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New program for preschoolers with special needs through Penny Lane Schools

Penny Lane Schools ( in collaboration with Good Shepherd Center ( and St. Xavier University ( will launch a new program January 15th, 2012, directed at servicing the growing special needs population in early childhood education.

Children ages 2 to 5 whose needs cannot be met in a mainstream classroom, will have an early intervention classroom available. The classroom is for all children needing special care, with a strong focus on structured teaching and children with autism. The goal of the classroom is to provide a structured environment that will guide children in learning the necessary skills to move forward, in hopes of transitioning to a mainstream classroom by elementary school. There will be a place for children with all special needs in this program, as the classroom will be modified to fit each unique student.

The program will be available Monday through Friday, 6am to 6pm. More information is available at 708-425-4233 or visit

For years parents have struggled with finding a place for children with special needs, but at the pre-school level, there really isn’t anything out there in the Chicago area. According to the participating organizations, they did not see any child care centers with special needs classrooms to exist at all. On very rare occasions a child will be assigned a one-on-one aide, or a counselor will work with them once a week. These students still do not receive the personalized education they truly need and deserve. Most children with special needs require a classroom with qualified special education teachers, certified aides, personalized lesson plans, structured learning, and that is exactly what Penny Lane Schools will provide.

• The proportion of children and teens in the U.S. who have a developmental disability such as autism has increased 17% since the late 1990s, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
• Though there is no cure for Autism, many people with this disorder can lead productive lives when they receive adequate early intervention services.
• Researchers have shown for the first time that if a child is diagnosed with autism as early as 18 months of age, offering the toddler age-appropriate, effective therapy can lead to raised IQ levels and improved language skills and behavior.

Since 1988, Penny Lane Schools has provided top quality child care. They have pursued excellence by undergoing rigorous evaluation to attain National Association for the Education of the Young Children Accreditation ( statues and an Illinois Quality Rating score of 3 stars ( Every child from birth to 5 have individualized portfolios online that parents can access on a daily basis to view their child’s developmental progress and view pictures of their children learning. Penny Lane continually seeks to service family’s needs, by adding care until midnight, and now servicing families with special needs children.