Autism awareness day in Chicago, IL
Autism Awareness Day highlights urgent need for timely screenings, therapies

Screenings, evaluations, and essential therapies often have long waitlists, which can have a significant negative impact on children who require these services. Take, for instance, two siblings, Ezekiel, aged six, and Zion, aged five, both of whom have been diagnosed with autism.

Their mother has been working tirelessly to ensure that her children’s needs are taken care of in the face of obstacles. “We are actively engaged in a battle,” stated Bianca Thomas-Eduok, mother of Ezekiel and Zion.


“We are doing everything in our power to fight for the best possible care for our kids. It is certainly not an easy fight, but we will never give up on our little ones.”

Bianca shared her concerns about Zion’s early intervention, stating that at almost eight months old, he was already close to being phased out of the program due to long waitlists.

Bianca has had to navigate the complex system of getting her children on waitlists for crucial services, including occupational therapy as well as social behavior support. Despite her efforts, she is still waiting for some of these services to become available. From her experience, she has learned that obtaining the necessary services for her children is a “waiting game.” She says she had no one guiding her following the diagnosis but quickly learned that perseverance was a major factor in getting the best care for her children.

Timing is an integral

Timing is an integral factor for families in need of these essential resources, as emphasized by Dr. Citlaly Gonzalez, a clinical psychologist at Easterseals DuPage and Fox Valley. According to Gonzalez, it is recommended for pediatricians to conduct screenings twice before the child reaches the age of 5, and then proceed to refer them for a complete evaluation. This ensures that children receive the necessary support and interventions at an early stage, promoting their well-being.

Sadly, there aren’t experts available to carry out these assessments, especially in areas that lack resources or where English isn’t the main language spoken.

Additionally, due to the situation, many parents have had to delay their child’s routine health checkups with the pediatrician, which could slow down the diagnosis process. Given these obstacles, Gonzalez emphasizes how crucial it is to stand up for your child and take initiative in finding the support and resources they need.

Autism Treatment and support

As we strive to increase understanding and promote opportunities, we at Illinois Autism Center acknowledge the significance of providing assistance to kids with autism. We take pride in our work to enhance the well-being of individuals within the autism community and raise awareness.

If you’re in need of top-notch ABA therapy services and assistance, we’re here to help.