Our focus is to help the individuals we support experience:

  • The power of meaningful choice making
  • The freedom bestowed by personal competence
  • The benefits of full membership and participation in their neighborhoods, workplaces and communities

The Institute’s first residential programs in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts opened in the fall of 1986 in northern Worcester County.  At the request of the Commonwealth’s Commissioner of The Department of Developmental Services, our initial projects were developed to support individuals with the most challenging behavior, because these individuals had no alternatives to treatment except through large state-run training schools. Because of our success in helping people acquire new skills in communication and behavioral modulation within community-based homes, The Institute’s specialized array of supports expanded to include more varied support options for adults as well as children with a broad range of special needs.

During our tenure in the Commonwealth, The Institute has become one of the leaders in providing clinical services and consultation, residential and day options, vocational supports, and staff training focusing on the needs of adults. A similar array of services for children with disabilities and their families, including a private DESE approved, special education school, is also offered. We have service contracts with the Commonwealth’s Departments of Developmental Services, Mental Health, Social Services, and Early and Secondary Education, the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind, and various public school systems and private pay parties. We also consult with several human service organizations in the greater Worcester area about supports for adults and children with extraordinary needs.

young girl

The Institute in Massachusetts serves over 150 children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

We have created environments where these children and adults can:

  • Thrive and stay busy through meaningful participation at home and in their neighborhoods
  • Learn new behaviors that replace old responses to non-nurturing environments
  • Acquire the self-confidence that comes from success and personal competence
  • Develop new interests and experience new kinds of social, work and civic opportunities
  • Achieve increased proficiency in academic, communicative, social, vocational and daily living skills
  • Maintain close relationships with family and friends
  • Expand their social networks

blind caneIn Massachusetts children and adults with special challenges resulting from conditions such as deafness, blindness, deaf-blindness, Lennox-Gastaut and Landau-Kleffner syndromes, Fragile X, CHARGE syndrome, Angelman’s disorder, trauma, pica, and polydipsia benefit from The Institute’s individualized assessments and treatments that recognize their uniqueness and reflect our compassion and respect for that uniqueness.

The provision of intense clinical supports for people with intellectual disabilities who also have been diagnosed with personality or other mental health disorders became a special focus for The Institute in 1995, when a small group of women with unfortunate histories of neglect and abuse moved to a group home opened by The Institute on a quiet cul du sac in a Worcester suburb. Read more…

The Institute is fully licensed by the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) and has  received Certification with Distinction in 2005 and 2007. A recent Licensure and Certification report by the DDS Office of Quality Enhancement noted:

“…a number of agency strengths…first and foremost was the agency investment in supporting individuals to communicate their needs and desires. Supported by a talented and committed group of clinicians, staff members across all settings were actualizing the agency’s ‘listening to behavior’ philosophy.”