Improving care. Changing lives.

Next Step: College Success

Next Step: College Success & Independent Living

"My son emerges from these sessions feeling more confident and competent -- and I, as a parent, emerge feeling like I can slow down, appreciate my child, and take some of the pressure off of both of us. I leave the Next Step sessions with a fresh perspective, realizing that my son's differences can also be considered his strengths." - Next Step Parent

Read more testimonials about Next Step

The dates for this year’s Saturday Sessions and the weeklong Summer Session to be announced. Check back soon!

Please click here to download the Next Step: College Success & Independent Living Program brochure.

The Judge Baker Children’s Center is excited to present a program focused on fostering skills of independent living in a college environment for students with social communication deficits. The NEXT STEP: College Success & Independent Living program, consists of three Saturday day-long sessions throughout the academic year, as well as a week-long overnight dormitory experience based at Boston College.

NEXT STEP: College Success & Independent Living is designed for students, grades 10-13, who present with a social language deficit and are serious about attending college after high school. This program is appropriate for young adults with Asperger’s Syndrome, NLD, or related learning differences.

The focus of the NEXT STEP: College Success & Independent Living program is to afford students a chance to hone executive functioning, problem-solving, and self-advocacy skills that are necessary for living with other students on a college campus. Each Saturday session will include a skill focus, individual and group problem-solving activities, as well as a college campus excursion. Additionally, parents will have an opportunity to attend a morning educational seminar for a preview of the day’s activities and discussion on coping with the stresses and concerns of a child transitioning to college. All Saturday programs will begin and end at the Judge Baker Children’s Center facility at 53 Parker Hill Avenue in Boston. 

The summer portion of the NEXT STEP: College Success & Independent Living will take place at Boston College July 22 - July 27. The summer program allows students to experience living in a college dormitory with peers, navigating both new social and environmental challenges, including exposures to dining facilities, administrative procedures, and campus amenities.

To enroll in our program:

If you are interested in enrolling your young adult in our program, our intake coordinator will set up a brief phone intake with you and one of our program leaders so that we may learn more about your young adult, and also answer any additional questions you might have about the program. The phone intake generally lasts approximately 20 minutes. 

At the end of the call, we will schedule an informal in-person interview for you and your young adult to visit us at Judge Baker Children’s Center.

Contact Us

Contact us to learn more: click on the icon above to submit a request for information, call us (617) 278-4119, or email

Next Step Enrollment Form

Please do not submit payment, admission is contingent on intake and interview.

Financial Aid Application

Next Step: College Success & Independent Living is made possible, in part, by the generosity of foundations, corporations, and individuals, including:

Doug Flutie Jr Foundation logo


The Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism:
The goal of the Flutie Foundation is to help families affected by autism live life to the fullest.
Through our programs and partnerships, we help people with autism get access to care; lead more active lifestyles; and grow toward adult independence.


The Bennett Family Foundation:
Promoting engaged and healthy communities through innovative, sustainable programs. Grantmaking in the Greater Boston area focuses on organizations that help teens get re-connected to a supportive community, with the services and skills they need to become independent adults. 



ImprovBoston has supported Next Step through the generous donation of their time and incredible talent, leading improvisation workshops for our college-bound students. ImprovBoston staff create a safe and playful atmosphere, which brings students out of their shell to realize their own inherent improvisational talent. Amidst all the laughter, students are better able to connect with their inner creative processes as well as with their peers in the Next Step Summer Program.