Autism is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life. It is a spectrum disorder which means it includes a large range of symptoms and behaviors. Typically, children display repetitive behaviors and difficulties in verbal and non-verbal communication, social interaction and play activities. According to the Center for Disease Control, one in 68 children are diagnosed with Autism, and here in Central Illinois, over 6,200 children have been diagnosed with autism. Helping children get the care they need requires a coordinated and collaborative effort of health care providers, specialized therapists, and families.
The Illinois Insurance Mandate to cover diagnosis and treatment for Autism Spectrum Disorders became effective December 12, 2008 with Public Act 95-1005. Click the links below to access two FAQ documents detailing coverage and the issuing organizations.
Early identification is essential for future success. The characteristic behaviors of autism may or may not be visible in infancy (18 to 24 months), but usually become obvious during early childhood (24 months to six years). Research indicates that early diagnosis is associated with dramatically better outcomes.
Red Flags - the following characteristics may indicate a child is at risk for atypical development and is in need of an evaluation:
National Autism Center- National Standards- Families, educators and service providers and constantly bombarded by a massive amount of confusing and often conflicting information about the myriad of treatments available. The National Standards Project is helping to reduce the resulting turmoil and uncertainty by addressing the need for evidence-based practice standards and providing guidelines for how to make choices about treatment.
Autism Diagnostic Clinic - Peoria, Bloomington - Easterseals provides a comprehensive clinical evaluation for diagnosing children who may have an autism spectrum disorder. Our assessment teams have extensive experience and training, and may include a neurodevelopmental pediatrician, a school psychologist, clinical psychologist, speech pathologist, occupational therapist, and clinical coordinator depending on the child's needs.
The Autism Learning Center: An Intensive Therapeutic Autism Program - Peoria - Provides a pre-school type environment for children ages 3-6 who have a medical diagnosis of and Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Behavioral Services for Autism (ABA) - Peoria, Bloomington - Two types for ABA services are offered: Discrete Trial programming to teach new and complicated skills and Focused Behavioral servcies. Both begin with an assessment by a Board Certified Behavioral Analyst.
Autism 101 - Peoria, Bloomington - Designed to assist parents, extended family and friends in their journey to create optimum growth, independence and joy for their child with Autism. This class is open to the community.
Lorraine & George Shadid Autism Resource Center - Peoria - The Center offers a staffed resource room that provides resources and information for families and professionals working with children with Autism.
Center for Autism Resources and Education - Bloomington - The Center offers a staffed resource room that provides resources and information for families and professionals working with children with Autism.
Speech-Language Therapy - Peoria, Bloomington - Ongoing therapy to enhance receptive language, expressive communication, social skills/pragmatics, language processing, augmentative-alternative communication, executive functioning skills, feeding, oral-motor skills, motor speech disorders.
Occupational Therapy - Peoria, Bloomington - Ongoing therapy to assist in the improvement of fine motor, self-help, sensory processing, visual-motor, motor planning, play and independent living skills.
Developmental Therapy - Peoria, Bloomington - Provides parent education, creating learning environments and identifying activities that promote a child's skills in all areas of development.
Sensory Integration Therapy - Peoria, Bloomington - Therapy that involves our brain's ability to take in, organize, and interpret information using all of our senses. This process involves our senses of taste, smell, touch, sight and hearing, in addition to our sense of movement, body position, and force of gravity.
Individual & Family Counseling - Peoria, Bloomington - Counseling services for children and families.
Additional Information - More information and resources regarding autism can be found at autism organizations in both Peoria and Bloomington.
For more information on services in your area contact the Peoria Center at 309.686.1177 or the Bloomington Center at 309.663.8275. Or call the Autism Helpline at 1.855.511.3773.
Easterseals provides help, hope and answers for families living with autism. Download the Autism Resource Handbook.
Funding for Easterseals Autism programming partially provided by: