Special Education Services
The Family Center Home & Community Based Program provides special education and therapeutic services to children with developmental or educational challenges.
Special Education Itinerant Teachers (SEITs) provide special education supports to preschoolers age 3 to 5 in their home or school setting. In partnership with parents and general education classroom teachers—and in alignment with your child’s Individualized Education Program—these professionals facilitate home or classroom experiences designed to support the development of play as well as social and academic skills.
Bank Street SEITs communicate regularly with members of each child’s therapy team and set goals based on shared observations and assessments. Our SEITs have advanced degrees and certification in early childhood special education and are supported in their practice with regular professional development.
How do I get my child approved for SEIT services?
Once you child has been evaluated, talk to the Evaluations Coordinator about what services will best support your child. If SEIT services are suggested, be prepared to advocate for that at your meeting with the Committee on Preschool Special Education.
If your child has been approved for SEIT hours, call Judi Gentry at 212-875-4414 to check on availability.
The Family Center is an approved New York City Department of Education evaluation site for children who are referred through the Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) upon parental request and consent to determine eligibility for special education services.
CPSE Mandated Evaluations include:
- Social History
Supplemental Evaluations may also be conducted in the following areas: speech/feeding, educational, occupational therapy, physical therapy, audiological, school observation, and other types as needed.
These evaluations determine the eligibility for special education services. Specific services mandates are determined at the Individualized Education Program meeting conducted by the Department of Education.
The Buddies Group
The Buddies Group is a social skills group for children ages 3 to 5 who need support in the development of social, speech, language, and play skills. Children learn in the safety of a small, familiar group setting with support from caring educators as they learn new abilities and translate them in other contexts, such as school or daily life.
Through several strategies and age-appropriate materials, teachers create opportunities in our special needs playgroup for children to work on play, communication, problem-solving, and turn-taking while enhancing their emotional ability to cope with the excitement and struggles of making new friends. Children acquire skills in the following areas:
- Imaginary play
- Multi-step play themes
- Keeping attention on one idea
- Problem solving (and social problem solving)
- Emotional awareness
- Being a member of a community
- Coping with emotions that arise when playing with peers
- How to be a friend
- How to have a conversation
- Conflict resolution
- Perspective taking
Buddies Group is appropriate for children ages 3 to 5 who have social anxiety, emotional/behavioral challenges, social language difficulties, and attention issues. Children should have some communication, social, and play skills that can be expanded and fostered through the group. For questions, contact Judi Gentry, at firstname.lastname@example.org.