programs

Children & adolescents

Children & Adolescents

The Shield Institute provides New York State contracted services for preschool children, ages 3-5, school age children ages 5 – 21, and to adults with lifelong disabilities, 21 years of age and older. Our programs are highly individualized to meet the unique developmental learning and social needs for people of all abilities.

Preschool Program

Our preschool programs, located in the south west section of the Bronx as well as in Flushing, Queens, provide services to approximately 300 preschoolers on a daily basis. The preschool program is regulated and funded through the New York State Education Department. We provide developmentally appropriate instruction in a variety of classroom models.

Preschool Services
With locations in the Bronx and Flushing, the preschool program is funded and approved through the New York State Education Department and the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE). Children must be determined eligible to attend our school based on approval from the NYCDOE. Our classrooms are guided by developmentally appropriate instruction through active engagement to build self-esteem and pre-academic skills needed for success in kindergarten.Self contained classrooms (with 8 or 12 children; all with special needs) provide structured teaching and aided language for children who are developmentally delayed or display characteristics on the autistic spectrum. These highly structured classrooms are led by a certified special education teacher and have one or two teacher assistants available to continually engage and encourage children to participate in the full range of offered activities. Our related service staff of licensed speech, physical and occupational therapists provide mandated services in the classroom or in therapy rooms. Social work, parent programs and psychological services are included in our comprehensive program offerings.

In our integrated class we provide an opportunity for children with special needs to learn and play with typically developing children, in a guided and supported setting. Each class has 18 children (9 typically developing and 9 with special needs) and is staffed by a certified special education teacher and two certified teacher assistants.
Preschool Evaluation Program
The Shield provides multidisciplinary evaluations to children ages 3 – 5 years in Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, and Korean by New York State licensed therapists and certified teachers. Evaluations are provided, at no cost to families for children with suspected developmental delays. The evaluation program is funded through the New York State Education Department and prior approval from the NYC Department of Education is required. If you are concerned about your child’s development or language and/or social skills, please call our evaluation coordinators who can assist you with contacting your local school district to obtain consent for evaluation.

• Flushing: 718-939-8700 ext. 1141
• Bronx: 718-299-7600 ext. ext. 3252

Click on the link below for the New York City Department of Education’s website to find your district office. http://schools.nyc.gov/Academics/SpecialEducation/ContactsResources/cse.htm
Parent Training Program
The Shield Institute is a recipient of a special NYC council grant to support and provide important programs for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and the families who guide them. Since the grant's inception in 2008, The Shield Institute operates Parent Training/Support Programs 12 months a year for families.

For Samantha Ko and other parents of children with autism and developmental disabilities, the citywide autism initiative means they receive much-needed parenting workshops about how to care for their children, as well as essential after-school and respite services.

“I went to parenting workshops at the Shield Institute, and it made a big impact on my life,” said Ko, a mother of a 4-year-old son who has pervasive developmental disorders and speech delays. “I understand what I can do as a parent to help my child.”
Foster Grandparent Program
Our Foster Grandparent Program at The Bronx Shield is sponsored by the New York City Department for the Aging. This volunteer program offers seniors age sixty and older a modest paid non taxable stipend, reimbursement for transportation and a daily meal during service. These Grandmas and Grandpas serve as mentors, tutors and caregivers for children and youth with special needs. As participants of this wonderful “bridge across generations” program, our students benefit from a lifetime of caring and enriching experiences.

School Age Program

In our Flushing location, we provide special education classrooms and related services for students ages 5-21. Our classrooms are highly individualized and provide structured teaching, augmentative communication, aided language and the use of technology according to the New York State Alternative Learning Standards.

School Program
Our school age classrooms are highly individualized and provide structured teaching, augmentative communication, aided language and the use of technology according to New York State Alternative Learning Standards. All classroom staff help children meet the academic, behavioral and vocational challenges that accompany developmental delays and/or behaviors associated with autistic spectrum disorders.

Our school program, most from New York City Department of Education public schools, can enroll up to 56 students in class sizes of 8 or 12 students. The school is divided into an early learning component, ungraded for children in kindergarten through 2nd grade, with another classroom (ungraded) for children in grades 3 – 5. The middle school program is geared towards students in 6th through 9th grade. Our high school program is for students age 16 and over. All students, ages 9 to 14, are eligible for alternate assessment.
Arts and Technology in Special Education
Our Creative Arts program is designed for students with autistic spectrum disorders, limited communication skills and for children who present behavioral challenges. Through music, art and dance, we use song and movement, dance and visual arts as a vehicle to facilitate communication, self-expression, sensory stimulation, and peer interaction. The Shield Institute has a commitment to using the latest technology (SmartBoards, iPads, laptops) to support the language, communication, play, social and cognitive development of children with language and other developmental delays. For our students, many who are visual learners, we anticipate that this technology will motivate them to participate in activities inside the classroom and within their home and community. Integrating the use of computers and light tech supports within a developmentally appropriate curriculum will facilitate problem-solving and active participation for all children with developmental and language delays.
Technology In the High School
Our Interactive Technology Initiative is a skills-building, training and assessment program. It helps young people with autism and developmental disabilities enrolled in our high school learn to use interactive digital tools for various purposes. Innovation and evidenced based research is the driving force behind program initiatives that create new and improved opportunities for students.
NYS Alternative Learning Standards
Our school program is developed in response to standards promulgated by the New York State Education Department (NYSED). The Shield Institute is responsible to provide a high quality and responsive education program that considers the ability of each student in our school. Some students with disabilities will obtain an individualized education program (IEP) diploma based on achieving the educational goals specified in their current IEP. These educational goals are set by the Committee on Special Education (CSE) and must be linked to the Learning Standards and appropriate performance indicators. For more information about the specific NYSED Alternate Learning Standards, please follow this link: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/publications/learnstand/lrnstdi.htm
Transition Program
Our high school program includes a well integrated approach to helping students and families identify realistic goals for their lives as young adults. We provide transition services for all students age 15 through graduation at age 21. We work closely with community businesses to provide real work opportunities for students. This experience matches a student’s interests, abilities, and skills to a specific job. Our vocational staff works closely with teachers and therapists to insure a coordinated set of transition activities. These essential services help assure that students are well prepared for life after graduation.

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 PPetrozelli@shield.org 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 a 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.

Medicaid Service Coordination

The Shield’s Medicaid Service Coordination (MSC) program provides person-centered case management services for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and intellectual/developmental disabilities. Our MSC progam supports individuals to achieve their personal goals, by helping them access programs and services. Our caring, highly trained, team works closely with each individual and his/her family to help them obtain the services they want and need, including day programs, educational and vocational programs, residential programs, recreational services, medical services, financial assistance and much more. Our bilingual (French, Haitian-Creole, Mandarin, Spanish) Service Coordinators work closely with individuals to ensure satisfaction with the services they receive.

Parent Training Grant Program

The Shield Institute is a recipient of a special NYC council grant to support and provide important programs for children with autism and the families who guide them. Since the grant’s inception in 2008, The Shield Institute operates Parent Training/Support Programs 12 months a year for families. For Samantha Ko and other parents of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and intellectual/developmental disabilities, the citywide autism initiative means they receive much-needed parenting workshops about how to care for their children, as well as essential after-school and respite services.

I went to parenting workshops at the Shield Institute, and it made a big impact on my life,” said Ko, a mother of a 4-year-old son who has pervasive developmental disorders and speech delays. “I understand what I can do as a parent to help my child.