our asd program
We are proud to have a specialized, inclusion program for students with high-functioning autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Students admitted to our ASD program in kindergarten are served in small integrated co-teaching (ICT) classes, with four or five ASD students and eight to ten other typically developing students. In first grade, the number of typically developing students, increases to twelve to fourteen, with four to six ASD students. ASD students are fully integrated into all aspects of the school and participate in the same grade-level academic curriculum as their classmates. Teachers and other staff who work with these students receive specialized training in strategies and supports designed especially for children with ASD. Students in the program also participate in small special classes designed to help them with the social understanding and communication deficits and difficulties with self-regulation that are characteristic of autism spectrum disorders.
We work closely with three nationally known organizations in the field of autism. The doctors and other staff at the Autism Center of YAI, a New York-based non-profit serving children and adults with developmental disabilities, work with us to identify students who can benefit from our program and to connect families to other resources in New York. YAI has one of the nation’s most extensive networks of programs and services to assist people with disabilities in maximizing their potential. Specialized instructors from both the TEACCH Autism Program at the University of North Carolina and Michelle Garcia Winner’s Social Thinking program provide on-site training to our teachers and other staff in research-based strategies and supports for ASD students in the classroom. TEACCH also conducts workshops for the families of these students. TEACCH has a national and international reputation for its work on the education of students with autism, including high-functioning autism. Michelle Garcia Winner is internationally known for her work in treating students with social cognitive deficits. The Social Thinking framework that she developed integrates information, vocabulary, curriculum, and strategies that help individuals with social learning challenges become better social thinkers.