NLG News

  • Nashoba Learning Group awarded $500,000 Cummings grant

    Jun 01, 2022


    Contact: Sara Robbins, Nashoba Learning Group, 781-275-2500,

    Contact: Alison Harding, Cummings Foundation, 781-932-7093,

    Nashoba Learning Group awarded $500,000 Cummings grant

    Bedford, MA nonprofit receives 10 years of funding from Cummings Foundation

    Bedford, MA, June 01, 2022 – Nashoba Learning Group (NLG) is one of 140 local nonprofits to receive grants of $100,000 to $500,000 each through Cummings Foundation’s $25 Million Grant Program. The Bedford/Billerica-based organization was chosen from a total of 580 applicants during a competitive review process. NLG will receive $500,000 over ten years.

    Nashoba Learning Group provides outstanding services to children and adults affected by Autism, Intellectual Disability and with intensive clinical needs.  NLG serves 130 students ages 3-21 in a School Program, and 52 Adults in an Adult Program. 

    Liz Martineau, CEO and President of Nashoba Learning Group, expressed gratitude for the Cummings grant. “We are thrilled to receive this incredibly generous grant from the Cummings Foundation!  These funds mean so much to our organization because they allow us to ensure that the individuals we serve can reach their potential.  Thank you for this amazing grant!”

    This grant provides funds to allow adults with Autism to access the community for activities of daily life, and volunteer and paid work.  This is so critical to their wellbeing and continued progress!  The continuity of funding means NLG can continue to grow and ensure that the adults we serve have the satisfaction of being contributing members of the community for many years to come. 

    The Cummings $25 Million Grant Program supports Massachusetts nonprofits that are based in and primarily serve Middlesex, Essex, and Suffolk counties.

    Through this place-based initiative, Cummings Foundation aims to give back in the areas where it owns commercial property. Its buildings are all managed, at no cost to the Foundation, by its affiliate, Cummings Properties. This Woburn-based commercial real estate firm leases and manages 11 million square feet of debt-free space, the majority of which exclusively benefits the Foundation.

    “We are so fortunate in greater Boston to have such effective nonprofits, plus a wealth of talented, dedicated professionals and volunteers to run them,” said Cummings Foundation executive director Joyce Vyriotes. “We are indebted to them for the work they do each day to provide for basic needs, break down barriers to education and health resources, and work toward a more equitable society.”

    With the help of about 90 volunteers, the Foundation first identified 140 organizations to receive grants of at least $100,000 each. Among the winners were first-time recipients as well as nonprofits that had previously received Cummings Foundation grants. Forty of this latter group of repeat recipients were then selected to have their grants elevated to 10-year awards ranging from $200,000 to $500,000 each.

    “Our volunteers bring diverse backgrounds and perspectives, which is so critical to our grant selection process,” said Vyriotes. “Through this democratized approach to philanthropy, they decide more than half the grants every year.”

    This year’s grant recipients represent a wide variety of causes, including food insecurity, immigrant and refugee services, social justice, education, and mental health services. The nonprofits are spread across 45 different cities and towns.

    The complete list of 140 grant winners, plus more than 900 previous recipients, is available at

    Cummings Foundation has now awarded more than $375 million to greater Boston nonprofits.

    About Nashoba Learning Group

    NLG was founded in 2002 to offer a different life trajectory for individuals with Autism.  Today NLG's School provides outstanding, individualized education, training and intervention services for students aged 3 to 22 with Autism Spectrum disorders.  NLG's rapidly growing Adult Program opened in 2013, providing ongoing support to adults with Autism. Additional information is available at

    About Cummings Foundation

    Woburn-based Cummings Foundation, Inc. was established in 1986 by Joyce and Bill Cummings and has grown to be one of the largest private foundations in New England. The Foundation directly operates its own charitable subsidiaries, including New Horizons retirement communities, in Marlborough and Woburn, and Cummings Health Sciences, LLC. Additional information is available at

    Nashoba Learning Group student Anjan celebrating the Cummings Foundation grant award. 
    Nashoba Learning Group student Braeden celebrates Cummings Foundation’s generous support.
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  • Northern Bank Charitable Foundation donates $40,000 to Nashoba Learning Group

    May 20, 2022
    Bedford, Massachusetts, May 3, 2022 – The Northern Bank Charitable Foundation recently awarded a $40,000 grant to the Nashoba Learning Group, a school for children and adults with autism.

