Educational Program

Benhaven School values the team process.

A CT-certified special education teacher oversees the educational plans for the 6 - 8 students in his/her classroom. Trained teaching assistants work under the direction of the teachers to implement lessons.

School staff (including the teacher and classroom staff, speech pathologist, occupational therapist, and program specialist) join family members to meet regularly to celebrate accomplishments, identify areas of concern and problem-solve. Collaboration of all stakeholders improves the work of the team.

Each student’s team uses a person-centered approach to develop goals and objectives that are grounded in the Connecticut Core Standards and that are meaningful to the student’s current and future environments. The individualized educational plan (IEP) emphasizes the development of age-appropriate functional and enriching skills taught in natural environments in response to natural cues and consequences whenever possible.


The following areas are typically addressed in each plan:

  • Communication: A number of modalities including manual sign language, object and picture systems, and AAC systems are utilized, depending on the needs of each student. The goal is to improve the student’s ability to positively impact his/her environment. Learn more »
  • Academics: Academics are addressed at the student’s level and include reading, math, functional skills and other areas.
  • Community Learning: Many individuals with autism have difficulty generalizing skills learned one way in a specific environment to another setting. Therefore, opportunities for teaching skills in the variety of environments in which they will be used are provided at least weekly (daily for older students). Students gain daily living skills, recreational skills and fitness skills in a variety of settings. Learn more »
  • Vocational Training: When appropriate, vocational experiences are provided in community settings and within the school. The goals are for the student to participate in a number of placements so that strengths, skills and support needs can be identified, and to build a work resume that will ultimately be useful to post-21 providers. Learn more »
  • Adaptive Behavior: Benhaven School utilizes positive behavior support strategies to address problem behaviors. A functional behavioral assessment yields hypotheses about the function(s) of specific behaviors and generates alternative methods of meeting those functions for the student to learn, as well as the supports needed for the student to experience success. The plans that result are often multi-disciplinary.
  • Daily Living Skills: These include routine activities of daily living, personal hygiene and socialization. Daily living skills are addressed at the student’s level both in community settings and within the school building.
  • Physical Education: Motor and fitness skills are addressed in the school gym as well as in community settings. Community recreation is also part of the physical education program, as a way to expand interests in leisure activities, hobbies, and fitness activities. Learn more »

187 Half Mile Road
North Haven, CT 06473

Administrative Offices

tel (203) 239.6425
fax (203) 239.1318