Boston Higashi School is an international residential program serving children and young adults from ages 3-22 on the autism spectrum.

Our philosophy is based upon the world-renowned tenets of Daily Life Therapy® developed by the late Dr. Kiyo Kitahara of Tokyo, Japan. This method provides children with systematic education through group dynamics, the intermingling of academics, technology, art, music and physical education. The goal of this educational approach is for individuals to achieve social independence, dignity, and to benefit from and contribute to society.

Student holding diploma

Our Mission

Our Mission is to help children and young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder learn to reach their full potential through the methodology of Daily Life Therapy®. This unique educational philosophy developed by the late Dr. Kiyo Kitahara of Tokyo, Japan incorporates a broad and balanced curriculum, including academics, art, music, physical education, technology, and social education. Students take on challenges, learn to overcome obstacles, and gain confidence from their own success.

This approach allows our students to develop a love for learning so they may fully enjoy their family, community, and all that life has to offer. As each student grows and learns, their personality and individual character matures, allowing them to benefit from, and most importantly, contribute to society as adults.

Dr. Kitahara with students

Our History

Our history begins in 1964 when Dr. Kiyo Kitahara established the Musashino Higashi Kindergarten in Tokyo, Japan. Her now well-known method for educating children with autism, Daily Life Therapy®, emerged naturally from her experience teaching a child with autism who was enrolled in her regular kindergarten class. Word of her success with this child and with others quickly spread, and in 1973, the Ministry of Education in Japan honored the Musashino Higashi School with the designation as the research organization for autism.

In 1977, Dr. Kitahara established the Musashino Higashi Elementary School, and in 1983, established a junior high school. In 1984, with an increasing demand from families across the globe, she opened the first International Division to accommodate foreign students, including many Americans. In 1986, Dr. Kitahara opened the Musashino Higashi Specialized High School to teach older students with autism important vocational skills.

Dr. Kitahara was invited to the United States to share information about her approach. In September 1987, with the support and approval of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, she opened the Boston Higashi School with students from across the United States as well as many other countries. In 1988, Dr. Kitahara was awarded the prestigious Avon Award as Woman of the Year for her many contributions toward improving the lives of children.

Dr. Kitahara passed away in January 1989, leaving a legacy that promotes the further understanding of autism. Through the successful educational methodology of Daily Life Therapy®, we continue to carry out Dr. Kitahara’s dream.

Our Campus

Our campus is a 55-acre “hidden jewel” perched high on a hill on Route 28 in Randolph, MA. The site comprises rolling hills, nature trails, playgrounds, green house, athletic complex including a swim center, outdoor track and athletic field, providing opportunities for increased physical activity, and therapeutic benefits. The campus also includes student housing and school buildings that form a dynamic space for exploration, growth and learning.

The many activities during the Day and Residential Programs are designed to make full use of the site by all of the students. They garden in the green house, jog around the school paths, and study science in the outdoor classroom on the nature trails. It is truly a stimulating environment for the mind, body and spirit.

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The Boston Higashi School is approved as a Day and Residential Program by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, and the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care. The school is accredited by the National Commission for the Accreditation of Special Education Services. Students hail from Massachusetts, and a variety of national and international locations.