Find resource information for families and children with special healthcare needs.
Some of these resources are specific for families and children enrolled in our programs. Others may be of interest to any family or child with special healthcare needs.
You can use the search box below to narrow your view. For example, you can search for support groups, respite, grant programs, a specific topic or by condition.
You can also browse by category or by region using the links on the right side of this page.
Here is a quick video showing how to use the search and display features for our resources and events.
Check back often for updates. If you don’t find what you need, please call us at (800) 322-3722 or send us an email.
The U.S. Department of Education’s Assistive Technology (AT) and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) resource page can help guide parents and professionals who support children with disabilities who need AT devices and services for meaningful access and engagement in education. Information is available in English and Spanish.
The page also includes Myths and Facts Surrounding Assistive Devices and Services. The publication is designed to increase understanding of the IDEA’s AT requirements and:
- Dispel common misconceptions regarding AT
- Provide examples of the use of AT devices and services for children with disabilities
- Highlight the different requirements under Part C and Part B of IDEA
You can also review Myths and Facts Surrounding Assistive Devices and Services in Spanish.
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has created a useful tip sheet with strategies to support parents and guardians who help children complete homework. The “Homework Help Strategies for Caregivers” tip sheet includes a link to a database of helpful homework support websites. It can be found under “Family and Community Resources” on ISBE’s Family and Community Engagement webpage.
School and district professionals as well as school board members can also find tip sheets on how they may help with best practice regarding homework.
The Illinois State Board of Education’s Inclusion Brochure provides an overview of early childhood inclusion, the benefits of high-quality inclusive programs, teaching models that support inclusion, and more. It can also help families and professionals to better explain least restrictive environment (LRE) and inclusion.
The brochure is also available in these languages: Arabic Inclusion Brochure, Cantonese Inclusion Brochure, French Inclusion Brochure, Japanese Inclusion Brochure, Mandarin Inclusion Brochure, Polish Inclusion Brochure and Spanish Inclusion Brochure.
Special Father’s Network is a dad-to-dad mentoring program for fathers raising children with special needs.
The program connects new fathers with special needs children to another father (a Mentor Father) who has experienced a similar situation. The program matches Mentor Fathers as closely as possible based on the child’s special needs, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic group and relationship to the child e.g., .father, stepfather, grandfather).
The Special Father’s Network is available through the 21st Century Dads Foundation, which raises awareness and resources for greater father involvement and seeks to inspire dads to be present, caring and nurturing.
The Illinois Respite Coalition (IRC) is a not-for-profit organization of caregivers and respite providers dedicated to supporting families and ensuring access to quality respite services for the residents of Illinois. The IRC assists caregivers by connecting them to resources in their area, providing training on respite topics and having funding available for emergency respite. The IRC helps caregivers of individuals across the lifespan with any disability.
The Emergency Respite Care Program offers funding and resources to support caregivers who are not receiving any respite services and have an urgent need for respite care in the absence of any other funding source. Emergency respite care may be for an unplanned or planned event for reasons including:
- Caregiver illness (physical, mental or emotional)
- Caregiver hospitalization
- Work-related situation
- Reduction of stress level
For more information contact:
- The Illinois Respite Coalition at (866) ILL-RESP (455-7377)
- Statewide Coordinator Kara McCroskey at firstname.lastname@example.org
Almost Home Kids provides a bridge from hospital to home through an innovative community-based care system for children with medical complexities. It responds to the needs of families, trains caregivers, offers respite care, advocates for accessibility and inclusion and educates healthcare professionals.
Almost Home Kids offers transitional, respite and respite transportation care. It has locations in Chicago, Naperville and Peoria.
If you are looking for health insurance for yourself or your family, or if you own a small business or lead a nonprofit organization this website is the official site in Illinois for signing up for health insurance.
Advocate Dental Center provides a wide range of dental services for adults and children with developmental disabilities through its Special Patient Dental Care Program. The program’s services include:
- Dental exams and cleanings
- Root canal treatments
- Extractions, crowns and tooth replacements
- IV sedation
- Operating room dentistry
Call (773) 871-2188 to discuss Special Patient Dental Care Program eligibility and appointment scheduling.
The University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) College of Dentistry provides comprehensive dental care including a full range of services for people with disabilities and children with complex oral health needs and special developmental and behavioral care needs. Pediatric Dentistry clinics provide care for children from infancy through adolescence (under age 17), including:
- Comprehensive oral health examinations, teeth cleaning, fluoride treatments, sealants, restorative procedures (fillings, crowns, etc.)
- Extractions and minor surgical procedures
- Urgent care (trauma, infection, etc.) and more
These services can be available with sing inhalation sedation (Nitrous oxide), moderate sedation and general anesthesia. Read more about pediatric services.
People with disabilities can request services to help them participate equally in the College of Dentistry’s services, programs and activities. Requests can include sign language interpreters, documents in Braille, and other ways of making information and communications accessible.