To inform, empower, support and advocate for families of children and young adults with Special Needs within the Southeast Side of Chicago
To create an all-encompassing environment, offering educational training & informational sessions, access to modes of therapeutic Sensory Integration, ability to provide resources and an opportunity for inclusive socialization.
In 2014, having worked directly with families in assessment and identification of disabilities, current Board members began discussing possibilities as to how we might be able to assist our families on the Southeast side in regards to the Special Education process and services. We soon realized the need for assisting families within the private school setting, In navigating the process of the Referral and evaluation of Special Education.
At that time, a support group was formed to provide basic training to parents at a local Catholic school within the 10th ward. Upon entering office in 2015, a connection was made with our 10th ward Alderwoman to discuss expansion to all Catholic schools within the area, to which we received an overwhelming amount of support. We were further encouraged to perform community outreach throughout the 10th ward as a whole. Along the way, by means of networking, chance encounters, and community relationships, Our Core group of organizers reached a total of nine phenomenal women, of which all have knowledge and first-hand experience in the area of varying diagnoses and levels of severity, regarding special needs.
With growing membership and increased need for opportunities to socialize within an inclusive environment, we then began the venture to become a non-profit organization in efforts to meet the needs of families with children and young adults with Special needs within the Southeast Side of Chicago. As of March 2018, Parents of Extraordinary Children is recognized as a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization. In our efforts to expand, we are currently working on a project to develop a Therapeutic Sensory Gym and Resource Center on the Southeast Side of Chicago.
Meet the Team
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Margaret R. Cortes
President & CEO
- Licensed Speech-Language Pathologist ( MS,LIC-SLP)
- Bilingual Certification
- Private Practice
- B.A. Anthropology
- Certified Paraprofessional
- Associates in Business Administration
- Current working with Low Income Housing
Director of Public Relations & Resource Development
- Associates in Arts in Child Development
- Bachelor of Science in Psychology
- Graduate professional certificate in Non-profit Management
Director of Community Outreach and Engagement
- Level 3 Family Specialist
- Level 1 ECE credentials
- CPR certified;
- Pursuing Bachelors Degree in Child Development
Director of Marketing and Social Media
- Associates in Computer Science
Director of Special Event Planning/Events Coordinator
- Associate of Science in Hospitality
Director of General Operations and Compliance
- Bilingual School Psychologist
- Illinois Professional Educator License
Not everyone can afford to donate money, other people donate their time. Feel free to get a hold of us to volunteer for upcoming community events.