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The Program Assistant is responsible for providing comprehensive direct care and instructional support to students with autism spectrum disorders. The Program Assistant functions as a member of the educational and therapeutic team.
Duties and Responsibilities

  • Under the supervision of the Special Education Teacher and licensed Therapists, provide instructional support, including generalization of academic and non-academic skills during individual and group sessions
  • Implement Teacher and Therapist plans to facilitate individual sessions with students
  • Supervise students and provide assistance as needed with activities of daily living, including but not limited to toileting, feeding, dressing, etc.
  • Supervise and engage with students during less structured times of the school day such as opening, lunch coverage, recess, and snack times
  • Complete professional documentation including daily communication logs to families, behavioral data collection, accident reports, physical intervention and seclusion forms, etc.
  • Collaborate with Teachers and Therapists to learn instructional and educational strategies as well as discuss student programming and needs
  • When the opportunity for inclusion arises, serve as inclusion aide in a setting outside of Giant Steps to ensure consistency and support for the student
  • Participate in team meetings, classroom meetings, program-specific meetings, all-school meetings, and professional development activities
  • Complete any classroom and/or program needs as determined by the Teacher, Senior Program Assistant, or Administrators
  • Support students during Community Based Instruction and field trips by gathering appropriate supports before the trip, targeting appropriate goals during the outing, and closely monitoring students to ensure their safety and that of those in the community
  • Support students in other classrooms as a substitute Program Assistant when needed
  • Offer to help staff throughout the building if additional support is necessary in a situation with a student
  • Adhere to company policies and procedures

The responsibilities listed above are representative and not all inclusive. Other duties may be assigned by supervisors.


Knowledge and Skills

  • Ability to effectively communicate student needs
  • Knowledge of relevant instructional strategies
  • Knowledge of autism spectrum disorders
  • Knowledge to maintain quality, safety, and infection control standards
  • Knowledge of the use and maintenance of facilities and equipment
  • Knowledge of sensory and behavioral strategies
  • Knowledge of child development theory
  • Knowledge of and comfort using technology, including but not limited to computers, iPads, Smart Projectors, Boardmaker, Microsoft Office Suite, Google Docs
  • Knowledge of relevant equipment for instruction

Minimum Job Requirements

  • A current, valid Illinois State Board of Education Paraprofessional license registered with the DuPage Regional Office of Education required
  • Two years of college preferred



The Program Assistant is a non-exempt position under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
Starting salary is $29,755
The Program Assistant follows the Program Assistant calendar.

Additional Notes

Conditions of Employment

  • Pre-employment physical, drug screening, and criminal background check
  • Possesses appropriate professional credentials
  • Passing PCM training is a requirement of this position. Participation in PCM training and adherence to the Professional Crisis Management Association's guidelines require at least average physical fitness. Any physical limitations or conditions that may impact one's ability to participate in PCM training or PCM must be made known to Giant Steps upon application, as performance of various physical tasks is a bona fide occupational requirement of this position.

Working Conditions and Physical Effort

  • Work is typically performed indoors within the school facility
  • Moderate physical movement is required for the job
  • Moderate exposure to physical risk is anticipated
  • The noise level in this work environment varies from quiet to very loud.
  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is continually required to stand, walk, sit, run, squat, kneel, crawl, climb, balance, crouch, talk, hear, smell, and see. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 50+ pounds.

Annual Performance Review

  • An annual performance review will be conducted each spring by the teacher.
  • The Program Assistant will complete a self-assessment of his/her performance and submit the self-assessment to the teacher two weeks prior to his/her annual review each spring.

Compensation Package
Giant Steps Illinois, Inc. provides a competitive benefits package, including medical, dental, and vision coverage to all full time employees who work a minimum of 30 hours/week.
Affirmative Action Plan/Equal Employment Opportunity (AAP/EEO)
Giant Steps adheres to all the laws, statutes, and regulations concerning equal employment opportunities and affirmative action. We will not discriminate against employees or applicants for employment on any legally-recognized basis including: veteran status, disability, religion, race, color, national origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, pregnancy, childbirth or FMLA related medical condition, height, weight, familial status, marital status and genetic information. 
This disclaimer is to acknowledge that it is highly probable that as an employee of Giant Steps Illinois, Inc., you are at risk of personal injury. Injuries may include, but are not limited to hitting, biting, kicking, scratching, and having hair pulled. The extent of some injuries may result in a break in the skin. All injuries must be documented according to the policies and procedures outlined in the Employee Handbook. Often, individuals are placed in this setting as a result of physical aggression or acting out behaviors that may prohibit them from participating in other environments. Our setting allows for these atypical behaviors. All employees are required to show proof of a Hepatitis B vaccination upon hire.
*Giant Steps Illinois, Inc. has the ability to review and change the job description when necessary.

Job Posting Date


Start Date