St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center provides a rich array of specializations to adults who have developmental disabilities, such as autism, Down syndrome, epilepsy, and cerebral palsy. While there are no cures for developmental disabilities, people with those cognitive disorders can still achieve personal and professional fulfillment.  It is our mission at SMSC to empower our adult students to discover, experience and realize their full potential as members of the greater community.

Aquatics Program 

disbaledmanSt. Madeleine Sophie’s Center Aquatics Program offers quality classes, year-round, to the general public and to our SMSC students. Swimming is an enjoyable social and/or recreational experience that also provides a broad spectrum of health benefits. Swimming promotes cardiovascular and respiratory fitness, range of motion, coordination, balance, flexibility and fun! We offer small group or private adaptive swim lessons for adults and children with special needs and adaptive swim team training. Our aquatic fitness program includes The Arthritis Foundation’s Aquatic Exercise Class and our own moderate intensity Aqua Fitness Class. These programs are open… Learn More>

Adaptive Computer Training

Our computer training program takes place in the Theresa & Edward O’Toole Foundation Adaptive Technology Computer Center in our Education Building.  This innovative program trains adults with developmental disabilities to learn basic computer skills using adaptive technology equipment that meets each student’s individual need. Our students can work to earn certificates in the numeric keypad, calculator, typing, data entry, Windows XP basics, word processing basics and spreadsheet basics.  After earning their certificates, they are awarded an overall Computer Literacy Certificate. Participants can also learn to navigate the Internet, set up and use email, and use a variety of… Learn More>

Culinary Arts Training

kitchen SMSC’s Culinary Arts Training program offers Food Handler Safety and Kitchen Safety courses that qualify students to prepare and serve daily meals. SMSC’s goal is to teach skills that will help students find employment opportunities in the food service industry. The newly remodelled on-campus snack bar is a popular place for both students and staff, offering delicious items prepared by students in the SMSC kitchen. The snack bar also gives students the opportunity to learn customer service and money handling skills. Learn More>

Organic Garden
garden5Our two-acre organic garden site includes a flourishing natural habitat; complete with ADA approved meandering pathways, contemplative spaces and opportunities to commune with nature. In addition, our gardens serve as a reality-based work training environment; where students receive individualized support from managers who are trained in the field of horticulture as well as excel at working with the developmentally disabled. It is our aim to provide training in a natural environment that cultivates more than strong, healthy plants – but an area where students focus on goal attainment, develop physical and mental skills, hone social interaction, build self-esteem,… Learn More>

Sophie’s Gallery
 In the 1970s, SMSC expanded its curriculum to offer its first art classes. With these first classes, an untapped wealth of talent was revealed. Many students who had not been able to express themselves through traditional means were sharing their once hidden feelings through vibrant, original works of art on canvas, wood, glass and other media. The program became so popular that it outgrew the available space.  In 1999, with generous community support, the art program moved to a storefront in Downtown El Cajon and was named Sophie’s Gallery and Gift Shop.  In 2007, we expanded the original storefront… Learn More>

Employment Services

SMSC’s Employment Services Program is a community-based program that serves adults with developmental disabilities who are in the process of acquiring vocational skills, and generally need support and direction in obtaining and retaining employment. The program focuses on helping each individual to: determine career interests; develop and maintain vocational skills, aptitude and self-efficacy; obtain long-term, competitive employment that meets each indivdiual’s specific needs; and develop a career plan that utilizes the individual’s talents.  We also offer a Supported Employment Program (Individual Placements are now full).   This program is committed to providing quality employment services that… Learn More>

Developing communication skills is important. At SMSC a licensed speech/language pathologist assesses individual speech and language abilities and provides instruction and activities in small group settings. SMSC is proud to offer these distinct program components: Visi-Pitch II computer and specialized software for assigning and treating speech and voice disorders. Speech Intelligibility focus for individuals who need help initiating conversations and improving language skills. Pragmatic Aspect focus on social skills and interaction in small groups. Informal sign language refresher classes are also conducted frequently to enable students to better communicate with each other. Also held regularly are informal refresher… Learn More>