We’ve compiled a therapist-approved list of sensory friendly local community services for you and your family, including dentists, haircuts, counseling, activities, and more!
APRIL 2 STYLE
Haircuts and basic styles.
“My experience with special needs children and adults allows me to build relationships with my clients so that they feel comfortable enough to allow me into their lives. Nothing is ever forced. I have cut hair on the floor, outside, on a moving target as well as traveled to homes. I do whatever I can to ensure that my clients are comfortable.”
AUTISM HERO PROJECT
Buys medical insurance for kids on the spectrum.
“Promote autism acceptance, change public policy, and the way the world does business by being intentional about inclusion. We sponsor medical insurance for autistic children to gain access all therapeutic services that include Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Therapy to attain the life skills they need to reach their full potential.”
Employment for Adults on the Autism Spectrum.
“Job Opportunities: Computer Associates and Manufacturing Associates.”
BACK TO NATURE FITNESS & ADVENTURES
Kids, Adults, and Family Fitness and Yoga.
“Back to Nature Fitness & Adventures provides outdoor fitness classes for humans ages 0-103. Born out of a love of all things movement and nature, we strive to create mindfulness and wellness for our students. Whether they are attending yoga, core and fitness classes, or one of our resilient runners kids run clubs, all students are provided with breathing techniques and skills to calm the body, bond with their families, and feel closer to nature.”
BRIDGE EDUCATIONAL ADVOCACY
Educational advocacy, consulting, support, and training.
“Bridge Educational Advocacy provides advocacy services to ensure that all learners receive the appropriate levels of educational services. As an advocate, I work with parents and school teams to ensure that parental rights are protected, student needs are identified, and services are implemented with fidelity.”
BRIGHT SMILES PEDIATRIC DENTISTRY
Our group of board certified pediatric dentists bring extensive expertise to the Roscoe Village neighborhood of Chicago. We provide our community with the best quality of care and experience for families and children.
“Our mission is to provide highly specialized pediatric dentistry to patients in an environment that is modern, tech savvy, and nurturing. Our board certified, hospital affiliated pediatric dentists strive to ensure patient and parent satisfaction by using scientifically proven behavior management strategies to ensure a positive and “second to none” experience for children. Our entire team is committed to this mission. https://brightsmilespediatricdentistry.com”
CHICAGO AUTISM NETWORK
Nonprofit organization dedicated to helping families find and afford effective autism therapy and supports.
“Chicago Autism Network is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to helping families find and afford effective autism therapy and supports. While the Chicagoland area has a wealth of autism service providers, too often families can’t access these services due to lack information and lack of funding. We believe autism therapy should be accessible to everyone on the spectrum! To help families connect with important information, we hold free monthly Autism Parent Workshops. To help families afford effective therapy, we offer financial aid through our Therapy Assistance Grants.”
CHICAGO CHILDREN’S THEATRE
Red Kite Classes and Camps.
“Red Kite curriculum is an adaptive theater program for young people on the autism spectrum and other neurodiverse learners. The primary pillar of our curriculum is social-emotional learning (SEL), utilizing sensory drama games to engage each student’s ability to work within a group and explore their emotional expressivity and understanding. Our classes engage in creative play and sensory experiences to encourage students to connect with their unique body, voice, imagination, and with the community around them.”
CHICAGO HOME TUTOR
We provide onsite tutoring services throughout Chicagoland. We work with students in their homes, schools, and medical settings. We also provide 1:1 tutoring services online.
“We specialize in tutoring for students with ADHD, learning disabilities, executive functioning challenges, autism, and other diverse learning needs. We are a team of learning behavior specialists, reading specialists, and school psychologists. We provide a free consultation to interested families and then will hand-pick the best tutor for each student based on academic needs, personality, tutoring location and schedule.”
K-8 Elementary and Middle School.
“City Elementary offers an individualized educational program tailored to students with diverse learning styles and developmental needs. Our classrooms are structured to provide small group instruction for children on the autism spectrum, those with significant attentional issues, and those with sensory-integration challenges. City Elementary provides a rigorous education while simultaneously encouraging regulation, social engagement, and positive peer interactions. Our model is rooted in empirically validated principles of progressive education with an emphasis on multi-modal, hands-on, child-centered, and project-based learning.”
CLARENDON VISION DEVELOPMENT CENTER
Vision therapy, Myopia Management.
“Vision therapy is an integrative program to improve visual development and overall enhance visual skills. Myopia management is a program designed to slow down or stop the progression of myopia which can lead to vision threatening diseases later in life.”
COSMAT INSURANCE AGENCY INC
Individual and Group Medical Plans.
“Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Illinois.”
ENTERA MUSIC AND WELLNESS LLC
Individual and Group Music Therapy sessions in English and Spanish. In-person sessions available in Chicago, IL. Virtual sessions available to other areas.
