Have Dreams

Rating: 5 stars   2 reviews

Issues: Disabilities, Education, Human Services

Location: 515 Busse Highway Suite 150 Park Ridge IL 60068 USA

Mission: Have Dreams aspires to help children with an autistic spectrum disorder to learn, function independently, and socialize so that they may realize their full potential and develop into contributing members of their communities. Founded in 1996, Have Dreams is located in Park Ridge, Illinois, and serves children from across the Chicago metropolitan area. Have Dreams provides children with autism with a safe and engaging environment in which to learn and rehearse social and independent living skills, and provides their families and communities with information and support.
Programs: Have Dreams provides structured programs after-school and weekends for children challenged by autism. Programs include: Social Skills; Music & Movement; Music & Fitness, Instructional Swim; Interactive Games; Cooking & Conversation; Teen Programs; Special Olympics; Animal Assisted Therapy, Breakthrough to Literacy, as well as, an incorporation of Art Therapy. Special events, community outings and school break programs are also provided on an ongoing basis. Our classes focus on developing life skills, independence and meaningful social relationships. Armed with these skills, a child with autism can be an active participant, not a passive bystander. Professional trainings, sibling support, instructional services, consultation, educational presentations, and workshops occur throughout the year. Have Dreams serves children from age 3 to 20, and we anticipate developing programs through adulthood. There are currently 62 children enrolled in programs and over 300 family members and professionals in related fields attending seminars and other sessions annually.

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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

My 9 year old son has attended Have Dreams for 3 years now. The changes that have come through the skills taught at Have Dreams are incredible. The staff is amazing and truly has the children's best interests at heart. My son has been part of a Social Skills class that has allowed him to interact with peers approriately and has also been part of the Special Olympics through Have Dreams. It is a place where my whole family feels welcome and most improtantly, where my son feels safe and loved.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The incredible progress made by my son

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

None that I can think of

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Rating: 5 stars  

Have Dreams has been unbelievable in helping my nine-year-old high functioning autistic son to make friends and gain the skills and confidence he needs to succeed at school. Everyone at my son's school has noticed the tremendous improvement in his ability to control himself and to have positive interactions with the neurotypical kids in his class. I could not imagine last year that this fall my son would be successfully playing with other fourth graders during recess and physical education class. The Have Dreams staff is unbelievably professional and supportive.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My son attends a "club" with three staff and two other kids like him. At these club meetings, the staff has the kids work on different activities that are of interest to them while also teaching them social and friendship skills. Through the use of social stories and other structured teaching strategies, as well as an abundance of well-trained staff, my son has made incredible strides gaining social smarts (learning how to "think about you thinking about me").

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I am very excited about the new Evanston site that Have Dreams has recently launched. This is much closer to my home so my change has already been made.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

How did you find this group?

a fellow parent of an autistic child in our school district

What, if any, change in your life has this group encouraged?

I am now imagining my son having the tools to be able to navigate high school successfully and to fulfill his current dream of becoming an astronomer. I could not imagine that before we found Have Dreams

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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