Rebecca School featured in Dateline NBC on the ‘aging out’ crisis faced by autistic people

Released on: April 27, 2015, 7:18 am (EDT)
Industry: Education

New york, NY, April 27, 2015 -- /EPR NETWORK/ -- Rebecca School, a school for children with neurodevelopmental delays of relating and communicating including autism spectrum disorders, was featured on Dateline; an American weekly news show broadcast on NBC. The episode featuring Rebecca School titled ‘On the Brink’ was aired on April 12, 2015 at 7 pm EST. It covered a three-year long journey of two mothers and their autistic children who had transitioned from childhood to being an adult. The episode explored the parents’ struggle for searching for specialized support for their children after they turned 21.

It has been estimated that over the next decade, half a million people with autism in NYC will turn 21 and ‘age out’ of the system, losing their eligibility for specialized education programs. This can constitute as a chaotic upheaval for children with autism who have become accustomed to the routine and reliability of a therapeutic day school such as the Rebecca School. The ‘aging out’ crisis leaves newly-turned autistic adults bereft of the various services they benefitted from at school, such as occupational therapy, speech therapy and physical therapy.

The episode featured a Rebecca School student named Eric, who had benefitted extensively from his stay at the autism school in New York. He was discernibly aggrieved regarding the impending graduation day and requested Rebecca School authorities to not host a graduation ceremony for him. ‘On the Brink’ showed the evident emotional distress of not just Eric but his mother and the principal of Rebecca School.

‘On the Brink’ was hosted by Kate Snow, a well-known American television journalist for NBC News. The episode also involved the inputs of Sharon Lewis, Senior Advisor on Disability Policy to the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services and Linda Walder, Executive Director of the Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation, a non-profit autism organization focusing exclusively on adults with autism.

Rebecca School for autistic children is located at 40 East 30th Street in New York City. The 35,000 square foot facility has five floors and 14 classrooms. The classrooms are situated on the perimeter of each floor with therapist’s offices and ‘Quiet Centers’ located in the middle. The autism school has an art studio, three music studios, a library, two sensory gyms and a rooftop playground, among other amenities.

The school programs at Rebecca School are adapted to the DIR/Floortime model developed by Dr. Stanley Greenspan that focuses on the need to enable children to relate, communicate and think using emotionally meaningful learning interactions.for more information visit:

Contact-Details: 40 East 30th Street
New York, NY 10016
Phone:(212) 810-4120

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