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  • Educational and related services are delivered by a team of professionals and paraprofessionals who are highly trained to work with students with autism and intellectual disabilities.
  • The Individualized Education Plan (IEP) is developed using a person-centered approach and grounded in CT Core Standards.
  • Skills are taught in natural environments in response to natural cues and consequences whenever possible.


Academics are addressed at the student’s level and include reading, math, functional skills and other areas.


Direct and indirect speech therapy services targeting a variety of modalities including nonverbal communication, object and picture systems, Augmentative or Alternate Communication (AAC) systems, speech production and functional/social language. Speech & language services are aligned with each student’s behavior and functional communication needs.

Community Instruction

Focused on improving skills in travel safety, restaurant etiquette, recreation and shopping/purchasing.


Instruction in both school and community environments to improve skills and prepare for post-22 programs related to job skills, self-help and leisure. Students may participate in paid employment and volunteer/community service projects.

Independent Living Skills

Focused on improving skills in the areas of personal hygiene, sexuality, meal preparation, nutrition and feeding.

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.

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 multi-disciplinary.

Occupational Therapy

The Occupational Therapist Registered (OTR) and Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) provide services to students whose occupations range from play to activities of daily living such as self-care, mealtime and classroom chores, use of computers and/or assistive technology to community-based participation such as shopping and/or working.

Team Approach

School staff work with the family, school district and other stakeholders to celebrate growth and accomplishments, identify areas of concern and problem solve. Parent training on an individualized basis.

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