La Rabida's April 24 Symposium to Offer Help in Educating Children with Special Needs

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Lisa Thornton, MD, will be the keynote speaker for the April 24 conference, "Restoring Hope, Education and Collaboration in Life Planning for Students with Special Needs." The event, co-sponsored by ECHO Joint Agreement and Rehab Tech, will bring together professionals who with this population and families to dicusss new educational technologies and innovations.

All children have special gifts, even children with disabilities, and I want parents to celebrate their child's unique spirit

La Rabida Children's Hospital will co-sponsor a day long conference for educators and health care professionals who work with children with special needs on April 24 at the Hilton, Oak Lawn, 9333 S. Cicero.

La Rabida's Lisa Thornton, MD, will be the keynote speaker for "Restoring Hope, Education and Collaboration in Life Planning for Students with Special Needs," a joint effort between the hospital, ECHO Joint Agreement and Rehab Tech.

In her address, Thornton will encourage parents and caregivers to not overlook the essence of their child, though they are dealing with other, seemingly larger issues.

"This is the only time in that child's life that they are free to wear stripes and plaids, to sport crazy hair if they want, and to have no worry in the world. I want parents to recognize that,'' said Thornton, who works in pediatric rehabilitation at La Rabida and is also director of pediatric rehabilitation at Schwab Rehabilitation Hospital.

"All children have special gifts, even children with disabilities, and I want parents to celebrate their child's unique spirit," she said.

The April conference will bring together professionals who work with children with special needs and families to discuss new educational technologies and innovations.

More than 40 speakers will present during four sessions, which begin with registration and breakfast at 7:30 a.m. The final session ends at 4:15 p.m.

Topics include:

  • The Impact of Poverty on the Well Being of Children
  • Assistive Technology in the Classroom
  • Funding for Home Modifications
  • Equipment: What Gets Paid for & What Does Not
  • Servicing Children with Complex Communication Needs    
  • From Research to Reality: Teaching Reading to Hearing Impaired Students
  • The Nuts & Bolts of IEP Prep: Goal Writing and Relevance to State Standards    
  • Linking Research to Practice - Ultra Flex

Who Should Attend:

  • Case Managers    
  • Service Coordinators
  • Educators    
  • Social Workers
  • Occupational Therapists    
  • Speech Language Pathologists
  • Parents    
  • Psychologists
  • Physical Therapists    

Continuing Education Credits
Up to 5 Continuing Education Credits are available for licensed social workers, physical therapists and occupational therapists. Educators can earn up to 5 hours of Continuing Professional Development Units.

Registration Open
Registration is $150 for the general public; $10 for parents and caregivers. Please contact Alvenna Ward at 708.985.4479. Breakfast and lunch will be provided.

La Rabida Children's Hospital provides comprehensive care for children who are chronically ill with lifelong medical conditions, developmental disabilities and those who have been abused. Located on the shore of Lake Michigan at Jackson Park, La Rabida has served the children of Chicago for more than 110 years.

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Zion Banks

Alvenna Ward
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