About Us

Giant Steps is a therapeutic day school dedicated to educating children with autism spectrum disorders. Our programs develop academic, social, and vocational skills to maximize each student’s individual potential.


Giant Steps provides a structured and highly specialized learning environment for children with autism who would otherwise struggle in a traditional school. Students are provided with individualized instruction by staff who are trained in the use of evidence-based teaching strategies related to autism. Students receive instruction in academic skills, daily living, vocational training, self-help, and social skills.


Autism is a complex neurobehavioral disorder that can adversely affect language development, communication, sensory processing, and emotional regulation. These impairments can interfere with learning, relationships, and daily function in typical environments with limited support. The goal for students who attend Giant Steps is to teach them the skills they will need to be independent and successful in their natural environment.

Our School Program

Giant Steps provides a structured and highly specialized learning environment for children with autism who would otherwise struggle in a traditional school. Students are provided with individualized instruction by staff who are trained in the use of evidence-based teaching strategies related to autism. Students receive instruction in academic skills, daily living, vocational training, self-help, and social skills. Through the years, Giant Steps has grown to provide a valuable service for school districts that have difficulty providing this needed intensive programming. Giant Steps currently works in partnership with each student’s home school to coordinate curriculum standards and programming to ensure a successful transition back to their district when ready.

Giant Steps’ school program is certified by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Illinois State Board of Education to serve students with autism spectrum disorders ages 3-21.





History

In 1994 the founder of Giant Steps in Montreal Canada brought the success of her unique program to Missouri. A group of parents of children with autism lobbied the Missouri legislature for funding. They agreed to fund a pilot program collaboratively with the Department of Mental Health and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, overseen by the University of Missouri St. Louis. After searching for and hiring dedicated therapists and teachers Giant Steps of St. Louis opened within six months servicing twelve students. The philosophy was to provide children with autism with an individualized educational program with a low student-to-teacher ratio in a sensory-friendly environment. The therapeutic team works together to develop a comprehensive treatment plan that addresses the academic, social, vocational, and behavioral needs of children who have challenges in a traditional educational setting.

Events / News

School Calendar 2022 – 2023

Hours: 8:45am – 3:00pm


August 17-19 All Staff Training

August 22 First day for Students

September 5 Labor Day, School closed

October 10 Staff training – no students

November 10 - 11 Parent Teacher Conferences,

November 23-25 Thanksgiving Holiday

Dec 21 – Jan 3 Winter Break

January 3 Staff training – no students

January 4 School resumes

January 16 M.L. King Holiday, School closed

February 10 Staff training – no students

February 20 Presidents Day, School closed

March 20-24 Spring Break, School closed

April 17 Staff training – no students

May 12 Staff training – no students

May 29 Memorial Day, School closed

June 1 Last day for students

June 2 Last day for staff


ESY Hours: 9:00am – 3:00pm

June 12, 2023 ESY begins

July 3 and 4, 2023 Closed for 4th of July holiday

July 21, 2023 Last day of ESY

Do you have?

  • An Interest in Autism advocacy?

  • A track record of leadership?

  • Marketing and networking skills?

  • Lots of enthusiasm?

Then Giant Steps of St.Louis wants to meet you!

We are looking to introduce young professionals ages 21 - 40 to our day school program while fostering an interest in improving the lives of children with autism. The Young Professionals will support Giant Steps through fundraising, volunteering, and networking.

Giant Steps of St. Louis is a therapeutic school dedicated to children with autism spectrum disorders. Our programs develop academic, social, and vocational skills to maximize each student's individual potential.

Ready to apply? Want more information?

Contact Mike Godsy (314.715.1328) or Dani Vescolani (314.932.1051)