Autism Resources in Cleveland & Akron

by | Jun 5, 2014 | Schools & Education

Northeast Ohio has a wealth of resources for families who have a child on the autism spectrum!

Mahjeen photoSahil Mahajan is 16, and loves soccer, music, movies, and playing games on his iPad. Playing the drums is one of his favorite things to do. Fourteen years ago, Sahil was diagnosed with autism. So when his parents Harshita and Jaideep Mahajan relocated to Cleveland from India in 2013, Executive Arrangements was asked to focus not only on the usual relocation aspects (good neighborhoods, short commute, proximity to parks, golf courses and grocery stores), but also to provide information about special needs resources.
Fortunately, Cleveland offers a wealth of resources for children on the autism spectrum. We have three schools for autism, as well as school districts that work hard to offer children a host of programs and support systems. We quickly connected Jaideep and Harshita with other families who had autistic children, and also set up tours of schools that would best fit their needs.
Harshita, Sahil’s mother, says: “Executive Arrangements linked me to the Indian community, and to people who could give me feedback on schools for autism as well as advocacy, if required. They also helped me find resources for one of my passions: running!”

Private schools that specialize in autism services:

Lerner School at the Cleveland Clinic Center for Autism – located just west of Shaker Square in the city of Cleveland, the center has separate early childhood and preschool services.

Monarch school

photo courtesy of Monarch School

Monarch Center for Autism – located in Shaker Heights in Bellefaire JCB’s 32 acre campus, Monarch opened in 2000; Monarch Preschool serves 3-5 year olds and Monarch School ages 5-22; over 115 students enrolled and have a therapeutic residential treatment/boarding option and an adult day vocational program.

Julie Billiart School – 
located in Lyndhurst, this K-8 school is a Catholic alternative school run by the Sisters of Notre Dame and helps those will all sorts of learning needs, including autism

Steps Center for Autism – located in Strongsville, Steps works with children ages 2-18 in a center-based program. Children ready for inclusion can transition into the STEPS/Academy of St. Adalbert partnership program.
Public/No Cost Schools that have the resources & skills to handle students on the autism spectrum:
The best referral is one from a parent who has experienced a school that deals with autistic children successfully, so we listen when our clients share their insights. Parents have pointed out the high quality of programs in the public schools in Solon, Shaker, Orange, West Geauga, Cleveland Heights, Beachwood and Hudson schools.
The Steel Academy is an Akron non-profit charter school (free) serving students on the autism spectrum, ADHD and other learning struggles that traditional school environments don’t address. Serve grades 6-12 with an arts infused curriculum.
Job training for students with disabilities:
Cuyahoga East Vocational Education Consortium (CEVEC)
– provides vocational and work training to high school students with disabilities. CEVEC covers 16 suburbs on the east side of town, and works with kids up through age 22, all covered by school taxes.

Additional resources:
Milestones Autism Organization
– considered the leading autism resource in NE Ohio, and provides education and training for professionals and parents.


photo courtesy Fieldstone Farms

Fieldstone Farm Therapeutic Riding Center – located in Bainbridge Township, Fieldstone is one of the three largest therapeutic riding centers in the US. Horse care & riding aree offered to 800 special needs children, including those with ADD, autism, Down Syndrome, MRDD, Cerebral Palsy, spinal cord injuries and sensory impairments.
Victory Gallop – located in Bath, Victory provides therapeutic horseback riding for children aged 3 to 18 with cognitive and medical challenges such as autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, anxiety, depression and compulsive behaviors.
Autism Speaks – has a Cleveland chapter and offers a number of programs and has a wonderful foodie focused benefit fundraiser every year (usually chaired by Cleveland Iron Chef Michael Symom) that gathers everyone in this world together under one roof for a night.
Playhouse Square – Cleveland’s theater district now offers at least one sensory friendly children’s theater production each year. Parents with children on the autism spectrum can bring ALL their children to enjoy a show in a judgement-free environment.
Help Me Grow – a program to help children from birth to 3 years of age. (Summit County’s chapter is here)
The Autism Society of Ohio – located in Akron-  raises awareness about autism awareness and provides support services and advocacy programs. – provides information about support services for those who have a special needs family member and is run by the National Council of Jewish Women, Cleveland chapter
Know about other resources we should list here? Please leave your suggestions in the Comments section below. Or planning to relocate your family to Cleveland, and have a special needs child? Executive Arrangements can connect you with the best resources. To learn more, call us at (216) 231-9311.