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A Parents Guide to the Most Prestigious Special Education Schools in the Northeast of the United States

Author:

Alpine Learning Group, Eagle Hill School, The ELIJA School, The New England Center for Children, and The Summit School are among the leading

*Many of the private schools listed are independent, which means there is a direct independently-funded tuition. However, some states (i.e., New York and New Jersey) also have approved private schools providing special education services where each students' local school district approves to cover the tuition for he or she to attend there.

Alpine Learning Group

777 Paramus Road

Paramus, New Jersey 07652

(201) 612-7800

Established: 1988

Founder: Bridget Taylor, Fred Bunker, Debra Gladstone, Mark Gladstone, and Linda S. Meyer

Chief Executive Officer/Owner: Bridget Taylor, Psy.D., B.C.B.A.-D

Principal: Kate Cerino, Ed.D., B.C.B.A.

Grades: PK-12

Diagnoses Served: Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Spoken Language Impairment

Programs: Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Therapy (Early Intensive Behavior Intervention, Schoolwide Positive Behavior Support, and Social Skills Training), Day School, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Vocational Training

The Child School and Legacy High School

587 Main Street

New York, New York 10044

(212) 223-5055

Established: 1975

Founder: Maari de Souza

Executive Director/Owner: Vishu Grover

Elementary School Director: Nicole Vaccaro

Middle School Director: Edlynne Victoria Safi

High School Director: Michelle Hagon

Admissions: Sophia McCullough

Grades: K-12

Diagnoses Served: ADHD, ASD, Auditory Processing Disorder, Dyscalculia, Dysgraphia, Dyslexia, Intellectual Disability, Speech Dysfluency, Speech Sound Disorders, Spoken Language Impairment, Tic Disorders

Programs: Band, Basketball Team, Counseling, Day School, Musical Theater, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Summer Academic Program, Tutoring, Vocational Training

The Churchill School and Center

301 East 29th Street

New York, New York 10016

(212) 722-0610

Established: 1972

Founder: Arnold Schickler and Harry S. Valentine

Headmaster/Owner: Timothy P. Madigan, Ph.D.

Elementary School Principal: Sara Cohen

Middle School Principal: Gina Manes

High School Principal: Jason Wallin

Admissions: Sarah Szen

Grades: K-12

Diagnoses Served: ADHD, Mild ASD, Auditory Processing Disorder, Dyscalculia, Dysgraphia, Dyslexia, Speech Dysfluency, Tic Disorders

Programs: Counseling, Day School, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Tutoring, Vocational Training

Eagle Hill School

45 Glenville Road

Greenwhich, Connecticut 06831

(203) 622-9240

Established: 1975

Founder: Len Tavormina

Headmaster/Owner: Jim Heus

Upper School Division Head: Jenn Harkins

Lower School Division Head: Shari Bloomer

Admissions: Jennifer Shirazi

Grades: K-10

Diagnoses Served: Inattentive ADHD, Auditory Processing Disorder, Dyscalculia, Dysgraphia, Dyslexia, Speech Dysfluency

Programs: Counseling, Day and Residential School, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Summer Academic Program, Tutoring

The ELIJA School

11 Laurel Lane

Levittown, New York 11756

(516) 216-5270

Established: 2006

Founder/Chief Executive Officer/Owner: Debora Thivierge

Executive Director: Monica Howard, Ph.D., B.C.B.A.-D

Grades: PK-12

Diagnoses Served: ASD, Spoken Language Impairment

Programs: ABA Therapy (Early Intensive Behavior Intervention, Schoolwide Positive Behavior Support, and Social Skills Training), Day School, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Vocational Training

The Gateway School

211 West 61st Street

New York, NY 10023

(212) 777-5966

Established: 1964

Founder: Martha Bernard

Headmaster/Owner: Laurie Gruhn

Lower School Director: Christy Brockhausen

Middle School Director: Eilan Seidel

Admissions: Ellen Grayson, Danielle Tandet, and Paula Wallace

Grades: K-8

Diagnoses Served: ADHD, Mild ASD, Auditory Processing Disorder, Dyscalculia, Dysgraphia, Dyslexia, Speech Dysfluency, Tic Disorders

Programs: After School Clubhouse, Athletic Teams, Counseling, Day School, Occupational Therapy, Social Skills Instruction, Speech Therapy, Tutoring

The Lowell School

Elementary & Middle School Headquarters:

24-20 Parsons Boulevard

Whitestone, New York 11357

(718) 352-3525

Established: 1968

Executive Director/Owner: Dede Proujansky

Elementary & Middle School Principal: Elizabeth Simona

Elementary & Middle School Admissions: Alicia Devins

High School Principal: Irene Psilakis

High School Admissions: Paul Phillips

Grades: 2-12

Diagnoses Served: ADHD, ASD, Auditory Processing Disorder, Dyscalculia, Dysgraphia, Dyslexia, Physical Discoordination, Speech Dysfluency, Speech Sound Disorders, Spoken Language Impairment, Tic Disorders

