About Our School Program

The School Program

Morgan Autism Center (MAC) is a non-profit, non-public school, certified by the California Department of Education and provides programming for more than 30 Bay Area school districts in Santa Clara, San Mateo, and Alameda counties. Morgan Autism Center’s school program serves students ages 5 to 22. The students we serve are significantly impacted by autism and/or other developmental disabilities. The individuals we serve have significant challenges with social behavior, sensory integration, and communication. Students at Morgan Autism Center are referred to us through and funded by their public school districts. Each student’s day is specially designed through a collaboration between the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) team members.

Morgan Center display of students and teachers working on projects
Comprehensive Autism School student holding up artwork

Our Special Needs Education Model

Morgan Autism Center provides an individualized school program that is focused on positive interactions and teaching methods that maximize the potential of the students we serve. We provide a high student to staff ratio (one-to-one or small group) that enables us to build customized programs for each student. We use a comprehensive approach that targets multiple areas of development including communication, cognition, social behavior, as well as motor and self-help skills in order to create optimal opportunities for success. We offer a high degree of flexibility to meet unique and changing educational needs, aligning our work with a student’s particular learning style. Our aim is the well-being and regulation of our students, optimizing their ability to learn. The result is a nurturing and joyful environment. Continuous assessment of student’s progress is integral to the program. Students at Morgan Autism Center graduate with a Certificate of Completion at the age of 22. For more information, visit our Who We Are page.

Teaching Strategies

Errorless learning
Positive, meaningful reinforcement
Use of visuals (First-then schedules)
Consistent and predictable environment
Routine schedules
Trust-based relationship building
Positive, proactive behavioral strategies
Total communication (Verbal, Sign-Language, Written and Communication Devices)
Teachers with student at Bay Area Special Needs School

School Program Structure

A student’s school day unfolds in a carefully structured and supportive environment, with ongoing one-on-one interaction with trained staff. We have eight classrooms with roughly 8 to 10 students arranged by age and learning style. The schedule of the day is based on a 15-minute rotation, where students move from staff to staff. This practice provides an opportunity to work with each teacher and instructional aide in the classroom, leading to improved generalization and flexibility.

OUR CURRICULUM FOCUSES PRIMARILY ON THE FOLLOWING AREAS

Functional academics
(from basic cognitive skills to reading, writing, composition, and math)
Communication
Sensory integration and regulation
Play and social skills
Specially designed physical education
Art and music activities.

We place an emphasis on teaching vocational and independent living skills, both on-site and at a variety of community locations.

Team and Community Approach

Morgan Autism Center implements a team approach to learning. The team includes the parents, student, Special Education teacher and instructional aides, Speech and Language Pathologists, and Occupational Therapists, Physical Education Coordinator, and Administration. Daily communication provides the opportunity for us to be engaged, transparent and responsive to parents and caregivers on a daily basis. Students at Morgan Autism Center have the opportunity to interact with their typically developing peers from nearby schools in our reverse mainstreaming program. Students from various elementary, middle and high schools come on a regular basis to facilitate communication and social interaction with students in the school program. There are ongoing opportunities for community involvement such as local libraries, garden centers, grocery stores, restaurants, movie theaters, parks, fine arts institutions, etc. These outings provide experiences that benefit both our students and community members.

Teacher helping an autistic student

What Our Families and Community Partners Say

“Azalea started at Morgan Autism Center when she was 6 years old. She’d previously been in classes that we’re not at all suitable. Within weeks of joining MAC, she started to transform. She opened up, laughed more, communicated better, and showed more affection. She is in a place where she is accepted and loved for who she is. What a gift!”

Alyssa Lupo-Zulueta, parent of student Azalea

What Our Families and Community Partners Say

“I have seen so much improvement in Jack and Stephen since they started school at Morgan Autism Center last fall. Their behavior at home, willingness to try new things and overall happiness has improved so much. The ability to attend a school that adapts to their needs and makes activities as inclusive as possible has made their experience at school more positive and successful while supporting their individual strengths and needs.”

Katelynn Moriarty, sibling of students Jack and Stephen Moriarty

What Our Families and Community Partners Say

“As I read the article about my grandson, Benji, in the MAC newsletter, it got me reflecting on the teaching style that your school specializes in. There is no failure or fault with a student’s efforts. Instead there are challenges or missed opportunities. Everything is put in a positive spin. The child comes to the understanding that he may have to try harder to achieve a task or behavior, that some extra focus may bring success, and that his extra efforts will be appreciated and rewarded.”

