Cook County Cooperative offers a continuum of placement options for
learners with communication disorders including Autism Spectrum Disorder
and other speech and language disabilities. In the Communication
Development (CD) Program, we have three placement options available for
our CD Classic and CD DISCOVERS classrooms. DISCOVERS stands for
Developing Interpersonal Strengths, Creating Opportunities, Valuing
Essential Readiness Skills. The CD Program works with students from
preschool through senior year of high school. Our classrooms are located
in general education and therapeutic schools in Oak Forest, Tinley Park,
- Conventional classroom design
- Integrated speech-language therapy and social work
- Designed to support students with socialization and executive
CD DISCOVERS Classrooms
- Structured Teaching methodology
- Integrated related therapy services, including speech-language and
- Guiding principles include instruction in literacy, mathematics,
motor skills, recreation (socialization and leisure), and life skills
(daily living and
- Supports specific for students with ASD and communication needs.
CD DISCOVERS Classrooms/Therapeutic Setting -
- Located in a therapeutic day school (versus a general education
- Supports students with ASD and emotional regulation needs
What is an integrated
service delivery model?
the “teachable moments” during the school day to integrate and apply
therapy throughout every aspect of our school day.
time Speech-Language Pathologist provides integrated speech-language
therapy services within the classroom working alongside our
Supports a language-rich learning environment for students with
significant communication disorders to access academics, as well as,
to provide interventions for pragmatics, problem solving, and
work therapy within the classroom setting promotes cooperative play,
emotional regulation, socialization, and social awareness.
Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) for
encouraging expected behaviors and academic learning within our
Structured Teaching principles in our DISCOVERS classroom design
includes (a) understanding the culture of Autism, developing an
holistic individualized plan for a child (versus using a standard
curriculum), (c) structuring the physical environment, (d) using
visual supports to make the sequence of daily activities predictable
and understandable, (e)community-based services, and (f) promoting
However, our methodology isn’t strictly ABA, with the intention of
promoting group interactions, socialization, self-management,
self-advocacy, problem-solving, and communication skills. These
skills are acquired and generalized with direct instruction of
socialization, cooperative learning, and guided practice within a
natural learning environment.
CD teachers utilize multimodal learning, modeling, and role playing
to engage our students and make learning come alive.
Is there anything else?
Access to a behavioral consultant to support the classroom team in
meeting our students’ diverse needs
Participation in the general education classes within our general
Sensory sensitive classrooms and team members
Hosts monthly community outings to practice skills from the
classroom in natural setting