Special Education Programs Meeting Student Needs in Nassau County
Children's Readiness Center
Student Disability: Significant developmental delays including autism, and mental retardation
Student Age: 5 to 8 (Early Elementary)
Students who attend this state-of-the-art early education center in Long Island need a highly individualized behavioral approach and small class size (6:1:2). As part of its educational/behavioral approach, the program’s specially trained staff track results of each student’s activities in continuous documentation. Long Island school program goals include not only developing the youngsters’ communication skills and increasing their social interactions but also accomplishing individualized educational goals in preacademic and academic programs. Parents and family at this Long Island school learn behavioral and educational strategies that can be used with the children at home.
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is the teaching methodology used throughout the program. Skills are broken down into small steps and various teaching techniques are used to ensure skill mastery under a variety of conditions. This Long Island School uses a progressive total communication system that may include spoken words, photographs, pictures, symbols and/ or sign language, to increase communication skills. The Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) method involves the child initiating a social exchange to make requests or communicate.
Carman Road Preschool
Student Disability: Preschooler with a disability (multiple disabilities, physical disabilities)
Student Age: 3 to 5
The Preschool Program at Carman Road School is one of many Long Island schools that provide total educational intervention for children with multiple, physical and cognitive disabilities in a specially designed environment. All children at this Long Island school are encouraged to reach their greatest potential through many activities that stimulate growth and development while building self-confidence. Youngsters are referred to the program by their local district Committee on Preschool Education (CPSE). Once accepted, they attend full-day classes, five days a week, entering an educational environment that promotes the greatest possible achievement.
The total child perspective at this Long Island school is used to address the needs of each youngster on an individual basis. The curriculum stresses the development of physical skills and the growth of cognitive, social, emotional and language skills. Each child’s unique abilities and needs are considered in all the program’s activities.
An Engineered Aided Language Environment, using visual strategies and assistive technology, are used to encourage physical development and the growth of communication skills for children attending this Long Island school. For each child, a multidisciplinary team develops strategies and methods to meet the goals and objectives of his/her Individualized Education Plan (IEP). Children receive physical, occupational, and speech therapies as prescribed in their IEPs. Time is spent each day encouraging the growth of skills needed in activities of daily living, such as feeding and dressing. Social skills are developed in structured activities and free play. This Long Island school uses individual and group projects such as painting, cooking, coloring, planting flowers, water play and using the sand table develop motor and learning skills. The children work with specially trained teachers in the Learning Center where they begin to use assistive technology, adapted computers, specialized software, touch screens and switches. Access to the Adapted Physical Education provides opportunities for additional growth in motor skills for children attending this Long Island school.
Parents can visit their child’s classroom and observe the program. They can also talk with the classroom teacher and with members of the multidisciplinary team on these visits and throughout the year as necessary. Parents also participate in the development of the child’s IEP. Parent Teacher Association (PTA) meetings at this Long Island school cover topics that are important to education and management of children with special needs and are held monthly.
About the Author: Stacy Andell is a staff writer for Schools K-12, providing free, in-depth reports on all U.S. public and private K-12 schools. Stacy has a nose for research and writes stimulating news and views on school issues. For more information on Long Island schools visit www.schoolsk-12.com/new-york/long-island/index.html