OPTIONS Transitions to Independence
OPTIONS Transitions to Independence (formerly called OPTIONS Program at Brehm) is a comprehensive transitional program that guides young adult students with learning disabilities into independent adulthood and helps them recognize and optimize their full potential.
Students enrolled in OPTIONS come with a variety of challenges to academic, employment, social or emotional success including, but not limited to Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Pervasive Developmental Disorder/Asperger’s Disorder, Nonverbal Learning Disability (NLD), Communication Disorders, Auditory Processing Disorders, Processing and Memory Deficits, Tourette Syndrome, Anxiety, and Specific Learning Disability, which is defined as a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or to do mathematical calculations, including conditions such as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia.
Our students have graduated from high school, earned their GEDs, or chosen to defer graduation in order to participate in this empowering program.
For more than 20 years, OPTIONS has delivered comprehensive support within a collegiate atmosphere that advances accomplishments and cultivates lifelong learning. As our students transition through three phases of OPTIONS, they develop academically, vocationally, socially, and emotionally, acquiring the crucial tools necessary for independent life.
OPTIONS delivers individualized social, academic, employment, and life skills instruction. This life development program emphasizes independent living, life skills, self-advocacy skills, well-rounded interpersonal skills, community linkages, employability, and career development strategies. With the help of OPTIONS instructors, Independent Living Counselors, and specialized academic coaches, our students are successfully guided through speech and language courses, core academic skills, college preparation and participation, social skills, employment readiness classes, and community-based internships.
OPTIONS offers two different tracks: a College Transition track with our partner – John A. Logan College, and a Certificate of Completion track, which includes a variety of vocational concentrations. Both offer intensive assistance, structured supervision, and supported study hours. Our mission is to empower students with complex learning disabilities and differences to recognize and optimize their potential throughout their lifetime. We advance independence by optimizing our students’ full potential so that they may lead happy, independent, productive lives.
In addition to the two tracks offered by OPTIONS, other areas of focus include:
Accountability for actions
Emotional coping skills
Follow-through and preparedness
Honesty and integrity
Meal planning, shopping, and preparation
Money management, fiscal responsibility and budgeting
Organization of personal space
OPTIONS welcomes you for a visit!
We are always pleased when there is an interest in learning more about OPTIONS. Depending on the purposes, visits are generally informational or admissions.
Informational visits – These visits can be arranged for those who really just want an overview of OPTIONS. An informational visit will tour the classrooms and the apartments and receive general information about OPTIONS. Typically, these visits only take an hour and a half to two hours. No determination is made by OPTIONS staff about whether OPTIONS would be a match for a student as a result of an informational visit. To arrange an informational visit, call the OPTIONS Coordinator at 618-549-4201 or email AdmissionsInfo@ExperienceOPTIONS.org.
Admissions visits – Admissions visits are arranged by the OPTIONS Coordinator (see contact information above) when the family and the Coordinator feel OPTIONS might be a good match for the interested student. This process typically begins with a phone call where information is exchanged about the student and OPTIONS. Families are encouraged to review the OPTIONS brochure and DVD, as well as to talk to families on the OPTIONS references page. If it seems as though OPTIONS might be able to meet the student’s needs, the family completes an application and submits test data. Once the application and test data are reviewed, the Coordinator will offer to arrange an admissions visit if it is felt that OPTIONS and the applicant would be a good match.
A typical admissions visit will take half a day and is arranged Tuesday through Friday between 8:30 A.M. and 3:30 P.M., central time. During the visit, various members of the OPTIONS team will spend time with the student and family; we will do our best to give visitors a clear understanding of the systems we use and what life at OPTIONS might be like. We will also do our best to let the family know whether we can offer admission to the student within two business days of the visit.