Special Programs Overview

Brehm Strives to Provide a Comprehensive Curriculum for All Students

Special subjects are woven into schedules already packed with core classes, remedial coursework, and pull-outs for speech-language, assistive technology, transition planning, counseling, and medical appointments. Brehm staff believe that special subjects are crucial to develop strengths that may be outside of traditional academics. The following special courses allow students to express their talents and explore interests that may serve them later in life as occupations or vocations. Brehm students are usually able to take at least one special subject per school year. In addition, students may participate in recreational activities after school, which develop their strengths and interests.


Driver’s Education

Obtaining a driver’s license is a mark of accomplishment for most teenagers. Brehm provides students with as many opportunities as possible to help students be independent and part of mainstream society. Being able to transport oneself to work and recreational activities is a life skill we want our students to acquire.


Foreign Language

Many four-year colleges require two years of foreign language credit, and some will not permit waivers for students with learning disabilities. Brehm offers Spanish One and Two as electives. The ability to read, speak, and write Spanish is taught, as well as the understanding of the culture. While a foreign language is not always easily grasped by students with language-based learning disabilities, many students excel when provided with multi-sensory teaching techniques. 



The Illinois State Board of Education requires all students to take a semester of Health before graduating. Brehm staff feels this is an extremely important class for high school students and attempts are made to schedule Health class into their freshman or sophomore year. The course requires certification in the area of health with which we comply. Students are assessed regularly on topics covered in class through visual media, hands-on projects, demonstrations, and class discussions.

Physical Education

Improved personal fitness can make one healthier and feel better about oneself. Physical Education and Health classes are designed to help students make wise choices regarding exercise, diet, nutrition, hygiene, drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and sexual activity. We help our students become physically fit and avoid future fitness problems by promoting a healthy lifestyle through encouraging, modeling, and educating.


Speech Class

Speech class covers many aspects of communication and public speaking. Students learn about the basics of communication, including nonverbal signals, how impressions are created, and the criteria for competent public speaking. The class uses modern technology to help students engage in learning the concepts. Students develop speeches using outlining rubrics and technology they have learned in other classes, and practice them with the built-in video cameras and Photobooth software on their Macbooks. Assessments are conducted through traditional quizzes and tests over content, as well as video clips and several presentations to the class.

Consumer Education

The Illinois State Board of Education requires all students to take a quarter of consumer education. Brehm offers a Real World Prep and business math class that covers consumer education in the first semester and career exploration and independent living skills in the second semester. The consumer education portion of the course is designed to enable students to recognize the role they play as consumers in our economy and to develop personal economic decision-making competencies. The students are taught about good management of personal business affairs. Topics include consumer law, banking services, credit loans, credit card fraud, installment buying, budgeting, housing, informed and skillful buying, consumer protection agencies, and the role of business and government in our economy


Fine Arts

The mission of the Fine Arts Department is to foster mastery of the basic art fundamentals, develop an appreciation for a variety of artists and art forms, strengthen problem solving skills, and facilitate use of art as a vehicle to express emotions and creativity. Our intent is to nurture and expand the inherent creativity of students whether art be a therapeutic outlet or lead to a vocational pursuit.

Brehm Preparatory School’s Fine Arts Department consists of course electives in Sculpture, General Art, and Photography, Art and Computer Technology (PACT). Students generally work on concepts covered in a high school arts curriculum which are consistent with the National Standards for Visual Arts Education in both content and processes.


Brehm students put on fantastic plays with the help of our talented directors. Students discover new talents, sharpen their existing talents, and learn to work well as a team. The school play is just one more example of how Brehm is the place for students to shine.

In most schools, students with learning disabilities can’t find the courage to try out for a play, or they don’t believe they have a chance at getting cast. At Brehm, where students feel comfortable around other students with similar issues, the extraordinary happens regularly.