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Counseling and Support for Children with Disabilities

Questions? Contact socialservices@eastersealsdfvr.org 

Do you know a child or family who is struggling? Perhaps she demonstrates low self-esteem or lacks confidence? Maybe he has difficulty managing change or daily stressors? She may be experiencing anxiety or panic attacks. He may be acting out behaviorally by testing limits. Perhaps a parent is expressing frustration that their child never listens or acts defiantly. Do you know a parent who is at a loss as to how to best help their child or feels burnt out by parenting demands? Parenting is a stressful and challenging job. Parenting a child with a disability can be even harder. No one has to do it alone. We’re here to help.

Our staff complete comprehensive assessments to pinpoint what a child and family need to be able to succeed. Working with the entire family, our staff can identify each child’s unique strengths and challenges and then tailor a treatment plan to meet those needs. Social Work and Counseling Services can help these children and their families learn to grow together.

Common Issues Addressed by Social Work and Counseling Services with Families with Children with Developmental Delays: acting out behaviors - adjustment issues - ADHD (inattention, hyperactivity, impulsivity) – autism – anxiety - depression – death & loss – developmental delays - parental separation & divorce - low self-esteem - social skills - problem solving skills – self advocacy - sibling conflict & rivalry- panic attacks - daycare/ school challenges - stress management - temperament management - transition planning

Social Work and Counseling Services May Include:

  • Individual Therapy Sessions (play therapy techniques, cognitive behavioral strategies)
  • Family Therapy Sessions (family dynamics, communication, problem solving, coping with disability, in-home supports)
  • Parent Education, Training, & Coaching (what is typical & what is not, motivational strategies, developmentally appropriate limits, natural and logical consequences, parenting style differences, marriage issues related to parenting)
  • Consultation with Other Providers (pediatricians, day care staff, educational personnel)
  • Parent Support Groups & Connecting to Other Community Resources

*Families may benefit from a variety of service frequency and duration based on what they need.

Insurance Coverage:

Although mental health benefits vary, most medical insurance plans provide behavioral health coverage. Benefits will be verified prior to the start of services. Services also are available via private pay.

ABOUT OUR TEAM:

Brittany Wilkie, Director of Social Services                 P 630.261.6272    bwilkie@eastersealsdfvr.org

Brittany serves as our Director of Social Services. She received her undergraduate and graduate degrees in Social Work from the University of Iowa and Loyola University Chicago. Her treatment approach to child and family care is through Trauma-Informed Care, Attachment and DIR philosophies. She is currently enrolled in the Trauma Research Foundation’s Certification Program in Traumatic Stress Studies led by Dr. Bessel van der Kolk. Previously, she worked at a DIR therapeutic day school serving children with autism in addition to working privately with children experiencing autism, sensory processing disorder, adjustment disorder and anxiety

Susan Diver, MSW, LSW                                                    P 630.282.2035    sdiver@eastersealsdfvr.org


Sue works primarily out of our Villa Park location and has been working in the field of Social Work and with children and families for over thirty years. She has been with Easterseals since 2000. Previously, Sue worked for DSCC, DCFS, DuPage County Health Department, and Provena Mercy’s Behavioral Health. Her expertise includes behavior issues, anxiety, panic attacks, low self-esteem, sibling issues, and social skills.  Sue has received significant training and ongoing continuing education courses focused on behavior issues in children. She utilizes many different techniques that address the child’s behavior and how to train staff and support families working with children with behavior concerns. Sue has been a trainer of Nonviolent Crisis Intervention methods for our staff and has many case hours focused on the specific techniques of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). She also provides Early Intervention services to families in their homes in the surrounding communities.

Yvonne D. Anderson, LCSW, CADC, CODP II                 P 847.742.3264   yanderson@eastersealsdfvr.org


Yvonne works primarily out of our Elgin location. She has thirty years of clinical experience working with children and their families. After completing graduate school at the University of Chicago, she worked in a variety of community mental health centers, psychiatric hospitals, private practice, and both public and private therapeutic school settings. Yvonne is a fully credentialed early intervention evaluator and provider. She is bilingual in Spanish as well as knowledgeable about working with individuals who use AAC. Her expertise includes anxiety, depression, ADHD, parenting skills, autism, medically complex children, teen parenting, and parental mental health and/or substance abuse. As the parent of three children with exceptional needs, Yvonne understands the joys and challenges of parenting firsthand. Yvonne utilizes a strengths-based, relational model to partner with families and achieve their goals for their children. 

Citlaly Gonzalez, Psy. D.                                                   P 630.282.2036   cgonzalez@eastersealsdfvr.org


Citlaly is a bilingual clinical psychologist interested in developmental disabilities, particularly autism, family, and adolescent identity work. She has prior experience working in clinics, hospital settings, schools, and private practice working with children ages 3 through 18. She has extensive training in parent education, including certifications in Positive Discipline, the RUBI Parent Training Program, and experience with Behavior Parent Training. As a clinical psychologist managing our Autism Diagnostic Clinic, she uses a strengths-based approach to empower individuals and families to achieve their goals.+

Natalie Donald, LCSW                                                      P 630.620.4433   ndonald@eastersealsdfvr.org

Natalie is a licensed clinical social worker interested in play-based and trauma-informed care. Her prior work experience includes providing in-home social work services to children and families on a Native American Reservation. Her treatment approach uses an integrative, DIR Floortime approach that emphasizes the brain-body connection. She loves utilizing imaginative play, movement, art, literature, dancing, singing and acting in her sessions.

Angelique White Millwood, MSW, LSW                         P 630.620.4433   amillwood@eastersealsdfvr.org


Angelique is a licensed social worker who graduated from the Jane Addams College of Social Work at the University of Illinois Chicago. She has previously worked in community mental health as a child, adult, and psychiatric therapist. She has also helped families who had children in the care of DCFS receive stable and secure housing in order to regain custody. Her therapeutic approach is very hands-on and strengths-based. It includes using play therapy to help children with anxiety, depression and/or mood dysregulation learn new coping skills and express their emotions without judgment.

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