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Educational Services

~ We also have a list of A-Z Resources (that we are constantly adding to) with additional information on our Resource Links Page

Early Intervention & Education Services

ASSERT (Autism Support Services: Education, Research & Training)
Thomas S. Higbee, Ph.D., BCBA
Utah State University
Logan, UT
(435) 797-1933
Provides effective educational and behavioral early intervention using research-based best practices. Conducts research to improve educational and behavioral interventions for children with Autism.

Autism Solutions Academy  Autism Solutions offers private school options beginning August 2017.  Autism Solutions Academy will offer classes Pre-K through 9th grade.  They accept the Carson Smith Scholarship as well as most private insurances.  If you are interested, please send an email to the email address listed above.  There are two locations ~ Draper, Utah & Layton, Utah.

Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN)
PO Box 66122
Washington, DC
Run by and for Autistic people, ASAN was created to provide support and services to individuals on the autism spectrum while working to educate communities and improve public perceptions of autism. The handbook we’ve produced, Navigating College, and its corresponding website,, is a first-of-its-kind resource written by autistic adults for autistic college students exploring the various aspects of the higher education experience.

Butterfly Effects
Home/School Based Services Salt Lake City & Surrounding Areas
(888) 880-9270
Butterfly Effects provides community based therapy and tutoring services to individuals of all ages addressing challenges in the areas of academics, behavior, communication, daily living, social and life skills. Staff with expertise in the areas of Applied Behavior Analysis and other related health services guides program development, while providing oversight to a team of skill program implementers. With one-stop access to hundreds of skilled therapists and tutors from all disciplines, we can help identify the program right for you.

Carmen B. Pingree School for Children with Autism
780 S Guardsman Way
Salt Lake City, UT
(801) 581-0194
Preschool, elementary, and secondary school for individuals with Autism spectrum disorders. The main program is in Salt Lake. They also offer parent training classes and sibling support groups.

Expanding Horizons Preschool (Private)

780 Guarsman Way
Salt Lake City, UT
Preschool developed in 1988 to run in conjunction with the Autism program at Carmen B. Pingree School. The preschool is for neuro-typical children and it includes children who are enrolled in the Pingree School for Autism. This model benefits both sets of children involved by building empathy and understanding differences. It also gives the children with autism a chance to generalize their skills in a typical setting. They have a preschool and private kindergarten.

Utah Autism Academy

Carson Smith Scholarship Your child may be eligible for a Carson Smith Special Needs Scholarship if they have a disability under the IDEA.  Eligible Schools ~ .  Application ~

Utah Autism Academy ~
7434 South State Street, Midvale, Utah 84047 ~ 801-456-9955.   Preschool and elementary school for children with Autism spectrum disorders. CHA uses a DIR-based (Developmental, Individualized, Relationship) program.

Copperhills Youth Center  Copper Hills Youth Center is a therapeutic residential treatment center that specializes in working with adolescents aged 12 through 17 with behavioral, emotional, and mental health disorders. We also provide excellent education through our highly accredited private school. We offer academic and social opportunities for our residents to learn, grow, engage, and form appropriate relationships. 1-800-776-7116.

GIANT Steps Preschool
(801) 226-5437
Utah County
A preschool program for children, ages 3 and up, with Autism through Wasatch Mental Health.

Heather Cannon

Special Education Advocate and Consultant
Serving the Salt Lake Valley
Heather offers hourly or package rates in order to give clients flexibility. The Utah Parent Center is great for those who want free services and to have someone from their district be present. My services are different in that I help people regardless of what district they’re in. I am truly independent so their interests are my interests, and I can help with the time consuming aspects of the process such as organizing their child’s files for easy access, drafting letters to the district pre- and post- meetings as well as charting their child’s progress.

Kids World Preschool
Brandon Francis
689 W 5300 S
Murray, UT 84123
Preschool for children with Autism spectrum disorders and other children with and without disabilities.

Open High School of Utah
352 S. Denver St. Suite 350
Salt Lake City, UT
The Open HS of Utah is a full-service virtual high school, home to 400 students who enjoy learning everywhere. Our dynamic, open-source curriculum coupled with high-tech tools and individualized instruction sets us apart. NOW ENROLLING 9-12 grades! Great for children with Aspergers.

