Guiding Light Academy is a non-public, ISBE approved therapeutic day program that provides intensive academic and therapeutic services to students 5 to 21 years of age that are in need of services which include Autism Spectrum Disorder, Intellectual Disability, OHI and other developmental disabilities.
Guiding Light Academy has one certified teacher and at least one classroom program assistant per every ten students. 1:1 assistance is provided based on the individual needs of the student. An innovative and integrated curriculum and high staff-to-student ratio supports students so they can achieve success. Based on each student IEP (Individualized Education Program), an individual instructional plan is designed to maximize each students learning style.
Guiding Light Academy utilizes interventions and methodologies such as TEACCH, Natural Environment Teaching, Direct Instruction and Group Instruction. In addition, Applied Behavioral Analysis is used in order to teach academics (English / Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies), functional sills and social skills. Curriculum is tailored around each student's Individualized Education Plan (IEP) in order to meet their specific needs and learning style.
Communication and collaboration is an integral part of our program and helps to facilitate coordination with other professionals who are working with the student and family. Our teachers recognize and appreciate the individual needs of each student, and encourage them to develop their interests and talents. Through small group interaction and individual attention, each student’s day is filled with learning opportunities that are interactive and stimulating. Student’s self-esteem flourishes and creativity blossoms when they feel that intellectual and emotional experiences are valuable.
Family involvement is a central component of the program. Parents are respected as active partners in their student’s education through observation, training, classroom visits and coaching to support parent/student interaction. GLAA maintains an open door policy for parents in order to support generalization of skills and behavior management techniques between home and school. Through this process parents are supported in understanding their student’s strengths and challenges to bridge the home and school environment.
Guiding Light Academy’s behavior policies and procedures promotes a proactive approach and a continuum of interventions which emphasize the student’s capacity to self-regulate and calm themselves. An Individualized Behavior Intervention Plan and general strategies are developed for each student based on their individual needs. GLAA does not use any behavior intervention strategies that would jeopardize the safety and/or security of students and staff. We place a strong emphasis on working through behaviors or situations which may be difficult, in order to teach our students how to learn to self-regulate and to avoid aberrant behaviors.