Student Life

At the Keswell School, each student’s progress is carefully analyzed, and individual courses of study are adapted to take account of specific needs and accomplishments.   Each individualized educational program seamlessly integrates classroom work and related therapies.

Applied Behavior Analysis

The curriculum is firmly based on the science of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA).  ABA is an evidence-based approach that is widely recognized as the most effective method for enabling students with autism to learn.

Via an ABA-based approach, students are able to learn not only academics, but can learn life skills, social skills and improve their ability to communicate.  Step by step, they build on what they have learned to learn more.  Their progress is meticulously documented, and the students learns to generalize to multiple settings, whether it be in the classroom, at home or in the community.  Students learn to take pleasure in and to be motivated by their own successes.

Speech and Language Therapy

Learning to communicate is fundamental to developing a sense of agency and engagement.

Speech and language therapy is integrated into all aspects of learning.  All of our speech-language pathologists hold masters degrees and are PROMPT trained.  They implement behavioral techniques, and maintain the child’s focus and attention during 1:1 therapy sessions.

Our speech-language pathologists partner with students to improve receptive and expressive language, social skills, play, feeding, oral-motor development, and articulation.  Students learn to communicate using various modalities, such as assistive technology/iPads, visual supports, and sign language.

Occupational Therapy

Learning to use their bodies in appropriate ways helps our students gain a sense of confidence in their ability to navigate the world.

Depending on the their individual needs, students learn how to receive, process and respond to sensory information.  Over time, with therapy in our sensory gym, students become more aware of how to address their own needs.

Occupational therapists help students develop their fine motor, graphomotor, typing and other abilities.  With patient guidance from our occupational therapists, students build on what they can do and improve their functional skills of daily living.

Physical Education

In our gym and at nearby playgrounds, students experience the joy of physical activity and of being part of a team.

Students develop general physical fitness through running, stretching and other forms of exercise.  They acquire sports skills in an adaptive physical education curriculum that includes basketball, soccer, tee-ball, baseball, floor hockey, kickball and volleyball.

Students learn how to work and play cooperatively, and to enjoy their own successes and those of their classmates.

Behavior Intervention

Many students arrive at the Keswell School with difficult behaviors.  Because they have not yet developed the right tools to communicate and to regulate themselves, they often find it challenging to stay calm and open to learning.  For these students, behavior intervention plans are put into place and maintained across all aspects of students’ education.

Through structured learning and positive reinforcement, students blossom as their skills improve and they come to know that they can be successful and valuable members of our community.

Community Engagement

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When they are ready, students participate not only as a part of the School community but also as a part of our lower east side neighborhood.

Our neighbors accept our students with grace and offer them encouragement. Whether it is ordering a snack at a local deli or participating in volunteer employment, students take the skills that they have learned at school and put them to use in the wider community.

Keswell’s mission is to ensure that children on the autism spectrum experience school as joyous and enriching. We respect our students for who they are and for who they will become.

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