District-based classes: Michael F. Stokes Elementary School
Saw Mill Road Elementary School
Student Disability: Preschoolers with a disability (significant developmental delays)
Student Age: 3 to 5 years
Students who attend this state-of-the-art early education center are referred by their local districts' Committees on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) and to the early elementary component through their district's Committee on Special Education (CSE). Each student's Individualized Education Plan (IEP) indicates the need for the program's highly individualized behavioral approach.
Program goals include not only developing the youngsters' communication skills and increasing social interaction, but also accomplishing individualized educational goals in pre-academic and academic programs.
Upon entering the program, students experience complete engagement with their teachers. Through small group sessions, they remain focused and on task. Repetition is an essential part of the Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) instructional strategy, and each task learned involves constant reinforcement through practice and reward. As children progress, they engage in group activities and community experiences.
Activities of Daily Living (ADL) skills instruction is provided within the program's overall behavioral approach. Toilet training is provided if necessary. Innovative methods used include the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), which calls for trading a picture of an actual item for the item itself. A progressive total communication system involving spoken words and symbols is also used to increase communication skills.
The Children's Readiness Center Preschool is located at 2351 Jerusalem Avenue, North Bellmore, NY 11710.