Behavioral Associates of Massachusetts (doing business as The Halcyon Center) was founded in 1983. Since its inception, our mission has been to serve adults with disabilities age 22 and older. We create a welcoming, nurturing environment focused on individual development and growth.

We deliver personalized, compassionate vocational and residential services to adults on the autism spectrum, as well as those with developmental disabilities and those dually diagnosed with cognitive and mental health disorders. Our focus is on helping them become more independent and productive, while also allowing them to become integral parts of their community.

Behavioral Associates of Massachusetts offers a caring, supportive, and clinically-sound environment in which we offer self-control training, skill acquisition and assist individuals in developing relationships within their community. We help individuals develop self-control while realizing their unique personal potential. We also utilize clinical support, including relaxation, imagery, and communication training to help each patient manage themselves.

We serve individuals with:

At Behavioral Associates of Massachusetts, we focus on four pillars to help each individual grow, develop, and thrive:

Independence – Fostering a true sense of independence requires developing strong self-control over an individual’s behavior. We encourage independence by introducing opportunities to exercise choice in life and in the environment to help each individual learn the value of communication and develop self-sufficiency.

Productivity – We help individuals develop meaningful work and self-management skills through interaction at home and within the community.

Integration – We encourage individuals to use their resources, participate in activities, and establish and maintain relationships within the community. Integrating into the community also instills a sense of belonging and confidence.

Person-Centeredness – The individual is at the core of everything we do. We realize that everyone is unique, and our person-centered approach ensures that we can meet everyone where they are. Everything we do is underpinned by the values of respect for the person, the individual's right to self-determination, and understanding. The result? A culture of empowerment that fosters growth and independence.

Our Services

Behavioral Associates of Massachusetts provides day habilitation and community-based day/vocational supports, including recreational opportunities, competitive employment, paid-work sponsored opportunities, and volunteer opportunities. We offer 24-hour residential support, including residences staffed by fully trained professionals who deliver compassionate in-home care.

Our Day Habilitation Program is designed to increase an individual’s ability to control his or her personal environment, increase choice-making with dignity and respect, and support individual achievement by assisting members to use their personal resources for learning, leisure, and relationships with others through individual habilitative assessment and skills training within a supportive, compassionate environment.

The goal of our program is to provide structured behavioral and habilitative treatment services built on these core values:

  • A set of caring, supportive, safe, clinically-sound environments that support individual dignity, promote life skills and growth, and maximize independence.
  • A rich, personalized daily schedule of skills development activities suited to each individual’s unique interests, capabilities, and goals.
  • Our signature clinical and behavioral supports emphasize an individuals' self-management and maximize their adaptive functioning. These include the teaching and use of the relaxation response and picture rehearsal strategies to maximize self-control and programs to increase communication and social skills.

All Day Habilitation Program participants receive therapy services through an interdisciplinary team (IDT) made up of specialists in psychology, nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech and language. The individuals we serve and their personal network of supports, along with the IDT, work together to develop specific, measurable treatment goals to address their habilitative, medical, social, occupational, and psychological needs. All of this is achieved in a supportive environment designed to foster confidence and comfort.

We’re proud to offer a wide range of skills acquisition areas, including:

  • Sensorimotor development
  • Self-help development
  • Communication skills
  • Social skills
  • Behavior development
  • Independent living skills
  • Affective development per the individual member’s day habilitation service plan

Behavioral Associates of Massachusetts offers residential services for those unable to live at home and in need of alternative living arrangements. We offer group homes for individuals who require supervision and work with adults age 22 or older to provide a wide range of services, including:

  • Adaptive living skills
  • Domestic responsibilities
  • Socialization
  • Mobility
  • Communication
  • Stress reduction
  • Leisure and recreation
  • Self-governance
  • Emotional development and self-control
  • Community integration

State agencies, such as vocational and health service agencies, as well as responsible care providers, can make direct referrals by contacting Behavioral Associates of Massachusetts. We also work with families, advocates, and referring agents and welcome them to tour the grounds. After an initial interview, we will create a customized strategy that details how we can help the individual, and then notify the family and referring agent.

Our facility is staffed by a compassionate, caring team of specialists, including psychologists, special educators, social work clinicians, behavioral specialists, and more.

Our Vocational Support Program is a community-based, supported employment training program, focused on independence and self-management for adults with disabilities.

All programs include part-time work in competitively employed positions, paid positions sponsored by Behavioral Associates of Massachusetts, Inc., volunteer opportunities for community organizations, and recreational activities. Vocational supports include vocational skills assessment, job identification, job placement, and training. Skills associated with successful vocational development are also provided, including social skills, communication, relaxation, and imagery training.

We provide a secure, stable learning environment that promotes independent behavioral control, using positive programming, informed choice-making, and problem/solution-oriented skills training.

Our scheduled activities help individuals understand their own intrinsic value and abilities. We do this by providing opportunities to practice the day-to-day skills necessary to enhance their independence. While we focus on personal growth in the areas of employment and skill acquisition, our program also helps individuals improve interpersonal communication, establish meaningful relationships, and get involved in the everyday happenings of the community.

We employ positive programming to gently adjust behaviors. Behavioral needs are addressed using the relaxation and imagery training methods developed by Dr. June Groden, the late Dr. Gerry Groden, and the late Dr. Joseph Cautela. These methods focus on an individual's control of their physical and cognitive responses to their own personal stressors and are effective for anyone, not just people with disabilities.

We believe in promoting the use of natural reinforcement contingencies and incidental learning to help shape pro-social behavior. Each individual learns the skills needed to navigate through their day with as much support as necessary, but without promoting an overreliance on others. The result is personal growth, a sense of independence, and greater self-confidence.