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Marklund Earns BBB, CARF Accrediations

 Marklund, a nonprofit organization that serves people with profound developmental disabilities, recently earned accrediations from two well-known certification bodies.

CARF Accreditation
Marklund recently received a three-year accreditation from CARF International for the Developmental Training program at its Geneva campus, earning a nearly perfect survey score of 99.68 percent. It is the second consecutive three-year endorsement that CARF, an independent, nonprofit accrediting body, has awarded to Marklund.

This accreditation represents the highest level that can be awarded to an organization and shows Marklund’s substantial conformance to the CARF standards. Marklund demonstrated to a team of surveyors during an on-site visit its commitment to offering programs and services that are measurable, accountable, and of the highest quality.

“A tremendous amount of hard work over many months went into the preparation for the survey,” noted Gil Fonger, President & CEO. “The focus of CARF is on our Developmental Training area, but we also asked them to look at the overall organization. We are not required to undergo this survey but considered it a ‘best practice.’”
Founded in 1966 as the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, CARF establishes consumer-focused standards to help organizations measure and improve the quality of their programs and services.

Better Business Bureau
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) recently named Marklund as an accredited charity, certifying that Marklund meets all 20 of its Standards for Charity Accountability based on a review of information and materials provided by the organization.

Reports created by the BBB summarize, among other things, the programs, finances, governance and fundraising practices of the charity. In addition to completing a detailed questionnaire form, Marklund Development staff provided copies of audited financial statements, IRS Form 990, and an annual report.

“We are very pleased to again receive this two-year endorsement from such a respected organization as the Better Business Bureau,” Fonger noted. “This accreditation proves what we have always known about Marklund—that we strive to provide top quality care. Although it is a lengthy process, we appreciate the thoroughness of the BBB and are proud to be included on its list of nonprofits that meet the highest ethical standards.  We believe this designation is an important “seal of approval” for donors, volunteers and friends who may be interested in investing in Marklund,” Gil Fonger noted.

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Get ready to Run, Walk & Roll for Marklund

Marklund will present its 4th Annual Run, Walk & Roll 5K/1 mile event Sunday, Oct. 23, at the Marklund at Mill Creek campus in Geneva, and registration is underway.

Growing in popularity, this fundraiser gives participants a fun and healthy way to support the care of children and adults with profound developmental disabilities, and even change their own lives, as noted above by Cynthia. Sign up and enjoy the fresh air and a brisk walk, comfortable jog or competitive run along a USATF-certified course throughout the South Mill Creek neighborhood. Men, women and children of all ages and abilities, including those using adaptive devices, are invited to participate.

“This is not your typical 5K,” said Stephanie Heinz, Marklund Development Coordinator. “We are pleased to open our event to people of all abilities. We’ve had people use wheelchairs, racing chairs and walkers join in the fun. Even Marklund clients take part with the assistance of staff or family members.”

Both the 5K and 1-mile events start and end at Marklund Hyde Center, 1S450 Wyatt Drive, Geneva. Start times are: 7:55 a.m. racing/adaptive wheelchairs; 8 a.m. 5K and 1 mile. Last year, more than 600 participated in the event, helping raise more than $129,000 to support the care of Marklund clients.

Prizes will be awarded to top male and female finishers in various age categories, as well as to top fundraisers. Following the race, participants can join in the Party in the Park with hot and cold food and beverages, and entertainment.

Register today at www.marklund.org/5K.

Those who prefer not to participate can still support the event by sponsoring individual runners or walkers who set up personalized fundraising pages. Information on registered participants and teams will be posted on the website.

For information about registration, volunteering or sponsorships, contact Stephanie Heinz, Marklund development coordinator at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Blog - Asberger's Syndrome - Same but Different

The Marklund Day School staff researches interesting articles and blogs to share with parents and guardians of children with multi-needs and who may be on the autism spectrum, and wanted to share this one from the Asperger's Child website.

Asberger's Syndrome - Same but Different?

 

Blog - Signs a Parent Caregiver Needs Respite

Your life changes substantially when you have a child. If you are one of the 14 percent of adults who has a child with disabilities, the change may seem overwhelming. Caring for a child without disabilities is often exhausting. Caring for a disabled child is not just exhausting, it is also challenging and can even be overwhelming. You feel you cannot trust the care of your child to untrained people, so calling a teenage baby-sitter to give you even a few hours of free time is not an option. Close family members may not even be able to step in and help out.

Stress with the daily physical care of your child with disabilities is coupled with extra duties. You likely have frequent appointments you have to go to where your child receives medical care and/or therapy. You may even be employed and have other children to care for. You feel stressed, but you also feel guilty that you feel stressed. At least take comfort in the knowledge that you are not the only caregiver that experiences these feelings.