    Michelle Arnold, Head of Northern Experience and Northern Bank Charitable Foundation Director, and Justin Thomas, Commercial Loan Officer, AVP, visited the school’s Bedford, Mass. campus to celebrate the gift. They were joined by Justin’s son, Jack Thomas, a student at the school, and Nashoba Learning Group CEO and President Liz Martineau.

    Nashoba Learning Group provides individualized education, training and intervention services for students ages three to 22 with autism spectrum disorders. It plans to use the gift for staff recruiting and training, which became a big need as the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted operations.

    Celebrating Northern Bank Charitable Trust’s gift to the Nashoba Learning Center (l-r) Liz Martineau, Michelle Arnold, Jack Thomas, and Justin Thomas ~ Courtesy image (c) 2022, all rights reserved

    About Northern Bank

    Northern Bank is a full-service bank dedicated to providing practical, common sense financial solutions to help our customers’ lives and businesses grow. From deposit products to loans to payment and collections services, we work hands on with our entrepreneurial customers, both locally and across the country, to provide the financial support they need to realize their personal and business goals. Founded in 1960, Northern Bank has 13 locations serving communities throughout Middlesex County. Northern Bank is a Member of the FDIC, and an Equal Housing Lender.
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  • Nashoba Learning Group Receives Signature Grant from Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism for $10,000

    Jan 05, 2022

    Nashoba Learning Group Receives Signature Grant from Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism for $10,000

    January 5, 2022 --Nashoba Learning Group is pleased to announce it has received a $10,000 grant from the Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism. These funds will provide critical support to NLG's Adult Program serving individuals with Autism.

    Funding from the Flutie Foundation will help allow 50+ adults to access the community, engage in volunteer or paid work and live full productive lives. Our priority is to rebuild our network of community volunteer sites.  To achieve this, NLG has hired a Job Developer who will work with NLG’s Executive Director of Community Integration and our Adult Program Director to re-instate our pre-COVID partnerships and develop new partnerships that serve all 50 of our adults.

    “We are so grateful to the Flutie Foundation for recognizing the needs of the adults with autism who require continued support in order to engage in volunteer or paid work in the community," says Liz Martineau, NLG's CEO and President. "We are proud to serve these amazing adults and so appreciative of the Flutie’s Foundation’s support.”

    "The Flutie Foundation Signature Grants help our partner agencies address a variety of significant needs in the autism community," says Nick Savarese, Executive Director of The Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism. "Programs like these are helping people on the autism spectrum live life to the fullest and we are proud to support their efforts.

    The Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism, based in Framingham, MA, awards grants annually through a competitive application and review process. The signature grants that the Flutie Foundation distributed this year support traditionally under-served, under-funded, culturally diverse communities reflected in the Foundation's areas of interest; providing a path for educational and vocational skills, supporting recreational and active lifestyles, and ensuring people with autism are safe, supported and informed.

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  • NLG's Fiscal 2021 Annual Report

    Sep 20, 2021

    It is our pleasure to share Nashoba Learning Group's Annual Report. As we all worked to adapt to the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are more grateful than ever for those that support NLG, and the children and adults with Autism that we serve.

    Click the link to view NLG's informative Annual Report for fiscal 2021.

    Annual Report

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  • Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Initiative at NLG

    Nov 02, 2020

    Since our founding in 2002, Nashoba Learning Group has been an organization driven by our mission and core values.  Our mission is to create the best available programs to allow people with autism to achieve their full potential, and participate as fully as possible in family and community activities throughout their lives.  We are dedicated to improving the methods of instruction, and sharing that knowledge.  The core values supporting this mission are:

    • Every person with autism deserves the opportunity to develop to their fullest potential.
    • Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is a proven discipline for enabling people with autism to achieve their potential.
    • Outstanding education must be comprehensive and customized.
    • The quality of the service that an individual receives is determined by the quality and training of the people who deliver the services.
    • Successful education and intervention is a joint commitment requiring both the program and the family.

    NLG has worked hard over the years to adhere to these values and we have built a school and an adult program that strives to treat each student, family and staff member as valued individuals with unique needs.  This requires that we understand and adapt to needs driven by each individual’s identification and culture.  We have taken care to develop and implement practices and policies that are in line with our values.  Our non-discrimination policy is a critical expression of our values. 

