The Chicago Autism Academy, Inc. was founded by Laura A. Hartwell in 2004. Before becoming the Chicago Autism Academy, this program was piloted with the private pay of parents under Behavioral Interactions, Inc. (founded in 2001). The parents, who were currently receiving home-based programs, urged Ms. Hartwell to start an on-site program. The first on-site program was piloted in Evergreen Park during the summer of 2003. During the fall of 2003 the program moved to Oak Lawn until the summer of 2005. Due to rapid growth, the program moved to Palos Heights, and, at that time changed their name to the Chicago Autism Academy, Inc. In the fall of 2008 due to further growth, Ms. Hartwell purchased the Ann Rutledge School Building in Frankfort, Illinois and the program moved to it's current location.
What is ABA?
“Applied behavior analysis is the process of systematically applying interventions… …to improve socially significant behaviors to a meaningful degree, and to demonstrate that the interventions employed are responsible for the improvement in behavior”
-Baer, D., Wolf, M., & Risley, R. (1968). Some current dimensions of applied behavior analysis. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 1, 91 - 97.
What Our School Offers
The Chicago Autism Academy Inc. believes in providing a well-rounded program for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Cognitive Disability, and Developmental Delays. We provide services that validate the individual needs of each student to promote maximum learning. A variety of empirical based procedures are used including, Behavior Analysis, Precision Teaching, Direct Instruction, and many other interventions. In addition, our program offers Speech and Language services, Occupational Therapy services, social programming, Behavior Analysis services (including Functional Analysis and Behavior Plans), Pre-academic and Academic programming. Students receive 1:1 Small group, and large group teaching where deemed appropriate.
The Chicago Autism Academy is a non-public, ISBE approved facility. We service students age three through twenty-one years of age, at any level of development with a primary educational diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder, Cognitive Disability, and developmental delays . Our program is designed for early, intermediate, and advanced learners. We have a team of highly qualified professionals with extensive training and experience with Autism and other Developmental Disabilities. The service teams collaborate to give each student the best education possible.
At Chicago Autism Academy, Inc.
we staff the following positions:
▪ Assistant Principal
▪ Business Manager
▪ Director / Coordinator
▪ Administrative Assistant
▪ Assessment Specialist
▪ Behavior Analyst
(BCBA or BCaBA)
▪ Behavior Analyst Assistant
▪ Building Engineer / Custodian
▪ Life Skills Coach / Teacher
▪ Teachers - Classroom, Precision
Teaching, Life Skills, P.E. & Specials
▪ Speech and Language Pathologist(s)
▪ SLP Assistant
▪ Occupational Therapist(s) (OT and COTA)