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FAQs

Q: Does the applicant have to be highly musical?
A: No, but applicants should have an interest in music, as it is a core part of our program. We welcome all individuals, from beginners to expert-level musicians, who share an intrinsic love of music and have a willingness to learn. 

Q: How “independent” does the applicant need to be?
A: We recognize that independence looks different for every individual, and our program is designed to help students increase their skills. Successful candidates are able to use the restroom without assistance and demonstrate basic self-care skills. Residents may receive verbal prompts and limited physical assistance when completing their personal care routines. 

Q: Does BHMA support students who use devices to communicate?
A: Most individuals at BHMA communicate verbally, but some use augmentative devices such as tablets or smartphones. All who attend are able to express their wants and needs to staff or peers.

 

Q: What is the percentage breakdown of diagnoses?
A: Our current student body is approximately 40% autism spectrum, 20% Williams syndrome, 15% Down syndrome, and 25% other (intellectual disabilities, global developmental delays, chromosomal disorders or deletions).

 

Q: What if the candidate has mental health diagnoses?
A: The most common mental health diagnosis of individuals at BHMA is anxiety. Some also experience depression or mild OCD. These diagnoses can present challenges periodically, but generally do not impede their ability to manage themselves or their daily schedule. BHMA is unable to support significant mental health needs or behaviors that require physical intervention or restraint. 

 

Q: What if the candidate has medical needs?
A: BHMA has a full-time nurse and a number of staff trained to safely administer medications; however, our program does not have 24-hour nursing coverage, and thus is unable to accommodate intensive medical needs. BHMA serves individuals who have well-controlled conditions or disorders, and they are evaluated for admission on a case-by-case basis.

 

Q: Can the applicant apply to the LIVE Program without going through the Transition Program?
A: No. All individuals must complete the Two-Year Transition Program before entering the LIVE Program.

 

Q: What percent of students matriculate into the LIVE Program?

A: Between 85 and 90 percent of students matriculate into the LIVE Program. 

 

Q: How long can a student attend BHMA?

A: There is currently no limit to how long an individual can attend BHMA. The majority of students begin with us when they are between the ages of 18 and 23, and stay as long as they are able to engage with and benefit from our program. The most senior members of our community are in their thirties.

 

Q: How are these programs funded?
A: We accept three sources of funding: school district, self-pay/private, and Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services (DDS). We also accept a combination of funding sources (for example, a school district may pay for day services, and a family may contribute the residential balance).

 

Q: What are the annual tuition rates?

A: For families paying privately, the approximate cost of tuition for the 2020-2021 residential academic year program is $69,500. 

 

Q: Do you offer private lessons to community members?

A: Unfortunately at this time we are unable to provide lessons or services to those not enrolled at BHMA.

48 Woodbridge Street

South Hadley, MA 01075

413-540-9720