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LCCIL Annual Meeting November 29

The Lake County Center for Independent Living will hold its Annual Meeting and Holiday Party on Thursday, November 29, 2012 from 5:30pm – 7pm.  It will be held at the United Methodist Church of Libertyville, 429 Brainerd Avenue, Libertyville.  Light refreshments will be served.

At the meeting, staff and members will share their successes plans with those in attendance.  The LCCIL is a resource for individuals with disabilities in Lake County.   The following is from their website – Strategic Plan 2009-2014.

LCCIL’s mission is to empower people with disabilities to lead self-directed lives as valued members of the community.

We accomplish this through Advocacy, skills training, Peer Mentoring and Information and Referral throughout Lake County.

A review of last year’s meeting is here.

For information contact Kaja at 847-949-4440, x 217,

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Zumba for Special Needs at Protected Tomorrows

Protected Tomorrows Zumba ClassEven those who hate to exercise might have tried  Zumba.  This is a dance fitness program involving tons of lively international music.   It is rigorous, social and most people say it is  fun.  It is also a form of exercise that doesn’t attract droves of people with special needs.  To address this need, Protected Tomorrows is initiating a seven-week Zumba class that is specifically for those with special needs.

The class begins on November 7, from 5:30-6:15pm and continues every Wednesday for 7 weeks.  The class will be in the Protected Tomorrows Training Center at 103 Schelter Rd, Lincolnshire.  Family and friends are welcome.  Participants must be at least 15 years of age.  Donations are welcome.  These will benefit the Protected Tomorrows Transform U initiative.

If you want more information contact Teri Bodeman, 847-522-8086,

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Laremont/Transition Homecoming Dance at SEDOL

About 75 former and current students of Laremont and the SEDOL Transition Programs attended the Annual Homecoming Dance on October 12.  The theme for the dance was “Cheeseburger in Paradise”.   It was held at Laremont School.

Everyone danced to music provided by DJ Eddie Rodriguez, and there was food for all.  The  annual dances started over 25 years ago according to Laremont Principal, Mrs. Mary Sowers.   It began as a Homecoming option for Laremont students, and was expanded to include students who finish their education in the  SEDOL Transition Programs.

“It means a lot to the kids to get together again”, said Mrs. Sowers.  “Everyone likes a Homecoming Dance.  All we are missing is the football game.”



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Bodies, Boundaries and Sexuality: Parent Training

Bodies, Boundaries and SexualityParents and educators from SEDOL and member districts are invited to attend a training session titled “Bodies, Boundaries and Sexuality:  Teaching Youth with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities”.   The session is on Thursday, October 25, 2012 from 7:00pm-9:00pm.  It will be held in the Gym at Laremont School, 17934 W. Gages Lake.  There is no charge for the program, but pre-registration is required.


The session will be conducted by Terri Couwehowen, who is the Clinic Coordinator for the Down Syndrome Clinic at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.  She is the author of several books including “Teaching Children with Down syndrome about their Bodies, Boundaries and Sexuality:  A Guide for Parents and Professionals”, “The Girl’s Guide to Growing Up:  Choices and Changes in the Tween Years”, and her newest book “A Boy’s Guide to Growing Up:  Choices and Changes during Puberty”.   She is a Certified Sexuality Educator with the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists.

Specific areas to be discussed:

  • Reasons sexuality education is critical.
  • Key concepts before transitioning out of school.
  • Roles of parents and professionals.
  • Qualities of a good sexuality education program.
  •  Resources for further education.

This program is sponsored by the SEDOL Transition Program and the Parent Mentor Project.  For more information contact Joy Bux,, 847-986-1126.


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Young Life Capernaum – Libertyville Starts September 28

Young Life Capernaum will hold its first meeting on Friday September 28, 2012 from 6:30pm to 7:30pm.  The meeting will be held at the Libertyville United Methodist Church.  Themed “Rockstar Club” night, there will be games and activities for teens and young adults with and without disabilities.  The group plans to meet there on the 2nd and 4th Friday of the month from now until December.

Parents and guardians are also invited to attend a coffee during this meeting.  Cam Traut, the school nurse at Libertyville High School will lead the parent meeting, and explain the program.   She is also Chair of this Christian initiative in Lake County.

Young Life Capernaum began during the 1980′s in California and has grown nationwide since then.  Their website is  A video describing the program can be found at

The purpose of the local group is:

YoungLife Capernaum exists for the special needs population to have leaders in the lives of all the teens and young adults in Lake County who have special needs (no matter how extreme) to show them Jesus’ love as well and to offer them meaningful relationships that surpass the limits of high school (or a specialized school) and also to offer fun events where they can feel safe, confident, enjoy their friends, and be themselves.


For more information about the program contact Tasha Taylor at 847-735-9595.

