Thanks to the parents and former staff that have shared their experiences of Melmark. I thought it was an anomaly that my child developed so many concerning problems. Knowing that this is not unusual is strangely comforting.
Based on results, the teachers are ineffective. The Melmark designated "expert" in augmentative technology admitted incompetence, demonstrated an inferior understanding of the technology to me. The IEP reports claim progress, but careful reading shows, "re-calibration", meaning that they lower the bar to show progress. A careful analysis shows little or no progress over a decade of services.
In the case of my son, he would have done better to live in a field by himself. He would have self case skills and avoided all of the many unfortunate lessons Melmark as provided; touching women's breasts, public masturbation, public nudity, shredding clothes, biting, those stereotypical vocalizations and behaviors.
I have never seen any sort of homework or assignments come from Melmark. There is no evidence that there is more than dog training done in the class rooms and most often the children are "kept" with some mindless activity, like watching TV.
From what I and others have seen, this is a dumbing program that prepares children for a life in an institution. They infantilize students and make wild claims about how they can walk in the woods, as though that is an accomplishment. There is no physical education program, no real support for the students to apply themselves to anything but complacent sloth.
I didn't say very effective, I wish I could, but there is a turnover and then the student has to develop a new relationship. If there was not a turnover, then definitely would say very effective, because the teachers that my child has long relationships with are more effective. Although, the turnover is not bad if you were to compare other schools, something to keep in mind.
Melmark has been a blessing to our family, I have peace of mind and no longer worry how my sons day is going as I previously had to when he was in special ed through the public school system. I carefully chose this school after comparing other private schools & would highly recommend Melmark New England if your child is having difficulty in the public school special ed program. It is an entirely different environment and the top notch staff learned about my sons difficult behavior very quickly allowing him to adapt to a new school very comfortably. Again, peace of mind!!
This organization is corrupt. They are political, hysterical and lie. They persist in unethical behaviors: filing false reports, engaging in EX-PARTE communications with the court and disobeying the orders of the court and policies of the Department of Education. I have observed children in their care mistreated: dragging children by the wrist is an inexcusable practice, ascribing "a good day" to a child that is bleeding is surreal. Allowing a child child to engage in self injurious behavior for an extended period of time should be criminal. Insisting that bite marks, abrasions, lacerations and contusions are "normal" and should not be documented, should be felonious. To ascribe the term "happy" to all of this is insane. This and much more are all standard at Melmark, for cares those that are non-verbal and can not speak for themselves. I have heard from former staff and parents that these sorts of abuses are common at Melmark. Melmark is unable to read or obey a court order, but instantly can produce lawyers who seek orders or protection. There may be a lot of good people at Melmark, but their much touted ABA is largely nonsense and the administration is clearly corrupt.