The Short Version
The building that houses the New York Child Learning Institute, a school for autistic children, is being sold by the convent that leases the space to the school.
The school has run for 24 years and served dozens of families with autistic children and provided society with superbly qualified autism therapists, peer-reviewed publications and skilled young adults with autism.
The future of NYCLI is now potentially in jeopardy. NYCLI must raise funds to ensure it has a home and expand to serve even more families or the lives of dozens of children and their families may be upended.
Every dollar from this fundraiser will go to the school and help secure it's future!
Read below to get the whole picture of where NYCLI has been, where it is and where it is going.
Then, make a donation.
The Long Version
The New York Child Learning Institute helps children with autism acquire critical language, social, and academic skills, and to use these skills to develop more meaningful relationships with others and live more productive lives.
For the past 24 years, The New York Child Learning Institute (NYCLI) has delivered ground-breaking programs and services to children diagnosed with autism and their families, in a warm and carefully curated environment. Its programs have been recognized and studied by clinicians and educators in the U.S. and abroad: through publications in peer- reviewed journals and textbooks, and graduate level internship programs. Given our children’s diagnoses, school programs are costly but also extremely cost effective and largely borne by government. The scale and scope of its services has been significantly, but not solely, limited by space constraints.
Given the growing numbers of children diagnosed with autism, NYCLI is charting a bold expansion course, which will allow it to:
• increase the number of children served in its school, with the hope of adding additional classrooms;
• assist more families with early education;
• prepare more young adults with autism for employment;
• increase the number of job placements for NYCLI graduates;
• expand professional training programs for graduate students in regional universities; and
• advance research in the field of autism intervention.
To achieve these ambitious goals, NYCLI seeks to $3.8 million in the coming year. Funds are needed for:
• the potential purchase of a building,
• renovating and outfitting existing and additional space.
Additionally, NYCLI seeks $1 million to create an endowment to support staff and knowledge sharing activities.
Today, NYCLI has created a thriving educational community and serves as a leader in the field. Its mission is to help children with autism acquire critical language, social, and academic skills, and to use these skills to develop more meaningful relationships with others and live more productive lives.
The programs serve children ages 2.7 to 21 from 8:15am to 2:15pm, 180 days during the school year and 30 days during the summer months.
The educational model for all age groups is based on the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis, with the goal of creating a ladder of sequential skills geared to each child’s capability. Although all students enrolled carry a primary diagnosis of autism, some present with comorbid medical or psychiatric conditions, including Tourette Syndrome, chromosomal abnormalities, catatonia, bipolar disorder, depression and seizure disorders. When a variety of conditions further complicate their lives, NYCLI effectively sets an educational course to alleviate challenges.
The Institute is accredited and certified by the New York State Department of Health and the New York State Education Department: Given the severity of the population served, it provides a class ratio of six students to four professional staff in its four carefully curated classrooms. Enrollment has been limited - largely by space constraints – to serving 24 children at a time. AABR has provided ongoing administrative, payroll and legal services.
The goal for each child is to benefit from an enriched family life and community involvement and to decrease the need for ongoing specialized educational and treatment services. Therefore, families of pre-school and school- age children are expected to participate in their child’s education: Through bi-weekly home visits by staff and monthly school visits by parents, families receive critically needed assistance and empowering support to help in the transfer of children’s newly acquired skills from school to home and community.
Many young adults with autism can hold jobs in their community, with targeted supports. The cost benefits to society are enormous: reducing cost of care and creating better and more lasting outcomes for these citizens. NYCLI works with local businesses to give young adults job preparation training with work experience, in building maintenance, retail, data entry, and food service. Students in the apprenticeship program complete tasks to an employer’s required specifications, with the guidance of a Life-Skills Coach from NYCLI.
Since its inception, 15% of NYCLI’s population has moved from special education and are currently enrolled in regular education classrooms; 36% are enrolled in less restrictive programs for students with learning disabilities.
NYCLI’s core educational strategies have proven highly effective and cost efficient. Its reputation for delivering individualized and highly effective intervention for children with autism is unparalleled in the New York area. To meet the increasing demand for these services, we aim to expand NYCLI's site-based programs, and enlarge our learning community.
NYCLI's Capital Campaign is geared toward meeting those needs in a suitable home for the school. Additional funds will be sought to:
• expand its apprenticeship program that prepares young adults with autism for employment;
• strengthen its university partnerships that educate graduate students in the field of applied behavior analysis;
• expand professional training and increase salaries and benefits; and
• underwrite its capacity to advance our science, through rigorous applied research.
If you are ready to help NYCLI survive and thrive, make a donation. If you have ideas to connect our leadership to partners for an even greater future, please contact us!
- Hilary, Don, Scott & Jared Shaefitz
- Michael Mangino
- Josh Dym
- Judith Shapiro
- Meir Scheinfeld
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