Choosing a Preschool
for a Child with Special Needs
New York City offers a wide
array of services for children with special needs. But navigating the system,
understanding and advocating for the right services and therapies for their
child, and learning what to continue at home can be very difficult for parents.
Diane Goldin, a Manhattan resident,
is the mother of 4-year-old Jonathan, who was born with developmental delays.
As a teacher with the New York City Department of Education, Diane knows about
child development and the New York education system, but the process of finding
the right learning environment and the best therapists for Jonathan was not
“I looked at different options based on recommendations from friends
and experts,” Diane said.
Jonathan is “making a lot of progress” and will return to
the New York League for Early Learning’s Gramercy School at a new state-of-the-art
facility located at 406 10th Avenue in Manhattan.
“The school is wonderful
for Jonathan,” said Diane. “I love the integrated classroom because
the community kids act as good role models for Jonathan in terms of their verbal,
social and language skills.”
are a few tips to help you and your child have a productive, enjoyable year.
Visit several programs to learn what different programs have to offer in
terms of the facility, resources and staff. Talk to experts, friends and
other people who may be resources. Find out if your child’s program has art and music therapies, and adaptive
education. Develop a close relationship with your child’s teacher. Make
sure that your child still has time to play.#
Dr. Lenkowsky is director
of the New York League for Early Learning, which is a member of the National
Institute for People with Disabilities Network.#