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Educational Services

Educational Services


Little Friends School Program’s suite of services for those with autism and other developmental delays extends from our youngest learners through transition students. Our expert team supports the development of sensory regulation and language as well as cognitive, behavioral, and social emotional skills through the use of structured programming and a multisensory approach to learning.  Krejci Academy and Mansion High School staff engage students and their families in developing self-regulation,  self-determination (defined as self-advocacy, empowerment and choice), and  independence such that each student’s functional and academic growth is evident.

Little Friends Educational Services include:

  • Early Childhood Learning
  • Primary & Secondary Education Classes
  • 3 Distinct High School Transition Programs – Independent Living Skills, Vocational Skills, Postsecondary Skills, Mansion High School focusing on mental health

A student is placed in a Little Friends educational program once their IEP team determines that the student’s needs cannot be met within the home school district.  As such, the family is then provided the opportunity for educational placement out of district, in a non-public special education school like Little Friends Krejci Academy, per Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) guidelines.  

For Families

For those enrolled in our program, a copy of our handbook can be downloaded here

For those enrolled in our program, a copy of our registration can be downloaded here

For those enrolled in our program, a copy of student medical forms for updates only can be downloaded here:

Consent of Emergency Treatment

Medication Information

Medical & Dental Forms (for K, 5th, & 9th grades)

Additional resources and the enrollment process for our Educational Program can be found here

Meet the Staff

The staff in our therapeutic setting is comprised of Educational Coordinators, Special Education Teachers, Paraprofessionals, Teaching Assistants, Speech Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, Social Workers, Recreation Therapists, Board Certified Behavior Analysts, Vocational Specialists in addition to support staff.

Lori Deichstetter

Vice President
Educational Services

An educator and curriculum expert with more than 30 years of experience in public and private school settings, Lori holds degrees from Northern Illinois University and a certification from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Center for Non-Profit Management. In this role, Lori oversees educational programming for more than 120 students, from early childhood to those transitioning into adulthood.

Liz Cochiaro

Krejci Academy and Masion High School

Liz has been working in education for forty-three years, providing special educational services as a teacher and an administrator to over 10 school districts.  She holds a Master Teacher Certification through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards in the area of Early Childhood through Young Adult/Exceptional Needs as well as a Master’s in Education from National Louis University.  Liz’s philosophy is, “Let’s do what’s best for the student.”

For School Districts

School district officials seeking to refer students to our program can send referral information for review:

boy on sports field

I love my school

“I love my school because I have great teachers and friends.”

person standing near artwork

I like to socialize and laugh

“I like to socialize and laugh with my friends every day.”

happy person smiling

Little Friends staff are remarkable people

“As parents, we feel truly thankful and blessed for the opportunities that Little Friends has provided and offered.  Little Friends staff are remarkable people who are dedicated to what they do and those they serve.”

girl on swing set smiling

Good times with friends and people who care

“For my son, this has not been just a school but the place where he spends good times with friends and people who care about him.”

person reading

How grateful we are

“How grateful we are to all the angels who work with our son at Little Friends. This is his home.”

smiling boy

Krejci means so much to Us

“Krejci means so much to us because it’s been the one place that has truly helped my child excel and grow; the place that he is not judged or made to feel different but accepted. I am so appreciative of the patience, care, and hard work from all the Krejci staff.”

child sitting on bench

Positive Impact on our Family

“Respite has had such a positive impact on our family. We love that our kids can socialize with other families that share our similarities. It gives me comfort knowing he is in good hands”