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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 skill level and are presented in a variety of formats depending on each student’s individual learning needs. Goals in math, reading and other subjects are developed with a focus on functional skills to promote independence across environments, people and situations. Small classroom sizes and low student to staff ratio help to create a structured, safe and supportive learning environment.


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

Community instruction focuses on improving travel safety and social skills, restaurant etiquette, and recreation/leisure and shopping/purchasing skills.


Instruction in both school and community environments is provided to improve job skills, social skills, self-help and leisure skills. Students may participate in paid employment and/or volunteer and community service projects. As the student’s graduation date gets closer, the Benhaven School team assists with DDS requirements and discussing and preparing for adult life.

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

All licensed Occupational Therapy Practitioners, a registered occupational therapist and two certified occupational therapy assistants, provide school-based services including evaluation and intervention. These school-based occupational therapy practitioners support students’ academic achievement and social participation through the engagement in meaningful and important occupations. In our school setting, occupations are those activities that occupy a student’s day including learning, participating in school activities, and preparing for adulthood.

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 can be offered through the team process on an individualized basis.

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