A public school program for children diagnosed on the autism spectrum, the Valley Program educates children from Northern Valley Regional’s two high schools, as well as the seven elementary districts that send students there. Students range in age from 3 to 16.
Program features include nationally certified staff, masters-level speech therapists, training for parents and community experiences for students. Pre-vocational skills are taught, and job coaching is available, for children in the upper grade levels. Children are also given the opportunity for inclusion, and in many cases they attend school in their own home district or nearby. The Valley Program’s classrooms operate in several of Northern Valley districts’ public school buildings, as well as in rented space in a church.
The program, which has existed for about 30 years, helps local districts by providing an appropriate setting for children on the autism spectrum, whose needs may not match the resources available in their home district. If extra space is available, the program welcomes students from other nearby school districts.
Contact: Kathy Vuoncino, director, Region III Council for Special Education, firstname.lastname@example.org
Submitted by district through a survey conducted for NJSBA’s 2014 report, Special Education: A Service, Not a Place