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Participant Stories

Meet Addy

In 2018, Addy and her sister Bella, who has Autism, joined the NWSRA recess games and sports skills program. At the program, Addy was shy, quiet and followed directions, standing by her sister throughout the program. Recognizing that Addy could benefit from being more socially involved, NWSRA staff encouraged Addy to join the Sibshops program. This program invites siblings of individuals with disabilities to connect and recreate within a safe, fun and inviting atmosphere.

Meet Alessia

Five years ago, Alessia was introduced to her first NWSRA program, with the goals of staying active and interacting with others in a safe and fun environment. Over the years, she has found a variety of passions through participation in NWSRA programs. Her athletic spirit has shown through NWSRA gymnastics, swimming, and learning to ride a bike. She has also explored the Snoezelen Sensory Room, discovering sensory integration through innovative technology. Through the use inclusion aides, Alessia has been included into her local Park District programs. She has also made new friends at NWSRA summer camps and the STAR Academy after care program.

Meet Ben and Ramya

From Ben's Mom:


I just wanted to reach out and tell you what a WONDERFUL job Ramya did with Ben this summer. Honestly, not only did Ben have a completely typical summer camp experience, he came home a different kid. Despite the fact that he began first grade this year, we've never heard about his day. Questions such as "what did you do?" were met with "play" or yes/no responses and that's it. Same goes for "what do you want" etc. This summer began the same, but about halfway through, his dad had to go out of town for work. During a phone call on speaker, Ben began to tell his dad not only about his day, but about his week - completely unsolicited. We were both shocked as this has never happened. Ever.

Meet Kaylany- NWSRA participant

Meet Kaylany

Kaylany has participated in NWSRA programs for the past two years, and most recently joined the STAR Academy After School program. Over the last two summers, she has swam at the pool, went on field trips and made friends at the Little Sprouts Summer Camp.


Meet Cyprian

“Our journey with NWSRA started with the Little Sprouts Summer Camp. Since then, Cyprian has been participating in summer camps every year, and he

now enjoys spring break camps, Saturday clubs, the Snoezelen Sensory Room, Autism Movement Therapy

and many more programs. He has been participating in NWSRA programs for 5 years now. 

Meet Ashley

 I began to enroll Ashley in NWSRA programs before she was 7. She took a dance class and performed in a show, where her teachers came and watched. After that, she took piano lessons, bowling and swimming lessons just to name a few.  When Ashley’s sister was playing travel soccer, she would go to the games and try to be like her sister. So we signed Ashley up for a park district soccer team, and NWSRA sent out an inclusion aide to be with her in the games.

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