||Welcome to the New Connections Academy website
WELCOME TO NEW CONNECTIONS ACADEMY WHERE STUDENTS, STAFF AND FAMILIES HAVE COME TOGETHER TO HELP STUDENTS CHANGE THEIR LIVES.
New Connections Academy (NCA) is a private therapeutic day school that was founded in 2006 to serve children and adolescen
ts with Autistic Spectrum Disorders, ranging from Asperger’s Disorder to High Functioning Autism. We serve students in Cook. DuPage, Kane Lake and McHenry Counties. As an alternative day school program, NCA utilizes therapeutic, educational, family and community resources to enhance each child’s social communication abilities, to establish effective, stable emotional regulation, to demonstrate academic progress and to engage successfully with their support team of parents, siblings, extended family, peers, teachers, and auxiliary staff (consulting psychiatrist and psychologists, nurse, behavioral intervention specialist, occupational therapist, music therapist, speech therapist, and art therapist). NCA serves children and adolescents from first grade through high school.
NCA utilizes the SCERTS (Social Communication, Emotional Regulation, Transactional Support) educational and therapeutic model to provide the basis for successful interventions to address the various developmental challenges that interfere with academic learning, development of socialization skills, management of emotional dysregulation due to preservative thinking and/or sensory overload and positive interactions with support systems for guidance. This foundation enhances the team’s ability to respect and empathize with the underlying developmental problems for each child while helping them to utilize a nurturing, educational, and supportive approach. In addition to the SCERTS “best practice” model, Narrative Therapy principles and the Lakota-Sioux Circle of Courage philosophy are used as the milieu structure.
The founders of the program have based the mission of NCA on philosophical principles similar to those held at Counseling Connections (a multi-disciplinary group practice specializing in the therapeutic needs of children, adolescents and adults), Connections Day Schools and South Campus serving special needs students. The professionals at Counseling Connections have been serving the community since 1981 and work closely with schools, courts and social service agencies of Lake and Northern Cook counties. For more information about Counseling Connections and the services they provide, please visit them at counselingconnections.net.
Our goal is to work with students to build on their strengths and gifts while reducing the impact of their challenges and obstacles. The environment is based on a positive nurturing model where “natural consequences” for behavioral problems is utilized. NCA avoids using restrictive and punitive methods of behavioral management; rather, face to face verbal and written interaction with the behavioral intervention specialist is used versus an isolated time-out room. Therapeutic holds/restraint is employed only as a last resort, when the child is deemed to be a danger to him/herself or others.