Long Island Special Child - November 2023

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Long Island


Special Needs Resource Guide

The The Hagedorn Hagedorn Li�le Li�le Village Village School, School, Jack Jack Joel Joel Center Center for for Special Special Children Children (HLVS), (HLVS), is a not-for profit program that provides services for infants and children is a not-for profit program that provides services for infants and children up up to to 12 12 years years of of age age with with learning, learning, language, language, social social delays, delays, motor motor impairments, impairments, and au�sm with no direct cost to families: and au�sm with no direct cost to families:

•• Evalua�ons Evalua�ons •• Early Early Interven�on Interven�on (Birth-3) (Birth-3) •• SEIT SEIT •• CSE CSE I�nerant I�nerant Services Services •• ABA ABA Home Home Programs Programs

Related Related Services: Services: •• Speech Speech •• OT/PT OT/PT •• Parent Parent Training Training •• Family Family Support Support Services Services

Special Special Ed Ed Classes: Classes: •• Preschool Preschool (3-5) (3-5) •• School School age age (5-12) (5-12) •• Inclusion Inclusion

750 750 Hicksville Hicksville Road, Road, Seaford, Seaford, NY NY 11783 11783 516.520.6000 516.520.6000 •• www.li�levillage.org www.li�levillage.org

Funded Funded and and regulated regulated by by Nassau Nassau County County (NCDOH) (NCDOH) and and Suffolk Suffolk County County (SCDOH) (SCDOH) Departments Departments of of Health Health & & NYS NYS Educa�on Educa�on Department Department

Providing Providing Services Services for for over over 50 50 Years, Years, The The Hagedorn Hagedorn Li�le Li�le Village Village School, School, Jack Jack Joel Joel Center Center for for Special Special Children (HLVS), is a not-for-profit program that provides services for infants and children up Children (HLVS), is a not-for-profit program that provides services for infants and children up to to 12 12 years of age with learning, language, and social delays, motor impairments, and au�sm with no years of age with learning, language, and social delays, motor impairments, and au�sm with no direct direct cost cost to to families: families: Early Early Interven�on Interven�on (El) (El) and and Commi�ee Commi�ee for for Preschool Preschool Special Special Educa�on Educa�on (CPSE) (CPSE) services services are for children who have or who are suspected of having a developmental delay or disability. are for children who have or who are suspected of having a developmental delay or disability. Evalua�ons Evalua�ons must must be be referred referred by by NCDOH/SCDOH NCDOH/SCDOH for for El El and/or and/or to to the the local local school school district district for for CPSE. CPSE. Services are provided based on an individual child's elegibility as established by NYS DOH and/or Services are provided based on an individual child's elegibility as established by NYS DOH and/or NYS NYS ED department and local government at no direct cost to parents. Parents are responsible for ED department and local government at no direct cost to parents. Parents are responsible for fees/costs fees/costs associated associated with with children. children.

Yellow Bus ABA Going Great Places

Why choose a Yellow Bus ABA Full day center-based program? Specialized Environment:

pecifically designed to meet the needs of children with developmental and behavioral disorders. We are equipped with the resources, materials, and staff necessary to provide comprehensive and individualized treatment plans. child’s home, which may not always be optimal for therapy.

Controlled Environment:

Centers provide a controlled and predictable environment, which is important for children with developmental and behavioral disorders. This can help them to feel more secure and focused during therapy sessions and can also help the therapist to effectively manage the child’s behavior.

Socialization Opportunities:

In center-based ABA, children have the opportunity to interact with other children who are receiving therapy, which can be beneficial for their socialization skills. They can also participate in group activities and practice social skills in a structured and supportive environment. Home-based therapy, on the other hand, may limit a child’s socialization opportunities and can be isolating.

Consistent Staffing:

In center-based ABA, families can expect a consistent team of staff members who are trained and supervised by a board-certified behavior analyst (BCBA). This can help to ensure continuity of care and a high level of quality control.

Reduced Caregiver Burden:

For families who are providing home-based therapy, the demands of providing care and implementing therapy techniques can be overwhelming. Center-based ABA allows parents and caregivers to take a step back and focus on their own self-care and family relationships, while still providing

their child with high-quality therapy.

Proudly serving the Tri-State Area of NY, NJ and CT. (845) 327-7111 | info@yellowbusaba.com | www.yellowbusaba.com

contents NewYorkFamily.com Publisher: Clifford Luster Executive Director: Donna Duarte-Ladd Associate Publisher: Erin Brof Advertising Director: Stacie Goldberg Deputy Editor: Jeannine Cintron Digital Editor: Kaitlyn Riggio Events Manager: Shara Levine Reporter: Barbara Russo Senior Adviser: Susan Weiss Partnership Managers: Lauren Alperin, Lauren Anchin, Joan Bergman, Mary Cassidy, Suzanne Cirigliano, Chris Cunnington, Lori Falco, Shelli Goldberg-Peck, LynnMarie Hanley, Lisa Herlihy, Janine Mulé, Nina Spiegelman, Gwen Tomaselli Marketing & Strategy Director: Rosalia Bobé Sales & Marketing assistant: Elana Cantor Marketing Assistant: Tilejah Gilead Media Sales Assistant: Anastasia Aktipis Art Director: Leah Mitch Web Developer: Sylvan Migdal Graphic Designers: Arthur Arutyunov, Connie Sulsenti Editors at large: Serena Norr, Cris Pearlstein Editorial Contributors: Jana Beauchamp, Mia Salas Editorial Interns: Marnie Dunbar

Contact Information

ADVERTISING: (718) 260-4554 Advertising@NewYorkFamily.com

6 | Special Child Glossary Part of navigating a special needs or disability diagnosis is knowing the words used to describe it. Check out our helpful glossary

shares tips, and resources for emotional wellness and healthier wellbeing for the parents and caregivers of kids with disabilities

10 | Books Representation is so important in books, especially for kids looking for guidance and inspiration. In these books, kids can see themselves in the characters they read about

14 | Museums It can be challenging to visit an ample space if your child has a disability, and museums in New York tend to be quite spacious. Our museum guide lists some of the accessibilities of many of your favorite cultural institutions

12 | Caregiver Support Special needs parents need support. A trusted resource, INCLUDEnyc

18 | Special Needs Listings

Address: New York Family Media/Schneps Media 1 MetroTech Center North, Third Floor Brooklyn, NY 11201

President: Victoria Schneps-Yunis CEO: Joshua Schneps COO: Clifford Luster 2022

get in touch Share your feedback and ideas about family life in New York! Email us at editorial@newyorkfamily.com and tag us at #newyorkfamily

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Circulation: (718) 260-8336 Tina@NewYorkFamily.com

New York Family has been awarded the PMA Gold Award for Excellence in Editorial and the Silver Award for Excellence in Design. New York Family is published monthly by Queens Family Media, LLC. Reproduction of New York Family Media in whole or part without written permission from the publisher is prohibited. All rights reserved. ©2023 Queens Family Media, LLC

Love alone can’t protect a child with special needs If you’re caring for a disabled child, spouse, sibling or parent, the Law Ofϐices of Andrew M. Cohen can assist you with the following: • Preparing a will and advanced directives • Establishing a supplemental needs trust

• Understanding current government beneϐit

programs for individuals with special needs

• Handling guardianship proceedings • Special Education Law

• Creating the letter of intent

• Elder law and long-term care planning

What rights do students have? Children do have legal rights, and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act is a law designed to ensure that all students with disabilities receive a free appropriate public education that meets their unique needs and prepares them for the future. Safeguarding legal rights is often critical to a student’s success. In situations where school districts aren’t in compliance, the Law Ofϐices of Andrew M. Cohen can advance a resolution that best serves your child’s well-being and education.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________

Long Island



1100 Franklin Avenue, Suite 305 Garden City, New York 11530 (516) 877-0595

November 2023 | The Special Child


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>Special Child


Terms that families with children with disabilities should know By Mia Salas


art of navigating a special needs or disability diagnosis (Developmental disability: Physical, learning, language, or behavioral impairments that will delay

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your child’s development. ADHD, Autism, learning disabilities, etc. are all examples of developmental disabilities) is knowing the words used to describe it. But it can be intimidating to ask what everything means, especially when doctors

or websites seem to be speaking another language with acronyms like “ERSS” and “OT”. We’ve all been in that confusing place before and, as parents, it’s not a fun feeling. That’s why, we’ve created a glossary for keywords that you may want to know as a parent of kids with disabilities. This guide includes common disability words, phrases, and acronyms so that you can feel more confident in your parenting journey! ADHD (Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) : A developmental disability

that makes it difficult for your child to pay attention or stay focused. Look out for squirming and fidgeting, talking a lot, not being able to wait for their turn, or trouble concentrating.

Helping you create a bright future for your child

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ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) : A

developmental disability that may delay your child’s speech, motor, learning, and social skills. Early intervention (see below) can help improve skills. Down Syndrome : A condition caused by an extra chromosome that affects how your child’s brain and body develop. Diagnosis typically happens before or during birth. Emotional Disturbance : Mental health

disorders such as anxiety, bipolar, OCD, etc. that have no direct, identifiable cause. Be on the lookout for aggressive behavior, withdrawal or nerves related to social environments, and vocal outbursts in public places. Learning Disability: Difficulty learning

and grasping new concepts. Learning disabilities include dyslexia (reading), dysgraphia (writing), and dyscalculia (math). See Special Education for more. Stutter: A speech disorder that makes it challenging for your child to say what they want to say. You may hear them repeat a sound a lot, hold one sound for a long time, or stop speaking mid-sentence.

Helpful Resources OPWDD (Office of People with Developmental Disabilities) : A New

York organization that can help connect your family to nonprofit services, based on what kind of treatment/therapy they need, and provide funding.

navigate your options even further.

PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions & Support) : NYC school-wide approach

Special Education

that encourages positive behavior instead of punishing or pointing out the negative. One example of this is changing a poster from “No Food. No Weapons. No Drugs.” to “School Rules: Be Safe, Responsible, Respectful”. This positive environment is especially important for special needs education.

Inclusion : Everyone in the classroom

feels welcomed by the school, teacher, and classmates. For kids with disabilities, inclusion is definitely a keyword to look for when choosing a school! IEP (Individualized Education Program) : A written plan for your child’s

education as a special needs student. According to the NYC Department of Education (DOE), this means your child is guaranteed a free and appropriate public education in a Least Restrictive Environment (see below). Your child’s IEP will also include development and progress reports, evaluation results, specific needs, and anything else that is relevant to your child’s success. IEP Teams : Your IEP team will be made up of you (as a parent/guardian), a school psychologist, a special education teacher (and sometimes a general education teacher), and the district representative. It may also include a school physician or other service providers who have worked with your child. LRE (Least Restrictive Environment) : Your child will be in a classroom with kids who do not have a disability diagnosis. SETSS (Special Education Teacher Support Services) : Either a special

Transition planning : Creating an action

education teacher will design specific activities for children with special needs or the special education teacher will collaborate with the general education teacher to modify the entire classroom to accommodate.

plan for what your child with disabilities will do after high school. This is often a part of your IEP (see below).

SEDL (Special Education Distance Learning) : Modifying special needs

Service provider: An agency or

organization that will help your family navigate some aspect of your journey. This could be everything from speech therapy to after school programs with a focus on special needs to horseback riding as a form of physical therapy.

that advocates for young people in NYC to be included in their communities: classrooms, workplaces, etc. They have super informative resources for parents of kids with disabilities, and they can connect you with professionals who can help you

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day actions like brushing your teeth, going to the bathroom, walking up and down stairs, etc. that are used to determine your child’s diagnosis and progress. Early intervention: Services and support

for infants and young children with developmental disabilities. Early intervention can often help improve your child’s skills and progress. OT– Occupational Therapy: Focuses on ADL’s (see above) and other everyday skills that your child will work on. PT- Physical Therapy: Focuses on physical developmental disabilities and helps your child with mobility and movement. Speech pathology: Focuses on language and speech disabilities to help your child communicate their thoughts. Regression : Your child loses skills that they

previously had. If regression happens, you may want to revisit and revise your child’s IEP (see above). AT (Assistive technology) : Any device

education for virtual/online students. This became especially important during the pandemic. SWD (Students With Disabilities) :

Used to refer to special needs children in the classroom. SC– Special Class : If your child’s needs

INCLUDEnyc : A non-profit organization

Treatment & Evaluation ADL (Activities of daily living) : Day-to-

cannot be met in a general education classroom, they will have all classes taught specifically by a special education teacher. These classes are typically very small in NYC schools, with up to 12 students for elementary/middle school and up to 15 for high school.

that helps your child’s special needs by improving their capabilities. AT’s include wheelchairs, text to speech, voice recognition, and more. ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) : A positive-reinforcement program designed to understand your child’s behavior in real life situations. It is most commonly used for children with Autism, but it can also be effective for other developmental disabilities. Developmental milestones : Key movements, expressions, speech etc. that show your child’s progress. For little ones, this may include smiling at people, crawling, copying sounds, and reaching for toys.

Providing a wide range of services for individuals with autism across the US and Puerto Rico. Our mission is to help individuals with ASD reach their full potential by providing educational and therapeutic programs tailored to their specific needs.

Offering range of services, including: • Early Intervention • Preschool and K-12 • Life skills • Transition services for young adults We are dedicated to improving the lives of individuals with ASD and their families. Reach out today to us today! https://gershautism.com/ info@GershAutism.com (631) 385-3342 November 2023 | The Special Child


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11 Books About Kids with Disabilities R

epresentation is so important in books, especially for kids looking for guidance and inspiration. Kids want to be able to see themselves in the characters they read about. That’s why we rounded up our top picks for books about children and families with disabilities. These books cover physical and developmental disabilities for all ages, ranging from PreK to young adult. Remember– books are a great way to open up the convo with your kiddos. Talk with them about what they read, what they learned and what they might still have questions about. Read (pun intended) on for the list of 11 children’s books about disabilities. PreK to 2nd grade

Different– A Great Thing to Be, by Heather Avis

A New York Times Bestseller, Different– A Great Thing to Be follows the story of Macy, a young girl who doesn’t quite fit in with her classmates. She jumps to her own beat, sometimes quiet and sometimes loud, and the other children don’t understand her. Written in a rhyming style, this book celebrates differences and encourages kids to accept everyone. When Things Get Too Loud, by Anne Alcott

A story about sensory overload, When Things Get Too Loud is a reminder that the world can be an overwhelming place for a lot of people. When Bo’s Feel-o-Meter goes from 1 to 10, he just wants to hide. Children and parents can walk through a visual guide of emotions and ideas for dealing with them during overwhelming situations for kids with sensory overload. The Girl Who Thought in Pictures, by Julia Finley Mosca

A picture book about a girl diagnosed with autism, The Girl Who Thought in Pictures

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diagnosis meaning lungs that fill with mucus and a shortened lifespan. Caleb tries not to let his disorder define him, but it can be hard with an overprotective mom and a perfect big brother. But when Caleb meets Kit, his world completely changes. This is a wonderful story about the meaning of friendship and coping with disability. A Kind of Spark, by Elle McNicoll

is an empowering story that debunks myths and stereotypes. No one expected Temple to talk, let alone become one of the best voices in modern science. But as a visual thinker, Temple did just that, inventing groundbreaking improvements for farms around the globe. 3rd grade to 6th grade Stuck, by Jennifer Swender

Learning disabilities are the subject of Swender’s book that follows Austin, the new kid in school who struggles to read. Slowly but surely, Austin finds people at his new school who support him along the way, making him feel comfortable and confident. Roll With It, by Jamie Sumner

Ellie is a young girl who recently changed schools and has to suddenly be the new kid— who’s also in a wheelchair. She’s overwhelmed, nervous and challenged at first. Will the other kids make fun of her? Will they accept her? But soon she makes really good friends. This is a great book for kids who also have physical disabilities and need a glimmer of hope that everything will be okay! 6th grade to 8th grade Hummingbird, by Natalie Lloyd

Twelve-year-old homeschooled Olive is tired of being seen as “fragile” just because she has osteogenesis imperfecta (otherwise known as brittle bone disease). When she starts at a new school, she hears about a magical, wish-granting hummingbird that supposedly lives near Macklemore and embarks on a hunt to find it. Along the way, she makes friends and meets new people who show her that being different is not so bad after all. Caleb and Kit, by Beth Vrabel

12-year-old Caleb has cystic fibrosis, a

Award-winning and neurodivergent author Elle McNicoll delivers an insightful and stirring debut about the European witch trials and a girl who refuses to relent in the fight for what she knows is right. This book unpacks what it means to have autism– to think differently than everyone else, to see things others do not. Young adults Sitting Pretty: The View From My Ordinary Resilient Disabled Body, by Rebekah Taussig

Disability advocate and creator Rebekah Taussig was paralyzed growing up, and now she shares her story in this memoir. The collection of essays talks about what it means to live in a body that doesn’t fit, and how that affects day-to-day life. It encourages us as society to bring more stories to light, sharing our experiences with others. Same But Different: Teen Life on Autism the Express, by Holly Robinson Peete, RJ Peete and Ryan Elizabeth Peete

Triplets join forces to write a book about what it means to be a teen with autism. This book covers not only the experience of having autism, but what it means for those around you, like siblings. Dating, sports, parties, body changes, school– it’s all tackled in Same But Different, making it the perfect book for young adults with developmental disabilities. The Ables: 4 Book Series, by Jeremy Scott

Phillip is excited to start his superhero classes, gifted with the power of telekinesis. That is until he learns he’s assigned to the special-ed classes. Bullied, threatened, and betrayed, Phillip struggles, even as he and his friends–calling themselves the Ables–find ways to maximize their powers to overcome their disabilities. This supernatural story is a 4-part series, making it great for avid young adult readers.

Is your child struggling with: School? Attention? Socializing? Tantrums? The clinical team at CCPS can help. AREAS OF SPECIALTY • Learning Disabilities • ADHD • Autism • Developmental Delays

Help with:

• Anxiety, Depression, behavioral issues • Families in court over custody, education or legal reasons

• Extra time on tests, both in classrooms, SATS, ACTS, SHSATS • IEPs, 504 plans, private school placement • Forensic (injury, special education, child custody, immigration) cases • Medication management

Dr. Sanam Hafeez, a renowned and widely sought expert in the field of mental health and neuropsychology, leads the clinical team at CCPS. Our doctors are trained to help not only the child but their ecosystem in supporting their needs. Well-being, emotional and academic, goes hand in hand, and we can guide you to both. Please call or visit our website to learn more.

We accept all major insurances GHI, UnitedHealthCare, Oxford, Cigna, MagnaCare, BlueCross BlueShield (BCBS) All major credit cards, Cash, and PayPal accepted

www.ComprehendTheMind.com 718-441-0166

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Caring for the

Caregiver Tips and resources for healthier well-being of the parents and caregivers of kids with disabilities By INCLUDEnyc


s caregivers, we all grapple with the impact of stress in our lives, and how we experience, respond to, and manage it can vary greatly. This is no different for children, teenagers, and young adults. Stress management influences our well-being and profoundly affects the children under our care. In the following, we present some fundamental guidelines to help you navigate the effects of stress in your life, along with valuable resources for local mental health support. Stay connected with the people who matter and support you. Be mindful of the time spent on social media or news sources that may overwhelm or drain your energy. Dedicate daily moments to enjoyable activities! Whether through exercise, playing sports, board games, or planning quality time with your children and family. Create a space for daily tranquility to allow your mind to relax. Be a role model for positive selfcare practices, including taking breaks, nourishing your body with healthy food, staying hydrated, engaging in regular physical activity, and ensuring adequate sleep. These practices should benefit not only yourself but also your children and loved ones. Remember, taking care of your emotional well-being is vital for your sake and those you care for. Mental Health Resources NYC Well provides free, confidential crisis counseling, mental health, and substance misuse support, information, and referrals. You can reach the toll-free helpline 24/7 by phone, text, and online chat. Mental health professionals there can connect you to the services you need. To contact NYC Well, call:

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1-888-NYC-WELL (1-888-692-9355) 1-888-692-9355 (Español) 711 (TTY for hearing impaired) You can also reach NYC Well by texting “WELL” to 651-73 or visit their website for more information. NYC Well counselors are available 24/7. They can provide bilingual help in Spanish, Mandarin, and Cantonese. Additionally, NYC Well offers translation services in more than 200 languages. Health insurance is not required. Depending on your phone/text service, you may be charged a fee. Autism Speaks (Autism Speaks.org): A pretty famous non-profit in the U.S. is all about spreading the word on autism, supporting people with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and their families, and doing some solid advocacy and research. It all started back in 2005 when Bob and Suzanne Wright decided to make a difference after their grandchild was diagnosed with Autism. NAMI-NYC (naminycmetro.org) supports families and adults affected by mental illness, including classes, 30+ support groups, family mentoring, and a Helpline.

Their Helpline can be reached at (212) 6843264. Vibrant Emotional Health (vibrant.org) provides people with emotional support and care. It runs innovative community programs for people at all stages of life and crisis lines, like the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255. INCLUDEnyc (includenyc.org): Provides information and support to families of children with disabilities or delays, helping caregivers understand available resources and navigate special education, health services, and other support systems. Parents can also find peer support through INCLUDEnyc support groups in English and Spanish. Parent to Parent of NYS (ptopnys.org): This organization is all about giving a hand to families dealing with special needs, disabilities, or chronic illnesses. They’re on a mission to connect parents and family members looking after loved ones with disabilities. They want to create a support squad where families can chat, swap stories, and give each other much-needed emotional aid.

