Firefly Autism

  • School for Children on the Autism Spectrum
  • Lakewood, Colorado
  • 25,000 s.f.
  • $3 Million remodel


A highly innovative, award winning program for children and young adults on the Autism Spectrum , Firefly Autism, had outgrown its original space and needed a new home in which to grow and enrich its programs. A historic, 2 story former middle school was purchased as an ideal place to upgrade and remodel to fit the special needs of this population.


With a tight budget, design focus was put in specialized areas that could best serve those on the spectrum, the service approach of the program, and the staff who work with them. The overall campus, including outdoor play spaces, was designed to allow staff to keep separate different groups of users, including young children, school age children, parent training and assessment, and other "outpatient" services while allow staff to flow well between them. Safety, security and ease of wayfinding was paramount. Specialized spaces for advanced staff work, such as a Functional Analysis Room, Parent Training Room with one‐way glass observation, PT/OT space, Toilet Training Room, and carefully designed Time Out Rooms were included. Lighting, finishes, paint colors, and eliminating sounds from mechanical equipment were considered to minimize distraction and agitation, calm, orient, and as therapeutic interventions.

a Medulla Creation