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Press Room

Chicago-area Supplemental Programming for Children on the Autism Spectrum and other Developmental Differences




CHICAGO, Friday, Mar. 8, 2013 – L.E.E.P. (Lorell’s Early Education Program) Beyond, a Not-for-profit Foundation that offers supplemental education programming for children on the Autism Spectrum including Asperger’s, Sensory Processing Disorder and other Developmental Differences has announced it’s Spring Schedule. New classes include Gymnastics & Art, along with old favorites Music & Yoga. Classes will begin the week of Monday, April 15th and recommended for children between the ages of 3 and 10 (dependent on the class). Times, dates and class descriptions can be found online at:!programs/c21kz.

Almost ten years ago, Lorell Marin, the founder of L.E.E.P. Beyond worked as an Autism Itinerant Teacher within the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) training educators and developing new classes. Due to the lack of funding and focus by CPS to support the Educators and Special Needs students, Lorell made the decision to leave. She opened L.E.E.P. Forward in order to directly affect the quality of education, socialization and development these children require to be mainstreamed. Over time, easily 200 children between the ages of 2 and 5, affected with Autism, Asperger’s, SPD, ADHD and many other Developmental Differences, have successfully navigated through her programs and have moved on to successful educational careers.

Many of the children attending L.E.E.P. Forward and other therapeutic clinics in the Chicagoland area don’t have the opportunity to participate in extra-curricular activities such as gymnastics, baseball, ballet or swimming. These activities are built to educate and engage the larger majority of children. Instead children with Special Needs are left with very little options of organized, social and educational activities. L.E.E.P. Beyond, through Lorell’s efforts, has changed the rules. No longer will a child have to sit in the waiting room while their siblings practice Tap Dancing, or in the bleachers watching their brother in a soccer game. L.E.E.P Beyond, over the course of the next few years will be introducing programming including Art, Music, Science and Physical Education for children under the age of 10.

A survey by the Health Resources and Services Administration, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, found that 10.2 million U.S. children (14 percent nationally) have special healthcare needs. More than one-fifth of U.S. households with children have at least one child with special needs, constituting over 61,000 households with at least one child with Developmental Differences nationally.

About L.E.E.P. Beyond, NFP – All current programming and classes will be hosted by L.E.E.P. Forward in their 3,000 square foot River West location. Educators confirmed for the Spring Session include;

Katia Mazuy, a Certified Sensational Child Meditation Facilitator, Christine Chirchirillo, an Early Education Specialist at the Peggy Noteabart Nature Museum, Benjamin Crabtree, a Developmental Therapist who teaches through music at the Old Town School of Folk Music and The Latin School of Chicago, Tommy Mock, a Gymnastics and Competitive Cheerleading Instructor plus Julie Ludwick, a Registered Art Therapist and Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor.

For more information please visit: or contact Mikky Wright:                                                     


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