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Autism Mentoring

The Autism Program of Illinois
University of Illinois at Chicago
Where: Family Clinics
1640 W. Roosevelt Road, Room103lf
Chicago, IL 60612
Contact: Cara Vaccarello, PhD
(312) 996-3144
email: cvacc@uic.edu
Cross-Age Mentoring Program for High School Students and College/Graduate Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders
This is a support group and research program. Participants will have opportunities to meet students with similar interests, discuss high school and college life in a supportive environment, and hear about topics of interest (friendships, assertiveness skills, balancing school, work, relationships, and other activities, post-high school plans, etc.). The focus of the group is to provide high school students (mentees) with guidance and support from college/graduate students (mentors) in a fun environment. Meetings will include fun activities, discussions, and snacks.
As part of this research, subjects will complete two pre- and post-questionnaires in addition to a brief interview with the primary investigator. The purpose is to evaluate outcomes related to the research (e.g., postsecondary plans, self-esteem, and connectedness to school) and to obtain feedback regarding participation in this program. If you would like to participate in the cross-age mentor program, but do not want your information to be collected as part of research, you have the right to do so.
When: Monthly

A Better Way Forward
Rob Davies, BA
5N252 Elm Rd.
Wayne, IL 60184
(630) 408-3945
email: daviesrob19@gmail.com
Serving the Chicagoland area including Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, and Will Counties
Davies provides subject-specific tutoring and coaching in study and organization habits for children with ADHD or Asperger’s syndrome in the realm between school services and clinical treatment. Through a process that emphasizes collaborative goal setting and working closely with your child, he will work with your family to 1) identify learning and organizational challenges impacting your child, 2) develop attainable goals that both you and your child can aspire to (and live with), 3) create a set of learning strategies tailored to your child’s goals and learning style, 4) work with your child between one and five times per week and 5) periodically (usually at report card time) assess progress and fine-tune goals and programming. This is a fluid process that can be tailored and modified over time to address the specific learning needs of your child.
Ages: 5-18/K-12.
Insurance not accepted.
Cost: $30 (hourly rate).
No wait list.

Guideway Personal Support
Judah McNiel, MA, executive director
5707 S. Cass Ave., Suite 650
Westmont, IL 60559
(847) 801-9398
email: judah@guidewaysupport.com
Serving: Cook and DuPage counties.
Provides guidance for young men with autism spectrum disorders while teaching independent life skills, social skills and the all-around competence they need to gain more independence and experience for a more fulfilling life. Services include: therapeutic mentoring (two to three hours) of one-on-one time doing activities and talking while working on a specific goal. Socialization groups: three to five young men working out their social struggles through fun activities and conversation together and with the facilitators.
Ages: teens to late 20's.
Cost: insurance not accepted; $40 (hourly rate), sliding scale available.
No wait list.

No Boundaries is a program of Search, Inc.
Contact: Nicole Heimdal
824 Dempster St.
Evanston, IL 60202
(847) 869-0000, ext. 202
email: nicole@jjslist.com or noboundaries@search-inc.org
Experiential on-land and on-line training for transitioning teens through adults with disabilities to build essential skills for the workplace and for living more independently in today’s world. No Boundaries combines: structured classroom instruction, experiential learning, an integrated workplace and community setting, mentor support, and internship and work opportunities at social enterprises (jjslist.com–technology, communications and marketing; Planet Access Store-retail; Planet Access Warehouse-warehouse and order fulfillment; Keystone Alliance-office administration; Disability Awareness Players-training businesses in disability awareness; other community-based businesses).
Ages: 18 and up.
Cost: $19 (per hour) for part-time program, 9:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. or 1-4 p.m.; $16 (per hour) for full-time program, 9:15 a.m.-4 p.m.