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Acacia Academy
Kathryn Fouks, principal
6425 South Willow Springs Road
LaGrange Highlands, IL 60525
(708) 579-9040
Cook County
alternative website:
ISBE and North Central Association Colleges and Schools/AdvancED approved. Private therapeutic day school for those with learning disabilities, autism and intellectually challenged students who benefit from a personalized program designed to meet individual needs. Transition services and work study programs are available. Natural habitat and three-acre school nature center located on campus.
Ages: grades 1-12.
Cost: funded by state.
No wait list.

Academy of Excellence in Learning
Stephanie Beaulieu, MA, BCBA
Lindsay Rice, MA, BCBA
19056 Henry Drive
Mokena, IL 60448
(708) 271-3478 or (913) 485-8151
Will County 
emails: and
ISBE approved, non-public special education facility. They are currently accepting students with educational diagnosis of autism, cognitive disability, learning disabilities, challenging behaviors, speech or language impairment, and other health impairment. Their educational program and curriculum are designed from the Illinois State Learning Standards and are taught using the principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA). They aim to house students for fewer than three years and then provide a comprehensive transition and maintenance program to ensure that students continue to be successful as they transition back to their home districts with minimal to no supports.
Ages: kindergarten through eighth grade.
Cost: funded by state; self-pay. 
No wait list.

Alexander Leigh Center for Autism
Kelly Weaver
9109 Trinity Drive
Lake in the Hills, IL 60156
(847) 458-6802
McHenry County
ISBE approved. School's primary philosophy is applied behavior analysis.
Ages: 3-12.
Private insurance accepted.
No wait list.

The Bancroft School
Beth Glass, MS, PhD
Melinda Pieniazek, MA, BCBA
2353 Hassell Road, Suite 110
Hoffman Estates, IL 60169
(847) 884-7030
Cook County
ISBE approved. School's primary philosophy is using the standards of applied behavior analysis and verbal behavior, while also incorporating social and relationship development.
Ages: 3-14.
Cost: funded by state

Beacon Therapeutic Program for Students with Autism
Joan Gross
Grade school address:
10650 S. Longwood Drive
Chicago, IL 60643
(773) 881-1005
Cook County

High school address:
12440 S. Ada St.
Calumet Park, IL 60827
(708) 388-3183
Cook County
ISBE approved. School's primary philosophy is TEACCH, an evidence-based model for individuals of all skill levels that relies heavily on visual learning. Other services offered: communication (e.g. PECS and speech therapy), socialization (individual and group, community outings, eating activities and instruction), fitness (e.g. physical education and occupational therapy with a practical skills focus), psychiatric consultation, and transitioning services (e.g. vocational programming and post-secondary education). 
Ages: 3-21.
Cost: funded by state.
No wait list.

Beard Special Education Center
6445 W. Strong St.
Chicago, IL 60656
(773) 534-1228, ext. 83230 (principal) or
Luis Columbus, MA (therapist), ext. 83238.
Cook County
ISBE approved. Offers education and treatment for autism spectrum, emotionally disabled, and cognitively delayed children. Beard School offers an eclectic approach of services including, discrete trial, sensory integration, behavioral, music, and art therapy, group theraplay and public talking circle.  
Ages: 3-9.
Cost: state funded.
No wait list.

The Camelot Schools
Des Plaines Campus
Sheila Deal
1455A Prairie Ave.
Des Plaines, IL 60016
(847) 391-8036
Cook County
ISBE approved. Children participating in the autism program at Camelot’s day schools take part in a specialized curriculum that focuses on maximizing independent functioning in home, school, vocational and community settings. The autism program includes music therapy, intensive occupational therapy with sensory breaks throughout the day, intensive speech/language therapy, social skills training via the social worker and classroom staff, prevocational and vocational instruction and a functional academic curriculum.
Ages: 5-21.
Cost: funded by state.
No wait list.

Other Camelot locations:
Hoffman Estates Campus
Theresa Mortl Smith
5135 Trillium Blvd.
Hoffman Estates, IL 60192
(224) 402-7406
Cook County
ISBE approved. In addition to large, self-contained classrooms, the Autism Center has a grooming room with two shampoo sinks, a shower, washer and dryer, a sensory room, a quiet room, an OT room, a speech room and social work rooms for play therapy. The center is autistic friendly with recessed lighting and tile floors.
Ages: 3-21.
Cost: funded by state.
No wait list.

Cardinal Cushing Centers
Contact: Michelle Markowitz
405 Washington St.
Hanover, MA 02339
(781) 829-1205
Private, non-profit therapeutic special needs boarding school for children and young adults with autism and developmental disabilities.
Cost: soon to be approved out-of-state placement option for Illinois.

