State Spotlight: Illinois


The Autism Program of Illinois (TAP) of the Hope Institute for Children and Parents, is a not-for-profit statewide autism network. Illinois' grant aimed to enhance the state's service capacity for its population of persons with ASD/DD via provision of three regional Health Service Facilitators and a Financing Specialist, and by engaging family advisors and physicians.

To learn more, visit TAP's webpage here.

Project Activities

Family Advisors

Materials were developed to help train and engage families around consumer advocacy for their child’s medical care.  In particular, Illinois' team, with the aid of their partners, developed a two hour training.

The training provided insight for parents on:

  • How to collaborate better with doctorsIllinois Docotr's Office.PNG
  • How to be more prepared for an office visit
  • How to gear office visits to include more about autism and treatment goals

In conjunction with the trainings, quarterly meetings focused on topics such as:

  • Preparing your child for an office visit or a medical procedure using the Family Care kit (complete with social guides and PECS)
  • Medical transitions from various providers
  • Medical home
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Engaging Physicians

Illinois provided trainings and resources to primary care physicians focused on developmental screenings and integrated care. With a regional emphasis, three Health Service Facilitators worked collaboratively with the Illinois Chapter,  (ICAAP), multiple state agencies and local to provide identified physicians with necessary tools and resources to improve care and services.

Some of the tools that were provided include: 

  • Physician Autism Toolkit
  • First Signs Kit for Autism
  • Early Autism Detection and Referral Training (developed a few years ago by the Illinois Chapter of AAP)
  • Family Care Kit
  • Resource directory
  • Telehealth Autism trainings and webinars

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Financial Stability

TAP hired a full-time financial specialist to focus on increasing the financial sustainability of autism services in Illinois. 

Illinois' team developed a variety of resources focused on:

  • Insurance
  • Laws
  • Sliding fee scales

In addition, Illinois collected feedback from network providers on their knowledge and experiences related to billing and sliding fees. 

To view the Illinois Department of Insurance fact sheet on autism specific insurance law, click here.  

Other Resources

To access more of Illinois' resources through SPHARC's search engine, click here.