May Center School for Autism and Developmental Disabilities

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Learning Cores & Academics.

Our students’ educational experience is centered around five core programs. Different levels and programs allow for age- and skill-appropriate instruction and encourage successful transitions from one level to the next as students grow and learn.

Early Learning Core

We are committed to meeting the educational needs of our youngest students – elementary through early middle school children – who require a structured learning environment and small classrooms. The majority of these students live with their families, although a few live in school residences.

In our cooperative classroom, we integrate two distinct classrooms and intervention approaches. One classroom has a highly structured space designed to minimize distractions and provide 1:1 or 1:2 instruction. This classroom employs an evidence-based ABA approach to focus on initial skill acquisition. The second classroom utilizes small group instruction and teaching stations that focus on generalization of skills, socialization, and "readiness to learn" in a more traditional classroom setting using a Verbal Behavior model of instruction and Naturalistic Teaching strategies.

Secondary Core

In this core, we serve day and residential students, ages 12 to 22. We work with students in small groups or 1:1, combining the best practices from the fields of ABA and special education. Here, we emphasize all areas of a student's development, including communication, social skills, self-care skills, play skills, and vocational skills. We work on transition skills with some of our older students, and focus on teaching independent living skills. Our school and residential teams work closely together to develop appropriate goals and ensure that skills are being carried over settings.

Intensive Behavior Core

This  core meets the needs of day and residential students ages 8-22 with significantly challenging behaviors. We focus on assessing and treating students who engage in challenging behavior that interferes with educational instruction. This Core typically has a 1:1 staff to student ratio, spacious classrooms, and intensive clinical and educational oversight. Teachers use the evidence-based principles of ABA to decrease challenging behaviors and help students replace those behaviors with appropriate behaviors.

Oftentimes, we are able to fade 1:1 instruction, contingent on our students’ behavioral progress. We foster independent and functional communication skills, provide structure, and help students develop daily living skills that will prepare them for less restrictive settings and more enriching experiences.

Pre-vocational Core

This is home to many of our higher functioning students who may be able to work in the community. This core is housed in a separate school building with classrooms specifically designed to begin training students in the foundational, pre-vocational skills students will need to secure employment. Two vocational training rooms are fully equipped with a variety of items and activities designed to teach job skills. Our smaller classrooms encourage increased opportunities for peer interaction.

Vocational Core

Students ages 15-22 in this core attend The Todd Fournier Center for Employment Training and Community Inclusion. In this school-within-a-school, students learn functional academics and communication skills as well as domestic, self-care, leisure, and independent living skills.

These students participate in a variety of job training opportunities in the classroom and in our on-campus simulated suites – a school store, a hotel/apartment room, and a fully functioning cafe. Once trained, students are able to work for local organizations and businesses including Meals on Wheels, Papa Ginos, Arbella Insurance, Braintree Public Library, Verc Convenience stores, and Joe's American Grill.