Philosophy and Goals

Philosophy and Goals

As a family-governed organization, families are a guiding force in fulfilling AHRC New York City’s mission. A testament to this is, that even today, more than two-thirds of the members of our Board of Directors are parents, siblings, and other family members of individuals with developmental disabilities.

Families are viewed as partners in the educational process and are considered vital in helping their child achieve their potential. They are strongly encouraged to participate in their child’s education and in all school-related activities. Paired with this family-centered philosophy is our coordinated team approach in which teachers, therapists, and administrators collaborate to provide support, education, and guidance based on each child’s unique needs.

AHRC New York City staff meet regularly with families to ensure consistency and continuity of care across all services and environments.

We are keenly aware that no children are alike and no two families have the same needs. Consequently, AHRC NYC offers highly-individualized services that are tailored to meet a child’s unique profile as well as to enhance families’ capacity to provide care.

AHRC New York City believes that good programs are:

1.    Developmentally Appropriate:

    • promoting social, emotional, physical, creative/expressive, and cognitive development
    • providing student-centered activities to enhance and strengthen growth
    • adapting learning opportunities to the functioning level of each student
    • moving along a continuum of student independence by presenting developmentally appropriate challenges

2.    Aligned to Common Core State Standards (CCSS):

    • promoting literacy by providing a carefully planned learning environment with opportunities for oral language development, phonemic awareness, experiences with letter recognition, comprehension, and writing experimentation
    • promoting key ideas in content areas
    • promoting process skills to equip students with the tools to learn concepts in each of the content areas
    • recognizing the obligation of educators to increase exposure to core curriculum content for learners with special needs

3.    Emotionally safe:

    • Our schools create respectful, nurturing, and welcoming places and experiences for students, families, staff, and communities
    • We build a non-judgmental nurturing atmosphere in which it feels safe to take risks
    • We promote the idea that all children are welcome and included

4.    Family-centered:

    • empowering and supporting families to be central team members
    • assuring a culturally sensitive, competent approach that promotes ethnic pride
    • providing ongoing family support and training

5.    Community-centered:

    • using the resources of children’s communities to promote healthy development and learning

6.    Focused on independence

    •  working as a collaborative team to develop each child’s and student’s unique path toward independence