Our ultimate goal is for each child to become as independent as possible. We want to improve each child's ability to function at home, in school, and in the community. Our Helping Hand Center team works with the family to craft specific and individualized goals for each student.
We strive to achieve four primary outcomes:
- Each student will develop a functional form of communication to facilitate expressing wants and needs.
- Each student will experience a decrease in maladaptive behaviors that interfere with positive growth.
- Each student will develop skill sets that promote learning, social interaction, and independence that will allow each child to participate in the least restrictive educational environment.
- Each family will develop knowledge and skills to assist the child with participation in family life.
The curriculum content for our program emphasizes basic skills that are important for children with autism to acquire. Our school staff works with the family to identify functional goals within these skill areas:
- Attending to elements in the environment that are essential for learning.
(such as the instructor's voice, instructional materials, etc.)
- Recognizing others as important elements in communication and social interaction.
- Understanding and using language.
(functional, spontaneous communication is the primary focus of early education, as well as communication with others and expressing wants and needs in an efficient and effective manner)
- Functioning appropriately with objects in the educational environment.
(to reduce stereotypic behavior and increase social interaction skills, as well as opportunities to play cooperatively with peers)
- Utilizing appropriate social skills in a variety of settings.
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.