Sparks Boarding Academy for Children with Autism

An autism residential treatment program for children and young adults (ages 8-18) with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Sparks Boarding Academy (SBA) is a unique autism residential treatment program designed specifically for children, adolescents and young adults, ages 8 to 18, who have an Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis.

Admission is open to Males and Females, with mild to moderate levels of Autism Spectrum Disorder.

The program is designed to provide services for 10 individuals at a given time.

Residents live in a comfortable, secure, home-like setting designed and staffed to enhance social, behavioral, communicative, functional and academic growth. The ultimate goal for residents at the autism residential treatment program, whose abilities vary greatly across the spectrum, is to return to family living or a less restrictive level of care, by developing communication and life skills.

All activities at the autism residential treatment facility are designed to complement classroom experiences at Sparks Vidyalaya School, which is an Innovative Special School for Children with Autism and a Multi-Therapy Centre.

Personal Attention

Degreed, certified and experienced staff is with residents 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The management team consists of master's level and licensed Special Educators, Psychologist, counselors and social workers. The small staff-to-resident ratio affords residents the engagement and attention necessary to make larger strides in shorter periods of time. To promote desirable behavior, individuals who live in the autism residential treatment facility are consistently rewarded with positive praise, guidance and tangible reinforces.

Every moment is a teachable moment

Autism residential treatment students live together with around-the-clock professional staff members in a comfortable, safe, home-like facility specifically designed to enhance social, behavioral, communicative, functional and academic growth. Each student’s day, from wake-up to bedtime, is highly structured and caters to the individual’s sensory needs. All activities – from personal grooming, to group meal preparation, to recreation – are designed to help the student practice skills acquired at Sparks Vidyalaya Special School.

Practice for the real world

Sparks Boarding Academy’s unique environment allows autism residential treatment students to work on generalization of concepts and skills that can be applied to the broader community. This is achieved via continuity of methods, techniques, and expectations between Sparks Vidyalaya School and Sparks Boarding Academy. Progress in key behavioral areas is tracked daily.

Daily Activities

Activities are structured and include arts and crafts, choice time, chores, computer lab, reading, personal grooming, exercise, group meal preparation, community outings, and more.

Partnering with families

The ultimate goal of this intensive program is a return to family living or a less restrictive level of care. Family involvement in making treatment and education decisions is vital to each child’s success. Weekend programming includes family visits as part of structured social and recreational activities. In addition, families can communicate with their children through Skype and view videos through a secure media-sharing website.

Intake Procedures

To determine if Sparks Boarding Academy placement is in the best of interest of the child, we observe the following intake procedures:

  • The treatment team reviews current referral information on the child (IEP, assessments, and psychiatric evaluations) and identifies viable funding stream(s)
  • Parents, child, and support staff visit SBA and tour the autism residential treatment facility
  • Parents and child meet with the treatment team
  • Observations of the child are made within the home
  • Observations of the child are made within the current school placement
  • An individualized transition plan is developed to support the child and family in adjusting to the placement
  • To provide a temporary residential facility to a family facing any crisis.


Programming within Sparks Boarding Academy's autism residential treatment facility is driven by assessment. Within the initial 30 days of placement, a comprehensive assessment of the child's strengths, deficits, and preferences is made. Information gathered from both formal testing and informal observation is analyzed by the treatment team and utilized to develop the child's individualized treatment plan. Based on the learning styles of the child, skill areas targeted for assessment may include adaptive behavior, sensory function, speech and language, problem solving, and activities of daily living.

Key Highlights of Sparks Boarding Academy

Teaching Kitchen

  • Specifically designed to be easily accessible to facilitate the children's active participation in food preparation activities

Multi-Sensory Room

  • Created to facilitate relaxation by providing access to activities that provide visual, auditory, olfactory, tactile, vestibular, and proprioceptive input

Gross Motor Room

  • Offers a variety of physical activities that support physical fitness, sensory integration and motor planning


  • Computer Lab houses Three computers, each with dual headphones to decrease auditory stimulation
  • Interactive Smart Board enables residents to practice computer-based lessons
  • Families can communicate with their children through Skype and view videos through a secure media-sharing website