TAP “Topic of the Week” for Parents in June

The Autism Place presents Topic of the Week for Parents every Thursday in June from 7-8 PM.

Each week in June, TAP will be hosting a video conference over Zoom featuring a topic and hosting a discussion. All parents of TAP are invited. Here are the first two weeks:

  • June 4: Making the most of everyday activities
  • June 11: Stress management for parents and kids

Use the following link to join: https://illinoisstate.zoom.us/j/95901979814

TAP Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/The-Autism-Place-489081167885070

“We Are Superheroes” and “Lights! Camera! Action!” virtual summer camps featuring music and art therapy

“We Are Superheroes” and “Lights! Camera! Action!” virtual summer camps featuring music and art therapy

Developing Melodies is proud to present their first creative arts summer camp for teens and adults of all abilities ages 16 years old and up! Campers will create music, art and dance inspired by a variety of musicals, artists and heroes in preparation for a celebratory performance for friends and family on the last day of camp. They are featuring two camps this summer:

  • We Are Superheroes– June 22-26, 1:00pm-3:00pm
  • Lights! Camera! Action!– July 13-17, 1:00pm-3:00pm

Due to COVID-19, Summer Camp will be offered virtually using Zoom Video Conferencing. All that is required to participate virtually is a device with internet access. 

The music therapists and art therapists are working hard to prepare creative and engaging music, art and movement experiences that campers will enjoy in from the comfort of their own home! Campers will not only get to participate with the instructors LIVE, but they will be able to do it with their peers who will also appear on screen each day of camp.

Instructions for getting prepared will be emailed with waivers and releases for each participant and brief “Meet and Greet” meetings with the therapists will occur during the week before each camp. A packet of supplies (including art supplies and instruments) will be delivered ahead of camp to be used throughout the week of camp.

Additionally, the day before each day of camp, an email will be sent with daily schedules, links and instructions for how to participate and login to Zoom.

We are keeping camp sizes small, so that we can continue serving our campers best. Our maximum number of participants per session at this time is 8.

Cost: $165 per participant

Discounts available for attending both weeks

Registration includes 10 hours of camp, instruments and supplies for both music and art and a pre-camp meet and greet with the therapists.

There are still a few spots remaining if you’d like to join us for Virtual camp! Register here: https://developingmelodies.com/summercampregistration

Asking your help – Participate in Survey on Autism & Housing

Asking your help – Participate in Survey on Autism & Housing

Autism McLean members and supporters,

If you are a parent or guardian of an individual with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in McLean County (IL), please help us by taking the following survey. (See link below.)

This survey is part of a research study commissioned through Autism McLean, and conducted by Dr. Frank Beck, Ph.D., and a team of graduate students from the Illinois State University Stevenson Center. The purpose of the study is to use applied research to determine local housing and housing-related service needs of adults with ASD in McLean County. 

The findings from the study will be summarized anonymously and presented to the leadership of Autism McLean and its Autism Friendly Community partners, to help us better serve and advocate for people with autism in our local community. We plan to share results of the study on the Autism McLean website.

Your participation is voluntary and completely anonymous, and there is no penalty for choosing not to participate or stopping at any time. Depending on your situation and responses, the survey should take approximately 10 minutes. 

If you have any questions about the research, you may contact Dr. Frank Beck at 309-438-7770 (or Chuck Hartseil at [email protected]).

To access the survey, please click the link below by April 26, 2020:


 We thank you for your valuable time and willingness to participate in this study! 

  • Jacquie Mace, Autism McLean President
  • Chuck Hartseil, Autism McLean Treasurer
  • Kari Sandhaas, Autism McLean Board, Autism Friendly Community Chair
  • Virginia Moody, Autism McLean Professional Advisory Board

COVID Needs and Supports Survey

COVID Needs and Supports Survey

Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) often thrive in a routine environment and can struggle with unexpected changes to their schedules. Lately, there have been many changes and many unknowns.

As we adjust to coping with these changes and navigating school closures, abrupt changes in daily routine, loss of connections with teachers and friends, and distance learning, individuals with ASD may need additional support to process and adapt to the many changes. What are some of your struggles?

For some, it might be trying to locate the right brand and type of chicken nuggets. For others, it’s a sensory overload! Please share what you are experiencing and what supports you have found to be successful. The information you share will be used to develop strategies and resources that will be shared on Autism McLean’s website (for individualization).

Please complete the following survey so supports and strategies can be developed that benefit our local families. Resources will be shared on the Autism McLean website soon!

