A Comprehensive Core Curriculum

Brehm recognizes that each student is unique and must find his or her individual pathway to academic, social, and emotional success. An Individualized Holistic Education Plan is designed to advance the best outcomes by carefully reviewing the student’s needs, data, and academic history and then implementing a personalized program.

Certified faculty and staff work with students to monitor progress toward individual goals, leveraging individual strengths into a comprehensive program allowing students to pursue college or other post-secondary avenues.

Language-based solutions

Full-time speech-language pathologists (SLP) and special education faculty work collaboratively to develop reading, writing, verbal communication, pragmatic language, and social skills. Speech-language pathologists work one-on-one and in small groups to remediate and enrich metacognitive, academic, and social language.

Instructors use research-based methodologies such as Lindamood-Bell strategies, Project Read resources, and the multi-sensory Orton-Gillingham Approach; considered the gold standard for teaching reading to students with dyslexia.

The goal for all Brehm students is to graduate with the tools, skills, and confidence to become effective self-advocates and independent learners.

Neuroplasticity – Retraining the Brain

Many students enroll in the innovative Arrowsmith Program at Brehm, a breakthrough learning methodology that uses intensive cognitive exercises to restore and strengthen learning pathways in the brain. The Arrowsmith Program is based on neuroscientific research and the philosophy that it is possible to address specific learning difficulties by identifying and strengthening weak cognitive capacities. The goal is for students to become effective, confident, and self-directed learners for life. The Arrowsmith Program is available to junior high and high school students.

School Day

Academic Curriculum

Take a look at our curricula and offered courses.

Speech and Language

See how speech-language pathologists work with our students.

Arrowsmith Program

Learn more about the Arrowsmith Program at Brehm.

Boys Dorm Biking Club

An Enriched Curriculum Produces Well-Rounded Students.

Vibrant enrichment and recreational programs engage students both on and off campus in structured activities. Brehm students not only have fun, but they also grow culturally and emotionally, set and achieve goals, and learn to work collaboratively. They also develop new social and self-advocacy skills, gain self-esteem and gain momentum for a lifetime of success.

The Carbondale and nearby St. Louis communities provide a rich array of educational, recreational, and cultural opportunities. Students can also participate in individual lessons and community-based programs, such as horseback riding and martial arts. Vibrant working relationships with nearby Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC) and numerous community partners round out the school’s extraordinary range of programs and resources.

  • Enrichment and recreational program activities include yearbook, prom, theater, international trips, and a dynamic Summer Outdoor Adventure Program.
  • Weekday activities focus on the Brehm campus, clubs, and community, from swimming and skating to Art Club and cooking.
  • On weekends, students enjoy various recreational activities such as camping, sporting events, or visiting St. Louis cultural attractions.

Full-Time Speech and Language Pathologist


Faculty with advanced degrees

Staff to Student Ratio

Meet the Academic Staff



The faculty, staff, and administrators are passionate about their calling and our child has reaped those rewards. She has been challenged and supported by each of her amazing teachers. Our daughter has grown so much academically and socially. Thanks to OPTIONS, she has been given the opportunity to learn, grow and succeed in an amazing nurturing environment. The formative experience in this wonderful school is unique in the country and is an exceptional value. I honestly don’t know if you can find a place where the teachers and staff love their students more. PhilParent

E. Brill

“The special and individualized attention that our son has received at Brehm has been truly amazing. He has grown in so many ways during his first year at Brehm – academically, socially, personally – that we could hardly believe it was the same child who went off to school in the fall.”


“My son made quantum leaps because of his speech classes and the social groups.”

S. Holm and K. Johnson

“We think the world of Brehm and can never thank the school and its experienced, committed faculty enough for reaching our daughter and giving her back to us as the lovely and gifted person she was intended to be. Without the emotional and academic foundation Brehm helped her build, she would not be pursuing her dreams.”

Armen, Brehm Alumnus

As the years go by, my family and I continue to reflect and agree attending Brehm was one of the best things done for me. The faculty are truly invested, and never stop providing insight and recourses to prepare one for success. Academically, Brehm lets you explore your strengths, from taking specific courses at Brehm while accommodating deficits, not by ignoring them. They spend extra time explaining material fitted for one's learning style and preparing one for self-learning post-graduation.

R. Greenlaw English

“Words cannot express our gratitude. Brehm has helped my son’s confidence in learning. His maturity and his grades reflect that he has excelled in the environment. He feels safe and loved by the staff members — they’ve treated him like family. Brehm not only educates a disabled child…they show love and concern.”  

A Behm

“Even if we had to give up all the academic support and advances, it would still be worth it for our family, just for the mental health aspect. Having Wyatt be around other students that are functioning at his level and have similar mindsets has been a life changing experience for all of us. His general disposition and outlook on life have greatly improved. As an added bonus, academically we have seen leaps and bounds of progress too!!”

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