Working together to empower people through extraordinary services for developmental disabilities.

  • Private academy serving students with developmental disabilities preschool-highschool
  • Transition Program (part of academy)
  • Academy enhancements (Art, PE, Music…)
  • Applied behavior analysis therapy (ABA)
  • Day Treatment After School (DTT)
  • Day Treatment Summer Program (DTS)
  • Therapy services (PT, SLP, OT, Music, Feeding)
  • Adult Program (DTA)
  • Employment programs (TTE, GSE)
  • Community services (HAH, RSP, ATC)
  • Outreach and community partnerships


We are located at 1305 South Gilbert Rd. Gilbert, AZ 85296.

If you are interested in any of our services please contact our Consumer Resource Administrator. You may call, email, or complete the online form below.

SARA KLEINMANConsumer Resource Administrator
[email protected]
480-621-8361 EXT 104


Check out our inaugural Annual Report that shares our financials and all the highlights of 2022!


Lauren’s Institute For Education was inspired by Lauren Reed. When Lauren was a child she was diagnosed with a rare degenerative disorder called Sanfillipo Syndrome. She required extensive therapy and treatment to maintain her function.

As part of this extensive care, Lauren received in-home habilitation from Margaret Travillion. Margaret and Lauren’s mother, Carrie Reed, brought Lauren to therapy sessions and doctor’s appointments all across the valley. They soon discovered that receiving therapy in multiple places was not only extremely time consuming and burdensome to family life, but also the providers were not able to communicate with each other and provide a comprehensive and integrated plan for Lauren. Margaret and Carrie dreamed and believed they could create something better for Lauren and for other children like Lauren.

Margaret Travillion (CEO) and Carrie Reed (President), opened Lauren’s Institute for Education in 2007. From the beginning, a key feature of L.I.F.E. has been it’s transdisciplinary model allowing providers of different disciplines to truly work together in one place for the benefit of a client and family.

The path has been difficult, and the sacrifices to building a successful company has been great, but L.I.F.E. has now been open for 15 years and is flourishing.

L.I.F.E. has grown tremendously and is now in its 3rd location at 1305 Gilbert Rd. The location has space for L.I.F.E.’s many services and room for future dreams!

Margaret Travillion
Margaret TravillionCo-Founder, CEO

I began working with people with special needs in 1999 through the public school setting. Shortly thereafter, I became involved in working with individuals through home- based community services in addition to working in the public school setting. The more I worked with individuals who had developmental disabilities, the more I was drawn to advocating for their overall care and wellbeing.

Through my personal work experiences, I was able to identify a substantial deficit in quality and affordable services as well as professionals working collaboratively towards common goals for the child or adult. Thus, began the creation of Lauren’s Institute For Education (L.I.F.E.). It was my vision along with Carrie Reed’s, to create an organization that provided all aspects of care for a child or adult with special needs and for the care to be provided under a singular roof with a team of professionals working collaboratively and cohesively together.

What began as a vision in 2007 soon became a model for many other service-based organizations to follow. Lauren’s Institute For Education was a first of its kind service organization fully devoted to the treatment of the whole child and in bringing all aspects of care including education, therapy, social and emotional support under a singular roof.

Our organization soon developed into an organization that brought students on a professional path from universities, community colleges, and trade schools onto our campus to learn under our unique model of being a transdisciplinary treatment center. In more recent years, we have also become a large partner to our neighboring community colleges and universities in service-learning opportunities.

Although we successfully support educators, behaviorists, therapists and direct support professionals working together cohesively and collaboratively for hundreds of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families today, we are still not done with the good work necessary for the future of those with developmental disabilities. We still have many goals to achieve, one being a heavy emphasis on the employment of individuals with special needs and functional and independent living skills. Our goal is to educate, train, and employ as many individuals as we can within our community and workforce.

I spend the majority of my time these days still very involved in the daily operations of this vast and complex organization while also striving to remain above the norm, staying on the cutting edge of today’s treatment models and methodologies.

I consider Lauren’s Institute For Education, my life’s work and as such is something I am devoted to ensuring it remains true to its mission and vision for years and generations to come.

Carrie Reed
Carrie ReedCo-Founder, President

My daughter, Lauren, is the namesake of our organization. She was born with a terminal genetic syndrome called Sanfilippo. In an effort to extend her life, my husband and I decided to do an experimental transplant.

After Lauren’s transplant, she desperately needed therapy but at that time there was such a shortage that I felt like all I was doing was putting her on waiting lists. The therapy I was able to get for her was in the Scottsdale and Phoenix area because at that time there wasn’t any therapy centers in the southeast valley. That meant Lauren was spending much of her time driving around town instead of getting to spend that time playing and enjoying her childhood. I also found it frustrating that none of the therapists were able to communicate with each other so they could not develop a cohesive plan for her.

I started to feel like something needed to be done about the way therapy for children with developmental disabilities was handled. I felt like if all the therapists were together in one location, we would see more progress with the kids if the therapists used a collaborative approach. One of Lauren’s providers, Margaret Travillion, had similar dreams for these children. We came together and decided to open Lauren’s Institute For Education (L.I.F.E.). In August of 2007, we opened the doors to this one-of-a-kind facility that offered all disciplines of therapy under one roof.

