HomeSAV Links PublicationsMembershipAward

Summer 2001 Volume 8, Issue 2

Official Newsletter of the Illinois Subdivision of the Division for Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children.

ECSE Approval Added to LBS I Certification

Together with the Illinois Association for the Education of Young Children (IAEYC) and the Illinois Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators (ILAECTE), the Illinois Division for Early Childhood (IDEC) was successful in getting the Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) approval to teach preschool special education added as a requirement to the Learning Behavior Specialist I (LBS I) certification. LBS I now technically covers Kindergarten through 21 years old and individuals must obtain the ECSE approval before they can teach preschool special education.

The four areas of training also were changed to include coursework (not necessarily 4 courses) related to ECSE methods, assessment, families and community, and typical and atypical language development. Survey courses in special education and early childhood education or elementary content which formerly counted toward the approval will no longer be counted.

The members of IDEC should feel good about getting this approval. ISBE was very supportive in bringing it forward to the judge and it is a great demonstration of three organizations working together!

Return to top

Golarz, Berkson and Helm set to Keynote at the 2001 Sharing A Vision Conference

The 2001 Early Childhood Sharing a Vision Conference will be held October 10 through 12 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Springfield. Dr. Raymond J. Golarz, author and noted expert for his work with at-risk children and urban delinquent gangs, will be the keynote speaker on Wednesday, October 10. Dr. Golarz has directed programs and initiatives focusing on at-risk children and delinquent gangs in the Chicago area for more than 20 years. His keynote titled, "I'll Never Look at You as 'Less Than' so that You Forever See the 'More Than' of Yourself" promises to bring an inspiring message to conference attendees. Golarz is co-author of Restructuring Schools for Excellence through Teacher Empowerment and the Power of Participation.

Denis Berkson is the evening featured speaker on Thursday, October 11. Known as the "Creative Crusader," Berkson is an award winning educator, author, and father of a child with Cerebral Palsy. He has worked with organizations serving people with special needs. His talk is titled, "Creative Jolts 101 - Making Do or Breaking Through... Promoting Your Creative Possibilities." He is author of The Different Drummer Handbook, Marching to the Creative Beat.

On October 12, Dr. Judy Harris Helm will be the featured speaker at the Friday General Session. Her keynote titled, "Contegrity: Why we do what we do, the way we do it, and how we know we did it," will reflect on children's engaged learning, curriculum and assessment in the classroom. Helm is an Associate Professor in Early Childhood Education. She has worked as a primary grade teacher, administrator and teacher trainer. She was a member of the task force for the design of the Valeska Hinton Early Childhood Education Center in Peoria, where she later became the Professional Development Coordinator. Helm is co-author of Young Investigators: The Project Approach in Early Years.

The Sharing A Vision conference has emerged as Illinois' premier statewide early childhood conference, bringing together over 2,000 participants who share a common vision for young children. This year's conference features two full days of workshops offered by nationally known presenters on hot topics in early childhood, a showcase of exemplary early childhood programs and practices, table talks and exhibits.

Registration books for the 2001 Sharing A Vision conference are now available. Registration includes continental breakfast, reception, and two box lunches. All are encouraged to register early and take advantage of the reduced Early Bird fee (see 7th Sharing A Vision Conference in What's New | Upcoming Events | Opportunities article).

Return to top

President's Message

by Lynette Chandler

This July I will end my term as President of IDEC and Bernie Laumann will begin her term as President. I have enjoyed working with members of the IDEC Board and early childhood professionals and family members throughout the state. My thanks to everyone for your guidance and assistance during the past year. IDEC has had a very busy and successful year. I would like to take this opportunity to highlight a few of our important activities.

We have forged alliances with the Illinois Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators and Illinois Association for the Education of Young Children. Together, our organizations proposed adding an Approval in Early Childhood Special Education to the new Learning Behavior Specialist I certification. This proposal has been approved. (See article above, "ECSE Approval Added to LBS I Certification.") I would like to thank the staff at the Illinois State Board of Education who worked with our organizations in bringing this proposal forward. Without their support and guidance, our efforts would not have been successful.

IDEC also hosted a poster session at the National DEC conference in December and has been approved to host a session at the next conference that addresses how to develop and maintain successful DEC subdivisions.

IDEC members also have been very busy collaborating with colleagues and agencies in planning the next Sharing A Vision Conference. This conference promises to be the best conference to date. Great speakers have been invited and the range of conference sessions are quite broad, representing the interests of early childhood educators, early childhood special educators, therapists and other staff, and families. We also will have many exhibitors and we have planned several fun entertainment activities (Yes, chocolate will be involved!). IDEC will have its annual business meeting during the Sharing A Vision Conference. Please plan to attend and meet new and old friends.

These are just a few of the activities that members of IDEC have worked on this year. I truly was able to experience first hand the importance of a strong state organization and collaboration between organizations. I challenge everyone who reads this message to solicit a new member of IDEC this year. Thanks again for the opportunity to serve as President of IDEC. I look forward to continuing my affiliation with IDEC. It's all yours Bernie!

