School Program


The Common Threads School Program offers alternative placement for students in the greater Madison area who require intensive supports and a smaller learning environment to develop critical skills for successful participation across school settings.  

A transdisciplinary educational team combines highly individualized instructional and therapeutic approaches specifically designed for students with autism, complex communication needs, and issues related to sensory dysregulation. Capitalizing on individual strengths and interests, the curriculum is designed to equip students with the foundational learning skills and supports they need in order to access the educational opportunities provided in the general school and community settings with long-term success.

Program Outcomes 

  • Implementation of individualized autism supports 
  • Individual sensory and emotional toolkits to maintain regulation
  • Self-awareness of personal neurology and learning needs
  • Independence in routines and navigating the learning environment
  • Self-advocacy to ensure learning needs are met
  • Inquiry and internal motivation for learning


Common Threads’ Offers:iStock-1222874872.jpg

  • Alternative placement with the focused goal to return students to their home school motivated to learn
  • Individualized assessment phase: Regulate, assess strengths and needs, create and implement supports
  • Individualized supports that underpin student independence
  • Project-based learning and embedded social-emotional learning that allows students to develop self-awareness and self-advocacy for educational needs, self-regulation, and internal motivation for learning
  • Transdisciplinary educational team consists of a Special Education Teacher, an Occupational Therapist, Speech/Language Pathologist, Mental Health Therapist, and highly trained Classroom Support Specialists
  • Related services are integrated within naturally occurring school activities in order to contribute to the students’ school success and ensure meaningful progress is achieved

Foundations of Our Program

  • Programming is guided by The Ziggurat Model (Aspy & Grossman, 2011, 2012) framework for student assessment and the development of a comprehensive intervention program for each student
  • Student behaviors are assessed and addressed through the lens of autistic neurology and neuroception, and guided by the polyvagal theory
  • Systemic emphasis on individual strengths and goals, in addition to specific learning needs
  • Program success hinges on meaningful collaboration with school, parents, and IEP team

Full-day and partial-day placement options are available.  

child at desk with headphones

Placement Process

We work directly with local school districts who have identified students who may benefit from our programming. If you’re a school district representative, you can click below to submit a referral form. Please provide as much detail as possible on the form to help us understand the student and their needs.

Our school team will be in touch shortly after to make sure they have the information they need and to guide you in the next steps. Our process generally involves an observation in the student’s natural school environment, as well as guardian and school team interviews. Placement opportunities happen throughout the year, and we make every effort to accommodate referrals as quickly as possible.

Submit Referral Now