    However, values and policies are not sufficient in and of themselves.  It is important that they be accompanied by the actions, analysis of performance, and continuous cultivation that nurture a culture of non-discrimination and support for diversity. 

    External events have sparked an important national examination of equality and justice and the barriers faced by Black Americans and marginalized groups.  Spurred by these events, NLG’s management and Board have committed our organization to examine our practices, assess our performance, and determine how we can do better in creating an environment of equality, opportunity, and appreciation for all.   Our process has been data based and inclusive.  All staff members were given an opportunity to assess our performance through a staff survey.   Survey results can be viewed here.

    We engaged Solandy Forte, Ph.D., LCSW, LBA, BCBA-D, Director of Consultation and Community Outreach at Milestones Behavioral Services CT, an expert in this field, to work with us to facilitate our process and provide access to her expertise and resources.  We formed a committee, designed to be representative and inclusive, to review data, develop goals and create action plans. 

    Through this process we have identified gaps between our aspirations and our observable performance.  Our committee has created a vision for the effort, improvement goals, and specific actions to enable us to realize our goals.  We are behavior analysts and educators, and through this lens we develop our action plans to reflect what we know about effective ways to change the behavior of individuals and organizations, in order to remove barriers, enhance equality, and ensure all voices are heard.   The plan can be viewed here.

    NLG’s Board of Directors has reviewed and approved this plan and affirmed NLG’s commitment to diversity and equality.  This plan includes our vision, our goals, and the outline of our action plan.

    This roadmap will be used to develop and implement specific plans and allocation of resources.  It also includes a summary of our process and the data we analyzed to drive our efforts.  As you will see, our plan does not provide a “quick fix.”  What it will do is enable us to optimize our culture and our practices over time, in order to get closer and closer to our vision.  We intend for this plan to be evergreen, based on ongoing data collection and analysis, as we hold ourselves accountable for our efforts.  We look forward to continuing to engage our staff, our students and their families in this critical effort, and to reporting on progress made and ongoing plans.

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  • NLG's Fiscal 2020 Annual Report

    Sep 11, 2020

    It is our pleasure to share Nashoba Learning Group's Annual Report. As we all work to adapt to the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are more grateful than ever for those that support NLG, and the children and adults with Autism that we serve.

    Click the link to view NLG's informative Annual Report for fiscal 2020.

    Annual Report

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  • Nashoba Learning Group Receives 2020 Best of Billerica Award

    May 05, 2020

    Billerica Award Program Honors the Achievement

    BILLERICA April 28, 2020 -- Nashoba Learning Group has been selected for the 2020 Best of Billerica Award in the Schools category by the Billerica Award Program.

    Each year, the Billerica Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Billerica area a great place to live, work and play.

    Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2020 Billerica Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Billerica Award Program and data provided by third parties.

    About Billerica Award Program

    The Billerica Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Billerica area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

    The Billerica Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community's contributions to the U.S. economy.

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  • Meet Jack U.

    May 05, 2020
    Article from Autism Speaks

    When Jack is out on the course with his cross country coaches and teammates, he’s just one of the guys – navigating the 3.1-mile terrain like he’s been doing most afternoons for the last three years. On this particular day, he had a little extra pep in his step as he briskly made his way through the peaks and valleys of the open-air course behind the local high school. Even though he couldn’t express it with words, Jack knew running with his closest friends from the high school cross country team wasn’t the norm during the late winter months, so he made sure to make the most out of the impromptu workout.

    “Look at him out there – he’s such a stud,” said his mom, Judith, proudly looking on as her 16-year-old son practiced a handshake with his friend and team captain, Oliver. “You can see Jack just light up when he’s out here with the team. He has so much energy and having this physical outlet is so important for him being a big, strong guy. He might not be able to express it with words, but you can see how much this means to him.”

    Read full article here.

    View video here to hear from Jack's mother, teachers and friends.

    Jack NLG Team
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  • NLG's Fiscal 2019 Annual Report

    Sep 24, 2019

    We are excited to share our Annual Report with you.  We are so grateful to all those who support NLG and enable us to serve children and adults with Autism directly at our programs, and through our research and outreach efforts. 

