The Autism Place at Illinois State University (TAP) currently serves approximately 90 children ranging from preschool age thru age 18. Families come from across central Illinois to receive services, with some traveling an hour and a half each way weekly to participate. They come from all walks of life and socioeconomic back grounds, but they are united by the love for their children and the hope that TAP offers.

Once a child is brought into TAP, they progress through the program based on their needs. Some families have more than one child receiving services, since the likelihood of autism increases if a sibling has been diagnosed.

There are few places where families and children with autism can go where there are always positive interactions. TAP has given families a safe place to interact with their peers where they can be themselves and enjoy their friends. Through supported and reinforced play, children learn the social skills that will allow them to effectively navigate social situations.

“The amazing social groups have brought my child so far and my husband and I have met a lot of parents who have given us support through this journey. Autism is very overwhelming but this clinic has offered us so much.” – Sarah R., Parent

“TAP is almost as important to me as a parent as it is to my child. It has brought me closer to people in a similar situation to share highs and lows with each other in an accepting environment. My son not only enjoys TAP, but has grown in his social awareness by leaps and bounds.” – Michael B., Parent

TAP is also unique for the support offered to the home-school relationship. TAP clinicians will attend IEP, 504, or domain meetings to support family members as an outside advocate when asked. This outside perspective is helpful to the parents and to the school when creating behavioral plans or discussing the creation of reinforcement systems.

TAP has been grant funded for the last ten years, and the financial support The Friends of TAP provided allowed for additional staff so more families could participate. If TAP had to close, many families would no longer have access to much needed evidence based therapies. While there are other options in town, these options are limited to families who can afford the services. Private insurance only offers limited coverage, if any. Please donate today.