Family Swim Night at Fairview

Autism McLean (AM) is partnering with Fairview Family Aquatic Center for a private, after-hours swim event. Everyone is welcome!

There is no cost for AM members. Non-member swimmers can attend for $5. 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 to swim.

Fairview Family Aquatic Center, 801 N. Main Street, Normal, IL, 61761
Thursday, July 11, 2019 - 8:30pm to 10:30pm
Free for AM members and $5 for non-members

Toy Story 4 - A Sensory Friendly Showing

Autism McLean (AM) is partnering with AMC Classic Normal 14 to present a sensory-friendly, private showing of "Toy Story 4" on Saturday, June 29.

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 for the movie here.

We are looking forward to a great turnout!

AMC Classic Normal 14, 201 McKnight Street, Normal, IL, 61761
Saturday, June 29, 2019 - 10:30am to 1:00pm
The movie is free for AM members and $4 for non-members

Autism-Friendly Summer Program from GBC aba

GBC aba is thrilled to provide a blended social skills program that provides naturalistic opportunities to interact with peers in a supported environment. Programming is designed by BCBAs (Board Certified Behavior Analysts) who also train staff and supervise social skills groups on a regular basis. Find more information here.

All ages and skill levels are welcome to join the autism friendly summer program!

  • Dates: June 10th- August 2nd
  • Time: 1:00-4:00 pm
  • Participation is weekly. There is no Camp the week of July 4th.

Each session will have the option to be separated by age groups. Children will build social skills through various group activities based on the weekly themes.

Examples of weekly activities:

  • Arts and Crafts
  • Group Games
  • Story Telling
  • Snack Time
  • Structured Free Play

Different payment options are available to best fit the needs of the family. GBC aba accepts most insurances and offers private pay options.

Call or email GBC aba at 312-882-1024 or [email protected] to reserve your spot today!

15th Annual Illinois Statewide Transition Conference

The 15th Annual Illinois Statewide Transition Conference for transition aged youth and young adults with disabilities, their family members and teachers, vocational professionals, caregivers, health care professionals, college students pursuing careers in special education, resident physicians and community advocates will be held at The Gateway Center in Collinsville on October 17 and 18, 2019.

The goals of the Illinois Statewide Transition Conference are to promote effective, person-centered transition planning to address as aspects of adult life for youth with disabilities.

The conference, titled “Stepping Stones of Transition”, invites participants to imagine the possibilities for students with disabilities in the areas of independent living, education and training, employment, community integration, health care, and self-advocacy. Conference sessions are organized into 4 tracks: Education, Health, Community and Employment.

Education: Instructional delivery models, accommodations and modifications, program development, evidence-based practices, advocacy, and/or other resources for transition age youth receiving services in secondary, post-secondary settings, adult service agencies or community-based organizations.

Health: The health track offered on Thursday is intended for pediatric and adult providers and others who play a role in transition. The breakout sessions will include generalized talks about the transition process, the core elements of health care transition and practical guidelines for implementing transition process in physician practices. The Health Plenary session (D1) will further build capacity and supports for improving transition outcomes for youth with special health care needs/disabilities.

Community: Independent living skills such as getting an apartment, preparing to live as independently as possible, community based-instruction, recreation and leisure, healthcare, financial literacy, online etiquette, community participation and personal safety in public and giving back (volunteering).

Employment: Competitive/integrated employment opportunities, hiring people with disabilities, internships and job shadowing experiences for high school students, partnerships between high schools, colleges, VR agency, employers, nonprofits, workforce development boards, students and their families, and programs improving employment opportunities for in school and out of school youth. Emphasis on youth and how they can appropriately advocate for themselves both on the job and before the job.

Registration Deadline is September 13, 2019. Registration can be found here.

The Gateway Center, 1 Gateway Dr, Collinsville, IL 62234
Thursday, October 17, 2019 - 7:00am to 5:00pm
Friday, October 18, 2019 - 7:00am to 5:00pm
fees vary depending on registration type and length

iAM Social Camp

iAM Social Camp is a social camp geared toward adults and older teens who are no longer enrolled in public school. The camp will be headed by Jacquie Mace, Nikki Michalak, and Unit 5 (teacher of the year) Shawn Mann.

The focus of the camp will be community and recreational activities to encourage social engagement and build social skills.  Camp cost: 275.00, 75.00 will be set aside for each attendee's activities, the other 200.00 will cover supply cost and teacher fees.

We will have no more than 18 campers enrolled. Campers must not have significant behavioral challenges. Campers must be independent enough to not need an individual aid. There will be a lot of navigating the community, but campers will always be with an adult – the ratio will be 1 adult to 6 campers at times.

Campers are responsible for getting themselves to and from camp. Many times we take personal vehicles to get to our community locations.

Please contact [email protected] with questions or for a camp application.