    Click the link to review NLG's informative Annual Report for fiscal 2019.

    Annual Report 

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  • NLG's Giving Newsletter

    Mar 14, 2019
    Your gifts, your impact, and your support matter! Review NLG's informative Giving Newsletter to see the scope of our outreach in 2018, our funding goals for 2019, and our new Giving Levels.

    NLG's Giving Newsletter
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  • Streamlined Functional Analysis Workshop by Dr. Jessica Slaton

    Jan 29, 2019

    CEU Event for BCBA’s

    On March 14th from 6-8 pm at 10 Oak Park Drive in Bedford, NLG is offering a workshop that will enable BCBA’s to design and implement a streamlined Functional Analysis to allow the development of effective treatment for problem behavior.  The workshop will be conducted by Dr. Jessica Slaton.  Participants will receive 2 CEU credits.  There is a $50 registration fee.  Spaces are limited so register as soon as possible. Click here to register.


    Workshop Description:

    Conducting a functional analysis (FA) is a critical component of designing effective treatment for problem behavior. However, practitioners have reported that they do not often conduct FAs because of the time and resources necessary to do. The interview-informed synthesized contingency analysis (IISCA) is an FA format that is efficient, practical, and has been conducted a variety of settings including homes, schools, clinics, residential placements, and adult day placements. The IISCA can be conducted in 25 minutes or less and relies on capturing common scenarios that the individual typically experiences in their daily life, making it easier to conduct in natural settings without access to specialized equipment or session rooms. This 2-hour workshop will teach participants how to design and conduct IISCAs, including conducting a thorough clinical interview, designing the test and control conditions, assessing the outcome of the IISCA, and understanding the current IISCA research.

    Learning objectives

    By the end of the workshop, participants will be able to:

    • Describe the fundamental components of the IISCA
    • Design an IISCA, including selecting which topographies and contexts to include
    • Assess the outcome of an IISCA and determine next steps to take, including explaining the importance of analyzing within-session patterns
    • Describe possible problem-solving strategies when faced with an undifferentiated IISCA
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  • NLG awarded $100,000 from the Cummings Foundation

    May 25, 2018

    Bedford, May 25, 2018 – Nashoba Learning Group is one of 100 local nonprofits to receive grants of $100,000 each through Cummings Foundation’s “$100,000K for 100” program. The Bedford based organization was chosen from a total of 597 applications, during a competitive review process.

    Nashoba Learning Group was founded in 2002 to serve individuals more impaired by autism. The program enables children and adults with autism to function with the greatest possible productivity and independence in the community, home, and workplace through their lives. Nashoba Learning Group currently serves 124 children in their school program and 36 individuals in their adult program. 

    Representing Nashoba Learning Group, CEO Liz Martineau and Board Member Nan Leonard will join approximately 300 other guests at a reception at TradeCenter 128 in Woburn to celebrate this $10 million infusion into Great Boston’s nonprofit sector. With the conclusion of this grant cycle, Cummings Foundation has now awarded more than $220 million to Greater Boston nonprofits alone.

    “We are thrilled to receive this critical support for our Adult Program from the Cummings Foundation.  These funds will provide critical support to our work of engaging the adults we serve in volunteer work and activities of daily life in the community.  This engagement is so important to the adults we serve and allows them to be part of and give back to our community”  Liz Martineau, CEO

    With the assistance of the Cummings Foundations “$100K for 100 program” NLG will support adults with autism and intensive clinical needs in the community. The 38 adults NLG serves at our Adult Program work, engage, and volunteer in the community. Funding will be used to cover the staffing costs NLG incurs, in excess of government funding received.

    The $100K for 100 program supports nonprofits that are based in and primarily serve Middlesex, Essex, and Suffolk counties. Through this place-based initiative, Cummings Foundation aims to give back in the area where it owns commercial buildings, all of which are managed, at no cost to the Foundation, by its affiliate Cummings Properties. Founded in 1970 by Bill Cummings of Winchester, the Woburn-based commercial real estate firm leases and manages 11 million square feet of space, the majority of which exclusively benefits the Foundation.

    “We are indebted to the nonprofit organizations like Nashoba Learning Group that have a meaningful positive impact on the local communities where our colleagues and clients live and work,” said Joel Swets, Cummings Foundation’s executive director. “We are delighted to invest in their important programs and services.”

