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7 Best School Districts in New York City for Autism

If you want to make sure that you will have plenty of schools which offer programs for children with autism in your district, take a look at this list of the best school districts in New York City for autism. New York City is divided into five boroughs and 32 geographic districts. Each district has its own superintendent and receives guidance from a council made up of parents and local representatives. There are around 750 attendance zones and families with children often choose where to buy an apartment according to desirable zones and districts. Clara Hemphill, the editor of a website Inside Schools which provides details and statistics on every public school in New York City, stated that there was an enrollment boom in the most desirable school districts such as District 15 and District 2 and it declined in undesirable districts such as District 5 and District 16. Anyhow, New York City is generally a great place for children with special needs, including those with autism spectrum disorder. There are many great summer camps in the area and you can see the ones we recommend on our list of 10 best summer camps in New York for children with special needs.

7 Best School Districts in New York City for Autism

Choosing the right school district is of major importance for every parent, especially those whose children have special needs. This is the case with families who have children with autism spectrum disorder. For such families it is a must to find a school which will suit the needs of their child and offer program designed for children with autism. There are basically two options: one is finding a school that focuses primarily on the education of children with autism and the other one is finding a mainstream school with programs designed for an autistic child. Specialized autism schools are often private and not every parent can afford them. However, they are usually the best choice for autistic children who need intense therapy and one-on-one instructions which mainstream school cannot offer due to limited personnel and resources. On the other hand, children with Asperger’s or high-functioning autism generally fit well into the mainstream schools which offer programs that meet their needs.

One of such programs is ASD Nest inclusion program in New York City. Through this program children with autism, who are able to do grade-level work, are “nested” within supportive neighborhood schools. Each ASD Nest classroom has two teachers who are trained to work with autistic children and implement instructional strategies used in ASD Nest program. It basically uses the standard New York City curriculum with additional assistance. Since it was created in 2003  in a single Brooklyn school, this program went through a significant growth. For the 2014-2015 school year, this program was present in 35 schools across all five boroughs. This presents a great relief for families with autistic children who cannot afford expensive private schools because their child can attend a public school in their district and get the attention and help he/she needs.

Compiling the list of the best school districts in New York City for autism is not as easy as it seems. No matter how hard you look, you will not find a concrete answer which is why we decided to create this list for you. Since there is no data you can rely on, I’ve decided to use information on ASD Nest program in New York City. I checked every school on the list of New York City Public Schools with the ASD Nest Program and to which District it belongs. Then I compiled the list of 7 best school districts in New York City for autism. Districts are ranked according to the number of schools in each District, from lowest to highest.