It is so common for caregivers of a child with disabilities or of a disabled adult to feel stressed, it has been given a name: Caregiver Stress Syndrome. You may not even realize you are suffering in this way since you are so used to being tired and having more things to do than you can actually accomplish. But, there are some real signs you need to pay attention to that indicate you need a break. If you recognize yourself in just a few of the items on this list, you need a temporary break from your responsibility, which is really the definition for respite care.

Signs you need a respite break.

• Changes in your sleep patterns. Either getting too much or not enough sleep.

• Frequent non-specific aches and pains, including headaches.

• Frequent feelings of anger.

• Easily irritated for no definable specific reason other than you are tired and overwhelmed.

• Drinking too much alcohol or taking too many prescription drugs.

• Forgetting things, such as appointments.

• Loss of interest in activities you used to enjoy.

• Constant feelings of exhaustion.

• Always rushing because there just simply is not enough time to do what you need to do.

• You do not want to get out of bed in the morning and face another day.

• Feelings of resentment that your life is not how you expected it to be.

• Frequent colds and illnesses, caused by not properly taking care of yourself and compromising your diet and exercise programs.

Importance of respite care.

Respite care gives you the temporary relief you need to replenish your emotional and physical health. You will find renewed energy for your job and other family members. You can choose to have respite care for your child with disabilities for a few hours or a few days. You can schedule it to occur on a regular basis, or arrange for it when you feel you really you really need it.

You can arrange for the care to be given in your own home, find a facility that offers respite care for a child with disabilities or ask a family member, friend, neighbor or member of your faith community whom you trust. There are even programs, such as the REST (respite education and support tools) program, that trains volunteers to become volunteer respite care workers.  Respite care should be viewed as a necessity, not a luxury. Your entire family will benefit as you become rested and as your own health improves.

Blog - An Autism Diagnosis: Now What

Having a child diagnosed with autism is a significant event in a parent's life. If you are in this situation, it has likely come as a powerful emotional blow. For many parents, an autism diagnosis is an indication that the life they thought they thought their child was going to have is not exactly to be. The diagnosis may seem vague, due to the condition's "spectrum" nature; this means that it varies wildly from individual to individual. Some kids may struggle with autism for the rest of their lives while others may fall off the spectrum at some point so that they can no longer be considered autistic. The point to remember at all times is that each case is unique. Your child will respond differently to treatment and therefore their prognosis is different. How you handle it is key to the getting the best possible outcome.

Learn As Much as You Can

The diagnosis can make a parent apprehensive about the future but as with many things in life, the solution is education. There are multiple treatment programs for child disabilities like autism, along with multiple philosophies and methods of treatment. The problem is that there are not many studies comparing the different programs; as a parent with a newly diagnosed autistic child, you will have your work cut out for you when it comes to choosing one. You should acquire as much knowledge as you can about the condition and the methods used to manage it.  Books are an excellent resource on child disabilities and there are many on the subject of raising autistic children. Understanding the condition will not magically make everything easier, but it will go a long way to towards improving your experience and helping you to remain patient.

Seek Support  ML-DaySchool-4c-Low

Talking about autism with others can help to ease your anxieties and is a coping method recommended by autism advocacy group, Autism Speaks. Support groups are good places to do this as they can provide the comfort and reassurance that you will need as the parent of an autistic child. You get to talk openly about autism with other parents who have faced the same situation. This can help you to come to terms with your fears and start the process of overcoming them. The Marklund Day School has Certified Autism Specialists on staff who can serve as excellent resources for managing educational programs for your child.

Seek Treatment

Getting help soon after the diagnosis is essential for reducing problematic behavior. At this point, there is no known cure for autism but by using the collection of treatments available, it is possible to ensure a functional and even productive future for your child; they will have the opportunity to learn new skills and to achieve. Treatment will help regardless of the stage at which it is provided but earlier in a child's development is better.  It is essential that you are actively involved in the treatment; according to a study by the University of North Carolina Medical School, children with parents who participate in therapy tend to do better. When seeking therapy, you should consult with a pediatrician or other child disabilities specialist. Talk to multiple professionals with experience handling autism spectrum disorders, not just one.

It is important that parents remember that they are not the first ones to deal with this problem. There are many others out there who have faced the same thing and who have learned how to manage it. The diagnosis instantly makes them a part of a new community and there are many resources out there to help them.

Blog - Choosing the Right Respite Care Provider

Dealing with someone with adult disabilities, whether it be a parent, sibling or other family member, can sometimes mean choosing a respite care provider. Not a decision to make lightly, finding the right care provider is a process that requires a lot of research and focus. The end result is short-term breaks for you and other guardians taking care of the person, which means less stress, more energy and a more balanced existence for you.