Southwest Educational Development Center
Cedar City
Serves 6 school districts in southern Utah; provides training to teachers, conferences, etc.

Utah State Board of Education (USBE)

250 East 500 South, Salt Lake City, Utah, 84111-3204
Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Phone: (801) 538-7500

The Spectrum Academy
Public Charter School for High Functioning Autistic individuals.
837 West Foxboro Drive
North Salt Lake, UT
The Spectrum Academy is Utah’s first charter school that implements research-based teaching methods to accommodate children with Asperger’s Syndrome, high functioning Autism, communication disorders, and sensory integration disorders.

State Department of Education: Special Education
State Office of Education
P.O. Box 144200
Salt Lake City, UT
(801) 538-7587

Utah Valley University ~ Post-Secondary Education Support Valley University offers a program called Passages for those experiencing transition from adolescence to adulthood.  Utah Valley University ~ 800 W. University Parkway, Orem, Utah 84058, 801-863-8888

Utah Personnel Development Center
Autism for Educators Program
UPDC is a State of Utah agency that is funded through federal and state professional development funds/grants. Our agency conducts special education professional development activities for special educators in all of Utah’s school districts and Local Educational Agencies. Of particular interest is our introduction to autism for teachers who work with students with high functioning autism and Asperger Syndrome.

“All children should have the chance to reach their potential. Baby Watch can help families make that happen.” – Jackie Leavitt

The State of Utah provides Baby Watch, a program of early identification and developmental services for families of infants and toddlers in all of Utah, ages birth to three. Here is a detailed list of locations. The evaluation is free of charge. Contact your local early intervention program. A representative will meet with you to determine whether your child is eligible. If your child is between the ages of 3 and 21, services are available through your local school district.

Check out this list ofFrequently Asked Questions about Utah’s Baby Watch Early Intervention services.

School Services

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004) is our nation’s special education law.  IDEA was originally enacted by Congress in 1975 to make sure that children with disabilities had the opportunity to receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE), just like other children. The law has been revised many times over the years. Themost recent amendments were passed by Congress in December 2004, with final regulations published in August 2006. So, in some sense, the law is very new, even as it has a long, detailed and powerful history.

IDEA guides how states and school districts provide special education and related services to more than six million eligible children with disabilities.  Utah also has its own regulations known as the “Big Black Book of Rules“. These Rules provide requirements to which local education agencies, state-operated programs (including local juvenile and adult correctional facilities and charter schools) and other public and private agencies providing publicly funded education and related services to students with disabilities must adhere.

For more information on IDEA and Utah’s Rules and Regulations, contact the Utah Parent Center by calling 801-272-1051 or 800-468-1160.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

Section 504 is a federal law designed to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities in programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance from the U. S. Department of Education. Section 504 states: “No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States…shall, solely by reason of her or his disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance…“.  Examples of programs that receive federal funding include: public and charter schools; public colleges and universities (including Utah Colleges of Applied Technology); federal and state government departments and agencies; and county and community programs including community recreation programs.

The Utah Parent Center has created a handout called “What is a Section 504 Plan and Does My Student Qualify for One?” This handout was created to help parents understand these plans and how they can help. If you have questions regarding Section 504 Plans, please call the Utah Parent Center at 801-272-1051 or 800-468-1160.

The Utah State Board of Education (USBE) also has an Education Equity monitoring office. This office has a variety of programs and resources available to assist parents, professionals and educators. Edie Park is the Educational Specialist and is available if you call 801-538-7647 or send an email to The USOE has also created a Parent Guide to Section 504.

Individualized Education Programs (IEPs)

Each public school child who receives special education and related services must have an Individualized Education Program (IEP). Each IEP must be designed for one student and must be a truly individualized document. The IEP creates an opportunity for teachers, parents, school administrators, related services personnel, and students (when appropriate) to work together to improve educational results for children with disabilities. The IEP is the cornerstone of a quality education for each child with a disability.

