Wand Days Super Hero Event includes

  • Superhero themed costume contest
  • Scavenger Hunt for lost super hero items
  • Creative building challenges
  • An exclusive "lights-on" viewing of the 11 minute 4D movie "Clutch Powers; Kingdom Quest Laser Ride
  • A designated quiet room for guest to rest between adventures
  • and more

February 22nd, 6-8 pm.  Tickets are $10 per person


Strategy to Improve Your Child's Reading Skills

From Lindamood Bell



The Power of Imaging Letters
Do you find yourself wondering why your child misreads common words frequently or is unable to read a word that he/she learned just a minute or two ago? Does your child score well on weekly spelling tests, only to misspell the same words the week after? We have discovered, through years of research, how important it is for children to have their sensory-cognitive foundation directly stimulated in order to support their decoding, word recognition, and contextual reading fluency skills. Here are a few ways that you can help to develop your child's ability to recognize sight words and spelling patterns by implementing steps from our Seeing Stars
® program at home.

Air-writing is one of the most direct ways to strengthen your child's symbol imagery in order to further develop his/her fluency abilities. To develop your child's sight word base, start by capturing unfamiliar or most frequently used words on 3x5" cards. When practicing these challenging words, allow your child to view the card for a matter of seconds, then remove the card from sight and ask your child to air-write (trace the letters in the air, saying the letter names as one writes) the letters he/she saw on the card. You can also play games with the collected sight words, such as tic-tac-toe, in order to increase his/her speed of recognition. Once these words become more easily recognized, air-writing can be used only for those words your child misses in the future.

Air-writing can also be used when practicing spelling words. First, start by using sensory-based language: ask your child, "What letters do you picture for ______?" Then, have your child air-write the letters that he/she pictures in his/her mind for the given word before showing the words or allowing your child to write the words on paper. If your child misses a letter or two, feel free to let him/her see the word again, covering it after a few seconds, then have him/her write the word in the air a second time. Avoid any sort of rote memorization practice, such as writing the spelling words multiple times nightly. These strategies typically lead to more short-term instead of long-term memory retention.

It is important to incorporate fun into reading practice and also to make such practice a part of daily routines. In order to develop your child's sight word and spelling skills, place the week's sight words or spelling words onto the bathroom or bedroom mirror for your child to practice each morning and night. Ask your child to air-write the same words on the car ride to school, at the dinner table, or while he/she is waiting in line with you at the grocery store. The more that you are able to make the development a part of your child's daily happenings, the more natural and willing to practice he/she tends to be!

Advocacy Win Helps Everyone

 A new Evanston CASE member "won" an important advocacy victory which we would like to pass along.


This parent had been trying for years to get accommodations for her child for the MAP testing in D65.  Here is how she describes it:

"I wanted to share with you our recent "victory" (for lack of a better word) regarding accommodations and the MAP test.  [My child] has a 504 that includes a number of accommodations pertaining to testing, standardized or otherwise.  For years, we have been struggling with the schools to allow [her] the same accommodations she receives for MAP as she does for ISATS (extra time, smaller testing environment, someone to fill in the bubbles for her, etc.).  And for years, we have been told since MAP is taken on a computer and is in essence untimed, no other accommodations could apply.  It took us three years but we finally got acknowledgement that whatever accommodations she is allowed for ISAT, she should receive the same ones for MAP, which now includes a proctor keying in her answers for her.  

I'm sharing this with you because it seems that many teachers/principals do not know that this is allowed, and I thought you could share with your organization CASE that any student who is allowed a proctor to fill in the bubble sheet for him/her on ISAT should receive that same benefit on MAP.  It made a world of difference for [my child] yesterday as I am sure it would help many other students in the district."


Thanks so much to this parent!  This is how changes are made that benefit everyone.



Obama Administration - Schools must allow kids with disabilities to participate in sports


Article published in USA Today, Jan. 25th, 2013


"The Obama administration for the first time is telling school districts across the USA that they must give disabled students equal access to extracurricular sports, a move that advocates say has been years in the making."


Read the whole article HERE:


Also reported in NBC



CHADD's Parent to Parent Webinars (P2P Online)


Enroll today in Parent to Parent: Family Training on ADHD.  This multi-session, interactive and educational program is designed for parents of children and adolescents with ADHD and related disorders. 


The registration price includes 7 two hour webinars and the Parent to Parent Workbook© full of tools, resources and articles to supplement what you are learning through the class.



February 2013

P2P Online with Mary Ann Lowry
Instructor:  Mary Ann Lowry, P2P Certified Teacher
Dates: Tuesdays, starting February 5, 2013 (Weekday Evening Class)
Times: 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM (Central Time)
Cost: $149 for CHADD Members and $249 for Non-Members


Visit CHADD for more information: