Kennedy Hope Academy

Kennedy Hope Academy is currently closed to admissions.

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Nate PhotographyKennedy Hope Academy (KHA) is a private, non-profit, special education program dedicated to improving the lives of children and adolescents with autism spectrum, developmental and neurological disorders.  Operated in collaboration with McLean Hospital, our program uses an interdisciplinary team approach informed by the evidence-based principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and positive behavioral supports.

Every child in our program is unique. Education plans are developed to meet the goals of the individual child. Building upon their strengths, our compassionate and dedicated staff take the time to know each child and the methods and practices that are most effective, with an eye on giving each child a positive learning experience. Every day is geared to help each child live a meaningful life as independently as possible. Over the years, KHA has been a learning resource for children, providing families with a safe and supportive environment to rely upon.

To see a recent important announcement about the program, please visit our blog.

About Our Program

Program Description

KHA is a day and residential school program utilizing applied behavior analysis and positive behavioral supports to provide state-of-the-art treatment to children and young adults, ages 5-21. Students attending have severe challenging behaviors, autism spectrum disorders, developmental disabilities, neurological disorders and concurrent psychiatric illnesses. The school runs year-round and provides psychopharmacology, speech and occupational therapy and community-based recreation opportunities.

The program brings together the long-standing commitment of Franciscan Hospital for Children’s pediatric rehabilitation specialists and educators with the resources and psychiatric expertise of McLean Hospital. The school is located on the campus of Franciscan Hospital and features an on-site gym, outdoor playgrounds, sensory and relaxation rooms and access to specialized medical and dental services.



Program Highlights

  • Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and positive behavioral supports – techniques that emphasize the least restrictive and most effective treatment approach
  • Interdisciplinary approach including special education, speech, language and occupational therapy, psychopharmacology and medical services
  • Specializes in serving students with severe challenging behaviors including physical aggression and self-injurious behavior
  • Eleven-bed residential school
  • Eight student day program
  • Family education and support
  • Highly trained staff
  • Community-based recreational opportunities
  • On-site specialized medical and dental services

Highly Trained Staff

A multidisciplinary staff of behavior analysts, special educators, speech and occupational therapists, nurses and psychiatrists are all specifically trained in treating children and adolescents with developmental, behavioral and psychiatric disorders. We emphasize the importance of training, teamwork, feedback and supervision for all staff to implement the most effective behavioral support plans. Compassion is a key component to each student’s care.

Family Partnership

The staff at KHA believe that a strong partnership with a student’s family is critical to long-term success. We invite and encourage families to collaborate in all aspects of treatment and decision-making for their child. KHA provides on-site and in-home training and support with the goal of maximizing the quality of family visits.

Licensing Approvals

The day and residential private school programs are approved by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Residential services are licensed through the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care.

Franciscan Hospital for Children is licensed by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.