In this Issue: 
President's Message  
8 Ways to Celebrate the Holidays with Your Special Needs Child
Tips on What Charities to Donate to This Holiday Season
College Application Time!
New Educational Tutorials Ready
This is Where We Will Be...

President's Message:
Dear Clients and Friends,

Happy Holidays!!! 
I love the holidays and this time of year. I probably say this every year in our newsletter, but it's true!

I recognize not everyone might love the holidays like I do, as there are extended families to see, many people to keep happy, and habits and routines that are rearranged from the normal day-to-day activities. In our worlds of special needs, many of these can be stress producing. 
So, let's all try to remember to take some deep breaths, count on each other, and live for the moment we are in.

In this edition of the newsletter, there are some fun holiday tips, access to charitable organizations if we are inclined to share, new Educational Tutorials and more.

I wish each and every one of you a blessed and very special time with family.
Warmest regards,

Mary Anne Ehlert,
Founder & President

8 Ways to Celebrate the Holidays with Your Special Needs Child
  • Find a sensory-friendly Santa -
  • Always sit near the exit 
  • Create special wrapping paper 
  • Wrap gifts so they're easy to open 
  • Give your child his own tree, menorah, or kinara 
  • For special events and dinners, have a plan and a time frame 
  • Discuss expectations with family before a gathering
Timeless Article:
13 Holiday Survival Tips for Your Child With Special Needs by Emma Sterland
While most children live for the holiday season, it can be an extremely stressful time of year for children with autism and other forms of learning disability. The disruption to their routine, unfamiliar sights and smells, the house full of noise and people - it can all prove too much. Holidays are all about the family, but it can be hard keeping everyone happy. Read More

Tips on What Charities to Donate to This Holiday Season

Holiday Giving Guide       
This article on the site asks great questions to give you the tips to help you make decisions. Check it out here.

Also, at, is a list and information on exceptional charities, they did the work of researching these charities for you  Check this list out here.

Tails For Life
Feeding A merica
Salvation Army USA
St Jude Children's Research Hospital
Shriner's Hospital for Children
Habitat for Humanity
Food for the Poor
 Special Olympics
Direct Relief
and more!

College Application Time for Students- 
                                         Why not Yours?

Every year around this time, many children are sending off their college applications. Why not yours?  So many options are out there for our children with special needs.  Choosing a path is a big decision, Some options include:
  • Going to college; 2 or 4 year degree programs
  • Attending college life experience program/no degree
  • Participating in a job training or internship program
We have a 2 page list of  "College and the College Experience" with a link to a list of 200 schools to check out, how to choose the right college, grants and scholarships that might be available and a list of 20 Colleges for Students with Special Needs and their program names.  Check it out here.

  NEW Educational Tutorials Are Ready!!

Our Educational Tutorials are ready for you! 
                              We have just added a couple more.... 
  • Things to Know and Consider Before Applying for SSI
  • Transition to Adulthood
These 3-10 minute tutorials can give you answers to some of your questions as well as explain what to expect and the steps to take as you begin setting up benefits for your loved one.

Check out all the tutorials here.
Look for more each week!    

This is Where We Will Be...

Upcoming Speeches/Conferences/Events for 2019:

Jan 17        PR Wealth Management  - Professional, Private
East Moline, IL

Feb 1        ITK 11th Annual Butterfly Gala
                 Tucson, AZ

Feb 28      DSAIA Down Syndrome Affiliates in Action - Professional
                 St. Louis, MO

Apr 16      NEXT STEPS Plainfield 
                 Plainfield, IL

Apr 23      Day One PACT
                 Lisle, IL

For more information on these  click here
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