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"As a result of being embraced by such a caring, compassionate and wonderful group of people at CTDS we have been able to see what is truly important in our life. Now, when we question what life holds for us, we have discovered through the friendships that we have made here that all we have to do is ask ourselves these simple questions: “Are we safe? Are we loved?" and “Do we have choices?” Because of the acceptance of the people here, I know that I can answer yes to those questions, and therefore consider my family blessed.”

Deb Lagasse, Alumni Parent





































































































Program Overview Children We Serve Philosophy Educational Curriculum Therapeutic Curriculum Family Invovlement Community Services Resources Ways to Give
AlumniNews Curriculum
Research and Publications

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Welcome CTDS Alumni. We love hearing from you. We often think about our alumni students and their families. If you have news, updates, or changes to your contact information, please e-mail, call us, or write to: Community Therapeutic Day School 187 Spring Street Lexington, MA 02420. 781-861-7081. CTDS1@



LINKS: Resources for Family Support - State and Federal Agencies

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry facts for families

Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education
DESE Phone: 781 338-3000

CTDS Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan

Department of Mental Health
DMH Phone: 617 727 5608

Department of Developmental Services
DDS Phone: 617 727-5608

Department of Public Health
DPH Phone: 617 624-6000

DPH Division for Perinatal, Early Childhood and Special Health Needs
To report abuse or neglect of a child, Phone: 617 624-5070

Department of Children and Families
Phone: 617 748-2000

Disabled Persons Protection Commission
DPPC Phone: 617 727 6465. To report abuse / neglect of an adult with a disability call: 1-800-426-9009

Phone: 1-800-841-2900

Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission
MRC Phone: 1-800-245-6543

Federation for Children with Special Needs
Phone: 617 236 7210

Supplemental Security Income Program


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To Hold and Be Held - Daniel K. Reinstein (CTDS Staff Psychologist)
Drawing on the teachings of D.W. Winnicott and John Bowlby, who helped revolutionize thinking about relational psychology, To Hold and Be Held integrates the concepts of the 'holding environment' and attachment theory and describes how they are applied in a clinical setting. It also uses metaphor to both derive meaning from the language of the therapeutic process and to apply that meaning within a systems framework to effect significant therapeutic change.

As the number of children with complex problems increases and the facilities to treat and manage them decrease, schools are left with few resources to cope. Professionals such as teachers, psychologists, social workers, and counselors need a new framework in which to think about and advocate for services for these children. To Hold and Be Held describes the creation of a system of working that not only holds the child and his family, but also holds the larger system as well - a system in which therapeutic services are integrated at all levels and implemented in public schools in a way that supports all those involved. This is not only a unique and successful way of working with children and their families, but a timely one as well.



Leadership in Nonprofit Organizations: Lessons from the Third Sector - Barry Dym (Consultant to CTDS), Harry Hutson
Leadership in Nonprofit Organizations is about exemplary leadership as found in both corporate and nonprofit organizations. The authors take a fresh approach to the study of leadership: they perform research in nonprofits both to understand and appreciate their complexities, and to reach conclusions about the nature of leadership in any context, including for-profit and governmental entities. Moving from nonprofit to for-profit in this way reverses the flow of ideas as represented in the mainstream literature of leadership. The authors' journey leads through case studies of remarkable leaders succeeding in complex situations. The book explores contemporary versions of leadership as embedded in American culture. It develops the concept of good fit between the leader and circumstances in which she or he must lead; it reveals predictable leadership dynamics and cycles; it explains how leaders can increase the readiness for change in their organizations; it describes the felt experience of "flow" when successful leaders are lost in the moment. Although each chapter employs a different lens, the object is the same throughout-leadership as the practice of alignment. The result is a multifaceted view of leadership as a complex system of shifting interrelationships that yields insights useful to students, researchers and leaders themselves.



