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Coryell Autism Center

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Santa Cruz, CA


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Work Culture at Coryell Autism Center

Our Story

Coryell Autism Center prepares young people with autism to lead meaningful, productive and independent adult lives.

Coryell Autism Center
Coryell Autism Center is located in Santa Cruz, California. The Center is a private, nonprofit corporation dedicated to providing specially-designed educational services to people with autism, multiple disabilities and moderate-severe intellectual disabilities between the ages of 14 and 22.

The Center operates 229 days a year. The school day runs from 9 am – 3:30 pm.

Our Philosophy
At Coryell Autism Center, we want our students, ages 14-22, to achieve the best possible outcomes as adults.

So often our students are isolated and removed from their communities due to the possibility they may display severe or dangerous behaviors. We have a multidisciplinary philosophy that includes research based methodologies for supporting the development of positive behaviors.

There is an urgency in the work that we do, and the goals that we set with our students. We assess each student thoroughly to determine their preferences and where they would like to be by the age of 22, and we work backwards. We determine which behaviors need to be acquired, shaped, or extinguished in order to reach those goals.

Our students must learn critical life skills by accessing the community every day for social, recreation, leisure and vocational purposes.

We recognize the need for individualized education in the following skill areas: gaining meaningful vocational experiences, building functional academics to participate fully in managing money/budgets, shopping/purchases, lists, menus and daily schedules; learning chores and domestic skills such dishwashing, laundry, and general maintenance.

We motivate students using real money economies that allow us to teach and reinforce rule governed, and pro- social behaviors which are required of all community members.

We aim for our students to self-manage and self-regulate their behaviors as they transition to independent lives beyond high school.

We allow for choice within and among every activity at the center, and encourage our students to stretch beyond their comfort zones to explore new interests and activities.

We do not believe in using holds and restraints as a primary behavior management tool, therefore we utilize a number of highly individualized supports to assist our students in learning self- control, coping, and tolerance, and utilize holds only as a last resort.

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