Kankakee Campus
Rodger Jones
1000 Entrance Ave.
Kankakee, IL 60901
(815) 602-8200
Kankakee County
ISBE approved. School provides therapy and academic instruction for children and adolescents with Aspergers/autism spectrum disorders, whom have been unable to succeed in the public school system due to the severity of their disabilities.
Ages: 3-21.
Cost: funded by state
No wait list.

Naperville Campus
Michael Gurley
1220 Bond St., Suite 136
Naperville, IL 60563
(630) 355-0200
DuPage County
ISBE approved. Provides therapy and academic instruction for children and adolescents who have Aspergers among other disorders, who require special education services for social/emotional disorders, learning disabilities and other health impairments.
Ages: 5-21.
Cost: funded by state.
No wait list.

The Chicago Autism Academy, Inc.
Tabria Armstrong
21133 S. 80th Ave.
Frankfort, IL 60423
(815) 806-2900
Will County
emails: or
ISBE approved. School utilizes evidence-based techniques. Primary philosophy is behavior analysis with an emphasis on verbal behavior.
Ages: 3-15.
Cost: funded by state.
No wait list.

Early Childhood Autism Academy
Judy Katz
255 Revere Drive, Suite 200
Northbrook, IL 60062
(847) 412-4380
Cook County
For more information
ISBE approved. School's primary philosophy utilizes the TEACCH method, which focuses on building a child’s independence and communication abilities. In addition, pivotal response training (PRT) facilitates the initiation and frequency of communication.
Ages: 3-8.
Cost: funded by state. For mroe information, download brochure.
No wait list.

Easter Seals Therapeutic School and Center for Autism Research
Nicole Davenport
1939 W. 13th St.
Chicago, IL 60608
(312) 432-1751
Cook County
Ages: 3-18.
ISBE approved. School provides on-site after school and developmental training program.
Cost: funded by state.
No wait list.

Easter Seals Autism Therapeutic School Tinley Park
Maryellen Bucci
17300 S. Ozark Ave., North Building
Tinley Park, IL 60477
(708) 429-8231
Cook County
ISBE approved. School provides on-site after school and developmental training program.
Ages: 3-18.
Cost: funded by state.
No wait list.

Easter Seals Autism Therapeutic School Waukegan
Beth Hart
1401 West Dugdale Road, Building 33
Waukegan, IL 60085
(847) 625-2018
Lake County
Ages: 3-18.
ISBE approved.
Cost: funded by state.
No wait list.

Elim Christian School
Autism Comprehensive Education (ACE) Program
Ginny Pierson
13020 S. Central Ave.
Palos Heights, IL 60463
(708) 389-0555
Cook County
Ages: 3-18.
ISBE approved. School offers a one-on-one integrated holistic approach of services. Methods incorporated in program include: TEACCH, applied behavior analysis and augmentative communication.
Cost: funded by state.
Possible wait list.

Giant Steps Inc.
Bridget O'Connor
8320 S. Madison St.
Burr Ridge, IL 60527
(630) 455-5730
DuPage County
ISBE approved. Giant Steps Illinois day school offers a one-on-one integrated holistic approach of services.
Ages: 4-18.
Insurance not accepted.
Possible wait list.

Helping Hand School for Autism
Sally Wilson-Gamble
9649 W. 55th St.
Countryside, IL 60525
(708) 352-3580, ext. 437
Cook County
ISBE approved, full-day year round program. School uses research-based intervention modalities and teaching methods to assure best practice. Relies on a trans-disciplinary team approach in designing each child's individualized program and curriculum.
Ages: 3-18.
Cost: funded by state
Current wait list.

New Hope Academy
Brandy Larrance, executive director
6289 W. Howard St.
Niles IL 60714
(847) 588-0463
Cook County
ISBE approved. Serves students in special education diagnosed with emotional disabilities, other health impairments, learning disabilities, and autism. Students are average to above-average intelligence, withdraw socially and emotionally, experience difficulty “fitting in” a mainstream environment, have difficulty reading social cues, “slip through the cracks” until their problems are severe, procrastinate (specifically with homework assignments and long-term projects), have difficulty with executive functioning, have talents in art and music, have the potential for academic achievement, struggle with gross and fine motor skills, have difficulty with social skills, use frequent illness as a means to avoid school and may become “school phobic,” appear sad, lonely, hopeless, or depressed, harbor anger and hostility but does not act out violently in school or in the community.
Ages: 11-21.
Cost: funded by child’s public school district and accepts private-pay students.
No wait list.

