Raising the Standard of Care
The school program is certified through the New York State Education Department, and the residences are certified through the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD). These two programs make up the Pediatric School Program and work closely together sharing curriculum and cross over staff to ensure that your child receives a seamless education program.
The program admits students five years of age and older, and graduates students at the age of 18 years or earlier as goals are attained. If a student graduates at age 18, they enter the transitional program designed to further develop adult living and work skills. While a student is enrolled in the transitional program, we work closely with parents, the Committee on Special Education, and the Developmental Disabilities Regional Office (DDRO) to find an appropriate adult program close to the individual’s home community, or as appropriate, to discharge the individual back home with their family. Students can be discharged from The Center’s program at any time after graduation between the ages of 18 and 21 years.
Fundamental to our program is the health and vitality of the children we serve. Each child is seen as an individual regardless of diagnosis, and so too is their health. We begin to understand each child’s unique needs with a comprehensive records review and observations, followed by a parent/caregiver interview and an administration of a selected core battery of assessments. All of these processes give us critical information about the child’s functioning, needs, and health.
Autism, one of the primary diagnoses of children served in the program, is a neurodevelopmental disorder with many known co-occurring medical and psychiatric conditions. Each child has a unique profile of often complex co-occurring conditions and interactions. An understanding of this complexity and a whole body approach are critical for children with autism to thrive.
Medical fragility and rare developmental disorders are also primary diagnoses for children served in the pediatric school program. These children often require intensive medical and clinical supports in order to participate in their environment. Each child is evaluated from a whole body perspective and individual programs are designed to meet their needs.
The programs for children with medical fragility and those with Autism Spectrum Disorders are separate programs, but share a common philosophy and curriculum called the HealthE6 Model.