Who We Are

NICA is a 501c3 nonprofit organization, developed by parents and guided by professionals who are passionate about helping others achieve their goals. With leaders that have more than 15 years of experience in autism support techniques, the Northern Illinois Center for Autism provides exceptional service to our clients. We'll pair you with the best service, support network and resources available to meet the specific needs of your family.

About   Us

Stress and anxiety reduction promotes growth, improvement and ultimately success!

Our Founders


Working with NICA was supposed to be a short-term commitment, but it became a life-long journey. We're so fortunate to be able to impact the lives of others, all while partnering with some of the most passionate and driven people in our community.

Our Mission


       To "Integrate community and loved ones..."


NICA achieves this mission by providing family social support opportunities, networking, resources, and services designed to help families with autism and related disorders manage their stress and anxiety.


Northern Illinois

      Center for Autism

Our Philosophy

  We believe people with autism of all functioning levels have amazing potential.  Unfortunately, they tend to live with a heightened level of stress, as do their families.  It is imperative that they manage that stress and receive the support they require in order to achieve their goals in life. 

  Communication, educational advocacy, direct teaching, health and wellness are all key components to decrease stress and promote success in the autism population. 

  Family to family social support and interaction is a priceless commodity among our special population.  An incredible amount of knowledge can be attained from sharing experiences between families... and knowledge is power, to help reduce stress and achieve growth.

Advisory Committee


  Julie Ciero, SPL             Ami Gandhi, OTR

    Kirk Elliott                       Jennifer Budney    

Charles Fox, Atty.           Arnie Quast      

Maria Babashka, SPL     Annette Stoner

         Selma Martinez, BCBA    Margaret Custic        

Board of Directors


Annette Gallagher, President

Matt Peco, Treasurer

Laura Stine, Secretary

Amy Hebel, Director

Eric Tivers, LCSW, Director