The Community Therapeutic Day School (CTDS), founded in 1974, enrolls children with severe emotional and neurologic difficulties that interfere with their learning and prevent them from attending regular school programs. These children may have problems with hyperactivity, social isolation, psychosis, affective disorders, mood dysregulation, autistic defenses, atypical development, distracting fantasies, speech and language delays, behavioral disorders, and motor and sensory integration deficits. Many also have difficulty with developing appropriate social relationships. We try to discern if the basis of the disability is emotional, neurologic, environmental or some combination of factors. Uncontrolled feelings may affect the child’s overall functioning. The child may have specific physical problems such as vision, hearing, sensory motor, or language processing. The child’s environment may be chaotic and the child too preoccupied with day-to-day survival to concentrate on learning or relating. Our children have a wonderful array of strengths and talents. At CTDS we support the whole child.
• Through careful and intensive observation we are able to develop an in-depth clinical understanding of each child’s individual experience of the world.
• With an open mind and curiosity we join the child in exploring the complexities of his world.
• The significant connection between child and staff enhances the child’s capacity to engage more fully in his social and emotional development and learning.
• With the safety of a holding environment, children are encouraged to take risks in areas where their disabilities impact their lives.
• In the process of learning from our children about their disabilities we gain a deeper understanding of ourselves and collectively create a knowledge base that serves to strengthen our teaching.