The Illinois Center for Autism’s (ICA) Special Day School Program is Illinois State Board of Education approved and offers year round educational programming to students between the ages of 3 and 21 diagnosed with autism, cognitive disabilities, specific learning disabilities, speech-language impairments, emotional disabilities, other health impairments and developmental delays.

Each student placed at ICA has an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) developed to meet his/her specific learning needs.  The IEP contains goals that focus on educational acquisition as well as developing independence, social skills, meaningful communication skills and appropriate behavior.  The IEP is implemented by Illinois certified special education teachers with the support of teaching assistants, who are Illinois certified regular education teachers, and teaching aides, who are Illinois certified paraprofessionals.  Speech and language services are provided by Illinois licensed speech/language pathologists.

In addition to services provided at the main campus, ICA has also developed relationships with local educational districts to provide services to students in the public school setting through the creation of satellite classrooms.  ICA currently has satellite programs in Granite City, Illinois.

Faith's Law Notification


Sandra Rodenberg
Educational Services Director/Principal
(618) 398-7500 Ext. 303
Kate Wondolowski
Assistant Educational Services Director/ Assistant Principal
(618) 398-7500 Ext. 237


The Illinois Center for Autism’s Special School Program is comprised of two campuses. Our Fairview Heights program supports our adolescent students in 9 classrooms. Our Belleville Campus supports our elementary students in 6 classrooms. Students at both locations receive academic and speech services as defined in the Individualized Education Plan (IEP).

Carol A. Madison Adolescent Campus

548 S. Ruby Lane, Fairview Heights, IL 62208

Belleville Elementary Campus

1306 Wabash Ave, Belleville, IL 62220


The Illinois Center for Autism’s Junior High School Satellite Programs are located at the Coolidge Middle School and the Grigsby Middle School, Granite City, Il. These programs are self-contained programs housed within the public school, but also allows students to have daily access to non disabled peers and inclusion as a group in various regular education classes such as music, art and physical education. Educational needs are determined by the Individualized Education Plan, with strong focus on allowing students transition into public school classrooms as their interest and ability allow.

Coolidge Junior High School

3231 Nameoki Road, Granite City, IL 62040

School: (618) 451-5826

ICA Teacher: Maria Nobbe

ICA Classroom: (618) 980-2797

Grigsby Intermediate School

3801 Cargill Road, Granite City, IL 62040

Phone: (618) 931-5544

ICA Teacher: Terry Hozian

ICA Classroom: (618) 980-0513

Maryville Elementary School

4651 Maryville Road, Granite City, IL  62040

Phone: (618) 931-2044

ICA Teacher: Robin Lugge

ICA Classroom: (618) 980-1660


The Illinois Center for Autism’s High School Satellite Program is located at Granite City High School in Granite City, IL.  This program is a self contained program housed within the public school, but also allows students to have daily access with non disabled peers.  Educational needs are determined by the Individualized Education Plan, with strong focus on allowing students transition into public school classrooms as their interest and ability allow.

Granite City High School

3101 Madison Avenue, Granite City, IL, 62040

Phone: (618) 451-5808

ICA Teacher: Lisa Pretto

ICA Classroom: (618) 973-8597


Program Mission

Provide students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) with vocational readiness skills training.  Help students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to improve academic and functional achievement to facilitate movement from school to post-school activities.

About the Program

Illinois students in a special education program are entitled to transitional services through the end of the regular school year in which the student turns age 22 or otherwise eligible prior to such time.  The Illinois Center for Autism provides transition services for students during the school year in which students reach the age of 14 ½ years old.  The transition from school to adulthood is an important milestone for young people with disabilities, particularly those with ASD.  The ultimate goal of the program is to help each individual become more independent and self-sufficient.  The program strives to provide each student with the opportunity to improve community living, social, and communication skills crucial to achieving success.

Getting Started

An interdisciplinary team (IDT) meeting is held annually to create an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for every student. The IEP meeting consists of the educational provider, the student, their family, school representatives, and any relevant service provider.  A vital part of the student’s IEP is the transition plan, which is a formal guide to provide adequate services. The Transition Plan outlines desires, interests and preferences communicated by the student and family.

The student’s IEP must state how the educational agency will provide instruction, related services, community experiences, the development of employment, and, if necessary, functional vocational evaluation services for the student.

Practical Assessment Exploration System Lab (PAES)

Educators of students with special needs are required to identify appropriate and measurable postsecondary goals based on age-appropriate transition assessments related to training, education, employment, and independent living.  PAES® is a research-based, functional skills curriculum with an embedded formative assessment of career potential and employability skills. PAES® is an assessment system, which identifies:

  • Functional skill levels
  • Career interests
  • Aptitude for community based employment
  • Work behavior strengths and barriers to success

Teacher Directed Instruction

Classroom teachers are essentially the first step in the transition process, offering academic and community-oriented activities and tasks that help students as young as 14 years of age, start preparing for adult life. This is the initial opportunity for any form of formal transition activities.

Career Exploration Activities

On a one-on-one basis, students perform simulated work tasks with a vocational aide. The focus of Career Exploration is on developing fundamental work skills such as work behaviors, increased productivity and/or specific job skills.

Part-time Work Experience

Students may have the opportunity to gain employment in various positions.  Students may also have an opportunity to work at Pasta Fare, which is an enterprise of ICA. Students working at Pasta Fare may perform the following duties, food preparation, retail food packaging, cashier duties, janitorial and clerical tasks.  All part-time student workers will gain exposure to workplace experiences that allow them to learn about employment settings and vocational opportunities to develop work and related social skills and work habits.

Vocational Supports

A paraprofessional provides on-site job skills training to students. Students learn to perform his/her job accurately, efficiently and safely.   Paraprofessionals assist students with simulated work tasks that equips them with an opportunity to develop appropriate work and social skills.

Contact Information

Mia Stroter – Vocational Services Director/QIDP

(618) 398-7500, Ext. 311

Tim Dever – Transitional Services Specialist/QIDP

(618) 398-7500, Ext. 206


Information for Parents

The Illinois Center for Autism has an open door policy and welcomes visitors at any time.  However, to ensure staff availability for the most comprehensive tour, we ask that parents call and schedule a visit by contacting our School-Family Liaison, Christina Haren, at 618-398-7500, ext. 304.  While parents are welcome to visit, placement at the Illinois Center for Autism must be determined at a meeting with the Individualized Education Plan team.

Information for School Districts

Please be aware that this protocol will be followed when considering placement in our program.

  • District contacts Illinois Center for Autism by filling out our “Request for Placement” packet.  A release signed by the parent/guardian must accompany this packet so ICA may review records and schedule any observations deemed necessary.
  • The Illinois Center for Autism will schedule any on site observations (if needed) and schedule a visit to ICA for both the student and parent/guardian so ICA may conduct any evaluations they feel necessary to determine placement needs. (Please note: ICA will determine whether a student will be placed in the main building program or a satellite program based upon results of records review and any observations and evaluations.)
  • If the IEP team feels the Illinois Center for Autism is the appropriate placement, ICA will contact the district so an intake meeting can be scheduled.  Every effort will be made to start students as quickly as possible, but the start date will be no later than 10 days after the intake meeting.

Please be aware that this protocol will be followed when considering placement in our program.