Join CafeMom Today! Autism Spectrum Disorder: Treatments: (DIR) USING RELATIONSHIPS TO BRING OUT CHILDREN'S INNATE WARMTH AND NURTURING

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Thursday, November 6, 2008

(DIR) USING RELATIONSHIPS TO BRING OUT CHILDREN'S INNATE WARMTH AND NURTURING

A NEW APPROACH TO SPECIAL NEEDS : USING RELATIONSHIPS TO BRING OUT CHILDREN'S INNATE WARMTH AND NURTURING

By Carolyn Braff

To call the Rebecca School a “special needs” school doesn’t quite tell the story of this innovative facility on East 30th Street. Staff and administrators work daily to reinvent the way special needs children are educated, and the way their families are supported during the process.
Relying on the Developmental Individual Difference Relationship-based (DIR) model, the three-year-old school works with a host of counselors, social workers and an advisory board to involve families in the education process for its students, who range in age from 4 to 18.

The Rebecca School
serves children with neuro-developmental delays in relating and communicating, which includes children diagnosed on the autistic spectrum. While most special needs schools use behavioral approaches, the DIR model relies on relationships to figure out where the difficulties in a child’s development lie, meet the child at this developmental level then work to move ahead.

“The thing that sets us apart mainly is the overwhelming philosophical methodology that we use, the DIR model,” said Tina McCourt, program director at the Rebecca School. “It’s very different from the way most people work with children, particularly on the autistic spectrum.”

[FULL STORY]

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