Optimizing Potential Through Individualized, Ongoing Nurtured Successes

Our Mission

Is to empower students with learning disabilities and differences to recognize and optimize their potential throughout their lives.

We foster a family environment where the educational, social, health, wellness, and emotional needs of each student are addressed. Our focused, holistic program cultivates a partnership among students, administration, faculty, staff, parents, the board, alumni, researchers and the professional community.

Staff Directory

Our faculty and staff are committed to carrying out the OPTIONS mission. Their expertise, care, and engagement with the campus community enliven our programs and uplift students as they journey toward their futures.


Our campus, settled in a quiet corner of the city of Carbondale, borders the Shawnee National Forest. Conveniently, it is mere footsteps from the Southern Illinois University Campus and within reasonable distance of numerous enrichment opportunities.


Founded in 1994, we have served the needs of students with learning differences and disabilities for nearly thirty years. Our program has grown substantially throughout this timespan—learn more about it here!

What are Complex Learning Disabilities?

OPTIONS recognizes the combined effects of learning disabilities (LD), Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), language-based processing issues, executive function issues, and the social and psychological implications of struggling to find success in an academic environment.

OPTIONS offers direct interventions for students with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Communication Disorders, Auditory Processing Disorders, Processing and Memory Deficits, nonverbal learning disabilities, and anxiety disorders. We also provide these for students with 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.

OPTIONS also provides interventions requiring behavioral and emotional support as it relates to academic barriers.

Core Values

To accomplish this mission, OPTIONS places high value on:



Strategies for interactive problem-solving

Ongoing, Open Communication

Staff development

Continuous improvement

Financial stability

A safe environment

Holistic programming