Developmental Disabilities

JCFS Chicago Supports Adolescents With IDD

We applaud UIC Associate Professor Kristin Berg and the Behavioral Health Stratified Treatment (BEST project) for seeking to better understand the needs of young people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We at JCFS Chicago share the project’s goals of early identification and treatment of mental health challenges to improve health and vocational trajectories across the life.

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Relief for Families

For Alex, a happy, energetic 12-year-old with social challenges, the pandemic brought his usually busy world to a halt. With no recreation or socialization outside of his home for the first six months of the pandemic, Alex regressed in many areas. When JCFS Chicago’s Respite services opened back up in July 2020, it was the first place Alex was able to go to have fun after months of isolation.

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First Steps Toward Inclusion

From the day we are born we are a member of a community. As our development progresses and we learn to convey our wants and needs, our involvement and inclusion in family and community life increases. In some instances, infants and young children require early intervention therapy to augment their social, emotional and physical development so that they become actively engaged in their community.

 

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Sibling Relationships

by Erica Aten, M.A., Pre-Doctoral Clinical Psychology Intern, Psychological Services

Although parents are typically a child's first source of human connection, sibling relationships are also an important factor in development. As of 2010, 82.22% of youth lived with at least one sibling(1). Sibling bonds are unique in that they often last a lifetime and are typically people’s longest relationships in life(2). Sibling relationships are influential in many ways.

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How Glick Family Camp Has Inspired Me

by Melissa (Mimi) Goldberg

At JCFS Chicago’s Glick Family Camp, parents, their children with disabilities and siblings enjoy a family-oriented, nature-filled camp experience – together! The camp is offered once each spring at Jewish Community Youth Services Camp Henry Horner/Camp Red Leaf in Ingleside, Illinois. The weekend is filled with a variety of social, creative, recreational and supportive activities. A family camp worker is assigned to each family.

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First Steps After Receiving an Autism Diagnosis

by Caitlin McIlwee, M.A., Psychological Services Pre-Doctoral Intern

You have just learned that your child has been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. For some parents, the news comes as a shock, while other parents may have been expecting it. However, almost all parents who receive this diagnosis for their child struggle with reimagining their child’s future with this pervasive developmental disability. You are not alone, and it is normal to feel this way. The important thing to know is that, although there is no known “cure” for autism, there is hope. Your child will be able to learn, grow and gain new skills within their potential. The important first steps are educating yourself about the diagnosis, adjusting the child’s home environment to best meet their needs, and seeking professional therapeutic services.

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