Special education programs in NYC schools to be re-imagined

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02 Dec 2022, 10:56 am

WABC-TV

Quote:
New York City School Chancellor David Banks announced a system-wide effort to re-imagine school special education programs to better serve students.

A $205 million investment will be made to expand current programs and create new initiatives to provide better individualized education programs for students and their families.

Programs like the ASD Nest and Horizon and the SEED Pilot program are just a couple that will receive additional aid to introduce the programs to more classrooms to serve more students with autism and intensive sensory needs.

The SEED program serves students like Diego Ortega who's on the autism spectrum. He's one of 1,100 student's in the program.

My son is more social, because of all of these options; sensory gyms, speech therapy, and speech services," Diego's mother, Myriam Ortega, said.

The program was launched 11 months ago at 10 sites and will expand to 80 by the end of the school year thanks to the additional funding.

"What happens in the seed room is our students who have the most intensive sensory needs that are impacting," Senior Executive Director Suzanne Sanchez said. "Their ability to participate and be successful at school they participate in a 12 week cycle."

A new Special Education Advisory Council will be created to identify gaps in current instruction and programs so that all students with disabilities have consistent access to resources they need to achieve alongside their classmates.

And for the first time, high school students with a current individualized education program will be able to participate in a paid internship on Saturdays thanks to a partnership with Training Opportunity Programs. Students will have the opportunity to explore careers in physical, occupational, and speech therapy.


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DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity

“My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person”. - Sara Luterman