Program Description

Program Description

The Center Autism Program provides programming specific to Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Located in Lenox, MA, the ASD Program offers highly specialized residential treatment services for male and female children and adolescents ages 6 – 21 who may be non-verbal or diagnosed with more severe forms of Autism.

With the ASD Residential Program’s 1:1 staffing ratio during waking hours and 2:1 ratio during overnight hours, the program provides a safe, caring, and highly structured environment, and applies the field’s most effective techniques for instruction and intervention, including:

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

Visual Schedules

Life and Social Skills Training

Communication Training

Discrete Trail Training as necessary

Group Instruction

Using Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), an evidence-based practice that has proven to have a positive effect on the lives of people with Autism, developmental disabilities, and learning difficulties, our highly trained staff provides individualized instruction that is integrated throughout the school and residential program. This instruction will help students learn new skills in a variety of domains including, but not limited to, education, social, self-care, communication, and life skills. A Board Certified Behavior Analyst oversees all ABA programming.

Under the supervision of a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, students with autism benefit from an ABA based curriculum, learning academic, social, and life skills to help maximize their potential for continued growth and development in the program, in the community, and at home. When challenging behavior is at the root of the student’s difficulties the focus of our function based treatment is to teach skills that will allow the student to affect control over their environment without the need for inappropriate behavior.

Hillcrest also works closely with the parents and guardians of students to ensure the coordination, practice and generalization of the skills the students are acquiring.

With the school building on site, the ASD program includes specialized classrooms complete with individual workstations, enhanced behavioral techniques and specialized teaching procedures individualized and based on each student’s unique needs. The school provides student-centered individualized educational and therapeutic services that identify and build on the strengths of children. All Lead classroom teachers are licensed, Masters level Special Education instructors with a specialization in Moderate or Severe Disabilities. The ASD program is licensed by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education & Care (DEEC), and is a private 766 program fully approved by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education (DESE).   All direct care staff are required to participate in extensive ASD specific training, skill practice and observation, as well as 12 hours of addition training annually.   The residential component includes safety glass, delay bars and bedroom accommodations designed with ASD individuals in mind.

The programs healthcare department provides the finest nursing, psychiatric, nutritional and general health services available, and dental services are provided by Hillcrests own comprehensive dental clinic. These highly trained and skilled professionals are integrated within each of the treatment teams to provide total care.