UIC opens Bronzeville center for autism intervention
The University of Illinois at Chicago will open its second resource center for parents and teachers of children with autism or developmental delays.
The Resource Center for Autism & Developmental Delays will open in the Bronzeville neighborhood with an open house to familiarize parents and teachers with its resources. Commissioner Evelyn Diaz of the Chicago Department of Family & Support Services will introduce the center and its services. Local aldermen and state representatives have been invited.
May 31, 1-3 p.m. Ribbon-cutting at 2 p.m.
King Community Service Center
4314 S. Cottage Grove Ave.
One in every 88 children have autism spectrum disorder, according to the Centers for Disease Control, for a 78 percent increase in diagnoses since 2007. The greatest increases are 110 percent among Latino children and 91 percent among black children.
“Parents often don’t know where to turn when first learning their child has autism spectrum disorder. It is a real challenge for parents with limited resources,” said Maureen Meehan, director of community literacy programs at UIC. “The needs go far beyond the individual child and family. They affect education, health care, and the broader community.”
UIC’s resource centers encourage early intervention by making an extensive lending library of books, software, games, home teaching kits and visual supports available to the public, free of charge. Resources and materials are based on current research and best practices. Staff members offer individual consultations and training programs to teach patrons to navigate the center’s technology and adapt materials for use in classrooms and homes.
UIC’s first center for autism opened in the Garfield Park Community Center in 2010. It has served nearly 8,000 patrons through bilingual training in understanding autism and dealing with it in homes and schools.
The Center for Literacy in UIC’s College of Education staffs, programs and manages the resource centers in partnership with the Hope Institute for Children and Families and the Autism Program of Illinois. The Chicago Department of Family and Support Services provides funding and a connection to Chicago’s Head Start community.