Community Autism Specialists

Social Thinking® Groups at Social Champaign

Small groups of all ages from elementary school, middle school, high school, and college/young adult are learning to understand the underlying concepts beneath social skills with Social Thinking®

Does your student get stuck on one topic? Would you like to see them be more flexible? Social Thinking® is an exciting approach to help people with Asperger’s, High Functioning Autism, PDD-NOS, ADHD, and other related social learning challenges develop “social smarts” by becoming “Social Thinkers.” Social Thinking® uses a cognitive behavioral approach and was developed by Michelle Garcia Winner to teach the social cause and effect of “expected”and “unexpected” behaviors. Social Thinking® creatively and effectively teaches kids perspective taking, social cognition, and social communication. If interested, please contact Joan Storey Gorsuch, B.F.A., M.Ed., Social Thinking® Mentor for placement in a social group, which are formed by age and perspective taking level. Joan completed the Mentor Training program directly with Michelle Garcia Winner at her clinic in San Jose, California.

Ongoing groups for a variety of ages from first grade to young adult.

Contact: Joan Storey Gorsuch 217-766-8807

Developmental Services Center

DSC serves approximately 1,200 children and adults with developmental disabilities, such as epilepsy, cerebral palsy, autism, cognitive disabilities, Down syndrome, or other disabling conditions. Individuals seeking services may experience functional or environmental challenges that require extra support to live more independently.  For more information about the services DSC can offer to individuals and families with ASD you can reach them at (217) 356-9176 or visit their website

One service that may be especially helpful to children with autism is the P.L.A.Y Project, a program that supports with play and language skills in children 18 months to 6 years of age.  This program is implemented in the home and no formal diagnosis is needed, just a delay in language and play skills.

Contact: Felicia at Gooler 217-359-0287

Skill Sprout In Home ABA Services

Skill Sprout’s Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services assist parents throughout Champaign, Illinois and surrounding areas in taking control of their child’s learning by accurately assessing areas of skill deficit, designing highly effective instruction that maximizes their child’s learning and proving a team of experts to assist in direct services in the child’s home.

Contact 1-800-773-1682 or or

Young Adult Club & Teen Connect

While many autism programs and services are geared toward young children, this program is just for teenagers and young adults. Members of YAC are ages 14-22; Middle school ages for Teen Connect –  and have an autism diagnosis. We have two chapters of the club: one in the Champaign-Urbana area, and another in the Charleston-Mattoon area. Each club hosts one or more events each month that are designed to improve social, friendship, and relational skills, and to provide support to young adults who may be isolated from their peers or who have few opportunities for social interaction. If you are interested in joining YAC or Teen Connect, please contact one of the coordinators below for more information. You will also need to complete the YAC Registration Form.
C-U Contact: Cathy Testory at (217) 722-4482 or

April Keaton – LCSW

2919 Crossing Court, Suite 13
Champaign, IL 61822

Kevin Elliot Counseling

The Kevin Elliot Counseling group offers a wide variety of therapeutic services and groups to those in need, including individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.  Paige Spangler and Staci Poe both have been recommended by members of the community.

Prairie Wind Speech, Inc.

Tracy Gunderson MS, CCC-SLP
Cheryl Yepez MA, CCC-SLP
1803 Woodfield Dr. Savoy, IL

Recreation: Larkin’s Place at the YMCA, Champaign Urbana Special Recreation (CUSR), Swimable, and Super Star Yoga

Programming designed to support children at all developmental level and their families.  YMCA and CUSR have a variety of recreational programming.  Simable is a group that provides adaptive swim lessons and Super Star Yoga is a monthly yoga class for children with special needs provided by Daily Bread Yoga.

YMCA: Stacie Young, MHS, OTR/L Larkin’s Place Program Director at (217) 359-9622



Superstar Yoga: Rachel at

Family Matters: Parent Training and Education Center

The mission of the Family Matters Parent Training and Information Center is to build upon families’ strengths, empower parents and professionals to achieve the strongest possible outcomes for students with disabilities, and to enhance the quality of life for children and young adults with disabilities.

Contact: FMPTIC serves 94 Illinois counties (outside of the Chicago area); 95% funded by the U.S. Department of Education with additional support from ARC Community Support Systems. Their Toll Free number is (866)-436-7842

Respite Program for Adopted Children

The Adoption Preservation program at Lutheran Social Services of Illinois wants to inform families with adopted children of the Respite program. The program is open to families with an actively open adoption preservation case at Lutheran Social Services. To be eligible for respite services, the family must currently be receiving therapeutic services and the family has to have obtained guardianship or adoption through the Department of Children and Family Services. Parents must identify their own respite provider. Lutheran Social Services of Illinois provides a stipend for the provider at an over-night rate. If you are interested, contact your therapist at Lutheran Social Services to discuss eligibility.

Contact: Steve Holcomb, 217-671-0300 x214  Service Coordinator