Dear Friend and Families,

December is upon us!  At Options & Advocacy we are blessed to see the wonderful giving nature of so many in our community!  We have much to be grateful for.

We are grateful to be able to support so many children, young adults and families.  From our Child & Family Connections program to our HUG (Helping Us Grow) to our Autism Resource Center – the needs are many but opportunities for support are as well.  Relationships make that happen.

Those relationships can begin at our playgroups where parents can meet and share the joy and challenges of parenting a very young child with exceptional needs.  This was a pivotal time for me as the first-time mom of a little girl with so many needs.  I was reluctant to meet other parents.  My pain and struggles were more than enough for me and I couldn’t imagine seeing others struggling as well.  After months of resisting my early intervention therapists, I finally went to a parent support group for parents of some pretty complicated kids.  That was 36 years ago (!) Today I could not imagine going through my life without these women who have been my friends for these many years.

Our HUG program provides these opportunities through their Community Connections events.  Our Autism Resource Center provides support groups for different aged kids as well as for our parents.  It is especially difficult for some of our kids with autism to make these connections.  We have watched friendships bloom as well as the confidence of these kids within these groups.  It’s a beautiful thing!

Our Sibshops program offers opportunity for the siblings to meet others in similar circumstances, play games and share the unique experiences of being a “sib.”

I cannot talk about relationships without acknowledging the great relationships that happen here behind the scenes.  We have a remarkable group of women who support each other and share the joys and sometimes sadness we see each day.  They are wise, funny and most of all compassionate.

We cannot do our good works without a community of support.  Please consider a donation to us in this holiday season.  You can do so by going to our website at www.optionsandadvocacy.org or by sending a check to Options & Advocacy, 365 Millennium Drive Suite A, Crystal Lake, Il 60012.

May your holidays be merry and bright!

Cindy Sullivan

Executive Director



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