Little City Center for Education is a therapeutic day school for children with moderate to significant autism and other developmental and intellectual disabilities. Located on our 56-acre campus in Palatine, IL, the Little City Center for Education offers a safe and supportive environment where students learn academics, life skills, and social skills they need to lead a more independent and fulfilling life.

We serve students from ages 7 to 22 in a 10,000-square-foot school with seven unique classrooms divided between elementary and high school aged students, as well as four sensory therapy rooms and a sensory gymnasium. Each student receives the staff support they need based on their own unique Individualized Education Program (IEP). This includes social workers as well as speech, behavioral, and occupational therapists to provide the specialized instruction our students deserve.

Our goal is to help all students work toward the least restrictive environment, which includes striving toward higher functioning classrooms within the school and also potential returns to home district programs.

School Programs and Services 

  • Vocational Education
  • Independent Living Skills
  • Technology Resources
  • School Health Services
  • Adaptive Aquatics
  • Sensory Integration Therapy
  • Counseling
  • Crisis Management
  • Community Based Instruction
  • 1:1 Instruction
  • Assistive and Adaptive Technology
  • Transition Programming
  • Art Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Speech and Language Therapy
  • Social Skills Instruction
  • Physical Education
  • Social Work
  • Behavorial Support Services through Ukeru and CPI
  • Online art portfolio of Little City student art at Artsonia





Elementary & High School Programs


  • Learning programs are organized by age and ability for a tailored student experience
  • State-of-the-art technologies include tablets, Smart Boards, and picture exchange systems, allow our mostly non-verbal students to communicate in a variety of ways based on their needs.
  • Vocational skills training prepares students early on for potential community employment.
  • Physical activity allows students to engage in adaptive physical education, swim in our indoor pool, and enjoy special events such as dances, field days, and more.


Little City is the only agency in Illinois that provides residential and educational services to children with the most profound levels of autism and other intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The THRIVE Program is specially designed to serve students with high-intensity behaviors who would otherwise be forced to find services out of state or in non-school settings.

The primary focus of the THRIVE program is to allow students to experience their behaviors with a team of support staff and therapists to safely guide them through the process so they can learn more effectively and safely operate within classroom and social settings.


*We currently serve a record-breaking 43 students in our school.

*We accept multiple disabilities, but our primary focus is on autism and intellectual disabilities.

*Our typical classroom size is 8 students in our moderate program and up to 4 students in the THRIVE program.

*Typical teacher to student ratio is 2:5 to 6:5 dependent upon the number of students with 1:1 aides.


*If you are a parent/guardian and your student is going to be absent from school, please call 847-221-7161

*If you are a district seeking therapeutic school placement for your student, please contact our Assistant Principal Breann Reveley at [email protected].