Alan Balter was born in Chicago and attended the Chicago Public Schools. He matriculated at the University of Illinois in Urbana in 1956 and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology (1960) and a Master’s Degree in Special Education (1962) . He taught adolescents with developmental delays at Niles Township High School West for two years before returning to the University of Illinois and completing a Ph.D. in Special Education in 1968. While completing his degree, he taught undergraduate courses at the University of Illinois.
He worked as the Director of Secondary Special Education Services in Skokie, Illinois (Niles Township High Schools) before joining the faculty in the Special Education Department at Chicago State University. There, over a tenure of 32 years, he prepared teachers for children and adolescents with developmental delays, learning disabilities, and emotional disorders.
Dr. Balter has published two nonfiction books: Divided Apple: A Story about Teaching in Chicago and Learning Disabilities: A Book for Parents, both with Kendall-Hunt publishers. He has also published two novels: Holden and Me (Rockway Press) for which he received their international fiction award in 2006 and Different Ways of Being (Linkville Press) . His essay, “Cruel and Unusual Endings, ” about physician assisted suicide, appeared in the Op-Ed section of the Chicago Tribune in 2000.
Dr. Balter and his wife Barbara, also a retired teacher, live in Northbrook, Illinois. They enjoy extensive travel and 14 grandchildren.