ASD Nest Program (NYU)

ASD Nest Program Features

Class Structure

The program serves students with autism in a classroom with general education students. The class is a small Integrated Co-Teaching (ICT) class, with one special education teacher and one general education teacher. As students get older, the class size increases. There is no classroom paraprofessional.

Curriculum and Instruction

Classes follow the New York State Learning Standards and the same curriculum used in all DOE schools. ASD Nest teachers are trained in specialized teaching strategies for students with autism, including a special social curriculum called Social Development Intervention (SDI) developed by NYU. SDI is an evidence-based program that supports social-emotional development.

Social-Emotional Supports

Related service providers use SDI to help students improve social functioning. Our in house provider supports our NEST students by implementing the following strategies:

  • Personalized Goals: Tailored to address specific social and emotional challenges.
  • Regular Monitoring: Frequent check-ins and adjustment of goals as needed.
  • Social Stories: Use of narratives to teach appropriate social interactions and responses.
  • Role-Playing: Practice in safe environments to build confidence in social situations.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): Techniques to help manage anxiety, frustration, and other emotions.
  • Mindfulness Practices: Activities like deep breathing and meditation to reduce stress.
  • Sensory-Friendly Spaces: Quiet areas where students can go to decompress.
  • Flexible Seating: Options to accommodate sensory needs and preferences.
  • Anti-Bullying Policies: Strong policies and programs to prevent and address bullying.
  • Speech and Language Therapy: To enhance verbal and non-verbal communication skills.
  • Social Communication Groups: Regular meetings to practice conversational skills.
  • Parent Training and Support: Resources and workshops to help parents support their children.
  • Community Programs: Activities and events that promote social inclusion and interaction.
  • Independent Living Skills: Teaching practical skills for daily life.
  • Transition Planning: Preparing students for life after high school, including vocational training and higher education support.
  • Work Experience: Opportunities for internships or part-time jobs.
  • Clubs and Activities: Encouraging participation in interest-based groups to foster connections.
  • Counseling Services: Access to school psychologists or counselors specialized in working with autistic students.
  • Crisis Intervention Plans: Procedures for addressing emotional or behavioral crises effectively and compassionately.
  • Training Programs: Regular training on autism and effective support strategies for all school staff.