Chiddix Jr. High, 300 S Walnut St, Normal, IL 61761
Monday, June 17, 2019 - 9:00am to 3:00pm
Tuesday, June 18, 2019 - 9:00am to 3:00pm
Wednesday, June 19, 2019 - 9:00am to 3:00pm
Thursday, June 20, 2019 - 9:00am to 3:00pm
Friday, June 21, 2019 - 9:00am to 3:00pm
Monday, June 24, 2019 - 9:00am to 3:00pm
Tuesday, June 25, 2019 - 9:00am to 3:00pm
Wednesday, June 26, 2019 - 9:00am to 3:00pm
Thursday, June 27, 2019 - 9:00am to 3:00pm
Friday, June 28, 2019 - 9:00am to 3:00pm
200.00 + 75.00 activity fee - (total 275.00 for both weeks)

Noodles Fundraiser for Autism McLean - Wed, May 29

A Noodles Fundraiser will be held on Wednesday, May 29th from 4-9 PM at the Bloomington location (305 N Veterans Pkwy). For dine in and take out. Please join us for a great meal and a good cause! 10% of sales are donated back to Autism Mclean. Please mention Autism McLean when making your order.

Noodles has been a great supporter of Autism McLean and we truly appreciate their continued support and partnership.

Noodles & Company, 305 N Veterans Pkwy #105, Bloomington, IL 61704
Wednesday, May 29, 2019 - 4:00pm to 9:00pm

McLean County Museum of History is Autism Friendly!

Did you know that the McLean County Museum of History is Autism Friendly as well as inclusive to individuals and groups with various accomodation needs? Not only do they carry Sensory Bags (sound dampening headphones, sunglasses, fidget toys, and visual communication cards), they have a social story to help plan for your visit. Check out their website to see all of their upcoming events!

April is Autism Awareness Month

Everyone knows someone with autism

The most recent statistic from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that 1 in 59 children have autism. That staggering statistic emphasizes how important it is that the central Illinois community becomes aware of the difficulties of living with autism. Autism McLean provides imperative programming to people of all ages living with autism and families whose lives are affected by autism.

April is Autism Awareness Month. Here are local autism awareness events and fundraisers:

Local events:

Local fundraisers:

About Autism McLean

Autism McLean is an all volunteer based group that strives to educate the central Illinois area about autism and fund programs that better the lives of individuals and families of those with autism. For more information, contact [email protected].

Join us

Please view the benefits of being a member and consider joining us.

Intelligent Lives Film Screening

From award-winning filmmaker Dan Habib comes INTELLIGENT LIVES, a catalyst to transform the label of intellectual disability from a life sentence of isolation into a life of possibility for the most systematically segregated people in America.

INTELLIGENT LIVES stars three pioneering young American adults with intellectual disabilities – Micah, Naieer, and Naomie – who challenge perceptions of intelligence as they navigate high school, college, and the workforce. Academy Award-winning actor and narrator Chris Cooper contextualizes the lives of these central characters through the emotional personal story of his son Jesse, as the film unpacks the shameful and ongoing track record of intelligence testing in the U.S.

INTELLIGENT LIVES challenges what it means to be intelligent, and points to a future in which people of all abilities can fully participate in higher education, meaningful employment, and intimate relationships.

Hosted by the Autism Friendly Community partnership of Autism McLean and Marcfirst. For more information, contact Laura Furlong at Marcfirst.

Illinois Wesleyan University Beckman Auditorium (first floor of Ames Library), 1 Ames Place E, Bloomington, IL 61701
Tuesday, April 16, 2019 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm

Temple Grandin to speak at ISU: "The World Needs All Kinds of Minds"

Temple Grandin, often considered the most accomplished and well-known adult with autism in the world, will be the keynote speaker for Science and Technology Week 2019 at Illinois State University.

Her talk, “The World Needs All Kinds of Minds,” will be at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 10, in the Brown Ballroom of the Bone Student Center. Sponsored by the College of Applied Science and Technology, the talk is free and open to the public. A book signing will immediately follow the lecture.

A prolific author, Grandin’s book Emergence: Labeled Autistic stunned the world as it challenged the assumption that an autism diagnosis was virtually a death sentence to achievement or productivity in life. Her life story was made into an HBO feature film starring Claire Danes. The movie received seven Emmy awards, a Golden Globe, and a Peabody Award. Grandin is sought after globally to speak about her experiences with autism, cattle handling, and the humane treatment of animals. Her TED talk has been viewed by over 4.8 million people.

She is the author of Thinking in Pictures: My Life with Autism, among others. Her books Animals in Translation and Animals Make Us Human were both New York Times bestsellers.

Grandin, who holds a Ph.D. in animal science from the University of Illinois, is a designer of livestock handling facilities in the United States, Canada, Europe, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, and other countries. In North America, almost half of the cattle are handled in a center track restrainer system that she designed for meat plants.

She has been featured internationally in the media including National Public Radio, major television programs such as the BBC special “The Woman Who Thinks Like a Cow,” ABC’s Primetime Live, The Today Show, CNN’s Larry King Live, 60 Minutes, 48 Hours, and 20/20, and has been featured in Time, People, Forbes, U.S. News and World Report, and The New York Times, among others. In 2010, Time Magazine named her one of the 100 most influential people.

Brown Ballroom of the Bone Student Center, 200 N University St, Normal, IL 61761
Wednesday, April 10, 2019 - 7:00pm


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