Will Allie Get the Help She Needs?

Meet Allie – a two year old who was recently diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Allie’s mom Julie said that her daughter’s Autism diagnosis turned her family’s life upside down. “As a parent I am heartbroken with thoughts of all the extra challenges my daughter will have to face.” Fortunately, Allie has been receiving therapy at one of the twelve centers of The Autism Program of Illinois (TAP). Her parents have also been trained by TAP in the ways in which they can help their daughter. “The TAP program makes this diagnosis bearable,” Julie said. “It makes goals
Read More

Free resources for a joyful holiday season

We are gearing up for the holiday season, and we thought you could use a few extra tools to help prepare the children and families you serve. This time of year is exciting-it often means celebrations, trips to see family and visits from friends. However, these activities can also be stressful for someone with an ASD. So, we provided some free gifts to make the holidays more joyful! 1-2-3 Communication Tool Tips for Toys for Children with ASD or PDD Things I Can Do to Stay Calm  
Read More

Making time for self care

As a professional, you devote a lot of time and energy to caring for others. If you have a family, even more of your emotional and mental resources are zapped! Pile the holiday stressors on top and you have a recipe for disaster (instead of gingerbread). Make it through the holidays with positive vibes and good health by filling your self-care reservoir. Self care tips for professionals: 1. Get some rest! Getting to bed at a reasonable time will help you fight off the stressers from the day and will go a long way to keeping you cold and flu
Read More

Government Update

In previous issues of TAPPED In, we asked for your help. We asked you to use our online advocacy tool to send letters to your legislators asking for a restoration in TAP funding for the rest of the fiscal year. Thanks to your amazing support, we succeeded! Please accept our sincere gratitude for your help to continue providing critical services to children in Illinois. Many evidence-based treatments for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) are still not reimbursed by Medicaid or private insurance companies. TAP remains one of the only solutions for Illinois children receiving services, especially for families who are unable
Read More

Research in Illinois

We are fortunate to live in a state with wonderful research universities, two of which are in the midst of seeking more information about Autism Spectrum Disorders. Do you want to help create better understanding about autism? Do you want to share your experiences to help other families? Two opportunities are currently available and seeking participants to improve evidence-based research in the ASD field. Your participation in research can potentially influence thousands of families negotiating barriers and experiences similar to your own. Please contact the researchers below to get involved! Dr. Ebata at UIUC is partnering with faculty from Minnesota
Read More

Free resources for a joyful holiday season

We are gearing up for the holiday season, and we thought you could use a few extra tools to help your child better enjoy the festivities. This time of year is exciting-it often means celebrations, trips to see family and visits from friends. However good these things may seem, they can also be stressful for someone with an ASD. So, we have some free gifts for you! Holiday Tips Sleep Somewhere Else Social Guide Snow Day Social Guide Tips for Family Gatherings Check out more of our free resources HERE!
Read More

Center Spotlight: TAP at Charleston Transitional Facility

The TAP Center at Charleston Transitional Facility (CTF) provides services to a diverse and wide-spread  number of Illinoisians on the eastern side of the state. Services are limited in this region, and CTF is constantly trying to come up with new ways to accommodate those who need TAP supports and cast the net wider. The Center has a number of programs including social skills and play groups, Sibshop, a young adult club, and parent support groups. Social Skills and Play Groups: In addition to social skills groups, from time to time we also offer informal play groups for children. While
Read More

Transitioning Back to School

Getting back to the hustle and bustle of a busy school year can be an exciting prospect for some kids. Preparations often include new school supplies, new clothes and eager anticipation to be reunited with friends. However, transitioning back to school can be a struggle for children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). A new school year brings new routines, new faces, and new situations, all of which can be very stressful. Transitioning between a fun summer schedule into a more structured school schedule can cause anxiety. However, putting in place good visual supports like social guides and visual schedules
Read More