    This year’s diverse group of grant recipients represents a wide variety of causes, including homelessness prevention and affordable housing, education, violence prevention, and food insecurity. Most of the grants will be paid over two to five years.

    The complete list of 100 grant winners will be available beginning June 7 at

    Cummings Foundation announced an additional $10 million in early May through its new Sustaining Grants, which extend “$100K for 100” funding for previous winners for 10 more years. Beginning in 2019, the Foundation will increase its total annual giving through these two programs from $20 million to $25 million.

    About Nashoba Learning Group

    Nashoba Learning Group’s mission is to enable children and adults with Autism to gain the skills they need to function witt the greatest possible independence in the community, home, and workplace through their lives. NLG was founded in 2002 to offer a different life trajectory for individuals with autism. Today NLG’s School provides outstanding, individualized education, training and intervention services for students aged 3 to 22 with Autism Spectrum disorders. NLG’s Adult program, opened in 2013, provides ongoing support to adults with Autism.

    About Cummings Foundation

    Woburn-based Cummings Foundation, Inc. was established in 1986 by Joyce and Bill Cummings. The Foundation directly operates its own charitable subsidiaries, including New Horizons retirement communities in Marlborough and Woburn. Bill Cummings released his self-written memoir, “Starting Small and Making It Big: An Entrepreneur’s Journey to Billion-Dollar Philanthropist,” in March 2018. The book may be purchased at

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  • Bedford and Billerica's Nashoba Learning Group Aides in Autism Education

    Jan 25, 2017

    View the full article here:

    With an increase in autism diagnosis, the state is seeing a rising need for special education teachers. Conversely, the retention rate for special education teachers working for private organizations is low. According to statistics provided from the Massachusetts Association of 766 Approved Schools, 38 percent of teachers at such institutions quit their jobs each year.

    Nashoba Learning Group in Bedford has managed however, to overcome many of the obstacles facing other Chapter 766-approved schools. The retention rate for staff at Nashoba Learning Group is 85 percent, much higher than the state-wide average of 62 percent.

    Chapter 766-approved schools are authorized under state law to provide education to publicly funded students with severe and complex disabilities. Although the Nashoba Learning Group is a private organization, almost all of their students are publicly funded pupils who attend because their public school district cannot provide reasonable accommodations. There are 86 such schools in the state.

    Liz Martineau, who serves as the president of the school and a Concord native founded Nashoba Learning Group in 2002 in Westford before moving to Bedford in 2008. The school specializes in students with intensive forms of Autism, drawing over 100 students from more than 50 cities and towns at their locations in Bedford and Billerica.

    A common problem with staffing is that many teachers can earn more money working in the public schools. The average salary for a teacher at a 766-approved school is $50,189 while the state-wide average at a public school is $74,703.

    "We work to pay our staff competitive salary, but a staff member with the right credentials could earn more in the public schools," Martineau said.

    The challenge at a school like the Nashoba Learning Group however, extends beyond just the financial needs. Working with children afflicted with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) typically involves operating in stressful situations and the burnout rate is very high.

    "Getting staff in the door that have the heart and the skills for this job is a challenge. Martineau said. "It takes a certain type of personality to love this and embrace this. A very significant percentage (of our students) are completely non-verbal and all of our students have some degree of language impairment. Many of them are sent to us because they develop inappropriate behavior and the district just doesn't have the resources to help them overcome those challenges."

    Tina Taylor, a clinical director at Nashoba Learning Group, worked in the public school system before coming to the school. Taylor spoke about the isolation she felt while working with special needs students in public schools; where often times an aide is paired with a student and works with them one-on-one for the entire school day.

    "I just found the support was lacking in the public setting," Taylor said. "I felt like I was often times just left to my own devices. It was an inclusive setting by I didn't feel like there was a lot of community or planning around my student."

    Nashoba Learning Group utilizes a rotations system to avoid one teacher working with one student for too long. According to Martineau the rotations ensure that teachers have a supporting group of professionals and therefore keeps teachers from being burned out too quickly.

    "A lot of what we try to do to minimize our staff turnover is to provide a very supportive system for our staff. It is a tough job but we have a lot of support around here to do right by those kids to provide them with the right kind of environment," Martineau said. "A lot of the staff we get from the public schools, they don't have the resources. If a kid is having a terrible problem, you don't have someone to call and say 'Take a look at this kid, tell me what you think'. Here we have all kinds of expertise to assist in those situations."