“Entera Music and Wellness LLC serves to provide holistic Music Therapy and Wellness services in English and Spanish. We believe in using the healing power of music to help others explore their most authentic self while enhancing their wellness and quality of life. To learn more about Music Therapy or to inquire for services, please visit our website at www.enteramw.org”
ESPERANZA HEALTH CENTERS
Medical and behavioral health services for all ages.
“www.esperanzachicago.org Community health center serving anyone regardless of their ability to pay. We serve patients from birth through geriatrics and have an extensive behavioral health department. We are located on the SW side of the city. All front line staff are bilingual (Spanish/English).”
FAMILY EDUCATIONAL ADVOCACY, BRANDON M. COCHRANE & ASSOCIATES
We strive to help families bridge the communication gap with school districts when there are questions. These questions often range from the general education setting to children that require an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). A collaborative approach is used with families and the school districts to achieve the most appropriate and supportive outcome for the child.
“Brandon strives to help families bridge the communication gap between parents and their child’s school. He specializes in several different areas from how children learn in the general education setting to how to help children that require special education support, and everything in between. He creates a safe and welcoming environment to openly answer questions and talk through the educational process with each family to understand what they want and need for their child to be successful. Brandon also focuses on communicating and collaborating with the school district to provide your child with the proper supports to be successful in the educational environment.”
Sensory Friendly Performances, custom classes, virtual and in-person programming.
“Sensory-friendly performances are designed to create a performing arts experience that is welcoming to all families with children with autism or with other sensory sensitivities. Accommodations for this performance may include: Lower sound level, especially for startling or loud sounds; Lights remain on at a low level in the theater during the performance; A reduction of strobe lighting or lighting focused on the audience. Patrons are free to talk and leave their seats during the performance; Space throughout the theater for standing and movement; Fewer tickets will be sold making for a smaller audience size; Filament staff will be on hand to be inviting and accommodating to families’ needs. A “Social Story” may be available for download to help prepare for the performance at home.”
FOX VALLEY SPECIAL RECREATION ASSOCIATION
Therapeutic Recreation Programs for Individuals with Special Needs: Summer Day Camp, Adult Day Programs, Special Olympic Sports, Health and Fitness Classes, Creative and Expressive Arts, Special Events, and More!
“FVSRA empowers people with disabilities to live active, healthy, fulfilling lives. Our staff is trained to support people of all ages and abilities. Through 600+ year-round programs, FVSRA participants make friends, experience new activities, and become part of a supportive community. FVSRA is setting the pace for the future of special recreation programming. We want to create a culture that promotes individuals with disabilities to be part of all aspects of the community. FVSRA believes everyone deserves access to leisure and recreation activities.”
FUSION ACADEMY LINCOLN PARK
Full Time Middle & High School, Tutoring Services, Classes for Credit.
“Fusion Academy Lincoln Park in Chicago, Illinois opened in 2017 as Fusion’s 39th campus nationwide. Fusion Lincoln Park is a private school where classes are one-to-one: one student and one teacher per classroom. Our Teacher/Mentors can personalize curriculum and pacing for their students’ strengths, interests, and learning style. Students may attend full-time for middle and high school or part-time with classes for credit, tutoring and mentoring, post-secondary counseling, and more. We offer rolling enrollment so students can start at any point, even mid-semester or mid-year. Connect with us to learn more.”
GORDON EDUCATIONAL ADVOCACY
Parent and Child Advocacy.
“Gordon Educational Advocacy empowers and supports families in securing appropriate educational services that meet each child’s individual needs. Our advocates promote collaboration between parents and schools and develop creative solutions that meet each child’s unique needs, allowing them to reach their full potential.”
INDIVIDUAL AND FAMILY CONNECTION
Individual therapy, parent-child therapy, family therapy services, and parent coaching.
“It is the mission of Individual and Family Connection to empower families to more deeply connect with one another and to assist them in maintaining that connection through difficult times. We guide caregivers to better respond to their children’s behavioral and emotional needs through providing direct service, education, advocacy, and by building strong alliances in the community. Together with their support systems, we work to promote balance and well-being for children by providing quality pediatric mental health services. We provide individual therapy for children (18 months and up), parent-child therapy, family therapy services, and parent coaching. Families can contact by phone (773-270-0469) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org).”
KIDS ENJOY EXERCISE NOW (KEEN) CHICAGO
Sports, Yoga, Music, Swim, Trampoline, Dance, Art, Special Events.
“KEEN Chicago Provides free sports and recreational programming to youth with disabilities. Our mission is to empower youth with disabilities and impact volunteer coaches through participation in free, non-competitive, one-on-one programs of physical activity and fun, supporting the overall health and well-being of all participants. To learn more about our programs or enroll an Athlete, visit our website at www.keenchicago.org. Email email@example.com with any questions.”
