Meristem is a unique program dedicated to preparing young adults on the autism spectrum for a life of greater independence and fulfillment. We are located near Sacramento, California, on a lush 13-acre campus. Meristem students are young adults, between the ages of 18-28, who show the potential to achieve greater independence and self-sufficiency upon graduation. They often have aspirations for career and/or college, and are willing to discover and work towards their passions and goals.
Our students come to Meristem from all across the United States. What they share in common is a history of struggle, a deep desire to feel connected to others, and a goal of attaining a greater state of independence. Our students work closely with their Student Coordinator to identify their goals and to make a plan to reach those goals over the course of three years.
>> What Our Students Say – Video Run Time 1:35
“Somewhere, there is a two-year old who is just being diagnosed with autism, and because of what we’re doing at Meristem now, we’re creating a better and happier future for them.”
While our students make strides toward their own personal definition of independence, our parents and family members are also transformed and supported by being part of our community. Many parents experience ‘firsts’ for their student here, and as a community they celebrate those moments together.
> What Our Parents Say – Video Run Time 2:37
“We wanted him to understand that he is more than his diagnosis. We wanted him to understand that he is capable of doing anything in this life that he wants to do. Meristem is giving him the confidence to realize this.”
What Meristem is doing is redefining the spectrum of ability and addressing one of the most significant public policy challenges we face in our state and in our society – the unacceptable unemployment rate for people with abilities who also happen to have disabilities.
Meristem is unique. There’s no equivalent program in our region, state or nation. Meristem offers hope, purpose and meaning. It is one of a kind.
Mayor of Sacramento
Meristem Board Member
Meristem staff are highly-trained, experienced and dedicated to providing Person-Centered Planning to our students. Student Coordinators help students navigate toward their personal milestones, and acts as liaisons with the students’ families to provide regular updates. Instructors (Day Program and Independent Living) work with the students and with the Student Coordinators so that the entire team operates in a coordinated fashion consistent with the Individualized Support Plan (ISP) for every student. Program Support is a third layer of support for students, and allow instructors to continue their curriculum while providing 1:1 support to students as needed, typically while a new skill is being learned.