Programs: After School Enrichment Program, Basketball Team, Counseling, Chorus/Band, Day School, Occupational Therapy, Performing Arts, Physical Therapy, Speech Therapy, Tutoring

Mary McDowell Friends School (formerly Mary McDowell Center for Learning)

Lower School & Administrative Offices:

20 Bergen Street

Brooklyn, New York 11201

(718) 625-3939

Established: 1984

Headmaster/Owner: Debbie Zlotowitz

Upper School Director: Mark Doty

Middle School Director: Courtney Jimenez

Lower School Director: Hannah Finn Wiltshire

Admissions: Pam Cotto and Tiffany Huggins

Grades: Ungraded (Aged 5-12)

Diagnoses Served: Inattentive ADHD, Auditory Processing Disorder, Dyscalculia, Dysgraphia, Dyslexia, Physical Discoordination, Speech Dysfluency, Speech Sound Disorder, Spoken Language Impairment

Programs: Afterschool Program, Athletics Team, Counseling, Day School, Occupational Therapy, Schoolwide Positive Behavior Support, Social Skills Training, Speech Therapy, Tutoring

The New England Center for Children

33 Turnpike Road

Southborough, Massachusetts 01772

(508) 481-1015

Established: 1975

Founder: Vincent Strully, Dudley Orr, and John Pangburn

Chief Executive Officer/President/Owner: Vincent Strully

Executive Director: Catherine M. Welch

Admissions: Bethany McCann

Grades: PK-12

Diagnoses Served: ASD, Spoken Language Impairment

Programs: ABA Therapy (Early Intensive Behavior Intervention, Schoolwide Positive Behavior Support, and Social Skills Training), Day and Residential School, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy

NSU Baudhuin Preschool

3301 College Avenue

Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33314

(800) 541-6682

Director: Alex Lopes, Ed.D.

Admissions: Tammy Gips

Grades: PK

Diagnoses Served: ASD, Spoken Language Impairment

Programs: ABA Therapy (Early Intensive Behavior Intervention, Pivotal Response Treatment, and Schoolwide Positive Behavior Support), Day School, Occupational Therapy, Pediatric Feeding Therapy, Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), Social Skills Instruction, Speech Therapy, TEACCH Program

Robert Louis Stevenson School

24 West 74th Street

New York, New York 10023

(212) 787-6400

Established: 1908

Headmaster/Owner: Chris Ongaro, Ed.D.

Admissions: Joe Surak and Ben Weeks

Grades: 8-12

Diagnoses Served: ADHD, Mild ASD, Auditory Processing Disorder, Dyscalculia, Dysgraphia, Dyslexia, Speech Dysfluency, Tic Disorders

Programs: Athletic Teams, Band / Choir, Counseling (Cognitive-Behavioral Therapies (CBTs), including Cognitive Therapy and Dialectical Behavior Therapy), Day School, Schoolwide Positive Behavior Support, Social Skills Instruction, Tutoring

The Smith School

131 West 86th Street

New York, New York 10024

Established: 1990

Headmaster/Owner: Karen Smith

Admissions: Amanda Mandel

Grades: 6-12

Diagnoses Served: ADHD, Mild ASD, Auditory Processing Disorder, Dyscalculia, Dysgraphia, Dyslexia, Speech Dysfluency, Tic Disorders

Programs: Counseling, Choir / Band, Day School, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Tutoring

Stephen Gaynor School

148 West 90th Street

New York, NY 10024

(212) 787-7070

Established: 1962

Founders: Miriam Michael, Ph.D. and Yvette Siegel-Herzog

Headmaster/Owner: Scott Gaynor, Ph.D.

Early Childhood Director: Rebecca Jurow

Lower School Director: Donna Logue

Middle School Director: Christine Karamanoglou

Admissions: Juliana May and Mindy Stern

Grades: Ungraded (Aged 5-13)

Diagnoses Served: ADHD, Mild ASD, Auditory Processing Disorder, Dyscalculia, Dysgraphia, Dyslexia, Speech Dysfluency, Tic Disorders

Programs: Afterschool Program, Athletic Teams, Community Learning Center, Day School, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Summer Camp, Tutoring

The Summit School

Upper School & Administrative Offices:

187-30 Grand Central Parkway

Jamaica, New York 11432

Established: 1968

Founder: Hershel Stiskin

Director Emeritus: Judith Gordon, Ph.D

Executive Director/Owner: Bruce Goldsmith, Ph.D.

