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Rush Day School

Rush Day School is a not-for-profit program offering education and treatment for children with autism spectrum disorder and emotionally disabled children ages 6 to 14. Some of the children may also have another neurologically based disorder, a learning disability or a speech and language disorder that requires clinical and educational intervention.

The goal for each student is to return to a less restrictive school environment. The majority of our students return to a public or private school in regular education with support.

Highlights of the Rush Day School

  • A strong regular education academic program — curriculum is aligned with the Illinois State Standards and Common Core Standards. Students who return to their home schools report academic success.
  • Certified special education teachers provide individualized and group academic instruction in classrooms of up to nine students. A resource teacher provides additional support for individual students both inside and outside of all classrooms as needed.
  • Psychiatric nurses design individualized behavior management plans for each student in collaboration with other team members. Additionally, they collaborate with child psychiatrists and other physicians regarding diagnoses, medication monitoring and reduction of symptoms.
  • Intensive therapeutic services including individual and family therapy, group therapy with an emphasis on social skills development, and parent groups are provided by a professional and experienced clinical team. This includes a licensed clinical psychologist, licensed clinical social workers, and advanced practice nurses.
  • A full-time occupational therapist and speech and language therapists meet individually with children who require services based on their individualized education plan (IEP) and consult with the classroom teams. A focus for treatment may include sensory integration. We offer art therapy and a wide range of other art programs including music, drama, improvisation and photography as part of a fine arts curriculum.
  • Learning specialists and board-certified child and adolescent psychiatrist provide weekly consultations.



"Rush Day School rescued us and took very good care of our child. He was able to relax, complete his schoolwork, and feel safe again to function in a group. We gained insight into his fears and behaviors with the help of the staff."

"Everyone at Rush was caring, professional and patient. They helped our family get through some very rough times. They didn't just treat the child, they treated the whole family."

"The proof of the program's excellence is that our daughter is doing very well and her self-esteem is high compared to her enrollment at RDS. She is a joy to be around and thinks of the future in a positive way."

"The staff was always available, and I still consult them when I have questions or concerns." "The professionalism and concern for the benefit and welfare of each child was demonstrated on a daily basis. There is no perfect environment, but Rush Day School came close."

"Because of the small class size and adult to student ratio, my son was able to learn how to modify, change and deal with his emotional highs and lows."

"Can't say enough about the efficacy of RDS and the quality of the staff!"


"I've learned that friends are one of the keys to happiness." "Every staff member at Rush was so nice and helpful. Being at Rush is like living with another family."

"Before I came to Rush, I had failing grades and was angry all of the time. I have changed a lot. I have learned to control my frustrations in an appropriate way and have earned all A's and B's."

"When I first came to Rush, I was short-fused, easily saddened, shy and easily bullied. Now I have friends and am outgoing and happy. I've learned how to have a longer fuse."

Empowering Minds for a Brighter Future