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 children between the ages of 4 and 18 with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Borderline to Severe Intellectual Impairment, Emotional and Behavioral Disorders and Developmental Delays and Neurobehavioral Challenges. Bernalillo Academy has a licensed capacity of a total of 40 beds. Bernalillo Academy is licensed and Certified by the New Mexico Department of Children, Youth and Families and is accredited by The Joint Commission (TJC). The Bernalillo Academy environment focuses on behavioral change through an eclectic approach to treatment, which includes Applied Behavior Analysis-based therapies (ABA), group, individual and family work trauma informed therapies and milieu, psychiatric care and Equine and Pet 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
  • Parenting Groups and Training
  • Adaptive Skill Building Programs
  • Telemedicine and Teletherapy
  • Equine Therapy and Pet Therapy
  • 24 hour Licensed Nursing Care
  • Educational services are provided in conjunction with the Department of Special Education of the Albuquerque Public School System on site.


  • High staff to student ratio
  • Child/Adolescent trained Psychiatrists, specializing in Autism/Developmental Disabilities
  • Board Certified Behavior Analyst
  • Licensed Clinical Therapists
  • American Sign Language Tutor
  • Licensed Dietician and Heart Healthy Menus
  • 24 hour Licensed RNs and LPNs provide nursing care
  • Behaviorial staff developer and implement Behavior Support Plans

Bernalillo Academy Values

Bernalillo Academy values a culture of safety, predictability, trust and accountability. A social environment of structure, routine and clear expectations enables students to develop a sense of order and predictability in their environment, as well as a sense of trust in the reliability of others. The daily activities scheduled for students at Bernalillo Academy are developed based on these principles. 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