Specialized Programs

Montcalm School provides specialized programs for youth with autism spectrum disorders and young adults in need of day-to-day living skills.

Outside In — Our program for youth with autism spectrum disorders

Our program for boys and girls, ages 12-18, with autism spectrum disorders helps build the social and academic skills they’ll need to live richer, fuller lives.

Low student-to-teacher and student-to-clinician ratios add a sense of comfort, while youth learn to self-regulate emotions and build coping skills.

The on-site Sensory Integration Room helps students who are hyper- or hypo-sensitive to environmental stimuli learn to process missing sensory cues.

Students work with our licensed Occupational Therapist to identify activities that are relaxing, self-soothing and grounding.

Thorough evaluations of each student are ongoing throughout their stay at Montcalm to ensure that progress is being made.

Project-Based Learning

The educational model for the Outside In program will be focused on project-based learning, which is a learner-centered approach adopted from the Monarch Institute for Neurological Differences in Houston, Texas.

We believe that growth takes place within a developmental context, which is why we are committed to helping students progress in Four Core Goal areas:

  • Self-regulation/self-awareness
  • Executive functions
  • Relationship development
  • Academic and professional competence

Students will be given assessments and placed into one of four stages: Novice, Apprentice, Challenger, and Voyager. For each level, students work on individual objectives within the Four Core Goal Areas. As objectives are mastered, new ones are selected, each varying according to the student's individual objectives.

By establishing a neurodevelopmental profile for each student, our expert staff will design a learning plan and schedule suited to the student's needs and executive functions, as well as their approach to organizing relational, personal, and cognitive tasks.

You can explore and purchase uniforms on our Land's End store page.

Structured Transitional Living

Learning to navigate the difficult path from adolescence to adulthood is an important part of the experience at Montcalm.

Students in our Structured Transitional Living program for boys, ages 17-28, live together in on-campus, apartment-like settings, where they discover and work through daily responsibilities, including budgeting, meal planning, cooking, laundry and more.

Youth receive important life skills training in our weekly life skills class.

We administer the Ansell Casey Life Skills Assessment, which helps to identify current strengths and set goals for the future.

All of our STL students are expected to complete a resume and receive letters of recommendation prior to leaving the program.

Many students have gained valuable work experience through internships with local business such as:

  • Albion Public Library

  • Jackson Animal Shelter

  • Jackson Citizen Patriot newspaper

  • Spring Arbor University

  • ABC Academy preschool

  • And more


If appropriate, students may have employment opportunities with our maintenance and commissary departments.