History & Mission

Our Mission

The Autism Program of Illinois serves and supports persons with autism spectrum disorder and their families through a coordinated network of providers, parents, and university programs while developing, utilizing, and sharing best and promising practices. 

Our History

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2001

In 2001, Illinois parents, behavioral health experts, psychiatrists, and public health officials began to express concerns regarding the prevalence of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) among children and the lack of available services.

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2003

In 2003, the Illinois General Assembly responded to the outpouring of concern by passing Public Act 93-0395 that established The Autism Program of Illinois (TAP). Together with Hope (who still serves as the lead agency), TAP became a statewide network of autism resources and services. At that time, the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that 1 in 150 U.S. children were being diagnosed with ASD.

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2007

In 2007, it became clear that the impact of autism was greater than previously realized and the Illinois Legislature expanded TAP through Public Act 95-707 (from primarily a university-led training and research program) to become a statewide network of regional centers that would also provide comprehensive direct services to children with ASD and their families.

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2008

The timing of the Legislature’s action in 2007 was fortuitous. The CDC revised their estimate of the prevalence of autism, and in 2008 reported that 1 in 88 children were likely to have ASD.

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2014

The numbers have continuously grown and the CDC continues to publish updated findings. In 2014, they indicated that 1 in 68 children were living with ASD – a number that was alarmingly higher than that of children diagnosed with both cancer and diabetes combined.

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2020

The most recent CDC publication from April 2020 indicated that there are now 1 in 54 children living with ASD.

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TODAY

Research shows that the need for ASD services, research, and training will continue to grow – TAP has and will continue to lead the charge in the state of Illinois. The Autism Program of Illinois Service Network today consists of 15 partners and 20 locations throughout the state.

About us

The Autism Program of Illinois (TAP) Service Network is a collaboration of 4 universities and 11 organizations that together operate 20 centers across the state. As a network, TAP is able to offer services that respond to the unique needs of different communities across Illinois.

Contact

The Autism Program of Illinois

Hope Pavilion
5220 S. 6th Street,
Suite 2300B

Springfield IL 62703