Lynette may be reached at the Department of Teacher Education, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb 60115

Email: lchandler@niu.eduReturn to top

Early Childhood Graduate Study Opportunities at Elmhurst

Check out the new Masters Degree Program in Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) at Elmhurst College. The Masters of ECSE is an innovative, interdisciplinary, collaborative program designed to prepare professionals to meet the increasing needs in the rapidly emerging field of early childhood special education.

Graduates of the program will gain an understanding of the developmental process, the relationship and impact of disability upon development, and practices which create effective supportive living and learning environments for young children with special needs. At the heart of this program model is the philosophy of family-centered care. This graduate program has unique features that embrace our commitment to young children and their families. These include providing opportunities for students to learn directly from families by participating in a "Family Mentor" program. A second feature is a Family Support Specialist, a faculty member who is also a parent of a child with disabilities. This Family Support Specialist co-teaches courses, collaborates with field site placements and supervises students and families in the program. The Masters Program requires 37 semester hours and adheres to the cohort model to fulfill course requirements and strengthen cohesion and student-centered practices.

For further information contact:

Dr. Therese Wehman, Program Coordinator

Elizabeth Kuebler, Director of Graduate Admissions

Elmhurst College
190 Prospect Ave.
Elmhurst, IL 60126-3296

Return to top

Focus on Illinois' STARNET

Illinois Support and Technical Assistance Regional Network (STARNET) system serves young children with special needs, families and communities throughout the state. It works to develop more effective partnerships and linkages among families, professionals and systems. STARNET provides training, consultation and resources to the early childhood community. The STARNET system supports the Illinois State Board of Education in meeting local needs by providing services throughout Illinois.

Northwest and Central Regions I and III
[IDEC Editor's note (11-12-02): this url has changed:]
28 Horrabin Hall
Western Illinois University
Macomb, IL 61455
Phone: 800/227-7537

Northern Region II
1855 Mt. Prospect Road
Des Plaines, IL 60018
Phone: 847/803-3565
Fax: 847/803-3556

Northern Region IV
500 Wilshire Drive
Belleville, IL 62223
Phone: (618) 397-8930, Ext. 166
Fax: 1-800-942-7827 or (618) 397-8928

City of Chicago Region V
125 South Clark, Suite 800
Chicago, IL 60603
Phone: 773-553-3408

South Suburban/East Central Region VI
[IDEC Editor's note (01-28-04): this url has changed:
6020 W. 151st Street
Oak Forest, IL 60452
Phone: 708 687-0900

Return to top

What's New * Upcoming Events * Opportunities

7th Sharing a Vision
17th Annual DEC International Early Childhood Conference on Children with Special Needs

7th Sharing A Vision
Illinois Statewide Collaborative
Early Childhood Conference

October 10-12, 2001
Crowne Plaza, Springfield

"Expanding the Possibilities"

Register early, space is limited!
Early Bird Registration Deadline: August 1, 2001

Regular Registration Deadline: September 10, 2001

To receive a Conference Program Brochure and Registration Form, contact

Susan Ferry

  17th Annual
DEC International Early Childhood Conference on
Children with Special Needs

"Early Childhood in the Millennium:
Recommended Practices for the Future"

December 1-5, 2001
Boston Marriott Copley Place
Boston, MA

For more information, please contact:
DEC Conference and Logistics
703 Giddings Avenue, Suite U-3
Annapolis, MD 21401

Return to top

Meet Your Candidates for the IDEC Board

Vice President (2002-2003)

Beth Delaney

Beth Delaney is an Assistant Professor of Special Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). She is also the Associate Director of the UIC Child and Family Development Center. Beth received her doctorate in Special Education from Peabody College at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee. Prior to joining the UIC faculty, Beth worked as a an early interventionist, preschool special education teacher, and teacher of students with visual impairments. Her research interests focus on early intervention and parent education.

Secretary (2002-2004)

Therese Wehman

Therese Wehman currently coordinates and teaches in the Early Childhood Special Education Graduate Program at Elmhurst College. She received her doctorate in Child Development from the Erikson Institute at Loyola University in Chicago. Her areas of specialization focus on young children birth-age six with disabilities, early childhood program administration, organizational development and team building. Her research interests focus on early intervention system change, building parent-professional partnerships, professional leadership development, and inclusion.

Cast Your Ballot

llinois Division for Early Childhood

(Mail or FAX to the address or FAX number below)

Vice President:

___ Beth Delaney

___ Write-in candidate: ________________________


___ Therese Wehman

___ Write-in candidate: _________________________

Please mail or fax your ballot by July 13, 2001:

c/o Lynette Chandler
Department of Teacher Education
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, IL 60115
FAX: 815/753-8594

For more information, contact Lynette at <> or call her at 815-753-8424