Preschool and school options

There are many different kinds of schools, including preschools.

Choose one based on your child's needs, your schedule, and your goals for your child's education.

What are my options?

  • Head Start - A free program for children age 0-5 from low-income families. 

  • Special Education - In many towns, the public school system offers free preschool for children who qualify for special education.

  • Special Schools for Children with Autism - These will often have specialized therapy built into the school day.

  • Private Schools - Most preschools are private and will cost some money. There are also private elementary schools. There are different kinds that may have different approaches to working with kids. Private schools are not required to provide special education services! You must go through the public system to guarantee that your child will get that support.

Here's what you can do:

If you're in touch with the special education department in your town, ask them for preschool ideas. Ask if there are any public preschools or specialized ones in the district.

If your child will need pretty intensive therapy, you may consider a special school designed for children with autism. One benefit is that they may include behavioral and other therapies throughout the school day. This can be easier for schedules, especially for working parents. It can also provide more therapy overall.


Look in our Resource Directory to find these specialized schools. (Click on the title to open it in a new window.)

  • Put in your zip code and search radius

  • Click on 766 Schools in the Education & Employment section.

  • Choose your chid's age in the Age Group section.

  • Click on Autism Spectrum Disorder in the Primary Diagnosis section.


Read this article for some good tips: 

The Right School for Your Special-Needs Child (Click on the title. It will open in a new window.)


Sources: Scholastic, MA DESE