New Horizon Center
Don Kush, LCSW/Intake Coordinator
6737 W. Forest Preserve Ave
Chicago, IL 60634-1470
(773) 286-6226 ext 206
Cook County
ISBE approved. All staff are CPR and First Aid certified. 1:1 certified paraprofessional to provide guidance and direction throughout the school day for the students who need this service. Private not-for-profit therapeutic day school with extended school year (ESY) for those with severe and profound learning disabilities, autism and intellectually challenged students who benefit from a personalized program designed to meet individual needs. Therapy services include speech, physical therapy (PT), occupational therapy (OT), music therapy, art therapy, nursing services, social services, vision services, sensory room, Rainbow Dog Therapy, Greenhouse Gardening and much more. Transition services are available. Transportation is provided by the home school district.
Ages: grades kindergarten-12 (ages 3-22).
Cost: funded by school district.
No wait list.

Therapeutic Day School at Jewish Child & Family Services (JCFS)
Joy Faith Knapp Children's Center
3145 W. Pratt Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60645
Cook County
Sandra Spicher
The JCFS Therapeutic Day School provides the best educational, emotional and therapeutic services for students of all backgrounds in grades K-12 who have not thrived in a traditional school setting, to encourage their academic, interpersonal and vocational success. Here, an engaging curriculum plus leadership opportunities and support yield success for students with special emotional, behavioral, cognitive and developmental needs. With its low student-to-teacher ratio, positive social interaction, and state-of-the-art facilities including a new Life Skills Room and program, the Therapeutic Day School is designed to meet the needs of children with special needs by alleviating behavioral and emotional struggles and developing a sense of belonging among students.

Therapeutic Preschool at Jewish Child & Family Services (JCFS)
Virginia Frank Child Development Center
3033 W. Touhy (Bernard Horwich JCC campus)
Chicago, IL 60645
Cook County
Joni Crounse
855-ASK-JCFS (855-275-5237)
Early childhood programs today know that children begin learning as soon as they are born, and parents and teachers are partners in introducing key lessons to even the youngest of students. For children who need special help learning, the Jewish Child & Family Services (JCFS) Therapeutic Nursery and Kindergarten program is an amazing resource. Five days a week, 11 months a year, the Therapeutic Nursery and Kindergarten offers a small, structured, language-enriched program that provides children who are unsuccessful in traditional early educational programs the opportunity to succeed. The program emphasizes a warm and caring environment that helps children develop socially, emotionally and cognitively toward their potential.

Therapeutic Yeshiva Program at Jewish Child & Family Services (JCFS)
Joy Faith Knapp Children's Center
3145 W. Pratt Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60645
Cook County
Rabbi David Rosenberg
855-ASK-JCFS (855-275-5237)
Through the Jewish Child & Family Services (JCFS) Therapeutic Yeshiva program, children who are challenged by a range of emotional and developmental disorders are provided an educational opportunity for success unlike any other in the Chicago metropolitan area. Therapeutic Yeshiva, an arm of our Therapeutic Day School, offers religiously observant families the joyful experience of having their child study history, math and other traditional courses, while also fulfilling the mitzvah of learning Torah. When appropriate, students can take classes from other Jewish schools as part of their academic program. To broaden their social and Jewish involvements, we seek volunteer opportunities in the community as well as celebrations at other Jewish schools

LaGrange Area Department of Special Education
Colleen Brown
1301 W. Cossitt Ave.
LaGrange, IL 60525
(708) 354-5730
Cook County
ISBE approved. LADSE provides services to residents to seventeen school districts in DuPage and Cook Counties.
Ages: 3-18.
Cost: funded by state.
No wait list.

LEEP Forward, Inc.
Lorell Marin, MST, DT, founder
2320 N. Damen Ave., Suite 2F
Chicago, IL 60647
Cook County
A comprehensive educational and therapeutic program created to support children with social communication, sensory, and emotional regulation challenges. Therapists employ DIR/Floortime, SCERTS, social stories, and PECS. Includes a high child-to-therapist ratio.
Ages: 3-4.
Insurance not accepted.  They do provide invoices for clients to submit to insurance companies.
Cost: depends on the size and needs of the group.
No wait list.

PACTT Learning Center 
Paula Jablonski, principal
7101 N. Greenview Ave.
Chicago, IL 60626
(773) 338-9102
Cook County
ISBE approved. PACTT is an agency that provides educational, residential and vocational services to individuals with autism. The therapeutic day school is located in Rogers Park, on the north side of Chicago, and serves individulas from across the Chicago metropolitan area. PACCT also provides a teen transition program that has a strong focus in the areas of self-determination, vocational skills, independent living skills, socialization and communication skills and community participation.
Ages: 3-21.
Cost: funded by state.

