Resources for Children with Autism Available at CPL

We’re committed to making Chicago Public Library locations warm and engaging spaces for children on the autism spectrum.


  • Rocking bowl: Each CPL location has a rocking bowl for children to use. A rocking bowl is large enough for a child to sit inside and get comforting sensory stimulation by rocking or spinning.
  • Steffy Play Cubes: In the coming months, we’re adding Steffy Play Cubes at some locations. Children with sensory needs can use these play cubes to build a fort and create a quieter experience in the library.
  • Meeting rooms: Does your family need a quieter space? Book a meeting room or study room online, or ask if one is available during your visit.
  • Autism Reads for Kids and Parents: We recommend informational books and stories about kids with autism.


  • Sensory Story Times: These fun, highly interactive events build literacy skills and engage the senses with books, songs and play. These special story times for kids up to age 12 and their families are designed to work for kids with special needs.
  • Special events: We held our first Autism Hero Day at Harold Washington Library Center earlier this year. For more information about special events, call Children's Services at (312) 747-4780.

Helpful Website

  • The Autism Program of Illinois: TAP offers information about autism as well as tips for families and caregivers, including guides to introducing children to community resources such as libraries.