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Autism After-School Programs

The Autism Center for Excellence at Giant Steps Illinois
The Rec Center: After school program for children with autism
2500 Cabot Drive
Lisle, IL 60532
(630) 455-5730
DuPage County
Provides children with year round after school activities designed to supplement education. Programs will be customized to fit each student's needs within five service domains: cognitive, communication, social/emotional, motor and creative. Students will have access to the computer lab, sensory and motor rooms, dance and yoga studios, art and express yourself centers, piano and other music lessions, canine training, and fitness training and pool areas. Students can be enrolled at Giant Steps Illinois or in any local public or private school. Transportation to and from Giant Steps will be arranged by families and/or school districts.
When: Monday-Friday, end of the school day to 6 p.m. Weekend/Holiday hours: Periodic weekend programs available.
Ages: 5-22 years.
Private insurace accepted for add-on therapy services only. 
Cost: $100 (one-time registration fee). Cost varies for 5-day, 3-day and 2-day program and if you would like any add-on services for your child (e.g. OT, social work, speech, music, ABA, academic tutoring). Please call Giant Steps for more information.
No wait list.

Charlie's Gift
Diana de León, Clinic Manager
1048 Ogden Ave., Suite 130
Downers Grove, IL 60515
(630) 810-1200
DuPage County
Group focuses on building social, play and daily living skills.
When: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. (7 weeks).
Ages: 8-15 years.
Cost: $300.
No wait list.

Chicago Park District
Vittum Park-Special Recreation/Homework Help and Reading Program
5010 W. 50th St.
Chicago, IL 60638
(773) 798-1747
Cook County
This program not only provides help with homework but also an adaptive reading program for comprehension, reading and ability levels.
When: 4-5 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Ages: 8 years and up.
Cost: free.

Easter Seals Metropolitan Chicago
1939 W. 13th St.
Chicago, IL 60608
(312) 432-1751
Cook County
Ages: 5-21 years.
Cost: $300 (per month for full-time participants); $200 (per month for part-time/3 days a week); $175 (per month for part-time/2 days a week).

Easter Seals - Tinley Park
17300 Ozark Ave.
Tinley Park, IL 60477
(708) 802-9050
Cook County
Ages: 5-21 years.
Cost: $10 (per hour).
Provides arts and crafts, cooking groups, computer/internet activities, recreational games, fitness, exercise, and comunity outings.

Giant Steps
2500 Cabot Drive
Lisle, IL 60532
(630) 864-3800
Ages: 5 years and up.

Have Dreams
515 Busse Highway, Suite 150
Park Ridge, IL 60068
(847) 685-0250
Cook County

Second location:
2020 Dempster St.
Evanston, IL 60202
(847) 905-0702
Cook County
Ages: 1 1/2 yrs. to early adulthood.
Provides after school, weekend, and special programs. Program starts at 4:15 p.m. Social games and swim programs.

LEEP Forward, Inc.
After-School Social Groups
Lorell Marin, MST, DT, founder
1280 W. Washington Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 624-8750
Cook County
The goal is to foster spontaneous, mutually enjoyed, reciprocal interactions between members of a peer group. Through discussions, modeling, and interactive activities such as gross motor and games, they build on each child's ability to initiate play, respond to friends' initiations, and maintain and expand interactions. They introduce vocabulary and concepts in the following areas: emotional regulation, monitoring internal states, self-concept and self-esteem, character development, social awareness, negotiation and compromise. Therapists utilize DIR/Floortime, PECS, social stories and Michelle Garcia Winner's Social Thinking Curriculum.
Ages: 3 years and up.
Private insurance accepted (BCBS only).
Cost: depends on the size and needs of the group.
No wait list.

If you are interested in adding your organization or would like to make changes to a current listing on our website, please contact Natalie Forburger, LCPC, at (312) 563-2272 or