Analyzing Needs

The first step in choosing a respite care provider is analyzing what you, individual receiving the care, and other family members who provide care need. Do you need more time off? Help with transportation? Think about your daily regimen and make a list of what you need help with most. Understanding what the family member needs most in terms of respite care is also essential, such as a companion for social activities, assistance with walking, eating, medication, and exercise, or mental stimulation.

Types of Respite Care

Understanding the types of respite care available is also important when choosing the right provider. Types are care are broken down into in-home and out-of-home categories. In-home care includes volunteer and paid companionship, healthcare assistance, informal family support and relief, and online caregiver communities. Out-of-home care for adult disabilities include caregiver support groups and adult daycare. Think about which type of care best suits your family after analyzing your and your loved one's needs. For example, if going with in-home care, the family member will get to remain in recognizable surroundings, and you can be there while the person is still getting to know the care provider. Conversely, choosing an off-site respite location can provide your loved one with new surroundings to experience for the time being which may be what he or she needs as well.


The Interview Process

Once you've determined what you require from a respite care provider, it's time to actually choose one. Perform phone interviews first before meeting with potential care providers in person. Ask the person or select few to furnish references, and check all of them. Do a criminal background check as well. After you've narrowed your choices down, think about cost and come up with a financial plan that works for everyone involved. Finally, it's important to draw up a contract that provides specific details about how often the care provider is expected to work, duties they need to perform on a weekly or daily basis,
days off, and so on.

A Few Final Tips

Remember there's no set guidelines for choosing the right respite care provider, what's important is that you come up with a system that works for you, other family caregivers, and the family member with adult disabilities. Think about how you want to spend your time off, and consider how other family members feel about the situation. If you're leaving the disabled family member in the care of another without your supervision, think critically about how you feel about it. You have to trust the person you're leaving in care of your loved one in order for the arrangement to be a success. A harmonious relationship among everyone involved will help you get the time off you need, meaning you will not harbor guilt or resentment towards the disabled family member you love so much.

Summer Games Draws Hundreds

Kane County Chronicle

Marklund's Summer Games event draws hundreds

By NICOLE WESKERNA – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Created: Saturday, June 8, 2013 3:45 p.m. CDT

GENEVA –Monday, June 10, 2013|-- Gary and Carol Franz said the annual Marklund Summer Games has become a special day for their son, Gary Paul Franz Jr., who is a resident at Marklund.
The West Chicago family, which also includes Gary Paul's sister, Kaitlyn, has been attending the Summer Games for the last three years. Saturday's Summer Games were no exception. The day included sports activities such as baseball, bowling, basketball and races at Marklund, which is a home for people with serious and profound developmental disabilities and special health care needs.

"It's fantastic," Carol Franz said. "It's just done with such excellence and enthusiasm."

This year's Summer Games also included visit from former Chicago White Sox third baseman, Bill Melton, and the White Sox mascot, Southpaw.

The Miracle League ball field on Marklund's Geneva campus was funded a decade ago by White Sox Charities Foundation, which was tied into Marklund's 10-year anniversary since opening its Geneva campus. Melton threw out the first pitch of the Summer Games baseball game Saturday.

Gil Fonger, president and CEO of Marklund, said the Summer Games are Marklund's version of the Special Olympics because many residents don't function high enough to participate in Special Olympics.
He said 140 volunteers from Christ Community Church campuses throughout the area helped with the summer games, along with a slew of parents and other volunteers, and 96 residents participated.

"Our vision is to make everyday life possible for individuals with profound disabilities," Fonger said. "Sports are just part of everyday life."

Vicki Beckmann of Genoa, a member of Christ Community Church in St. Charles, said Saturday was the first time she had volunteered for the Summer Games. She spent Saturday morning accompanying a Marklund resident to various sports activities, including a bean-bag toss game.

She said her church encourages its members to do volunteer work on the second Saturday of every month.
"This a super second Saturday," she said.
Beckmann said she decided to volunteer because that's what Christ does.
"It's kind of a mandate of Christ followers to live like he lived and show God's love to more people and hopefully lead more people to Christ," she said.

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http://www.kcchronicle.com/2013/06/08/marklunds-summer-games-event-draws-hundreds/anostsz/

 

Season of Giving

Thursday, December 27, 2012|

 

 

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Serving the Tri-Cities and Kaneland

 Volunteers share a Christmas Eve tradition with Marklund residents

By NICOLE WESKERNA - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Created: Tuesday, December 25, 2012 5:30 a.m. CST

Updated: Tuesday, December 25, 2012 11:29 a.m. CST

 

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Jeanette A. smiles with Santa Claus at Marklund at Mill Creek in Geneva. Clients of Marklund opened presents with family and volunteers on the morning of Christmas Eve. (Rena Naltsas – For the Kane County Chronicle)

 

Marklund Celebrates Christmas

More than 200 volunteers helped residents at Marklund – a center in Geneva for adults and children with developmental disabilities – open gifts on Christmas Eve.

