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Best Special Education Schools in NYC | Parent Guide

As a parent of a child with special needs, you know that finding the right school can be a complex process. You want to find a school that will provide your child with the academic, social, and emotional support they need to thrive. But with so many schools, figuring out where to start can take time. In this blog post, we’ll share our top picks for the best special education schools in NYC. We’ll also provide you with a brief overview of each school, so you can decide which is best for your child.

Top 5 Best Special Education Schools in NYC

Navigating the educational jungle can be a rough ride, but luckily, we’ve whittled out five of the best special education schools in NYC for you.

Name of the LocationStar RatingNumber of ReviewsAddressHours of OperationDescription
Winston Preparatory School- New York4.314126 W 17th StOpens 8:30 AM MonWell-known for its unique, individualized learning model that prioritizes each student’s unique learning profile.
The Gillen Brewer School – Special Education4.515410 E 92nd StOpens 8 AM MonRenowned for its comprehensive approach, combining academics, therapies, and social development strategies into one integrated program.
Atlas School / Atlas Foundation for Autism5.01252 W 29th StOpens 12 PMDistinguished for its strong focus on Autism, providing specialized programs and therapies for students on the spectrum.
Manhattan Star Academy4.317180 Amsterdam AveNot SpecifiedPraised for its diverse learning environment that fosters creativity, independence, and social skills among its students.
Stephen Gaynor School4.413148 W 90th StNot SpecifiedFamed for its emphasis on arts-integrated learning, helping students explore their potentials beyond the academic realm.

What are the Best NYC Public Schools for Special Education?

Public schools often offer a wider and more diverse community, which can be an enriching experience for kids with special needs. In NYC, Public School 77, Lower Lab School, Lang. School, Brooklyn School of Inquiry, and TAG Young Scholars have solid reputations for their special education programs. These schools also offer Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), quality therapy sessions, and a resource-rich environment.

Read more: Tutors in NYC | Parent Guide

What is the Best School for Autism in NYC?

Talking about autism-centric institutions, one has to mention Atlas School / Atlas Foundation for Autism. This school is a favorite of parents of autistic children for its approach and strategies centered around students on the spectrum.

best special education schools in nyc.  a group of kids are sitting in a circle making music.
Read more: Best Autism Schools in NYC | Parent Guide

Who is Eligible for Special Education in NYC?

State and federal rules govern eligibility for special education in NY. Children aged 3-21, identified with one or more of the 13 disabilities who require specialized instruction, are eligible for special education services. A comprehensive Committee on Special Education (CSE) assessment would provide the final decision.

Read more: What Qualifies a Child for Special Education?

What are the 13 Special Education Classifications in NYC?

The thirteen special education classifications in NYS include Autism, Deafness, Deaf-Blindness, Emotional Disturbance, Hearing Impairment, Learning Disability, Intellectual Disability, Multiple Disabilities, Orthopedic Impairment, Other Health Impairment, Speech or Language Impairment, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Visual Impairment. These classifications guide the tailored support and modifications required for each student.

Evidence shows that kids learn best when they’re having fun. Many teachers recommend using learning tech like Goally to engage with kids in a way they love.

In the classroom, Goally can help kids with:

  • Following directions by providing visual and verbals supports to help them understand each task.
  • Staying on task by providing timers and reminders to help them stay focused.
  • Communicating with their teachers and peers through the AAC Talker app that allows them to express wants and needs.
  • Identifying and regulating their emotions before children have a meltdown because they are overstimulated.

Goally’s distraction-free kid’s tablet can be used as a therapy tool to help teach executive function, language, emotional regulation, finger dexterity skills, and more!

Making an informed decision on schooling for special needs kids puts us, parents, through an emotional wringer. Remember that every step taken brings your child closer to an environment that understands and nurtures their unique abilities. Each of the best special education schools in NYC discussed here offers a different environment, approach, and community. Your child’s unique needs and personality will guide you through this complex decision-making process.

This post was originally published on 08/06/2023. It was updated on 12/21/2023.

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