Taking a trip to the library should be a fun experience for every parent and child. For a child with special needs, this experience can lose some of its fascination and instead be replaced with fears that arise from entering an unfamiliar environment.
The Arlington Heights Memorial Library understands special needs children may have these apprehensions. That is why they have resources to help make the library a fun place of learning about the wonders of books.
Their children’s section, “Kids’ World”, was recently renovated in 2010 and is filled with an extensive selection of children’s books and other educational resources. They offer many other programs, including story times and homework help.
For children with special needs to get the most out of all the library has to offer, AHML has put together a webpage of resources for parents to look into before their first trip to the library*. Most notably, they have put together a social story for parents and children to read together. This story is intended to help prepare children for a visit to the library and includes pictures to show children what the library and Kids’ World look like. Using simple terms and bright photographs, the story teaches children how to use the different services at the library, attend a story time and proper library etiquette.
The library has also compiled a list of potentially beneficial books for parents of special needs children and children's books. To view a list of these books, click here.
In addition to books, there is a page of listed toys for children with special needs, as well as the opportunity to borrow iPads from the library (these include apps for children with special needs).
The library offers a “Special Child at the Library Sensory Storytime” which is designed for children ages 3-7 (with a caregiver present) and aims to get children involved through play, music, stories and movement. They offer this story time on certain Saturdays throughout the year. You can contact the library for specific dates at (847)-506-2620.
If you are considering a trip to the Arlington Heights Memorial Library, be sure to check out their website and download their social story, which will put every child at ease before their first visit.
*These services are provided for residents of Arlington Heights who have a library card registered in the city of Arlington Heights.