GENEVA – For the last 11 years, Colleen McCauley has spent the morning of Christmas Eve at Marklund in Geneva, helping residents open gifts donated by area churches, individuals and businesses.

It was a tradition that started shortly after McCauley’s daughter died from brain cancer in 2001. She had donated a custom wheelchair and walker to Marklund, a center for disabled children and adults, and one resident there suggested that she choose a name from the facility’s gift tree.

She took that resident’s advice and now returns to Marklund year after year on Christmas Eve.

This year, she and about 20 coworkers from Screws Industries in Glendale Heights bought presents for 80 Marklund residents. They also purchased gifts for staff members.

“To us, it’s Christmas,” she said. “Seeing the kids appreciate it more than anything – that’s the meaning of Christmas, just to give.”

Cathy Nikrandt, volunteer coordinator at Marklund, said 215 volunteers were expected to help 96 residents open gifts this year. She said volunteers have been dedicating part of their Christmas Eve to assist residents with opening gifts since Marklund opened more than 50 years ago.

This year, Boy Scout Troop 43, the Rotary Club of Batavia and a Wheaton Warrenville South High School leadership group were among the organizations whose members helped out Monday.

Members of the Simmons family in Elburn said this was the first year they volunteered, adding they hoped to make it a Christmas Eve tradition. Robert and Jennifer Simmons brought along their children, Sam, 11, and Rob, 14. Jennifer Simmons said her family has been involved in volunteering at Marklund in the past, and she wanted her family to gain a new perspective.

“Christmas is kind of chaotic,” she said. “We figured serving would put our minds back to where they ought to be.”

Though it was the first time Rob Simmons has been involved in gift-opening at Marklund, he said he had an idea of how much it meant to the residents. He said he donated a book to a resident two years ago, and that resident still remembers him and the gift to this day.

“It really means a lot to know that someone cares about them,” Rob Simmons said.

Marklund spokeswoman Dawn Lassiter-Brueske said the volunteer efforts of those who helped out Monday furthered Marklund’s mission to make everyday life possible for individuals with profound disabilities.

“Even if five people are helping one person, you are helping them feel like part of a loving unit,” she said before volunteers headed to the residents’ rooms.

Many Marklund residents gathered in a common area to open gifts together. Sharon Huisman of Ingleside helped her son, Richard, open gifts with other residents. She has spent Christmas Eve at Marklund for the last three years, and she said donors have always been very generous.

“It’s great to see the outpouring of love people have,” she said. “I couldn’t express how grateful I am for the volunteers’ time and their outpouring of love.”

Almost 40 volunteers from the J. Kyle Braid Foundation leadership program at Wheaton Warrenville South High School helped Monday. Dan Vitale of Wheaton graduated last year but decided to return again as a volunteer this year. He said the leadership group does a lot of volunteer work, but Marklund has become the group’s favorite because he said it feels like a tight-knit family.

“It just shows that people outside of this place care about [the residents],” he said. “We want to support them in any way possible.”

Marklund Government Relations Director Appointed to State Advisory Board

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NEWS RELEASE

 

October 19, 2012 (Geneva, IL)       Lois Sheaffer Kramer, director of government relations and community support for Marklund, an organization that serves persons with developmental disabilities, has been appointed to the Illinois State DD Facility Advisory Board. This five-member board will serve in an advisory capacity representing those with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID and DD) to ensure compliance with the ID/DD Community Care Act.

“It is an honor to be appointed to serve as a member of the DD Facility Advisory Board,” Sheaffer Kramer said. “I am looking forward to working more closely with our state leaders to promote the quality of life that people with intellectual disabilities deserve as they strive to reach their highest potential in all areas of their lives.

"We are very excited about Lois' well-deserved appointment,” said Gil Fonger, president and CEO at Marklund. “She is a passionate advocate for individuals with developmental disabilities and will serve very well in this new position. We are also appreciative of the recognition that Marklund is also receiving through this appointment as a leading advocate in the state for individuals with developmental disabilities."

Sheaffer Kramer has served children and adults with DD for 28 years at Marklund, starting her tenure as a recreation therapist and eventually transitioning to director of children’s services before taking on her current role. As director of government relations and community support, she has served on various workgroups as an advocate to discuss legislative changes that impact people with ID/DDs, as well as leads the Illinois Skilled Pediatric group which includes 13 facilities throughout the state. She is also an active member of the Center for Developmental Disabilities Advocacy and Community Supports.

“I take this responsibility very seriously as I realize that I will be representing folks that I have known and served over the past 30 years that are not able to speak for themselves,” she added.