    The rotation system is based around four teachers who interchangeably swap between students. In addition to keeping teachers from feeling isolated with only one student, the system allows the professionals to exchange thoughts on the individual learner.

    "Here you are not the only person that knows that child, you have a team of around seven people plus other specialists that all know that child inside and if you don't know something there is always somebody you can ask and somebody you can rely on," Taylor said.

    Another strategy the school uses to keep retention rates high is an intensive training program that ensures new staff are fully aware of their job responsibilities.

    "We have a six-week trial phase once people are hired so they can come in and see if this for them," Education Administrator Maureen Lacerte said. "We can also observe them and we can discuss that maybe this is not the right forte for them."

    One area in which Nashoba Learning Group is looking to enhance is the amount of male instructors they have. The field of special needs education is heavily female and Lacerte estimated that their current staff is 95 percent female.

    "A lot of families would like to have more male staff," Lacerte said. "Male staff members are almost like golden eggs...;we are working on a lot of things like toilet training and other issues that are gender sensitive so they do like having male staff, but we don't just get that many male applicants."

    The school recently opened up a second facility in Billerica that also includes adult education and they plan on continuing to expand.

    "We are always hiring," Martineau said. "We have expanded a lot recently and even with a high retention rate, we still lose about 20-30 staff members a year."

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  • Welcome Annual Fund Co-Chairs

    Apr 04, 2016
    both pics

    Dear NLG Parent/Guardians,

    My name is Marta Wolf, mother of Natasha, a student at NLG. Natasha is our enlightenment in so many ways and she is also our challenge as parents. She is 17 years old and she has autism. Our commitment and biggest challenge is to help her succeed as best she can.

    In 2012, our family decided to relocate from Virginia in search of a good vocational program for our daughter. I visited most of the private schools in MA. After touring NLG, I knew I found what I was looking for.

    NLG has surpassed all my expectations by providing much more than a good vocational program.  I'm so impressed with the level of services, quality, compassion and individuality. Natasha has attended similar (private 1:1 ABA certified) schools her whole life and never were we offered consultations and parent trainings at home. Daily outings in the community, swimming, dentist visits at school, and transportation are all part of a tailored individualized plan to address her specific needs. We never dreamed of having such services be part of Natasha’s school schedule. We work as a team and I was given a voice within. I no longer have to struggle to be heard!

    These are all the reasons I have joined the Annual Fund Committee as a Co-Chair. NLG constantly improves the daily life of my daughter and family, I want to give back to the school that is giving its all. I look forward to getting to know each one of you and join together to support NLG.

    My name is Carol Rakers, mother of Samantha, a student at NLG for the past 6 ½ years.  Since she came to NLG she has grown into a young lady who my husband and I couldn’t be prouder of.  She has come so far in her behaviors, communication, expressing herself, as well as entering adolescence with much less anxiety than we anticipated. 

    Thanks to her wonderful team at NLG who put everything into Samantha’s daily program to make her day to day routine much more bearable.  It is such a great feeling to have a team ready and willing to listen whenever needed.  All I have to do is mention a particular issue or behavior I would like to work on or change with Samantha.  The team is willing and ready to work on it very quickly. 

    We were so lucky to be able to send Samantha to NLG and with this is why I am glad to become a Co-Chairperson for the Annual Fund for Nashoba Learning Group.

    As you may know, funding from our cities and towns, Department of Developmental Services and MassHealth do not fully cover the cost of educating our children and serving them as adults. Some of the very special ingredients that make Nashoba so successful and that constitute key elements of our children’s education are funded through philanthropy. For instance, the professional development and training that teachers receive is funded through grants and donations. Also, the specialized staff who are so critical to our kids’ success in learning to manage their behavior so they can participate in learning, the community, work, and life activities, are also funded through philanthropy. Specialist resources for our students using augmentative communication also are paid for outside of public funding.

    Throughout the year NLG calls upon families and friends to support the school in various ways.  Thank you for your ongoing commitment to the school.  We are writing to ask you to donate to NLG’s Annual Fund, if you have not already done so.  We look forward to reaching out to you with our Phone-A-Thon on March 22nd.  Last year’s Phone-A-Thon was a great way to kick off the Annual Fund Spring Ask. We hope to involve even more parents and reach our goal of 100% participation.