Rush Day School
Jean L. Heideman, MPP, MS, director
2150 W. Harrison St.
Chicago, IL 60612
(312) 942-6627
Cook County
ISBE approved. Rush Day School utilizes a team approach to provide intensive psychotherapeutic services combined with an academic program. Offers education and treatment for autism spectrum and emotionally disabled children. Goal for each student is to return to a less restrictive school environment. The majority of students return to a public or private school in regular education with support. Class size: limited to six to nine students. Children may be enrolled throughout the academic and extended school year. For more information, download brochure.
Ages: 5-15 (grades K-8).
Cost: Most students are funded by the child's home school district.

Soaring Eagle Academy
Linda Cervenka
P.O. Box 63
Riverside, IL 60546
(312) 683-5151
Cook County
First school in the Midwest to provide a social and academic learning environment utilizing a developmental individual-difference relationship based (DIR) approach for students diagnosed with autism and related disorders.
Ages: 3-15.
Cost: funded by state.
Possible wait list.

The Sonia Shankman Orthogenic School at the University of Chicago
Day School Program
Contact: Kristin Friesen
1365 E. 60th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
(773) 834-7694
Cook County
ISBE approved, supported by the Foundation for Emotionally Disturbed Children (FEDC). The day school is committed to fostering inquiry into the clinical and treatment needs of troubled children and youth. The school and family work together to create a consistent experience for each student. The students learn how to be a support system for one another as they face challenges that are exclusive to the day school population.
Ages: 5 and up.
Funded by child's school district.
Limited number of spaces.

Residential Program at The Sonia Shankman Orthogenic School
At the heart of the orthogenic school's residential program is the milieu staff. The orthogenic school relies upon the therapeutic relationships that develop between a student and his or her counselors as a major component of the treatment. Milieu staff members are actively involved with the students throughout the day, not simply monitoring or supervising them but developing bonds and relationships with students that create a structure in which each child or adolescent can receive emotional support, develop new skills and sustain healthy relationships. Get more information.
Ages: 5 and up.
Cost: state funded.
No wait list.

Stuart G. Ferst School
Diane Kush
6050 N. California Ave.
Chicago, IL 60659
(773) 761-4651, ext. 235
Cook County
ISBE approved. Provides co-ed functional academic instruction, vocational experience and/or therapeutic education to students with behavioral/emotional disorders, traumatic brain injuries, or developmental disabilities such as autism, cognitive impairment or physical/medical impairment. School utilizes Floortime (DIR) teaching methods to assure best practice.
Ages: 7 and up.
Funded by state.
No wait list.

Summit School
The Autism Spectrum Program
333 W. River Road
Elgin, IL 60123
(847) 468-0490
Kane County
ISBE approved. Program offers a one-on-one integrated holistic approach of services. Methods incorporated in program include: DIR, TEACCH and RDI.
Ages: 5-9.
No wait list.

C.R.E.S.T. (Curriculum Regarding Everyday Social Themes) at Summit School
C.R.E.S.T. is a second program offered at Summit School for students who are very high functioning, but have difficulty interacting with their peers and need a particularly small structured learning environment. The program is based on thematic learning to help students utilize their learning.
Ages: 5-12.
No wait list.


Although our Website includes links providing direct access to other Internet sites, the Autism Resource Center at Rush University takes no responsibility for the content or information contained on those other sites, and does not exert any editorial or other control over those other sites.

The information on this website is provided for general reference purposes. It does not constitute medical or other professional advice and should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your child and adolescent psychiatrist or other physician. Only a qualified, licensed physician can determine the individual treatment that is appropriate for your particular circumstances. All decisions about clinical care should be made in consultation with a physician. Inclusion of information on this website does not constitute an endorsement of views, persons, methodologies or products. The health care providers whose information is available on the website are not necessarily the agents or employees of Rush University Medical Center. In consideration for use of this website, Rush University Medical Center or any other party involved in producing or delivering this website will not be liable to you for any action or nonaction that you take in reliance upon the information provided on this website.

Autism is a complex disorder. Our website provides information and resources for families with a child with autism. If you feel your child is experiencing behavior and/or symptoms that may be associated with autistic spectrum disorders, please contact your pediatrician or a licensed physician. A comprehensive evaluation may be needed from a psychologist, neurologist, psychiatrist, speech therapist and other professionals.

The Autism Resource Center's referral and resource list is not an all-inclusive list and is subject to change. Each day the team will be adding new resources and building to our website. If you have trouble finding a referral within your area, we encourage you to call (312) 563-2272 for further information. We hope that you visit our website again for any future referrals.

Contact Name
Autism Resource Center
Contact Phone
(312) 563-2272

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