Over the last ten years, I have seen L.I.F.E. become everything I had hoped it would. We started in a small 7,000 square foot building and have evolved into a thriving school, behavioral program, therapy center, and adult day program on ten acres of property. We are living L.I.F.E.’s mission and vision and using L.I.F.E.’s values to continue to bring quality services that focus on nurturing the whole child, not just his or her disability.

As L.I.F.E. continues to grow, it is my hope that we are able to reach hundreds of children each year while supporting therapists, providers, educators, members of the community and most of all, our families. As a parent with a child with special needs, I understand the needs of families that come to us. I know the struggles I went through are shared by all of us. And that need inspired me to want to open L.I.F.E. and continues to drive me to ensure the legacy of my daughter helps those like her for many more years to come.


Our Co-Founders started L.I.F.E. for a purpose and it continues to be the overarching reason our organization exists.

Because people with disabilities deserve…

  • better care than what has been available historically.
  • to learn and grow from the same educator, therapist, or caregiver quality as their neurotypical peers.
  • to get the same service regardless of funding, whether they can pay privately or not.
  • to get services in one place where parents/caregivers can drop them off, they can get everything they need, and then be picked up.
  • all of their care providers to be on the same page and provide cohesive convenient quality care.
  • staff that care and will fight for them and be supported in doing so.
  • care to extend to all their needs, treating them as a whole, meeting them where they are, and helping them grow as best they can.
  • service regardless of age, demographic, disability, or need. All should be welcome and given a chance to succeed and integrate.
  • the same level of respect, care, and tailored resources to normalize their lives to the extent possible as anyone who is neurotypical.


Working together to empower people through extraordinary services for developmental disabilities. 

Extraordinary = Our Seven C’s


Above all we care about the well-being of our consumers and their families! We consider them part of the “L.I.F.E. Family.”


We believe the best approach to disability services is individualized care that considers the whole person, all areas of need, and the family’s goals. We offer an extensive selection of disability services all through L.I.F.E. to reduce strain on families and to foster our transdisciplinary approach.


We have always believed collaboration between professionals is paramount to the success of a consumer. However, we recognize cohesive collaboration, where team members’ approaches are all working in concert, is challenging. We make continuous efforts to establish effective transdisciplinary teams.


We strive to employ the most current strategies and interventions using evidence-based practice. We invest in extensive continuing education for our staff, so they remain up-to-date in their knowledge and skills.


We recognize the essential importance of communication. We communicate with families regularly to keep them “in-the-know” on their loved one’s services.


We are a nonprofit that believes the ability to receive the best care should not be based on income. We accept funding through private and state insurance as well as scholarships.


We believe it is important to extend our mission outside of L.I.F.E. by helping to educate others that work with the disability community. We have multiple community partnerships and provide consultation services for other organizations. 


Utilizing a transdisciplinary approach has been a core feature of L.I.F.E. since its very beginning! We believe that communication between treatment team members is essential for the best care. Further, team members must continually work to understand each other’s perspectives and treatment approaches to truly work cohesively for the best progress on the goals desired by the consumer and family.

Cohesive Collaboration at L.I.F.E. through:

  • All services in one place
  • All services under one management system
  • Common L.I.F.E. Language and disability models understanding
  • Co-treatment sessions
  • Natural collaboration occurring in shared environments
  • Therapy sessions and training in the classroom to help teachers and staff
  • Training across departments from Behavior Support and Programming department
  • Regular team meetings (consumer specific)
  • Collaborative symposiums and more …


At L.I.F.E. we recognize the need to be aware of changing disability language. We recognize the power of language to demonstrate respect or offense and to empower individuals or disqualify them.

We also recognize the importance of how language is used to instruct, teach, praise, and communicate. It is not just what is said but how one says it that can make a profound difference to the progress of our consumers.

Thus, all employees at L.I.F.E. are taught to utilize specific language when referring or talking to our consumers. We have named this collection: L.I.F.E. Language.

L.I.F.E. Language includes:

  • Person First Language (NOTE: We also educate our staff on Identity First Language and will use this type of language if requested by a consumer or consumer’s family.)
  • You Can Language
  • Do Language
  • Varying Praise
  • Declarative Language

We educate our team on different perspectives on disability including the medical, moral, charity, social, empowerment, identity, and ICF models. We work to understand families’ and team members’ different perspectives for the benefit of our consumers.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

At Lauren’s Institute for Education, it is inherent in our purpose and mission to promote acceptance, equity, and inclusion, both with the community we serve and those we entrust that service to. These principles are at the forefront of our model and growth. We strive to create an environment and culture where everyone believes they have equal value, regardless of gender, sex, religion, age, orientation, culture, national origin, ability level, etc. We believe that by creating an environment where all people thrive, we will be able to create a more successful and diverse organization that best serves our community. We acknowledge the different biases that exist in our world and work to ensure that they do not hinder our impact. We, therefore, are committed to collecting data and evaluating procedures about the diversity of our staff and those we serve, to ensure there are not misaligned practices from our values, or if there are, to adjust to the best of our ability.


1305 South Gilbert Road | Gilbert AZ 85296 | MAP

We have a large beautiful campus with numerous indoor and outdoor environments.

Contact Us for More Information About L.I.F.E.

call us at 480-621-8361 EXT 136 or complete this form

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