SLCD's motto "Giving Our Children a Voice " reflects our goal to meet the needs of preschool and school age children with severe language and autism spectrum disorders. We believe that students with autism spectrum disorders have underlying language disorders.
At SLCD, our mission is to identify children with language and autism spectrum disorders early to provide educational programs which will prepare them for a world filled with words, sentences, stories and messages. Language is a symbol system; it provides the means to reach out to the world. It is the most important skill that a child must learn early in life. Language provides the foundation for socializing, reading, questioning, writing and thinking.
SLCD uses the Tiegerman Language Method (TLM) which is designed to stimulate and challenge children's language development. We believe that "language is everything and everywhere," so our children need to be immersed in language activities to learn. We teach children to talk in order to reach the person inside.
SLCD is also committed to increasing public awareness about the unique needs of these children, since they are often misdiagnosed and misplaced in educational programs. Is a child language disordered because he has cognitive delays or does he have cognitive delays because he is language disordered?
SLCD sets the pace in New York State with innovative programs that address the unique developmental needs of children struggling to develop the words to reach out to others. Interactive classrooms are structured as language laboratories with small class size, taught by a licensed professional faculty dedicated to each child’s social, emotional, intellectual and language development. All the children are immersed in language activities using different methods so that we reach each child and teach each child.
A team of educators develop a custom program for each child that provides the right teacher, the right setting, and the right curriculum. If a student needs to focus on arithmetic, reading lessons will include numbers and social studies lessons will include counting states. SLCD uses curriculum that incorporates New York State Learning Standards.
Students also receive specialized therapeutic services that support their unique needs. These may include: speech, physical and occupational therapy, counseling, adaptive physical education, and computer-based learning instruction.