THE KIDS’ TABLE
A cooking school for kids and families. In person in Chicago and virtually all over!
“In-Person Cooking: Our Chicago location is open for in-person kids cooking classes (for kids as young as 2!), teen cooking classes, family dinners, private parties, winter camp and more. Come join in the hands-on cooking fun! Virtual Cooking: We’re thrilled to still be cooking with folks all over the country and beyond in our virtual cooking classes and virtual camps. You can also book a virtual party (for a bday, scout troop cooking badge, or just a fun virtual activity for your crew). Or add cooking to your school or library’s virtual enrichment offerings. The opportunities are endless, so let’s get cookin’!”
MATT COHEN AND ASSOCIATES
“We provide representation to children and adults with disabilities, including in special education disputes, school discipline problems, higher ed accommodations and other disability related issues. We also represent a number of mental health and social service organizations. Our staff include both attorneys and advocates, many of whom have Clinical and/or personal experience with people with disabilities or have disabilities themselves.”
MINDFUL MUSIC – ADRIENNE SCHROEDER
In home mindfulness based piano lessons.
“Through the fusion of mindfulness and music at the piano, my students have fun learning songs they choose and gain a holistic toolkit for life at the same time. I come to my students’ homes each week for lessons and specialize in working with young people that are neuro-diverse (ASD, ADHD, etc.). I believe in letting people be who they are, learn in their unique way, and sharing tools with them to fully embody their potential through the joyful vehicle of music!”
MOTHERS’ MILK BANK OF THE WESTERN GREAT LAKES
Human milk donation, pasteurized donor human milk distribution, support for bereaved donors, equity programming, charity care.
“Mothers’ Milk Bank of the Western Great Lakes saves tiny lives by collecting, pasteurizing, and dispensing donor human milk to premature babies and pediatric patients. As a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit member of the Human Milk Banking Association of North America, we are proud to serve over 70 hospitals and hundreds of families throughout Wisconsin and Illinois.”
PIGTAILS & CREWCUTS – GENEVA
Haircuts for Kids, Braids, Up-dos, 1st Haircut Packages, Kids-centered Haircare Products.
“We provide haircutting services for kids and we specialize in kids with special needs and sensory challenges. We have partnered with MyRecess occupation therapy to create a training program for our stylists to help with tips and tricks for working with special needs children and children with sensory challenges.”
PRESENT PLACE CHICAGO
Indoor Play and Birthday Parties.
“Present Place is an indoor play space for children under 5 and their caregivers. We offer daily indoor play options in our modern loft play spaces. On weekends, we offer private rentals of our space for birthday parties.”
PROUD TO BE ME
Dance and Movement Therapy Classes.
“This dance class is designed for elementary and middle schoolers with any intellectual, developmental, or sensory impairments! Our beginner-level dance and movement classes currently take place through Zoom and provide a fun outlet for children to let out energy and meet new people. The free class is also designed to help refine and improve things like motor skills, concentration, social/communication abilities, and general happiness. See more on our website here.”
Special Needs Trusts, Estate Planning and Guardianships.
“We LIMIT our practice to Special Needs Legal and Future Planning in Illinois for families of children and adults with special needs.”
Recreation programs specially designed for people with disabilities of all ages.
“SEASPAR offers programs for people with disabilities including: Summer Day Camp, Weekly Programs, Athletics, Special Olympic Training, Special Events, Trips, Dances, Virtual classes, Adult Day Program, Multi-Sensory Rooms, and Inclusion Services.”
THE SECOND CITY TRAINING CENTER
Improv For Autism (19+), Improv for Anxiety (19+).
“Improv for Autism offers a class in improv for teens and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Classes will focus on ensemble and team building to help with the exploration of different relationships and social cues. Improv for Anxiety uses ensemble-based improv to help people with social anxiety disorder overcome fear and avoidance associated with work, school, and family life.”
Autism Sailing Camps.
“Spectrum Sailing offers 3 day sailing camps to Autistic individuals across the country free of charge. Chicago was our first travel camp and we hope to continue to offer programing here.”
URBAN AUTISM SOLUTIONS
Growing Solutions Farm, UAS West Side Transition Academy, UAS Life Lab, UAS Monthly Meetup, First Job.
“GSF is a 1.2 acre produce farm where students learn about urban agriculture while they develop transferrable job skills. The UAS Academy offers services complimentary to those CPS high school students receive in their schools, including speech-language and occupational therapy, communication skills, social-emotional learning, community-based internships and chances to explore the city via public transit. The UAS Life Lab is a three bedroom townhouse leased by UAS where students with autism and related challenges practice skills of daily living such as laundry, cooking and household chores. The UAS Monthly Meetup is the longest-running meetup for young adults (16-35) with autism and related challenges. It is held the second Sunday of the month (not May or October) at a local pizza place. The UAS First Job program connects job-ready students to jobs in competitive employment.”