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Peoria,IL: "Great need" for new programs for kids with severe ASD

Sept 8, 2017, Peoria (IL) Journal Star: New programs open in old Germantown Hills grade school building http://www.pjstar.com/news/20170908/new-programs-open-in-old-germantown-hills-grade-school-building In a unique co-partnership, specialized education programs operated by two different agencies started last week in the old Germantown Hills Elementary School. Easterseals Learning Academy represents the first foray into K-12 education for Easterseals Central Illinois. Black Partridge Public Day School is also the first time Woodford County Special Education Association (SEA) will operate its own school. Both programs were designed to serve children with autism or other intensive behavioral, emotional or learning needs. ... Easterseals Central Illinois has a history of working with preschool-age children with special needs, particularly children with autism. But the agency has seen a growing need for more services for older children, according to Kevin Dill, Easterseals chief operating officer. Most of the students at the new academy also have severe autism. “We were hearing from parents, educators and administrators about a great need for this kind of school,” said Dill. One student in Tazewell County was attending school in Bloomington. That’s how great the need is.”...