Survey can also be accessed here: https://forms.gle/bDh9yXedXj9rTT9f6

Thank you!

April 2nd is World Autism Awareness Day

April 2nd is World Autism Awareness Day

April 2nd is World Autism Awareness Day and was created to recognize and embrace the impact that autism has had on individuals, families and communities worldwide.

Autism awareness is more important than ever – 1 in 54 American children are on the autism spectrum. ASD is reported to occur in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups.

Autism McLean was founded in 2002. What began as a small group of parents needing to make a difference in our community has grown to more than 200 members today. With the increase in numbers, the demands for services and supports have also increased greatly. We strive to meet the demands by tapping into the strength of the community and fundraising with the help of our many volunteers. This alone can be a difficult task given that we are an all volunteer organization made up mainly of parents who have children with autism.

Autism McLean proudly serves the more than 3000 individuals with autism in McLean County. …

Children Discovery Museum – Sensory Friendly Night

Children Discovery Museum – Sensory Friendly Night
  • When: Friday, July 10
  • Time: 5:30 – 7:30 PM
  • Where: Children’s Discovery Museum, 101 E. Beaufort St., Normal, IL, 61761
  • Cost: Free

It’s a family night of play designed specifically for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and other sensory processing differences at the Children’s Discovery Museum!

Your family will experience all three floors of interactive exhibits in a comfortable and inclusive environment. Sensory friendly accommodations will be provided along with special sensory activities.

This FREE event is presented in partnership with Autism McLean. Advance registration is required and space is limited…

Sonic the Hedgehog – A Sensory Friendly Showing

Sonic the Hedgehog – A Sensory Friendly Showing

Autism McLean (AM) is partnering with AMC Classic Normal 14 to present a sensory-friendly, private showing of Sonic the Hedgehog on Saturday, February 22.

The lights are turned up and sound is turned down. It’s OK if people need to get up and move around or talk. All ages are welcome.

The movie starts at 11:00 AM, but doors open at 10:30 AM. Please be early if you are going to order concessions.

There is no cost for AM members. Non-member tickets are $4. If you are not an AM member, please view the benefits of being a member and consider joining us. Events like this are often free for our members. Learn more about joining Autism McLean as a member.

Please register here for the movie.

We are looking forward to a great turnout!…

The Gingerbread House’s 12 Days of Giving, Benefiting Autism McLean

The Gingerbread House’s 12 Days of Giving, Benefiting Autism McLean

The Gingerbread House is in the giving spirit and Autism McLean is going to benefit! On November 13th the toy store will donate 10% of sales for the day to our organization!

How can you help? Simply stop by the Gingerbread House on November 13th  and pick up a few selections from your holiday shopping list.  Not in town? Don’t worry, you can now shop ONLINE with free delivery options!! 10% of the total sales that day goes to us!

That’s it. Simple and elegant, no coupons, no letting them know the purchase is for our group. Check off a To-Do, get some great quality toys, and help support our organization!

For more information about the Gingerbread House Toy Store and the 12 Days of Giving program, checkout their website at www.gingerbreadhousetoys.com

2019-2020 Winter Bowling Camp

2019-2020 Winter Bowling Camp

Let’s bowl! Autism McLean is setting up the pins for another season of our annual bowling camp! This year is at a new location: Twin City Lanes!

Autism McLean Winter Bowling Camp:

  • When: Saturdays, 11/16, 11/23, 11/30, 12/7, 12/21, 12/28, 1/4, 1/11, 118, 1/25, 2/1, and 2/8 from 11:15 am – 12:15 pm.
  • Where: Twin City Lanes, 1006 East Lincoln Street, Bloomington, IL 61701.
  • Register: at the Autism McLean Membership website. Must register by 11/13!
  • Registration fee: For families with an active membership: $20 per child up to a max of $50 for 3+ children. Non-member children and adults who want to bowl are $60 each. Everyone will bowl one game. If lanes are available, people can bowl a second game for $3.00
  • ContactKelly Woith

About the program:

Bowling is open to anyone who wants to be there. As long as they want to bowl, they are welcome to join us. Our mission statement is simple: provide our kids the same experience as any other kid who bowls. This means, of course, practice, frustration, achievement, sharing, communicating, bonding, turn taking, following directions and friendship.

We look forward to seeing you there and watching our kids succeed!

Not an active Autism McLean member? Learn more about joining AM as a member. A membership will save you money if you money on this event and on other events throughout the year (in addition to all of the other membership benefits!)…