ho we are Winston Preparatory School is a leading school network for students with learning differences, including dyslexia, executive functioning difficulties (ADHD), and nonverbal learning disorders (NVLD). Winston Prep Long Island offers Rolling Admission

inston Prep by the Numbers hours


Average Time Spent in one-to-one Focus Program Each Week

3 0

Overall Faculty to Student Ratio

Average Number of Students in Each Class

Learn more at winstonprep.edu

Long Island Campus

Scan the QR code to visit our LI Campus

November 2023 | The Special Child


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Empowering Museum visits

How to navigate museums with a child with disabilities By Donna Duarte - Ladd


here are layers to being a parent of a child with a disability. As a mother of a 7-year-old who is Autistic, there are many challenges. One thing I have learned is that every parent’s journey can have similarities yet also look different. The truth is, there are times I ace parenting Mateo, who is considered severely ASD and is non-verbal, and then there are times my whole being is tested. One of these challenges is going somewhere unfamiliar, and museums are on this list. We’ll save airport and new city experiences for another issue. Lesson learned: a few years back, I took my son to a fantastic museum while we were visiting family in California, and while the museum was unique for kids, it was so overstimulating that there was frustration and tears all around. Most unknown spaces are still challenging to visit, but I have learned that having a game plan before we go somewhere new is essential and helps the entire family enjoy the experience. Things like having a map of the museum and picking out the area that will be safe and welcome are essential for us. If there is a quiet room or pockets of quiet nooks, that museum has visitors for life. We use the family bathrooms like an office; they are our saviors- we can regroup fast and not worry about our guy sprinting off. My family loves it when a museum has a social narrative; we can talk about the upcoming visit and what we will see and show him how to visit it. I also bring snacks, and I have never had a security guard make me toss a snack when I explain that my child will not eat the food at a museum cafe. Again, every family has different

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Photo by Yumi Matsuo

The American Museum of Natural History 200 Central Park West The Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation 415 Columbus Ave AMNH is a museum that families visit regularly as it is never-ending in all it offers. This museum’s adventure is endless, from the Hall of North American Mammals to the Mignone Halls of Gems and Minerals and more. For people with disabilities, the museum provides much support, and we recommend visiting the accessibility section of its site to map out your visit. The services that stand out: service animals are welcome, and there are excellent tour programs. For Autism families, The Discovery Squad, in collaboration with the Seaver Autism Center at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, can, on specific Saturdays, explore activities related to the Museum halls before the museum opens. Science Sense Tours for blind or partially sighted visitors can check out this monthly tour, where specially trained museum tour guides spotlight specific themes and exhibits through descriptions and touchable objects. In circling back to mapping out your visit, the museum offers an actual route app for free. The Explorer app will help you to find accessible (with directions) routesand the best part is to see where the elevators are. Choose the accessible route and receive turnby-turn directions. And there is more. Your admission also works for AMNH’s newest addition, The Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation. Fun things you can do are bug out at the Susan and Peter J. Solomon Family Insectarium, gawk at the gorgeous architecture, and, for a fee, visit the gorgeous exhibits the Invisible Worlds and the Davis Family Butterfly Vivarium.

needs, but this is how we navigate visiting a museum with Mateo. We compiled a list of museums that we feel go the extra mile regarding accessibility for families with disabilities. If you do not see one of your favorite museums on this list, please visit their website to check that it has what you need to support your child on your next visit. You can also find more general museum articles on newyorkfamily.com, such as our favorite children’s museums, Best Family Museums on Long Island, The Best Train Museums in NY and the Surrounding Area. We love our museums, and so do kids with disabilities!

Long Island Museums by Barbara Russo, additional reporting by Diana Kelly Levey

Cradle of Aviation Charles Lindbergh Boulevard, Garden City Wheelchair access: Yes Social guide available: Sensory map: No Explore this aviation and spaceflight museum that commemorates Long Island’s part in the history of aviation. Long Island Children’s Museum 11 Davis Ave., Garden City Wheelchair access: Yes Social guide available: Yes Sensory map: Yes This fun museum has so many features that make it accessible and inclusive for visitors of all abilities. First, it hosts Friendly Hours, which are monthly museum times designed for families with children with disabilities. During these hours, adjustments are made to the museum’s lighting and sound. You have to pre-register for these time slots, and you can see a schedule of upcoming friendly hours at licm.org. Then, there’s a sensory room, which provides a respite for kids with sensory sensitivities who are feeling anxious or overwhelmed during their visit. Check out the LICM4all app that lets you see social guides, interactive itineraries and more. The museum and its theater is wheelchair accessible. Wheelchairs are also available at the Information Desk for visitor use throughout the museum. The Whaling Museum and Education Center 301 Main St., Cold Spring Harbor Wheelchair access: Yes

Explore maritime history at this museum that focuses on Long Island’s whaling heritage. Exhibits include displays about whale bones and whale evolution, scrimshaw and whalebone art, and a fully equipped 19th century whaleboat with original gear. The museum is accessible to visitors who use wheelchairs, and service animals in compliance with ADA are welcome. If you’re looking for a more quiet time at the museum, you might want to consider visiting toward the end of the day. Nassau County Museum of Art 1 Museum Drive, Roslyn Harbor Wheelchair access: Yes Social guide available: Yes Sensory map: Yes Explore art and culture at this popular museum that is accessible to all visitors and is equipped with both ramps and an elevator. Sensory tool kits are available at the admission desk. Designed to provide a multi-sensory museum experience for people with ASD, the kits come with items including texture squares, stress balls, loofah, liquid motion bubbler, visual aids with pictures and guided prompts to help lessen the stress someone might feel during their visit. You can take the kits home, too! Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum 1255 Hempstead Turnpike, Uniondale This event venue provides access for visitors with disabilities. This includes accessible entry doors, restrooms, suites, ticket windows, drinking fountains, concession counters and seating areas. Check out the Long Island Nets basketball or the New York Riptide lacrosse teams in addition to other shows and events throughout the year. The Long Island Aquarium 431 East Main St., Riverhead Wheelchair access: Yes Dive into fun at the Long Island Aquarium, where kids will see some amazing animals, including a giant Pacific octopus, sharks and lots of other gorgeous fish, otters, eels and more. The facility is fully accessible to visitors with disabilities. There are ramps, elevators and handicap-accessible entrances and bathrooms all around. Just keep in mind, the facility doesn’t have a dedicated parking lot. But, it’s part of the Riverhead Parking District, so you can use free, municipal parking lots throughout town, several of which have handicap parking spaces. Service dogs are welcome. November 2023 | The Special Child


