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Since 1988, Alternatives For Children has been at the forefront in providing educational experiences to a broad spectrum of children from across Long Island, and is a known leader in providing quality care to all children, but especially to those who need it most, at the most critical time in their development.
Alternatives For Children’s team of experienced and dedicated early childhood professionals have created invaluable educational and therapeutic programs for over 10,000 children from across both Suffolk and Nassau counties, individually designed and implemented to help each child reach their potential.
Approved and licensed by the New York State Departments of Education and Health, the New York State Office of Children & Family Services, the Nassau & Suffolk County Department of Health Divisions of Services for Children with Special Needs.
All classes are taught by New York State dually certified special education/early childhood teachers working in collaboration with certified teaching assistants.
Therapeutic services are provided by specially trained, licensed/certified therapists experienced in working with young children.
Counseling and social work services are provided by licensed/certified psychologists and social workers.
Student to staff ratios meet or exceed requirements established by the New York State Department of Education and Office of Children and Family Services.
Provides a full complement of Early Intervention and Preschool Special Education Programs as well as Related Services.
Therapeutic and educational staff integrate a child’s related services with their educational program as an integrated whole child team, thus creating experiences where the individual needs of each child are met. Our early childhood professionals use developmentally appropriate holistic approaches in the delivery of services to assure that a child’s IFSP or IEP goals can be achieved.
Our Early Intervention Services provide infants and toddlers with special needs their first educational experience, all the while promoting competencies in families and providing them with needed expertise and emotional support.
Child Day Care program, Nursery School, Universal Pre-Kindergarten, and Special Education Preschool all provide a natural learning environment where children are encouraged to become independent, self-confident, and curious learners.
Provides children and their families with the tools they need to be ready to learn and be successful as they transition to the kindergarten environment.
Graduates are ready to learn and ready for Kindergarten!
Alternatives For Children is a longstanding member of the National Association of Private Special Education Centers.
Alternatives For Children is committed to adhering to the Developmentally Appropriate Practices of The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
1 - Creating a caring community of learners
2 - Teaching to enhance development and learning
3 - Planning curriculum to achieve important goals
4 - Assessing children’s development and learning
5 - Establishing reciprocal relationships with families.
We offer environmentally structured classes with the Creative Curriculum, which is aligned with the New York State P-12 Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS), and ensures continuity with the Common Core State Standards in ELA and Math. The Creative Curriculum is an early childhood curriculum designed to foster children’s social/emotional, physical, cognitive and language development, as well as enhance learning in literacy, math, social studies, the arts and technology. Team members focus intensively on the child’s individual needs as well as incorporating a balance of child centered versus teacher directed instruction presented in a range of environments, large and small groups, dyads and one-to-one teaching, providing children with the tools they need to be ready to learn and be successful as they transition to the kindergarten environment.
Alternatives For Children has developed, copyrighted, and utilizes a Goals/Objectives Management System to be used within the framework of The Creative Curriculum. The Goals/Objectives Management System allows staff to document each child’s progress related to the mastery of his/her Individualized Education Program (IEP) goals. The System’s reporting methods clearly identifies each child’s improvement by both percent scores and descriptive measurements correlating with the Individualized Education Program’s (IEP) projected level of success.
Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) techniques can be employed for children who are not speaking yet, or who are not yet proficient verbal speakers. Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) is a system of methods or devices used to enhance or supplement communication and speech for those with impairments in the production or comprehension of spoken or written language.
Assistive Technology (AT) - is used by individuals with disabilities in order to perform functions that might otherwise be difficult or impossible for them. Assistive Technology device refers to any item, piece of equipment, or product system that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities. Assistive Technology devices can include mobility devices such as walkers and wheelchairs, as well as hardware and peripherals that assist people with disabilities in accessing computers or other information technologies.
Music Therapy - is a well-established, research-based profession in which music is used to accomplish therapeutic and educational goals. Music Therapy helps to improve cognitive, social, physical, psychological, and communication functioning.
Occupational Therapy - a developmental intervention that enhances a child’s ability to successfully function within their environment, both at home and at school. Occupational Therapists work with children facing physical delays, educational delays, cognitive delays, self-care delays or sensory processing disorders that may affect their developmental performance.
Orientation and Mobility Training (O & M) - helps a blind or visually impaired child know where he/she is in space and where he/she wants to go (orientation). It also helps them to be able to carry out a plan to get there (mobility). Orientation and mobility skills should begin to be developed in infancy starting with basic body awareness and movement, allowing the child to learn skills that allow them to navigate their world efficiently, effectively, and safely.
Primarily 2s IFSP Class
Our Primarily 2s IFSP Class, based from Alternatives For Children in both Dix Hills and East Setauket, will provide Early Intervention services delivered in a group setting to eligible children. This group will provide opportunities for children to practice and generalize skills learned in individual services. Multidisciplinary learning experiences will be provided to address the individual needs of each child.The Primarily 2s IFSP class is staffed by certified Early Intervention Special Instructors and Teacher Assistants. Using a team approach, teachers and therapists are responsive to a child’s and family’s individual needs and IFSP outcomes. Children needing speech therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, or other services approved by their IFSP will receive these services at Alternatives For Children in Dix Hills or East Setauket.
Physical Therapy - therapeutic interventions aimed at maximizing a child’s ability to participate in daily activities in school and at home. The goal specific outcomes of Physical Therapy promote independence and age-appropriate gross motor development, improve strength and flexibility, enhance learning opportunities, and facilitate the learning of self-help and self-care responsibilities.
Psychological and Social Work Services - integral components of the multidisciplinary team approach in early childhood education. Psychologists and Social Workers collaborate to assure that all students and their families have access to the support and assistance they might need. A variety of services are provided to meet the needs of children and their families including: initial assessments, behavioral observations, functional behavioral assessments, behavior intervention plans, play therapy/student counseling, parent counseling, support groups, parent education workshops and Early Intervention ongoing service coordination.
Service Coordination - Ongoing Service Coordinator, chosen by a parent, to ensure that the services, as indicated in the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP), are in place for your child during the duration of the plan. At Alternatives For Children, Social Workers provide Ongoing Service Coordination based on their training and experience in advocacy and casework.
SEIS - Special Education Itinerant Services - Implements the child's Individualized Education Program (IEP) and promotes skill and ability development in any or all of the development domains in collaboration with the family and with nursery school directors and teachers to meet the child's needs.
Speech and Language Therapy - focuses on receptive language, or the ability to understand words spoken to you, and expressive language, or the ability to use words to express yourself. Speech Therapy also deals with the mechanics of producing sounds or words, such as articulation, pitch, fluency, and volume. For children, Speech Therapy generally involves pursuing language milestones that have been delayed.
Vision Services – Provide screening, assessment and evaluation of functional vision skills; provide treatment to enhance use of residual vision and adaptive abilities for the visually impaired. Specialized instruction to strengthen a child’s visual efficiency, compensatory skill practice, and communication skill practice, which may involve the use of modified materials and equipment such as large print or Braille, slant boards or light boxes.