NEW YORK – Chancellor Carmen Fariña today announced an expansion of the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Nest and Horizon programs. ASD Nest and ASD Horizon are cutting-edge programs designed to provide individualized supports and services to students on the autism spectrum. Both programs help students with autism strengthen interpersonal skills and succeed in the classroom. As a superintendent in 2003, Chancellor Fariña was a member of the team that helped develop the original ASD Nest program at PS 32 in Brooklyn.
ASD Programs currently serve more than 1,300 children with autism across more than 50 City schools, and are aimed at putting them on the path to graduating high school ready for college and careers. The 41 new classes will be spread across 32 schools in all five boroughs with 12 in Brooklyn, 10 in Queens, eight on Staten Island, seven in Manhattan, and four in the Bronx. Of the new classes, 26 are Nest programs and 15 are Horizon programs.
ASD Nest was developed and is supported in collaboration with New York University. ASD Nest is an Integrated Co-Teaching (ICT) program for students with autism. ICT classrooms include students with and without disabilities and are led by two teachers, a general education teacher and a special education teacher. ASD Nest class sizes are smaller than traditional ICT classes, allowing teachers to offer more tailored support to students with autism. Additionally, ASD Nest classes use a specialized curriculum, Social Development Intervention (SDI), to improve social interactions and academic success. Each ASD Nest class has two teachers who are trained in working with students with autism and in teaching the specialized curriculum. Both teachers must also participate in ongoing professional trainings throughout the year.
The ASD Horizon program was developed in collaboration with the New England Center for Children (NECC) and provides small classes for students with autism who have greater social and academic needs. Students in ASD Horizon’s classes are taught through another specialized curriculum – based on the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis – addressing their academic and social needs. Along with the specialized curriculum, students in ASD Horizon programs receive services including speech and language therapy to support their interpersonal communication skills.
“Seeing this program expand is truly exciting – as a superintendent, I was part of the team that developed the original ASD Nest program – and I’ve seen firsthand the success these programs have had raising student achievement and helping students gain greater social skills and self-confidence,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “By expanding our ASD Nest and Horizon programs, we are making a clear commitment to our students with autism and their families across the City.”
“Over the years I’ve watched the students at PS 178 – and students in Nest and Horizon programs around the City – flourish. These are some of the great services and programs that support the development of our students with autism. Expanding these programs is part of our ongoing commitment to ensuring that all students with disabilities in New York City have the tools they need to succeed both in and out of the classroom,” said Deputy Chancellor for Specialized Instruction and Student Support Corinne Rello-Anselmi.
“In our Nest program, students learn not just from their teachers, but also from one another – allowing them to recognize their amazing potential. This program works for our students and families, and I am delighted to see that more New York City students will be able to benefit from it,” said Deirdre Budd, principal of Professor Juan Bosch Public School 178.
“I wholeheartedly applaud and support Chancellor Fariña’s efforts to ensure that every student in our great City has the proper resources to learn and succeed at school. As a pioneer of the original ASD program, she has the critical knowledge and experience to implement programs that have been proven effective in helping students with autism. I am proud of my alma mater, New York University, for collaborating with the City on such an important initiative that will benefit many students living in my congressional district and throughout the City,” said Congressman Charles B. Rangel.
“I welcome the expansion of the Nest and Horizon programs. Providing autistic students with the specialized support they need is part and parcel of the commitment we make to help all of our city's students grow and achieve,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “My office is looking forward to helping Manhattan’s parents and students connect with and benefit from these programs.”
“By expanding the amount of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Nest and Horizon classes, we are greatly increasing the chances these students have to graduate high school,” said City Council Education Committee Chairperson Daniel Dromm. “I applaud Chancellor Fariña for expanding services to students who need it most.”
“Making sure children with autism have access to specialized education programs designed to help them grow is pivotal to their development. The expansion of Nest and Horizon will provide greater access to proven programs and help thousands of kids with autism be successful students,” said State Senator Adriano Espaillat.
“The Department of Education does more than raise awareness. For the past dozen years, the DOE has responded to the rising number of children identified with autism by launching ASD Programs successfully embedded in over 50 neighborhood schools,” said Dorothy Siegel, Director of the ASD Nest Support Project at NYU Steinhardt School.
Students with autism are educated across general education programs, special education programs, and specialized programs such as Nest and Horizon. The DOE has taken steps to develop a variety of specialized programs within neighborhood schools.
A complete list of schools with new classes is below:
PS 25 The Bilingual School
PS 28 Mount Hope
Academy for Personal Leadership and Excellence
One World Middle School at Edenwald
PS 307 Daniel Hale Williams
PS 84 Jose De Diego
Millennium Brooklyn High School
PS 316 Elijah Stroud
PS 346 Abe Stark
High School of Telecommunication Arts and Technology
The Academy of Talented Scholars
PS/IS 121 Nelson A. Rockefeller
PS 199 Frederick Wachtel
PS 222 Katherine R. Snyder
N.Y.C. Lab School for Collaborative Studies
PS 75 Emily Dickinson
PS 260 Jose Celso Barbosa
PS 133 Fred R. Moore
PS 165 Edith Bergtraum
PS/IS 219 Paul Klapper
Queens School of Inquiry
East-West School of International Studies
Channel View School for Research
PS 181 Brookfield
PS 6 Corporal Allan F. Kivlehan School
IS 24 Myra S. Barnes
PS 69 Daniel D. Tompkins
IS 72 Rocco Laurie
IS 75 Frank D. Paulo
New Dorp High School
Tottenville High School