Overview of Easter Seals Metropolitan Chicago's
Easter Seals Metropolitan Chicago (ESMC) is building a new $42,000,000 Therapeutic School and Center for Autism Research in the Illinois Medical District (IMD) that will help meet the needs created by the explosive growth in autism.
This unique facility is the only one of its kind that will combine on a single campus educational, research, training, early intervention, school-to-work transition and independent living capabilities. Nowhere else in the country will this continuum of services for children with autism be so well integrated at a single campus.
The new center allows Easter Seals to expand its landmark autism program and custom design a facility to meet the special needs of students with autism, emotional behavior disorders and severe learning disabilities. Interior plans and features from special acoustic finishes and lighting fixtures to therapy and gross motor skills rooms help reduce distractions and promote more effective learning.
Phase I of the project, the Autism Therapeutic School, opened to students in July, 2008. The state-of-the-art 87,000 square foot campus through Phase IV will incorporate the therapeutic school, specially-designed research capabilities, ESMC administrative offices as well as independent living facilities in the final phase of the project.
The importance of this project is evident in that the State of Illinois, the City of Chicago, the Illinois Medical District (IMD) and the University of Illinois communities are involved with Easter Seals' project along with private partnerships:
The location of the school in the Illinois Medical District facilitates a natural synergy with world-class autism researchers. Working in concert with the researchers from the University of Illinois and others will lead to the development of breakthrough interventions and successful strategies for working with individuals with autism.
The University of Illinois at Chicago and other researchers will be working on the causes of and determining successful interventions for autism. Researchers will be able to unobtrusively observe students at the school in order to assess problems and create successful interventions and research conducted at the school will be available to other research sites around the entire world via the internet.
Easter Seals Metropolitan Chicago Has Over Twenty Years of Experience
Easter Seals is a premiere agency that currently has Autism Therapeutic Schools in:
which provide educational and therapeutic services to nearly 300 children with autism. This new facility has greatly expanded Easter Seals’ Autism Therapeutic School Chicago program and enhanced our outstanding Autism Therapeutic Schools which will continue to serve families in other regions.
School districts from all over the Chicagoland and Rockford area contract with Easter Seals to assist them in providing educational programs for children with autism and related intellectual disabilities. We provide an alternative school placement for these students and help them grow towards independence.
We maintain a small student-teacher ratio and each student has an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP). Our programming is developed to emphasize a wide-range of curriculum and activities that are based on the specific needs of each student.
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Media Contacts: 312-491-4110