Our adult program services are created to provide meaningful experiences for adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and intellectual/developmental disabilities. A person-centered philosophy guides the staff to create activities and community experiences. Activities provide life experiences to enhance independence and participation in community and home.

Day Habilitation Services

The Shield Institute Day Habilitation programs provide stimulating environments for a diverse population of adults with developmental disabilities. Our mission that each adult deserves a right to a life filled with choice, self- determination, and meaning, is the focus of our work in defining our sense of community. We aspire to provide individuals with life experiences that will enhance their independence and encourage their fullest participation.

Our programs are funded and monitored through the OPWDD (Office for People with Developmental Disabilities). For more information about all services funded through OPWDD, please follow this link:

Within our facilities, individuals participate in activities that foster acceptance and represent varied interests. Shared spaces include a gym, art studio, kitchen, sensory room, media/recreation room and consumer-operated store and office. Our programs are supported and enriched by our clinical staff. We offer physical and occupational therapy, social work, psychology, nursing, speech therapy and recreation, along with the regularly scheduled activities and goals implemented by our direct support staff.

We work closely with staff to realize the person centered outcomes of each individual. Through the eyes of each individual, we create and offer experiences that reinforce their interests, hobbies and abilities. All of our staff are highly trained culturally sensitive professionals who are knowledgeable about the needs of people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and intellectual/developmental disabilities.  Group Day Habilitation is a day program provided on weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Supplemental Group Day Habilitation Services

The Supplemental Group Day Habilitation Services are active and dynamic programs which provide support and structure for adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and intellectual/developmental disabilities who live at home with family or within the Family Care system. Valued Outcomes are developed to address each individual’s strengths, needs and preferences with a focus on socialization, independent living, community awareness and safety, and maintaining/enhancing health skills. These skills also help to support our consumers in their other daily activities which varies from supported work, prevoc programs, and full-time Day Habilitation. Services are provided at our Flushing and Bayside facilities. Program days and hours are: Flushing – Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 3 to 6 PM; Bayside – Tuesday and Thursday from 3 to 8 PM and Saturday from 9 AM to 3 PM.  Bayside also offers a Saturday only option; the hours are from 9 AM to 3 PM.

Work Training Program and Supported Employment

The Shield Supported Employment Programs are funded through New York State Adult Career and Continuing Education Services – Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES-VR) and (OPWDD) Office for People with Developmental Disabilities

The Shield operates a small supportive work program for individuals including a “Ready To Work” seminar offered by our Certified Rehabilitation Counselor. Individuals are referred to ACCES-VR once they have successfully completed a community work experience. This blended approach to SEMP is considered a “worker-in training” model that focuses on job development and retention.

Article 16 Clinic

We provide diagnostic, evaluation and clinical services for children and adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and intellectual/developmental disabilities. Psychological, social work, speech, occupational and physical therapy, rehabilitative counseling and nutritional counseling are provided individually and/or in group settings. Specialty services include augmentative communication evaluation and treatment, eating and swallowing evaluation and treatment and psychosexual assessment and treatment. All services are provided by our licensed and experienced staff.

Clinic Overview
Through the Article 16 Clinic, we provide diagnostic, evaluation and clinical services for children (ages 5 and up) and adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and intellectual/developmental disabilities. Mental health, speech, occupational and physical therapies, rehabilitative counseling and nutritional counseling are provided to individuals and groups. Specialty services include psychological testing, psychosocial evaluations, augmentative and alternative communication assessment and treatment, psychosexual assessment and treatment, risk assessments and bereavement counseling. All services are provided in our onsite locations in Bayside and Flushing Queens, as well as offsite in Day Habilitation programs and Group Residences. Click here for Referral form (email to or fax to 718-939-0881 or call 718-939-8700 ext. 1251).
Clinic Specialty Programs
Augmentative and Alternative Communication
The Shield Institute Augmentative Communication and Technology Center (ACT Center) was established to meet the complex communicative needs of children and adults. Specialized diagnostic and therapeutic services are available using state of the art low and high tech communication systems for individuals whose communication is unintelligible or ineffective. Particular attention is given to each individual’s physical, cognitive and linguistic capabilities. Assistance in obtaining recommended augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) systems and adaptive equipment is provided. Medicaid/Medicare funding for AAC systems can be pursued. Therapeutic intervention for the AAC user is highly suggested and is readily available.

Other AAC related services:
• Support Training for family, primary caregivers/residential staff, educators, speech-language pathologists and other professionals working with individuals using augmentative communication systems can be provided.
• Environmental analyses can be conducted in residential, program or education settings to determine what modifications can be implemented that would facilitate communication and use of AAC systems.

Psycho-Sexual Assessment and Therapeutic Services
The Shield Institute Article 16 Clinic provides sexuality services for individuals who evidence psychosexual therapeutic needs. Services include psychosexual knowledge assessment, focused therapy, trauma related therapy, offender group and individual therapies. Due to the complexity and level of interaction needed, these services are offered to individuals who evidence moderate to mild intellectual disabilities. However, after an extensive review of the application and related evaluation, special consideration can be given to other individuals who function at a lower level. Please note, the clinic only provides sexual consent determination for individuals within our ongoing programs.

Risk Assessments
A Risk Assessment is a highly specialized area of evaluation completed for individuals (in this case with an intellectual or developmental disability) who have engaged in or who might potentially engage in some type of illegal activity. The illegal and/or risky activity could include sexual, drug or violent behaviors. The risk assessment is completed to help to determine the level of risk the individual may pose to the community or to her/himself and if the individual would benefit from further psychological and/or psychiatric services.

Bereavement Therapy Services
Psychotherapy with a focus on bereavement issues is provided to individuals on a crisis and/or ongoing basis. Clinicians have been highly trained in the area of bereavement issues and are able to provide individual and group therapies in this realm.
Referral Form
Click here for the Article 16 Clinic Referral Information Form.