Meristem’s lush 13-acre campus is located in Fair Oaks, California, just east of Sacramento and walking distance to trails and a portion of the American River. This beautiful land provides an inspiring location for our students to try new skills, both social and practical. Students learn, fail, try new strategies, explore relationships and get feedback from peers and a well-trained staff.
Our expansive campus includes sixty independent living dorm rooms and apartments, multiple classrooms, a performance hall, a café, a dining hall, a student lounge, a bookstore, and a biodynamic three-acre organic garden. All of these amenities foster an active on-campus social environment, especially in the lounge and the café where students enjoy music, movies and parties.
Each dorm suite contains six bedrooms, two bathrooms, a full kitchen, a living room, and an outdoor patio or balcony.
Students on Campus
Students who live off-campus join us Mondays through Fridays during program offerings between 8:30 AM – 3:30 PM. Their schedule of activities is co-created with their Student Advisor to select classes that provide opportunities to meet the goals they have set for themselves.
Independent Living Program
Independent Living Program students participate in the Day Program schedule during the week, and enhance their experience by living in the dorms on campus, immersing themselves in Independent Living instruction throughout the evenings and weekends.
A Day at Meristem
Download our PDF to read more about a student’s typical weekday schedule at Meristem. A Day at Meristem PDF
Campus Culture and Fun
Meristem students have a wide range of opportunities to create an inclusive, welcoming, and fun atmosphere on campus. These include Friday evening gatherings, Student Council participation, music and games in the student lounge on campus, hiking and biking on the trails near the American River, and student-organized outings, trips, and travel.
“Emily’s gentle demeanor gives the impression she is fragile. But due to many of the small hikes, kayaking, outdoor gardening, games and cycling at Meristem, Emily enjoys eight mile treks along the coast with her family. She loves to go on long bike rides with her dad and she loves exercise and helping to garden here at home. What is new and life changing is the fact that Emily gets up in front of people and sings in the Student Lounge at lunch time. Because of theatre group and the lunchtime band, she is coming out of her shell. These opportunities are priceless!” – Erin (parent)
Day Trips and Travel
Students plan and attend day trips to local destinations, as well as travel to San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, Yosemite and even Disneyland among other places. These trips are for students ready to apply their skills to new places, experiences and interactions. While having fun, they also learn to travel independently, acclimate to new situations and stay safe in unfamiliar environments.
Family Events & Support
Meristem family members are invited to attend a variety of Meristem dinners, picnics, and other fun events on campus throughout the school year. Families also plan and invite others to join their own off campus activities, events and outings too.
Meristem Parents Facebook Group
Created by parents, for parents, the Meristem Parents Facebook group is a private closed group that allows parents to connect, network, share resources, and provide support.
Meristem Parent Education Group Meetings
This group meets monthly to discuss the latest in autism education, research on effective teaching strategies, parent experiences, support, and sharing of resources.