Have Dreams is a comprehensive, 501(c)(3) nonprofit autism resource center serving individuals across the entire autism spectrum, as well as families and professionals seeking best-practice resources and support. All services are based on the Structured Teaching method, developed by Division TEACCH at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At their core, our programs stress the development of social, communication and independent living skills. We offer direct services for children, teens and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), training and consultation for educators and other professionals, and assessment, diagnostic, and support services for families, caregivers and individuals with ASD. Individuals are enrolled in programs based on an extensive intake session with the individual and their family, conducted by Have Dreams staff.
Have Dreams’ Social, Communication and Independent Living Skills Program (SCILS) – for preschoolers, children and teens
SCILS is our year-round, after-school and weekend program comprised of a variety of classes held at our Park Ridge and Evanston locations. A wide selection of programs are offered for a range of groups and ability levels. Participants learn new concepts and are able to rehearse and expand social skills and language in a comfortable and familiar environment.
Have Dreams Special Olympics: Track & Field and Aquatics. Participants must be at least 13 years old to participate in Aquatics and at least 8 years old to participate in Track & Field
Young athletes receive training to compete at the local Special Olympics Track & Field and Aquatics meets. This program includes a healthy living learning unit, endurance training and teamwork, and builds swimming stroke technique (aquatics) and developing running, throwing and jumping skills (track & field).
For individuals with autism 16 and older
The goal of Have Dreams’ employment programs is to help adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) learn and improve upon the skills necessary to be successful in employment. All of the participants in our vocational programs participate in internships and 90% of our program graduates secured competitive, inclusive employment upon completion of their internship. In addition to allowing graduates to help support themselves, we expect these first jobs to open opportunities to begin to build a career.
For adults with autism 18 years and older
Have Dreams’ Life SCILS program is a community-based program that serves young adults with autism post-high school. The program is a balance of job training though volunteer commitments and internships, fitness at the YMCA, and community engagement. These experiences focus on creasing independence, communication and social skills with peers in an inclusive community.
For parents, caregivers, teachers and other professionals
Have Dreams provides a number of autism-related interactive trainings and workshops for families and professionals across the state of Illinois including one, two and five-day trainings and workshops. These trainings and workshops provide comprehensive instruction regarding structured teaching for children on the autism spectrum. View current and upcoming trainings offered.
For parents, caregivers, educators, other professionals caring for, treating or educating children, teens and young adults
Have Dreams offers autism diagnostic services plus a variety of assessment services for parents, caregivers, school districts and other professionals. Our on-site psychologist, Dr. Jeff Salt, can administer the ADOS (Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule) and provide consultation, evaluations and assessments on-site at Have Dreams or through school observation visits