    Thank you for all that you do for NLG.  If you have any questions, comments or want more information, please do not hesitate to contact us at or

    Carol, Marta & Brendan
    Carol Rakers, Marta Wolf, & Brendan Cheever
    Annual Fund Co-Chairperson

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  • NLG's Second Site

    Jul 01, 2015

    We are so excited to report that our School expansion site at 170 Lexington Road is complete and we have received DESE approval to open!  The School site occupies the first floor of the building and our Adult Program occupies the second floor.  As those of you whose child is moving already know, step one of the expansion will be to move 15 students and their teaching teams to the new School space.  We will do this effective July 13th!  Then, we will be able to gradually add new students in both of our School sites over the next three years, eventually adding 40 new students to our current census of 90.   

    This accomplishment marks an important milestone in NLG’s strategic plan.  It will enable us to serve more of the individuals with autism who desperately need the services we provide!  This will also provide staff development opportunities at both sites, essential to retaining our excellent staff.  Our model of serving students with highly trained staff and talented Clinical Directors whose caseloads allow them to intensively supervise each student is unique.  It allows our students to make vital developmental progress.  Our parent community and the school districts who send students here have spread the word about NLG’s high quality instruction by loving teachers, and many more families are anxious to have the same opportunity for their own children.  Answering this call is NLG’s mission:  we are excited to welcome new families to NLG just as we welcomed you. 

    As we grow, we will primarily add younger students at 10 Oak and students aged 10 and older at 170 Lex.  In order to facilitate smooth drop off and pick up for districts sending to both sites, the 170 Lexington School Site will operate from 8:45 to 2:45.  Hours for the Adult Program have been shifted to 9:15 to 3:15.  Hours at 10 Oak Park will remain the same, 9:00 to 3:00.  Days of operation for both School sites will be the same.  To facilitate referring to each site, we will call them NLG-10 Oak and NLG- 170 Lex

    The two School sites will operate as one School and both sites will benefit from the mechanisms we have put in place over the last several years to enhance our quality across our School and Adult Programs, anticipating future growth.  These include our Behavior Council, Peer Mentoring Teams for Clinical Directors, our Life and Vocational skills Inventory tool, and our Redesigned Training and Mentoring Programs.  These systems enable us to more effectively share and review clinical practices and individualized curricula and train and mentor staff.  They help us ensure that we are consistent and that each individual has access to our best thinking on his or her programming.  We have also enhanced our administrative systems, including Schedule Builder, and our data tracking and management systems to enable smooth operation of two sites.  Finally, we have added capacity in Finance, IT, administration, and Development over the last year to enable our growth.    

    This new School site is the culmination of many years of planning and will mark the 5th time in NLG’s 12 years that we have opened a Program site.  NLG’s Clinical model, emphasizing professional development of staff and Clinical Directors with small caseloads of 8-10 students, is designed to facilitate growth while continuing to deliver high quality service to each and every student.  We are excited to welcome new families to our NLG community.  Thank you to everyone for all your support of NLG!  Together we enable individuals with autism to achieve their potential, both as children and as adults!

    Liz Martineau

    CEO, President and Clinical Director



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  • NLG Expands!

    Mar 04, 2015

    On behalf of the NLG Board, and on the 2nd birthday of our Adult Program, I am thrilled to announce a major advance in our mission of enabling individuals with autism to achieve their potential.   On February 23rd we purchased 170 Lexington Road in Billerica!  Click here for the press release.

    Our purchase of this building, which houses our Adult Program on the second floor, is exciting on 2 fronts.  First, the cost of operating our Adult Program will go down, reflecting the economics of owning versus renting.  This will reduce the size of the gap between our costs and government funding, allowing us to grow and enhancing our ability to make up the gap through annual fundraising in the face of continual funding uncertainty. 

    Second, the space we gain on the first floor will allow us to expand our School program to a second site and increase our overall enrollment!   We will renovate this space during the spring and plan to welcome our first new students in the summer.  Over the next few years, we will be able to add 40 additional students, in addition to the 90 we now serve.  We can help more of those who desperately need us. 