Donald Winnicott and John Bowlby, Personal and Professional Perspectives- Bruce Hauptman (CTDS Founder and Staff Psychiatrist), Christopher Reeves and Judith Issroff
John Bowlby and Donald Winnicott were two of the most notable twentieth century pioneers in the application of psychoanalysis to child development and family studies. A series of essays, written by former students of both men, provides insight into the way they approached their work, in addition to novel and clarifying commentaries on their ideas.
The book covers such subjects as the problems of antisocial children, separation, loss, and grief. It pays attention to the social context and dimension of Bowlby and Winnicott's work and includes a novel examination of their contributions to the 1945 Curtis Committee's deliberations leading to the landmark 1948 Children's Act in Great Britain. Their different personalities and scientific attitudes are brought out in a lively and anecdotal way. The book ends with an extensive bibliography that links their own individual work not only to each other, but also to the many and varied strands of research and reflection that owe their origin to D.W. Winnicott and John Bowlby.


Helping Children with Autism


Helping Children with Autism Become More Social, 76 Ways to Use Narrative Play - Ann Densmore (Speech and Language Consultant to CTDS)
Autism has been identified as the fastest growing, serious developmental disability in the United States, where nearly 2 million people are affected. One of the most frustrating aspects of autism and similar disorders is that affected children do not interact with others and often seem unaware of the people and the environment around them. Therapist Anne Densmore takes us with her as she works in a remarkable program she has developed to lead such children into the social world. Allowing readers to look over her shoulder during sessions, Densmore explains Narrative Play and her approach to inspiring social contact. They travel to farms, ponds, playgrounds, and other natural settings where they interact with peers and siblings, and with the novel therapist whose play therapy has brought remarkable results for many children.



Your Successful Preschooler: Ten Skills Children Need to Become Confident and Socially Engaged- Ann Densmore (Speech and Language Consultant to CTDS) and Margaret Bauman, MD
The latest research shows that children can be taught--at very early ages--the tools they need to become successful and connected to others. This new book offers parents and teachers the information they need to teach children the most effective ways to engage peers and make social interactions easier and more meaningful.
Your Successful Preschooler:
Shows how facilitated play can become an opportunity to improve your child's emotional connections with peers
Teaches parents and educators how to foster growth in vocabulary and language during play, key ingredients to academic success
Presents dozens of anecdotes with dialogues parents can use to teach children how to better relate to their peers
Using the methods outlined in the book, parents and teachers can support activities that lead to a lifetime of social success and likeability that are crucial for every child's emotional stability.



Integrating Neuropsychological and Psychological Evaluations - Daniel K. Reinstein, PhD (Clinical Director and Director of Research at CTDS) and Dawn Burau, LMHC and SpEd.(Therapeutic Teacher at CTDS)
This is a resource for neuropsychologists, psychologists, teachers and parents who wish to address both the neurologically and emotionally based difficulties with which their children are presenting. In addition to a thorough description of neuropsychological and psychological assessment tools, this book also provides professionals with a unified approach to using the results from assessments to understand and integrate cognitive, behavioral, social and emotional functioning in school-age children. It posits that to educate and treat children who are struggling in school due to unique cognitive or emotional vulnerabilities, the whole child must be considered to decipher his or her needs and implement interventions. Cultivating a therapeutic relationship that integrates the emotional and relational functioning of children enhances both their learning and their ability to successfully navigate the world.

Below are some vignettes that may be read in conjunction with chapters from the book.

Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9


Sibling Group Lendsa Helping Hand


Sibling Group Lends a Helping Hand: A Guide to Facilitating Support Groups for Siblings of Children with Special Needs - Olivia von Ferstel, SPED and LMHC (Educational ProgramManager at CTDS) and Bridget Glenshaw, LMHC (Clinical Program Manager at CTDS)

For many children who have a brother or sister with special needs, the experience can be fraught with a wide range of emotions, from confusion to an overwhelming sense of responsibility. It can also develop a lens imbued with compassion and insight. Now, the co-founders of Sibling Group, an expressive art therapies based support group model, have created a compassionate, comprehensive guide to forming a Sibling Group that helps siblings cope with these conflicting feelings. Sibling Group Lends a Helping Hand is an indispensable resource to gain clinical insight into both the psychological and emotional dilemmas, as well as the extraordinary opportunities for compassion, relatedness, and growth. The reader will learn about the use of expressive arts therapies as applied to this unique support group format and gain confidence in communicating with siblings of children with special needs. Resources for other supports are included.

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