Y.A.L.E. School Philadelphia: A learning community for students in grades 1-12 and the transition years ages 18-21 on the autism spectrum and those with behavioral / emotional disorders or learning disabilities.

Y.A.L.E. School, with nearly 40 years of experience serving students with special needs and disabilities, expanded to Philadelphia in 2014. Located in vibrant Manayunk, the fully licensed elementary and middle school programs offer an individualized learning environment and a caring community for students on the autism spectrum or those classified with learning or behavioral challenges.

Students at Y.A.L.E. “yearn to learn.” They are academically capable, but have previously experienced difficulties in school settings due to difficulties with sensory, social competency, executive function, anxiety, trauma, behavioral dysregulation, or learning differences. A comprehensive, challenging, and creative curriculum motivates students to become engaged and gain confidence as they experience success — academically, socially, and emotionally.

The school’s highly qualified team of special education teachers, BCBA’s, and related services staff work collaboratively to support student progress by sharing a common mission and welcoming parents as partners. At the elementary and middle school level, Y.A.L.E. School Philadelphia provides specialized programming for two populations of learners: those with autism, and those with behavioral and emotional challenges.

Our high school program exclusively serves students on the autism spectrum who benefit from a functional life skills approach with an emphasis on language development. High school students in our program may also continue with us from ages 18 to 21 to further prepare for the transition to adulthood.

We invite you to explore our learning community and see how our programs may best meet the individual needs of your child. For admissions information, click here.

Community-based Instruction

At Y.A.L.E. School Philadelphia, the community is our classroom. Our students experience community-based instruction in the vibrant and bustling Manayunk neighborhood and surrounding area.

Evidence-based Instruction

Y.A.L.E. School Philadelphia uses evidence-based teaching methods that have been proven to work. Data and evidence inform our practices and drive decisions about our students’ individualized educational programming.

STEAM Subject Areas

We emphasize “STEAM” subject areas: Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics. These form the foundation of high-interest project-based interactive lessons that are both collaborative and challenging.

Transition Planning

It’s never too early to start thinking about your child’s transition to college, the workplace, and independent life. We offer early transition planning and support, as well as integrated transition instruction and preparation.

What experts say:

I have been consistently impressed with Y.A.L.E.’s adolescent and transition programs. While maintaining a solid commitment to evidence-based intervention, they regularly “push the envelope” to apply best practices in the community, the typical school environment and the workplace.

—Peter Gerhardt, Ed.D.

What parents say:

My son is in his 5th year at The Y.A.L.E. School, and I know he wouldn’t be the person he is today without the help of their committed and caring staff. They go above and beyond with the teaching of citizenship, social skills, self-esteem, academics and transition skills. Thank you, Y.A.L.E.!

—Dawn A.