Mike & Rosalind Bergman, grandparents of student Benji

What Our Families and Community Partners Say

“(Executive Director) Brad Boardman and Morgan Autism Center create hope and opportunities for individuals with disabilities. By implementing community education programs that train a range of stakeholders—including law enforcement, educators, families—a relatively small school and adult program has achieved a significant positive impact on our community.”

Sheryl Munoz-Bergman, parent of student Benji

What Our Families and Community Partners Say

“MAC has improved the lives of hundreds of families and individuals with autism. And it serves as an ongoing model for how people with disabilities can be loved, taught and cherished for their contributions.”

Elisabeth Einaudi, parent of student Harry

What Our Families and Community Partners Say

“Morgan Autism Center has supported us to support our daughter. They have listened to our concerns and helped strategize solutions.”

Theresa Oller, parent of student Maria

What Our Families and Community Partners Say

“The Morgan Center, by helping Harry grow not just as a student but as a person, helped my whole family.”

Emily Collins, sibling of student Harry

Speech Therapy Partnership

Peninsula Associates Speech Therapy Services (PASTS) has been a proud partner of Morgan Autism Center since the early 1970s. Our speech therapists specialize in working with students who have complex communication needs. Our therapists are trained and experienced in Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), including the high-tech devices utilized by a majority of Morgan Autism Center students. Under the Morgan Autism Center model, students receive speech therapy within their own classrooms, for a total of one hour per week to work on their communication goals. Our speech therapists work closely with the IEP team to incorporate functional communication for our students across all settings. They also receive group therapy for 30 minutes a week with 3-4 of their peers to work on social and other communication skills. PASTS goal is to provide the highest-quality speech and language services to our clients, colleagues, and community.

Occupational Therapy Partnership

Laughing Giraffe Therapy, a private Occupational Therapy (OT) practice located in San Jose, is proud to partner with Morgan Autism Center to provide students with high quality, student-centered OT services. Interventions and IEP goals are designed to support each student’s unique fine and gross motor, self-care, and sensory-regulatory needs to ensure success throughout their school day and in their lives. Sensory regulation is foundational to learning. OT services at Morgan Autism Center prioritize engaging our students in sensory-motor activities that support their ability to maintain an optimal level of arousal for learning and engagement. Services are provided throughout the campus and in the well-equipped OT gym. Individual, direct services and consultative services are provided by our team of experienced OTs who value collaboration with the educational team and families to best serve our amazing students.

One on one special needs teaching model

Enrollment Information

Students are referred to Morgan Autism Center by their local school districts. Students who attend our program have usually exhausted all available options provided by their home school district. Once it has been determined that no other programming is appropriate, parents or school district case managers will reach out to Morgan Autism Center to set up a tour. If there is available placement and the student seems to be a good fit, Morgan Autism Center will conduct a screening.

Please visit our FAQ page for answers to some commonly asked questions.

Morgan Autism Center logo mark

We Are Grateful For Our Community Supporters

Technology Credit Union - sponsor of comprehensive autism center in Bay Area
Freemont Bank - sponsor of comprehensive autism center in Bay Area
Crowne Plaza - sponsor of comprehensive autism center in Bay Area
Peninsula Associates - sponsor of comprehensive autism center in Bay Area
Wilson Sonsini Foundation - sponsor of comprehensive autism center in Bay Area
Star One Credit Union - sponsor of comprehensive autism center in Bay Area
Morgan Autism Center comprehensive autism education sponsor
Morgan Autism Center comprehensive autism education sponsor Avison Young
Eric Stark Interiors - sponsor of comprehensive autism center in Bay Area
Law Officse of Braid Pezzaglia - sponsor of comprehensive autism center in Bay Area

We are so grateful for your support during these unprecedented times. Click here to view our list of in-kind and individual donors. 

Contact Morgan Autism Center

Support Morgan Autism Center

In our continuing mission to provide high-quality programs, we're grateful for the invaluable donations from our sponsors and donors.

Morgan Autism Center Special Needs Education Logo
Morgan Autism Center

950 St. Elizabeth Drive
San Jose, CA 95126-3900

Phone: (408) 241-8161
Email: info@morgancenter.org
Website: