The New York City Department of Education (DOE) makes specialized programs available to children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Specialized programs are not expected to exist in every school, and not every student with special needs requires a specialized program. The school team, together with the special needs families will determine whether a particular student will thrive in general education, special education or a specialized program.
There are two types of specialized program that may be appropriate for students with ASD. These programs may be available in schools that serve students with autism, to help them succeed academically while strengthening interpersonal skills.
- The ASD NEST Program: sponsored by NYU’s ASD Nest Support Project, provides an Integrated Co-Teaching class, led by two teachers: one general educator and one special educator. The classes are also of reduced size. This program is appropriate for students whose academic performance is at a grade-level and who primarily need help with social skills and language development.
- The ASD Horizon Program: developed with the New England Center for Children, it provides a special class for students whose academic performance is approaching or below grade level, and who may benefit from interpersonal and instructional supports based on Applied Behavior Analysis. Teachers use the web-based Autism Curriculum Encyclopedia, which supports teachers in developing lessons in more than 1,300 skills, including academic, social and self-help skills.
Special needs families interested in these programs may contact ASDPrograms@schools.nyc.gov.
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