special child

New yOrk City Museums by Donna Duarte -Ladd & Barbara Russo

DiMenna Children’s History Museum Located in the lower level of New York Historical Society 170 Central Park West at Richard Gilder Way (77th Street) Families can explore the nation’s historical narrative and the vibrant tapestry of New York City through captivating exhibits illuminating prominent historical figures’ life journeys from childhood to adulthood. The facilities, galleries, and auditorium are wheelchair accessible, with complimentary wheelchairs for visitors. For those who are blind or visually impaired, free verbaldescription docent-guided tours are available by appointment in conjunction with museum admission. For deaf or hard-of-hearing museum go-ers, most exhibitions are accessible for T-coil hearing aid users. T-coil compatible audio guides are available, also free of charge with admission. ASL interpreters are available but must be scheduled to accompany docent or educator-led group tours, such as school trips. Appointments for these services can be made by contacting access@nyhistory.org. The Guggenheim 1071 Fifth Avenue While the Guggenheim is an art space with its renowned modern and contemporary art collection, it is also one of the world’s most famous museums. Designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright, its building is iconic. Although the building is stunning, it may feel out of reach if you are a parent of a child with disabilities. Thankfully, the museum has helpful resources to aid parents on their museum visit. There are ADA-compliant bathrooms located on Levels 1 and 7. There is plenty of room for wheelchairs; however, the High Gallery does not have wheelchair access. The space is quite open, so if your child is sensory sensitive, you may want to download the sensory map (guggenheim.org/accessibility) that maps out the areas (usually with seating) that tend to be quiet, less crowded, and low light. For your ASD child, there is also a social narrative map. For visitors with low vision or who are blind, Mind’s Eye Tours runs excellent tours that share through verbal descriptions, conversations, sensory experiences, and clever practices. These free tours should be emailed (access@guggenheim. org or call 212 360 4355. a week before the program you would like to attend.

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Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum Pier 86, W 46th Street From checking out historic planes, a prototype Space Shuttle Enterprise, a dieselelectric powered submarine, and more, families can spend an entire day at this museum by discovering history through Interactive exhibits and artifacts through hands-on experiences while learning about American military and aerospace technology. The Intrepid Museum has a robust roster of programs for kids with disabilities -we recommend checking out their accessibility page for all their offerings. For blind and visually impaired visitors, there are verbal description and tactile guides that use raised images, Braille, and large print, as well as (ALDs) including stereo headphones, single-ear headphones, or T-coil compatible induction loops are available to borrow at no cost to something pretty cool like a talking pen. Autism kids aged 3 to 18 and their families can sign up for a free program called Early Morning Openings on Saturdays. There are also sensory-friendly evenings for teens (14+) and adults with Autism who can have a fun evening after hours. As we mentioned in the intro, it’s easy for sensory-sensitive kids to get overstimulated; before you start exploring the museum, pick up a sensory bag for noise-reduction headphones and fidgets. There are also visual vocabularies, checklists, scavenger hunts, and activity sheets for all public programs at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. The Metropolitan Museum of Art 1000 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10028 People worldwide visit The Met, one of New York’s most extensive museums. This is something to remember when visiting, as it can be overwhelming, especially for kids. The museum features gorgeous paintings from renowned artists like Leonardo da Vinci and Vermeer. The Met houses sculptures where kids can look at Greek and Roman statues and contemporary pieces. There is also ancient, Asian, European Decorative, modern art, and more. The Met supports many people with different disabilities. On the museums’ visibility section, a parent can find helpful resources for visitors on the Autism Spectrum such as tips, social narrative, Tour Visual Checklist, Sensory Friendly Mapand more. There are also art workshops for kids, teens(and adults) who are Blind or Partially Sighted. Visitors can also find programs in American Sign Language, with Sign Language interpretation and real-time captioning. For

caregivers of visitors with disabilities, head to the museum ticket counter, where you can pick up a free ticket. MoMA 11 West 53 Street For modern and contemporary art lovers, New York (again) has one of the best in the world. From paintings by Jackson Pollack, Pablo Picasso, and Roy Lichtenstein to world-famous photographers (Irving Penn, anyone?), sculptures, film and media art, design and architecture, and more, MoMA is one outstanding institution to visit. For families with disabilities, you can find Sensory and Social guides. Guide dogs and trained service animals are welcome, and while the pet guinea pig may bring comfort, they must stay home. For wheelchair access, look for a security or a guest guide so you do not have to wait in line. MoMA works with Art inSight, and blind or low-vision visitors can download recorded verbal descriptions of several artworks on the free Bloomberg Connects app. Email AccessPrograms@ moma.org at least two weeks in advance for a touch and description tour. Visitors with disabilities are eligible for a discounted admission of $18, and admission is free for an accompanied—care partner. A huge favorite the museum features are the QR codes placed throughout the Museum. These QR codes include maps, additional artwork information, verbal descriptions, and assistive listening for sound artworks created to enhance your visit. There is no sensory room if your child tends to be sensory sensitive, but on the MoMa site, you can find a sensory map of quiet spaces within the museum. Whitney 99 Gansevoort St · (212) 570-3600 There are many reasons to head to the West Village; one is to spend time at the iconic Whitney Museum. The Whitney focuses entirely on American art, with each floor presenting vibrant and unique art, such as Georgia O’Keefe Edward Hopper to Layla Ali. And for our kids with disabilities and challenges, this museum offers support. The Whitney gets very busy- for wheelchair visitors, there is a helpful map; for kids on the ASD spectrum, a social narrative can be downloaded (all of this can be found under the Accessibility tab on the museum’s site) to help with the visit before you arrive. Service animals are welcome at The Whitney, and if your child needs an ASL-English interpretation, Live

