THERAPEUTIC NURSERY
Founding Director, Doris A. Allen, Ed.D.

The Therapeutic Nursery is a program for preschool children with a variety of developmental challenges, including communication and learning disorders, ADD/HD, emotional and behavior problems (including selective mutism), high functioning Autism, PDD and Asperger's Syndrome. The Nursery model was developed at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in 1978 by Drs. Doris Allen and Lois Mendelson.

The children in the program have at least average intelligence, and many are extremely bright, despite their developmental delays or difficult behaviors. We provide a warm, enriching environment that helps develop both socialization and interpersonal communication skills.

Through daily participation and individual and group meetings with staff and therapists, parents are an integral part of the psychoeducational team. Thus, staff benefits from regular input from the parents, and parents can work with staff to provide their child with an optimal environment at home and school. The Nursery's curriculum provides a consistent and predictable environment and focuses primarily on social skills and emotional and behavioral regulation.

Through developmentally-appropriate group activities (such as music, art, playtime, and gym), children develop play skills, social skills and behavioral control. Through structured teaching, they acquire age appropriate cognitive and self-help skills. By "learning through doing," each child uses developmental strengths to overcome weaknesses, creating a positive attitude toward learning and future schooling.

Central to our curriculum, is a rigorous, social skills program. We devote a significant part of our curriculum to helping the children develop their play skills and their capability to socialize with other children. The Nursery encourages and facilitates mainstream experiences for children in the program. Since the Nursery provides a half-day program, many of our children are able to attend regular nursery schools during the other half of the day. A high percentage of our children attend regular public or private schools after graduating from the Nursery.

The Nursery is non-sectarian and operates a ten-month program with a six-week summer session for 3 to 5-year-old children. Classes throughout the year meet daily for two and a half hours (morning or afternoon).

Individual speech/language therapy and occupational therapy, as well as parent counseling and parent support groups, are offered during class time. In addition to the Special Education teachers, Speech/Language Pathologists and Occupational Therapists are a part of the classroom teaching team, creating a fully integrated multi-disciplinary treatment approach.

click here for the Therapeutic Nursery Program Overview.


Students may enter the class anytime during the school year with director's approval.

Half-Day Preschool Classes Ages 3-5
Monday-Friday, Morning 9-11:30 am
Monday-Friday, Afternoon 12:30-3 pm

For more information contact:
Lois Mendelson, PhD
Therapeutic Nursery Director
201-408-1497
201-569-7900 ext. 1497
tn@jccotp.org 


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