Beacon Day School – a California non-public school for children with autism and related disorders - was founded in 2004 by Dr. Mary Jo Lang, a clinical psychologist and fellow autism parent who recognized the unique and diverse academic, social, emotional, and physical needs of the autism population and set out to create a safe, compassionate, nurturing school community dedicated to improving the lives of students and their families.


During her years in private practice, Dr. Lang used her extensive educational and clinical background to help clients living with autism make meaningful progress across all domains, while providing families and caregivers invaluable support and guidance. However, Dr. Lang felt her ability to assist her community was limited as a private clinician, and at the urging of several families, she closed her practice and opened Beacon Day School with the hope of making a greater positive impact on the lives of students and their families.


Originally located in the city of Huntington Beach, Beacon quickly outgrew its humble church basement beginnings and soon relocated to a larger facility in the city of Orange. In no time the school became known for providing innovative, exceptional educational and therapeutic services for students and families living with autism and related disorders and once again, outgrew its location.


Now located in the city of La Palma, Beacon Day School continues to provide excellence in education delivered by experts passionate about their field, as well as evidence-based interventions, state-of-the-art technology in every classroom, and individualized academic and therapeutic programs designed to support and accommodate the unique needs of every student while fostering meaningful progress across all subjects and developmental domains.


Beacon’s approach to education begins with recognizing the importance of nurturing and supporting the whole child. Acknowledging that students with autism and related disorders often struggle with comorbid conditions that may affect learning allows us to provide the necessary supports, accommodations, and interventions that can mean the difference in the lives of our students and their families. Addressing psychological, emotional, and physical challenges builds a stronger foundation from which true learning can take place, enriching lives and paving the way for successful growth and progress.


As Beacon continues to grow, we remain committed to realizing our mission each and every day, inspired by our students and families to pursue excellence in all we do.  Through collaboration, innovation, and ongoing enhancements to our program - such as continued professional development for all staff to ensure best practices across all services and settings and access to the latest in educational technology – we know this is just the beginning of something amazing and can’t wait to see what the future holds. 


We are more than a school. We are a community.

Our History