Director/Owner/Upper School Principal: Allison Edwards

Director/Owner/Lower School Principal: Karen Frigenti

Admissions: Nancy Morgenroth

Grades: 3-12

Diagnoses Served: ADHD, Mild ASD, Auditory Processing Disorder, Dyscalculia, Dysgraphia, Dyslexia, Speech Dysfluency, Tic Disorders

Programs: After School Enrichment Program, Choir / Band, Basketball Team, Counseling, Day School, Occupational Therapy, Schoolwide Positive Behavior Support (Contingency Contracting and Honor Code Program), Social Skills Instruction, Speech Therapy, Tutoring, Work-Based Learning Program

Summit School at Nyack (formerly Summit Children's Residence Center)

339 North Broadway

Nyack, New York 10960

(845) 358-7772

Established: 1974

Founder: Mayer Stiskin

Executive Director/Owner: Bruce Goldsmith, Ph.D.

Director/Owner: Brant Goldsmith, Ph.D.

Principal: Deborah Dolan

Admissions: Jennifer Robertson

Grades: 6-12

Diagnoses Served: ADHD, Mild ASD, Auditory Processing Disorder, Dyscalculia, Dysgraphia, Dyslexia, Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Speech Dysfluency, Tic Disorders

Programs: Counseling, Day and Residential School, Nutritional Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Psychiatric Treatment, Recreational Programming, Schoolwide Positive Behavior Support, Social Skills Instruction, Speech Therapy, Tutoring, Vocational Training

Winston Preparatory School

Established: 1981

Locations: California, Connecticut, Long Island, New York City, New Jersey

Executive Director/Owner: Scott Bezsylko

Grades: 6-12

Diagnoses Served: ADHD, Mild ASD, Auditory Processing Disorder, Dyscalculia, Dysgraphia, Dyslexia, Mild Intellectual Disability, Speech Sound Disorders, Speech Dysfluency, Spoken Language Impairment, Tic Disorders

Programs: Academic Summer Program, After School Enrichment, Basketball Team, Day School, Performing Arts, Tutoring

California:

1 Saint Vincents Drive

San Rafael, California 94903

(415) 993-5533

Headmaster/Admissions: Kristin Atkins

Connecticut:

57 West Rocks Road

Norwalk, Connecticut 06851

(203) 229-0465

Headmaster: Beth Sugerman

Admissions: Michelle Rolfe

Long Island:

30 Deforest Road

Dix Hills, New York 11746

(631) 779-2400

Headmaster: Keith Oncale

Admissions: Karen Preston

New York City:

126 West 17 Street

New York, New York 10011

(212) 496-8400

Headmaster: Sandy Hagerty

Admissions: Alyson Walmsley

New Jersey:

901 Route 10 East

Whippany, New Jersey 07981

(973) 500-6480

Headmaster: Greg Koehlert

Admissions: Meredith Fisher

Transitions:

240 Madison Avenue

New York, New York 10016

(646) 869-4600

Headmaster: John Civita

Admissions: Lauren Kellner

Notes

  • Spoken Language Impairment refers to an oral impairment in acquiring spoken language that is caused by either expressive or receptive (comprehension) language deficits. Receptive language delays are the result of Aphasia (caused by neurological damage, i.e., Stroke, Traumatic Brain Injury, etc.), Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Auditory Processing Disorder, and Dyslexia.
  • Speech Sound Disorders (APA/DSM-5), formerly called Phonological Disorder (APA/DSM-IV) and Speech Articulation Disorder (WHO/ICD-10), are disorders related to difficulties in the transmission, articulation, and perceptual production (whether visual or auditory) of pronouncing oral speech sounds (phonetics). Speech Sound Disorders include Blind, Deaf, Dysarthria (slurred speech), and Verbal Apraxia (motor planning).
  • Speech Dysfluency is a term used to describe Stuttering. Other titles for it are Childhood-Onset Fluency Disorder (APA/DSM-5) and Developmental Speech Fluency Disorder (WHO/ICD-11) as well.
  • Physical Discoordination is also known as Dyspraxia, Developmental Coordination Disorder (APA/DSM-5), and Developmental Motor Coordination Disorder (WHO/ICD-11).
  • Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is the application of the science of behavior change (i.e., through the use of positive reinforcement) and initially employs assessments to identify the function of a given behavior. Although ABA is broadly researched for a wide array of diagnoses and consists of many techniques varying to which the science is applied, it is typically funded as an early intervention for children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). In the context of teaching spoken language to children with ASD, ABA teaching modalities include Early Intensive Behavior Intervention (Discrete Trial Training and Incidental Teaching) for receptive language delays, and Pivotal Response Treatment, which is more beneficial for expressive language delays.

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