Bernalillo Academy


Notice of Privacy Practices

Bernalillo Academy opened its doors in April 2009 as a sub-acute residential treatment center that specializes in treating boys and girls between the ages of 4 and 17 with Autism Disorder, Neurodevelopmental Disorders, Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities and other Emotional and Behavioral Disorders. Bernalillo Academy has a licensed capacity of 63 beds. Bernalillo Academy is licensed and Certified by the New Mexico Department of Children, Youth and Families and is accredited by The Joint Commission. The Bernalillo Academy environment focuses on behavioral change through an eclectic approach to treatment, which includes, but is not limited to Applied Behavior Analysis-based therapies (ABA), group, individual and family work with licensed Clinical Therapists, trauma informed therapies and milieu, intensive psychiatric care, 24 hour nursing and Equine Therapy. We utilize a progressive, strengths-based model that focuses on learning, practicing and generalizing skills into more natural environments. Bernalillo Academy develops individualized treatment programs that are based on best practices.

Services Offered

  • Individualized, Group and Family Therapy
  • Comprehensive Psychiatric Treatment
  • Social Skills Teaching
  • Self-Management Training
  • Verbal Behavior Programs
  • Feeding Programs
  • Toileting Programs
  • Functional Behavior Assessments
  • Positive Behavior Support Plans
  • Parent Support and Training
  • Adaptive Skill Building Programs
  • Equine Therapy
  • 24 hour Licensed Nursing Care
  • Educational services are individualized for each child and provided on-site at Bernalillo Academy


  • High staff to student ratio
  • Child/Adolescent trained Psychiatrists, specializing in Autism/Developmental Disabilities
  • Licensed Clinical Therapists
  • Licensed Dietician and Heart Healthy Menus
  • Licensed RNs and LPNs provide 24 hour nursing care
  • Registered Behavior Techs
  • 24 hour Youth Care Support staff

Bernalillo Academy Values

Bernalillo Academy values a culture of safety, predictability, trust and accountability. The social environment at Bernalillo Academy provides structure, routine and clear expectations, enables students to develop a sense of order and predictability in their environment, and instills a sense of trust in the reliability of others. The daily activities scheduled for students at Bernalillo Academy are developed based on these principles and the unique needs of each child. Opportunities for social, emotional and behavioral development are provided throughout the day to ensure skills learned in therapy and intensive teaching sessions are generalized to the natural environment. Our goal is to improve the quality of life for students by focusing on socially significant behaviors and building on the strengths of each student by targeting functional skills that will help each child reach their full potential.

For additional information or to make a referral,
please contact:

Melinda Heller-Nellos, LPPC
Executive Director
Phone: 505-924-6324

Yvonne Gurule, MSE, LED
Director of Marketing & Community Development
Phone: 505-710-9210
Fax: 505-768-7956

Not sure which program?
Contact Steve Gilbert
Phone: 712-310-9395
Email for more information