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My son Matthew is a student at Beacon. Matthew used to go to public school in a special education class. He was fine until he hit puberty. Then he became very aggressive and grew a lot physically. I thought the school district was knowledgeable of autism. However, all they did was move him around between special education classes. Matthew continued to show more and more aggression. Finally, they wanted to put him in a "warehouse-like" supervision program. A friend/advocate (Danielle Alvarado) of mine helped me find Beacon. Then our lives changed.

For the first time, I had access to people who knew Matthew's autistic behaviors and how to redirect him positively. They helped Matthew learn how to tell us what he wanted and how to walk away from a task until he could try again. Beacon knew how to target Matthew's triggers. This was eye opening and a profound difference from what we had experienced with the district.

I know for a fact my son is safe at Beacon. They are experts with dealing with his specific needs. Even on a dreaded bad day, Beacon's staff has incredible ways of teaching Matthew through the tantrums. Only the parent of an autistic child truly understands how utterly alone and frustrating it is when you don't understand what your child is going through. I don't feel so alone now that we have Beacon. The Beacon staff is like family helping me find ways to support Matthew. Matthew's communication skills have dramatically improved. I once thought he would only communicate with grunts and pointing. Now Matthew is increasingly more self- reliant. He can warm up a meal, get on the Internet, and ask me for a glass of water, all of which I thought was impossible just a few short years ago! Beacon ha s even tapped into Matthew's potential productivity. Beacon takes him to "work" doing repetitious activities, and he is always the first to finish!

Today, Matthew loves to go to school. He hates when the school is closed for holidays. I feel Matthew is truly happy at Beacon. There will always be bad days, but the good days far outnumber the bad. This April, Matthew will be 20 years old. Our days at Beacon are numbered. I have yet to find an adult program that comes close to the program quality of Beacon. I wish we could stay forever!

- Carol Cruz


Beacon has been going strong in educating and nurturing my child's independence. I am so happy that I found this school. Parents are always naturally concerned for their children, but Beacon has shown me that I can have hope for my son -- that anything is possible!!"

- Parent of an older Beacon Day School student


My son Cody has been at Beacon Day School for several years and one of the biggest joys in my life is seeing him get on the bus, with a big smile on his face, excited to start the day! He is non-verbal so his smile is “worth a thousand words.” We have worked with so many schools and professionals during Cody’s lifetime and you can see immediately the people who truly care about the children they are working with and BELIEVE in them. That is what I see in the staff at Beacon Day School. There are so many wonderful, caring people who truly want to see the kids go above and beyond what others believe they are incapable of accomplishing.

- Connie M.


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