captioning, or Verbal description for their public programs and events, these services can be requested in advance. Parents with Sensory Sensitive kids will appreciate that the museum offers sensory-friendly artmaking workshops on select Saturdays before the Museum opens. Visit their events pages for postings. Bronx Zoo 2300 Southern Blvd, Bronx, NY Visiting the zoo, especially in New York, is both a fun and educational experience. It also can be an all-day excursion as there is a lot of ground to cover. First, zoos can be pretty noisy, and the areas that tend to get congested are Bug Carousel, Wild Asia Monorail, Children’s Zoo, and Budgie Landing. Rhino Garden and Zebra Hill are quiet zones if you need quiet time. Working with KultureCity, you will find signage identifying quiet zones; pick up a complimentary (to be used during your visit) sensory bag that contains fidget tools, noise-reducing headphones, and more. Trained service dogs are welcome, but remember to check in with admissions when you arrive for a service dig admission pass. If you

or your child needs a Personal Care Assistant (PCA) to experience the zoo, please go online to the site’s accessibility page to learn how to request a PCA in advance. All buildings are wheelchair accessible; however, certain areas require size, such as the Wild Asia Monorail. (open from May to Oct), it is accessible for manual wheelchairs up to 26 inches wide. Still, motorized scooters or wheelchairs more than 26 inches wide will need (with assistance, the staff is not allowed to transfer guests physically) to use an appropriate-sized wheelchair (available at Monorail platform) or onto a Monorail seat. We recommend downloading the access map on the Accessibility page of the Bronx Zoo’s website, as it provides helpful information from accessible routes, low-light exhibits, touch exhibits, and more. The New York Botanical Garden 2900 Southern Blvd, Bronx, NY 10458 The NYBG is a true gem for New Yorkers at 250 acres, and as one of the world’s most extensive and known botanical gardens, it is perfect for families to visit. It is also rich in history, where you can explore

plant collections and learn about culture, conservation, and more. It is also home to the famous (usually March) Orchid and Train (November) show. For people with disabilities, you will find that ticketing booths and trams are equipped with T-coilcompatible induction loops. For large-print and regular-print transcripts of the audio tours, head to the visitor center’s information booth to pick these up. Trained Service animals are welcomed; for a service dog, you must obtain a Service Dog Admission Pass. Power-driven Wheelchairs, scooters, and power-driven mobility devices are permitted, and manual wheelchairs are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. On the NYBG website, you can download the accessibility guide for wheelchair routes, a social guide to prepare your child before your visit. You can also pick the guides up in the Garden. Check out the accessibility page for free upcoming tours for people with disabilities, such as ASL and sensory experience tours. This artcle was edited for brevity, for the full list of museums visit newyorkfamily.com.

Does Your Child Struggle With Dyslexia or Other Learning Challenge? Your Journey Ends Here!

Vincent Smith School (Est. 1924) Grades 1-12

• Dyslexia, Anxiety, Special Education • Small Classes (Avg. 5 Students) • On-site Related Services • Warm, Family Environment

CALL 516.365.4900 for more information or email admissions@vincentsmithschool.org 322 Port Washington Blvd., Port Washington (516) 365-4900 • vincentsmithschool.org November 2023 | The Special Child


special needs Directory | Special Advertising Supplement

Appletree ABA 100 Duffy Avenue, Suite 510, Hicksville NY 516-881-5373 appletreeaba.com info@appletreeaba.com Appletree ABA is committed to providing high-quality and compassionate ABA therapy services to individuals with autism and their families. They utilize evidence-based practices, collaborate with families and professionals, and offer an individualized approach tailored to promote meaningful change. They offer in-home ABA services across Nassau County NY. They work with most major insurances and accept private pay clients.

Autism Behavioral Consulting Services Karen Bottalico, SAS, SDA 516-851-8330 kbottalico2002@yahoo.com An Educational Consultant serving Queens and Long Island and the NY Metro area. Working directly with families, services include: Evaluating

placement and service options; Accompanying parents throughout the entire CPSE or CSE process which includes meetings, screenings, observations and extensive education history reviews. Other services include Staff Training, School-Based Consultation, FBA Assessment and BIP Implementation, ABA and Verbal Behavior Training Techniques, Behavior Management Strategies, Home/ School Intensive Behavior Intervention Services, Crisis Intervention and Prevention, Home-Based Services and Parent Education Training.

Comprehensive Consultation 114-20 Queens Blvd, Suite CS2, Forest Hills 180 East 79 St. Suite # 1C, New York, NY comprehendthemind.com Comprehensive Consultation Psychological Services, P.C. is a group of neuropsychologists who work as a team to help you understand your child’s

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functioning, from cognitive, to academic to neurological. They can properly diagnose ADHD from a learning disability, and anxiety from autism. They use highly sensitive tests and include parent and teacher data to support assessments.

The Hagedorn Little Village School Jack Joel Center for Special Children 750 Hicksville Road, Seaford 516-520-6000 littlevillage.org jon.feingold@littlevillage.org The Hagedorn Little Village School is a not-for-profit school highly regarded for providing outstanding educational and therapeutic services for children with a wide range of developmental disabilities. HLVS provides year-round programs and services that include diagnostic evaluations and treatment, early intervention, a preschool, an elementary school, SEIT and related services.

Gersh Autism 631-385-3342 info@GershAutism.com gershautism.com Gersh Autism provides a wide range of services for individuals with autism across the US and Puerto Rico. Their mission is to help individuals with ASD reach their full potential by providing educational and therapeutic programs tailored to their specific needs. The organization offers a range of services, including early intervention, preschool and K-12, life skills and transition services for young adults. They are dedicated to improving the lives of individuals with ASD and their families.

