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a place forHope and Courageous Journeys

NIA is an 87 bed secure residential treatment facility licensed by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. The Academy is fully accredited by the Joint Commission, certified by the Illinois Departments of Human Services & Public Health and our on-site therapeutic day school is approved by the Illinois State Board of Education.

NIA Mission Statement

“At NIA we provide creative, individualized care for children and families in a safe, therapeutic environment to prepare for a positive, fulfilling future.”

Profile of Residents Served

NIA residents are culturally diverse male and female children, teens and young adults ages 6-21, who have co-occurring mental illnesses, or autism with co-occurring mood disorders, or mental illness combined with (neuro) developmental delays. They live throughout the state of Illinois and across the nation. Our residents present with personal histories that include multiple failed attempts to be successful at home, in school, and in their communities. Some present with personal histories of trauma, significant communication disorders, social skill deficits, and academic challenges.

Programs and Services Provided

NIA provides highly individualized care in concert with population based group living programs. Our 4 core programs are: Autism Spectrum Disorder Program, Multi-Needs Program (co-occurring psychiatric & developmental illnesses), Social Emotional Disabilities Program, and Independent Living Skills Track.

Prior to admission, every resident is assessed to determine which core program is the best match to meet their overall special needs. However, no matter which program becomes their primary assignment, services from all 4 programs are accessible based upon individual differences & needs.

Within NIA, we have our own on-site therapeutic day school in which all of our instructors are special education teachers and licensed by the state of Illinois. All of our residents follow a highly individualized education program tailored to fit their special needs. Along with academic classes, the NIA school offers a transition program including both on and off-campus vocational experiences for our high school students. Off-site vocational opportunities include (but are not limited to) volunteering at the Northern Illinois Food Bank, Mutual Grounds, Casey’s Safe Haven, and Feed My Starving Children. On-site vocational opportunities include (but are not limited to) participating in cooking groups, being a kitchen aide, housekeeping aide, or maintenance aide.

Other Services Provided

  • Medical services that include:
    • On-site 24/7 nursing department
    • Child, Adolescent & Adult Boards Certified psychiatrist who provides medication assessment and monitoring
    • Pediatrician who provides medical interventions as needed, health evaluations, and treatment for common childhood illnesses
    • Consultation with our dietician upon admission, as needed and on an annual basis
  • Clinical services that include at minimum:
    • Weekly family therapy
    • Weekly individual therapy
    • Weekly group therapy
    • Monthly treatment team meetings
  • Occupational therapy
  • Speech therapy
  • Social and life skill development
  • Recreational activities:
    • Such as Special Olympics and the Autism Walk
  • Involvement with CAAEL (Chicago Area Alternative Education League)
  • Athletic and activity programs both on and off- campus

Parent Advisory & Support Services (PASS)

One of the many important services that make NIA unique is our strong family friendly focus. We strive to empower all of our residents’ parents and guardians. Through mutual support and sharing, PASS members and NIA staff learn from and with one another. PASS and NIA professionals partner to ensure that our residents have the best possible opportunity to ensure post NIA discharge success. We join together and strive to make NIA, one another, and our residents’ families better every day through functions such as educational workshops, involvement in facility special activities and counseling groups.

Employment Opportunities

All applications are completed online by clicking on the link below:


For additional information or to make a referral, please contact:

Admissions Coordinator

Amanda HeitzmanPhone: 630-952-2211 Fax: 847-391-8001 Email:

Executive Director

Anthony Penn.Phone: 847-391-8000


Aurora, Illinois998 Corporate Boulevard
Aurora, IL 60502
Phone: 847-391-8000