New Manhattan Charter School for Kids with Autism
Two Manhattan women have won approval to open a charter school for autistic children in New York, the first public school in the city dedicated to providing the expensive therapy that can transform the lives of autistic children and their families.
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A two-inch-thick folder details the school's curriculum, based on studies showing Applied Behavioral Analysis (A.B.A.) to be the most effective way to teach autistic children.
In this approach, teachers work one on one with a child to build social and language abilities in very small steps, by giving the child a reward for learning words, for example, or for sitting still or greeting someone.
Ms. Lainer and Carolyn Ryan, director of education at the new charter school, visited the Institute for Educational Achievement in New Milford, N.J., which also uses A.B.A. techniques. At the school, decorated in neutral colors that do not overstimulate pupils, children work one on one with instructors and are rewarded for achievements like saying the "m" sound correctly, identifying a number, or, for an older child, writing a short story titled "If I Were Rich."