In the field of autism research, there are commonly agreed upon universal best practices. Helping Hand's School for Autism is dedicated to staying current with these best practices in the field. We strive to apply research-based methods in a structured classroom setting that combines education, functional skills training and clinical services for our students. Our program is language- and behavior-based, while also maintaining a person-focused, family-centered, and community based approach that adheres to the individual needs of each child.
The following are some universal best practices on which we base our program:
- Ongoing assessment in the immediate implementation of appropriate effective autism interventions.
- Programs are tailored to the needs of each individual with specific adaptations that match the person's spectrum profile, age, stage of development, and emergent potentials.
- Highly structured and skill-oriented teaching and treatment programs.
- Frequent reassessment and systematic data-based tracking of skill growth and related plan review and revisions.
- Use of individual motivational strategies and systems.
- Teaching areas are structured and organized and incorporate intensive one-to-one and small group sessions. Activities and routines are flexible yet predictable.
- Provide consistency of methodology across time and spaces in multiple settings for promoting skills generalization.
- All personnel are well-trained and continuously evaluated for competence and consistency in application of the intervention model used.
- Comprehensive partnership with the family in a team approach that seeks to use the family's talent in a co-treatment model.
- Intervention strategies are maintained full-day and year-round from preschool through adulthood.
School hours are from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm. The students' home school districts approve and pay for placement and provide transportation. We are approved by the Illinois State Board of Education and are a partner of the Autism Society of Illinois.
A student's primary diagnosis must be autism.