Long Island Speech Nine locations lispeech.com Long Island Speech Long Island Speech is the leading speech therapy provider on Long Island with 9 locations in Nassau and Suffolk County. They specialize in Myofunctional Therapy,

Autism/Behavioral Consulting Services • Staff Training • School-Based Consultation • FBA Assessment and BIP Implementation • ABA and Verbal Behavior Training Techniques • Behavior Management Strategies • Home/School Intensive Behavior Intervention Services • Crisis Intervention and Prevention • Home-Based Services and Parent Education Training • CPSE/CSE Advocacy & Meeting Attendance

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ADAPTIVE AQUATICS Swimming lessons tailored to your kiddos individual needs! Our Adaptive Aquatics program is tailored to meet the unique goals of every swimmer, fostering water comfort, emphasizing water safety, and providing swimming instruction, regardless of individual physical or developmental challenges. The Benefits: • Overall Better Physical & Mental Health • A positive and enjoyable water experience • Water safety skills and life-saving techniques

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special needs Directory | Special Advertising Supplement

PROMPT, Voice Disorders, Fluency, Augmentative Communications, Articulation, Feeding Therapy, Auditory Processing, Expressive/Receptive Language Disorders and so much more. Long Island Speech participates with most major health insurance companies and offers evening and weekend hours. Call 844-5-SPEECH to schedule your first appointment, or visit LISpeech.com.

Law Offices of Andrew M. Cohen, P.C. 1100 Franklin Avenue, Suite 305, Garden City 516-877-0595 amcohenlaw.com ac@amcohenlaw.com Love alone can’t protect a child with special needs. The Law Offices of Andrew M. Cohen provides personalized, high-quality special needs estate planning and special education legal services. Whether your needs are simple or intricate, the Law Offices of Andrew M. Cohen

can help you achieve your objectives through careful legal planning. All clients are provided with high quality, personalized and timely legal services at a reasonable cost. Attorneys Cohen and AdlerGreene also conduct free workshops on several topics for agencies, schools and parent groups.

Saf-T-Swim Multiple Locations in Nassau and Suffolk, Little Neck 866-723-3794 saf-t-swim.com info@saf-t-swim.com Discover Saf-T-Swim’s Adaptive Aquatics Program, designed to cater to each swimmer’s distinct needs, promoting water confidence, prioritizing safety, and offering instruction despite physical or developmental challenges. Their program yields numerous advantages, such as enhanced physical and mental well-being, a joyful water experience, crucial water safety skills, and life-saving techniques.

Join us on a journey where every swimmer thrives, regardless of their unique abilities.

Tiegerman School 100 Glen Cove Avenue, Glen Cove, NY 11542 516-609-2000 Tiegerman.org Rosemarie King, Admissions Coordinator rking@tiegerman.org Tiegerman is a NYS approved non-public school program (K-12) for students with special needs. Our campuses in Nassau and Queens Counties serve students throughout Long Island and the five boroughs. Tiegerman’s innovative program specializes on the relationship between language development and academic success, providing intensive language immersion and academic instruction while meeting the individual needs of each student. To find out more, visit our website at tiegerman.org and register for a tour.

The Vincent Smith School 322 Port Washington Blvd., Port Washington 516-365-4900 vincentsmithschool.org lbekore@vincentsmithschool. org Since 1924, Vincent Smith School has been Long Island’s premier school for differentiated instruction in grades first12th for students with learning difficulties. They are known for their individualized programs for challenges like Dyslexia, Auditory Processing Disorders, or ADHD. Your child will find a supportive and nurturing environment at Vincent Smith.

Winston Prep Long Island 30 Deforest Road, Dix Hills 631-779-2400 winstonprep.edu kpreston@winstonprep.edu Winston Preparatory School Long Island is a leading school for students with learning differences, including dyslexia, ADHD, and nonverbal learning disorders. Learn more about their nationally recognized program at winstonprep.edu.

Check us out Online! We’re the #1 print & digital lifestyle platform for engaged parents in New York. Visit newyorkfamily.com to check it out and sign up for our weekly newsletters!

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Presents P


ParentEd Talks series has a tremendous lineup of expert speakers who will help boost your parenting IQ.Topics include tips for raising technology-savvy kids in a screen-obsessed world; deepening connection with our partners and children; fostering the key traits and habits that are predictors of children’s success and good health — and much more.

Don’t miss out! One quick registration gains you access to the entire lineup. Christine Rosen, Ph.D. | Nov. 14, 2023 Promise and Peril: Emerging AI Technologies in Education Joe Clement and Matt Miles | Dec. 6, 2023 Screen Schooled: Raising Screen-Savvy Kids in an Era of Technology Overuse Stacey Freedenthal, Ph.D., LISW | Jan. 10, 2024 Brave Listening: The Secret to Safeguarding Your Child’s Mental Health Amelia Bachleda, Ph.D., and Marley Jarvis, Ph.D Jan. 23 , 2023 How the Power of Play Cultivates Healing and Resilience

Katie Davis, Ph.D. | March 5, 2024 Technology’s Child: Empowered Parenting in the Digital Age David Heppard and Kimonti Carter | March 27, 2024 Beyond Resilience: Raising the Next Generation of Anti-Oppression Leaders Nate and Kaley Klemp | April 16, 2024 Stronger Together: A New Model for Modern Marriage ����������������������������������������May 1, 2024 The Quantum Power of Self-Nurturing for a Balanced Life Janine Halloran, LMHC | June 5, 2024 Calm and Connected: Coping Skills for Kids in High-Anxiety Times

Julietta Skoog, Ed.S. | Feb. 6, 2024 Positive Parenting: Conscious Discipline Strategies for More Peaceful Days

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www.NewYorkFamily.com/ParentEdTalks November 2023 | The Special Child


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