The Utah Parent Center has created a parent handbook and workshop, Parents as Partners in the IEP Process, that provides a brief overview of some of the laws and suggestions about what you can do to prepare for your important role as an equal member of the team that designs the individualized education program to meet your child’s needs. A series of 4 video training modules are available online. The 4 topics that are covered include: Evaluation and Eligibility, IEP Development, Parents’ Rights and Negotiation Skills. For more assistance with and information about IEPs, contact the Utah Parent Center by calling 801-272-1051 or 800-468-1160 or by visiting

Carson Smith Special Needs Scholarship

Finding an educational environment that is a good fit for a special needs child is no easy task. Their needs are very specific and unique. Public schools try their best, and for many children that option is a good fit. However, for many others, it is not. In Utah, parents of children with special needs have a choice. They can choose a public school or they can choose a private school with the help of the Carson Smith Special Needs Scholarship.  This Scholarship is a state-funded program that provides private school scholarships to k-12 students with disabilities. Your child may be eligible for a Carson Smith Special Needs Scholarship if they have a disability under the IDEA.

Utah State Board of Education – Special Education Department

The Utah State Office of Special Education’s – Services for At-Risk Students has many great resources to help you! They have online resources and manuals as well as contact information for individuals who can help you learn more about the services that are available for your family member with an autism spectrum disorder.

Utah Professional Development Center

Michele Thompson
Autism Team Leader
Nebo School District
Responsibilities: Weekly training for Autism Technicians (para-educators) in their district, Scheduling service time and content for those students with Autism, Supervising Autism technicians, Monthly Parent meetings, Processing referrals, Testing for Autism and related Pervasive Developmental Disorders, Reporting on testing, Attending and participating in IEP meetings Monitoring student progress, Coordinating with Administrators and other personnel.

Launa Macomber
District Program Specialist
Nebo School District
Responsibilities:  Supervise Autism Team, Inclusion Specialist, Giant Steps Liason, Autism Units Liason, Special Education Liason for specific schools in Nebo School District.

Bre Bell
Autism Specialist & Small Group Autism Kindergarten Teacher
Alpine School District
801-785-8795 x115
Responsibilities: academics/behaviors/toilet training/IEP Paperwork

Mary Cheney
Functional Skills Classroom Teacher
Boulton Elementary

Amy Peters M.Ed., CCC-SLP
Autism Program Specialist
Utah Professional Development Center
Responsibilities: I currently facilitate a preschool for students with autism using Applied Behavior Analysis principals. I also consult with school age students with autism and the educators that serve them in regular and special education settings. Additionally, I train regular education teachers and special education teachers about autism spectrum disorder.


Resources for College & University Students with Disabilities

ACLS Medical Training – Medical Directors, led by Dr. Tim Henry, Director of Cardiology at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute in Los Angeles have come together to curated a constantly growing list of more than 30 different educational scholarships for individuals with disabilities ~


Brigham Young University
University Accessibility Center
1520 Wilkinson Center
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602
(801) 422-2767

College of Eastern Utah
Disability Resource Center
College of Eastern Utah
451 East 400 North
Price, Utah 84501
(435) 613-5806

Dixie State College
Disability Resource Center
Edith Whitehead Building
Student Services Center
Counseling and Advisement Room 201
225 South 700 East
St. George, Utah 84770

Salt Lake Community College
Disability Resource Center
4600 So. Redwood Road
Salt Lake City, Utah 84123
(801) 957-4659

Snow College
Accessibility Resource Center
Snow College
150 E. College Avenue
Ephraim, UT 84627
(435) 283-7321

Southern Utah University
Disability Support Center
(435) 865-8022

University of Utah
Center for Disability Services
162 Union Building
200 South Central Campus Drive
Room #162
Salt Lake City, Utah 84112-9107
(801) 581-5020

Utah State University
Disability Resource Center
0101 Old Main Hill
Logan, UT 84322-0101
(435) 797-2444

Utah Valley University
Accessibility Services
Business Building (WB 126)
Utah Valley State College
800 West University Parkway
Orem, UT 84058
(801) 863-8747

Weber State University
Services for Students with Disabilities
1129 University Circle
Ogden, UT 84408-1129
(801) 626-6413

Westminster College
START Center
1840 South 1300 East
Salt Lake City, UT 84105
(801) 832-2280