    In order to facilitate the renovation of the building and fund the working capital costs of expanding our enrollment, NLG is launching a Capital Campaign.  The goal of the campaign is to raise $1,500,000.  We have already received a grant from the Yawkey Foundation of$300,000 for capacity expansion and gifts and pledges totaling an additional $150,000.   We will work to complete the campaign within 18 months.  We would be grateful for your participation and your help engaging your networks in the effort!  Specific opportunities are noted on the attachment and we would be pleased to provide you with more information.

    This is such an exciting opportunity for NLG to significantly increase our capacity to provide the high quality services those more impaired by autism need to achieve their potential!  The growing number of individuals with autism is well documented, as is the lack of availability of the services they need to be productive members of the community.   With your help we can take this important step to meet the growing need for services for individuals more impaired by autism.  Please join us in our Campaign!



    Liz Martineau

    CEO, President and Clinical Director


    Nashoba Learning Group Capital Campaign
    Sponsorship Opportunities


    Opportunity  Level Number
    Cornerstone Sponsor  $100,000  1
     Kitchen Sponsor  $50,000  1
     Nurses Clinic Sponsor  $50,000  1
     Vocational Sponsor  $25,000  1
     Classroom Sponsor  $25,000  8
     New Student Sponsor  $10,000  40
     Teacher work area Sponsor  $ 5,000  15
     NLG Supporter  various  



    ** All sponsors will receive prominent acknowledgement of your donation in all printed and electronic platforms in 2015 – 2016 and on permanent congregate recognition signage in the area funded. 

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  • NLG completes purchase of 170 Lexington Road in Billerica

    Feb 26, 2015

    Thursday, February 26th, 2015 Nashoba Learning Group, Inc. purchases building in Billerica, MA.

    NLG is thrilled to announce a major advance in our mission of enabling individuals with autism to achieve their potential.
    The purchase of this building, which currently houses our Adult Program on the second floor, is exciting on 2 fronts.
    First, the cost of operating our Adult Program will go down significantly, reflecting the economics of owning versus renting.
    Second, the space we gain on the first floor will allow us to expand our School program to a second site and increase our overall enrollment!

    This is such an exciting opportunity for NLG to significantly increase our capacity to provide the high quality services those more impaired by autism need to achieve their potential!

  • NLG Parent/Guardian Survey Overall Satisfaction Rating June 2014

    Jun 27, 2014
    The results of NLG’s Parent Guardian Satisfaction survey are in!  Parents/Guardians of those served by NLG rated us on 35 measures of program quality.  Thank you to all who participated, we are very gratified by the very high overall ratings ( 4.6 on a 5 point scale) and motivated by the specific feedback on areas of strength and areas for improvement.

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  • The following appeared on

    Oct 09, 2013

    Headline: Some joy and trepidation - The Boston Globe

    Date:     Oct 9, 2013 

    Here, in a blank brick building in a suburban office park, is an autism quite different from the high-functioning version we’re accustomed to. And a glimpse of a future for which we’re woefully unprepared. These kids are not the hyper-focused math whizzes, or the ones with encyclopedic knowledge of transit systems, who have trouble communicating or reading social cues. They’re at the other end of the spectrum, their limitations more profound. The number of people with autism in this country has exploded over the last two decades. Twenty times more children are diagnosed with some form of autism now than in the 1980s. A whopping 500,000 will enter adulthood in the next decade. We’re nowhere near ready to deal with them.

    (to read the full story please click on the link below)



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  • New NLG Web Portal Offerings

    May 10, 2013

    NLG is pleased to announce a major addition to the library of BCBA Continuing Education offerings and Curriculum write-ups available on our web portal  Our new CEU video is titled Teaching Essential Life Skills to Adolescents and Teenagers with Autism and includes the skill areas of: Independent use of Public Restrooms, Time Telling, and Restaurant skills (as a customer).  We have added a new category to our curriculum write-ups, Daily Living Skills, with four individual skill area write-ups and a bundled offering.   We have added a write-up called Shopping for Clothes to our Math/Economics/Money Management/Shopping Category.

    Go to the Training and Outreach tab to see the NLG programming we have made available for the benefit of individuals with autism.

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NLG In The News

The Boston Globe: January 10, 2008
Making Room For Autism

The Portsmouth Herald: July 31, 2004
Sprague’s Boss Bikes 1,000 Miles for Charity