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Extreme Recess: A Review

The Nemo News visited the Extreme Recess held at Twin Lakes, WI late in the day on Monday, July 30.  We were impressed with the operation.  Now that we have a better idea of what to expect, we will try to attend the event next year.    As we entered, we noticed that a bus from Shriner’s Children’s Hospital was leaving.   I have attached several pictures for your review.

Sponsored by Dreams for Kids, the aquatic event had a lot of great features.  First there was a lovely sheltered beach for simple water play in the lake.  Second, there was shade for those of us who don’t like the sun or sunburns.  Third, there were bouncy houses (one with water) for the kids who wanted to play.  Next, there was a food table (we missed lunch), and snow cones and cotton candy.  Moreover there was a real bathroom open for use.  They thought of everything!

Yet the water-skiing events gathered most of our attention for several reasons.  Initially, we had to get over the challenging idea that our kids could water ski at all.  Wasn’t that dangerous?  Wasn’t it scary?  So I got in a little closer.  There were two brawny men standing in the water by the dock loading up the kids on specialized skiiing devices.   Volunteers on the dock  had a full array of skis for individuals of every size and ability, from tubes to hammock types, one bladers and three-bladers.   We had never thought of this kind of adaptive equipment.   Our child was offered a volunteer peer buddy to help overcome fear.

After hooking up the child/children, a jet ski came to the side, somewhat behind the boat and they took off.  The jet ski riders were responsible for monitoring the safety of the child in the water.  All together,  they seemed to take some longish rides quite safely.    It was simply magnificent to behold the exhilaration of the riders who finished a ride.

As i left, I talked to event organizers.  They said they had to scale down the event from two days to one day because of a lack of sponsors to cover costs.  They indicated that the insurance costs alone were daunting.  Hopefully, next year they will have the resources they need to conduct the full-scale event they planned.  They were well organized, friendly, and provided our kids (and their folks) with a unique, fun, challenging and safe experience.

For more information contact: David Bromley at or call 1-312-729-5404 and ask for Shelly.

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Autism Awareness Day at Six Flags on Saturday, July 28

The third annual Autism Awareness Day at Six Flags will take place on Saturday, July 28.  It is sponsored by the Autism Society of Illinois.  Reduced admission of $29.00 is available to participants who pre-register and pay online and use the promo code AUTISM. Details are here.

There will be a quiet area near the Wilderness Theatre for those who wish to use it.  In addition, the Chicago Children’s Theatre Red Kite Project will provide an interactive, multi-sensory performance in the Wilderness Theatre.

For more information go to the website:

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July 4th “Rest Stop” at Great Lakes Naval Station

Click to Enlarge

This year there will be a “Rest Stop” for families with special needs at the Naval Station Great Lakes 4th of July Celebration.  The Rest Stop is designed as a place to get out of the sun, take meds, get info and connect with other Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) families.

The public is invited to the annual celebration  that features a craft show, a carnival, a 5K run, fireworks, bingo and more.  The website has a detailed description and directions and an FAQ.   Check out the Facebook page as well.

“This is the first year that EFMP will have a tent for families with Special Needs.”, said Sally Tilli, Program Liaison.  “We are hoping that more families will be able to attend because of this support service.  And we’re expecting a really good time!”.

For more information contact Chris Mohr at or Salli Tilli at 847-688-3603, x 119,


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Teen Depression: A Graphic Novel

A local teenager recently shared his experience with depression in a moving graphic novel format.  The Chicago Tribune published his story, a video and a slideshow of his experience on May 9, 2012.  The article notes that 1 in 12 teens experience a major depressive episode.  Kudos to Mr. Watson and his family for sharing their insight, compassion and courage with others who may suffer.

The Nemo News notes that the young author had Tourette’s Syndrome and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder before experiencing the depressive episode he describes.  These  pre-existing conditions most likely contributed to the low social standing and bullying that is described in his story.  This highlights the importance of Social Emotional Learning from an early age.  The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has published standards for this domain and the FAQ can be found here.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) offers support, education, resources and advocacy for individuals and families affected by mental illness.  The Lake County Chapter  .and the  McHenry County Chapter have regular meetings, resource guides, and support groups for recovering individuals and their families.  Typically these services are free of charge.  Contact information is on each respective website.

Readers are encouraged to share information on other resources that may be helpful to those facing mental illness in Lake and McHenry Counties.   Use the comment button to share your thoughts.



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Parkinson’s Fun Walk/Picnic in Round Lake on June 10

Fun Walk

The Second Annual Walk/Picnic for Parkinson’s will take place on Saturday, June 10, 2012 at Nippersink Forest Preserve in Round Lake.  The walk begins at 11:30am. Attendees will be encouraged to walk or play in the park.  Registration and pledge forms are available at the website.

Funds raised by the event will go to Focus on a Cure Foundation, an Oswego, IL based Foundation that makes direct contributions to research and advocacy groups as well as providing support to patients in need.

The Round Lake walk is locally organized by Jodi Mara, an area individual who was diagnosed with young-onset Parkinson’s in 2006.   She can be reached at 847-373-8320 or


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