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In This Issue
Parent Connections
"I Don't Want to Be the Bad Kid"
Parenting article
Give Yourself a Gift!
Winter Break Instruction
"7 Things You Don't Know..."
Great Groups Skokie Library
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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 

December 2013

Hello Evanston CASE members,


In this issue:


  • Parent Connections, December 10th on iPad Apps for Elementary School Age Kids
  • Article on boosting your child's self-esteem
  • Parenting multiple children when one has special needs
  • Winter break instruction from Lindamood Bell
  • Give yourself a gift!
  • "7 Things You Don't Know..."
  • Great groups at the Skokie Public Library


Wishing you a happy holiday season.


Warm regards,


Cari Levin, LCSW

Founding Director

Evanston CASE 


 Parent Connections December Meeting



The topic for December is:


 "I Have an iPad, Now What?...

iPad Apps for Elementary Age Kids"


**This presentation is for parents only**


Tamara Kaldor, MS Developmental Therapist and Director of PLAY is Work  and Jordan Sadler, CCC/SLP will demonstrate a range of high quality apps that can be used at home with kids who have challenges with executive functioning skills, imaginative play, expressive language, language comprehension, following routines, making transitions, and processing/expressing their emotions.   


Tuesday, December 10th from 7-9 p.m.


Evanston Public Library Downtown Branch



To register:  or 847-556-8676


 "I Don't Want to Be the Bad Kid! Help!"


 Published on

"I Don't Want to Be the Bad Kid! Help!"

Constant correction and criticism leave our kids feeling hopeless. Help your child feel good again with these self-esteem building ideas.

by Kirk Martin

"I'm stupid! I wish I hadn't been born." When my son, Casey, uttered those words, at age 10, it ripped my heart. How could this child feel so hopeless?

I thought of the messages he got everywhere he went: "You need to learn to sit still. Why can't you follow directions?" He was always in trouble, for things he couldn't control. Amid his meltdowns, I began hearing a different message: "I don't want to be the bad kid! I don't want to be in trouble all the time. I need tools to succeed, I need help!" Here are four ways to give your child the help he is crying out for:

GIVE YOUR CHILD A REPORT CARD. If you were constantly "graded" and penalized because of your disability, you'd feel pretty bad about yourself. So create your own report card highlighting the qualities your family values. Write down all the times your child shows leadership, compassion, creativity, and problem-solving. Your kids should know that they have talents that are rewarded in the real world.

GIVE HER TOOLS TO SUCCEED. If your child needs an object in his hands to concentrate, tape a Velcro strip underneath his desk at school and at home. It is an effective, non-distracting fidget toy that improves focus, and helps with sensory challenges. When your child gets upset, give him a specific, physical activity to do - build a Lego spaceship or jump 37 times on a mini-trampoline. Physical activity will manage his frustration better than yelling at him to stop.

MAKE A POINT OF PRAISING YOUR CHILD. Far too often, we wait until our kids get in trouble to show them our love. Catch your child when he is showing self-control and praise him for it. Pop your head into the living room and say, "Guys, I wanted you to know you've been playing well together now for 18 minutes. Proud of you." Write a note telling your child three reasons you are proud of him, and place it under his pillow.

SHOW OFF YOUR CHILD'S STRENGTHS AND PASSIONS. Give your child opportunities to show off his talents in doing what he loves. Help your daughter to start her own business creating things, volunteer at an animal shelter, play her violin at a retirement center, or sell tickets for a fundraiser. When kids do what they love and help other people, it builds their confidence and gives them hope for the future.


KIRK MARTIN is founder of He has written four books, writes an award-winning newsletter, and hosts his own radio show.

Parenting Multiple Children, When One Has Special Needs

This helpful article is featured in Brain, Child magazine this month:


"Parenting Multiple Children, When One Has Special Needs" 

By Adrienne Jones


"I was in the waiting room at my youngest son Carter's therapist's office in January 2011 when my cell phone rang. I answered and heard the voice of Jacob, my 18-year-old son, his voice choked with fear and pain, telling me that he couldn't find a job. "I put in tons of applications and I didn't even get a single interview! You know how bad I'm doing at school, but I really, really tried last semester, Mom. I don't even think I can graduate this year. I'm going to end up working at fast food restaurants my whole life."


Read entire article HERE


Give yourself a gift!

 Advocacy information from Wrightslaw

 Advocacy Tools for Parents


 If you have never explored the Wrightslaw website, you are in for a treat.  Wrightslaw is the advocacy professions leading authority on every topic related to special education. They are having a sale on resources right now, and I highly recommend that you give yourself the gift of helpful information.  In particular, their book "Emotions to Advocacy" is particularly useful for parents who want to learn how to advocate for their children.

Winter Break Instruction from Lindamood Bell

Winter Break Instruction


Free instruction hours! Enroll for a minimum of 20 hours of instruction over winter break, and receive 5 additional hours (to be used between January and May 2014), on us.

Winter break is one of the most popular times of year for families to take advantage of intensive instruction. Students looking to boost or refresh their skills fill our Learning Centers every year at this time. We are always happy to see our returning students to help them continue to move in the right direction and sharpen their new-found learning skills. Winter break is also the perfect time to discuss how the school year is progressing. To take advantage of this winter break instructional opportunity, talk to your local Learning Center.


 Local Lindamood Bell Learning Center:

Address: 740 N Waukegan Rd #207, Deerfield, IL 60015

Phone:(847) 914-0771
To learn more about the Lindamood Bell program, go to:


"7 Things you Don't Know About a Special Needs Parent"


 Here is an excerpt from a wonderful and honest article by a mom of a child with special needs on Huff Post Parents:


"Chances are that you know a special needs parent, or you may be one yourself. As a special needs parent, I often don't share my feelings on this aspect of my life, even with my closest friends, so I decided to compile a list here with the goal of building understanding (I was largely inspired by this beautiful post, authored by another parent to a child with a chromosomal disorder). I don't claim to speak for every special needs parent out there, but from the ones I know, some of these are pretty universal. If I've missed any, please leave a comment below."


Read the who article HERE

Art, Stories,Therapy Dogs and more

at the Skokie Public Library

Club Wonder and Rainbow Therapy Time are two groups offered at the Skokie Public Library.


Club Wonder

Third Saturdays, 10:30-11:30am Dec. 21, Jan. 18,  Feb. 15, March 15, April 19, and May 17

Young children are invited to the Library monthly to  experience various classes such as music, art, story-time, movement, play, and communication. Each class will be led by specialists from different therapy organizations. Parents and siblings attend with the child. For children ages 3 to 7. Call 847.324.3149 each month to register.


Rainbow Therapy Time

Third Sundays, 12:15 to 1:15pm Dec. 15, Jan. 19, Feb. 16, March 16, April 20, and May 18

Older children with special needs are invited to the Library to  enjoy the benefits of interacting with trained therapy dogs.  Rainbow dog handlers will work with the children to strengthen attention skills, learn social skills, and increase language use. Parents remain in the Library while children attend the program accompanied by volunteer aides. For children ages 7 to 12. Call 847.324.3149 each month to register .