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.

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