At Yeled v’Yalda we believe that children learn and develop best in natural, inclusive, and innovative settings. We recognize that the academic development of children is fundamentally dependent upon the nature of their learning environment. Yeled v’Yalda strives to provide contemporary, mainstream educational opportunities which are compatible with the specific needs of each child. Our goal is to help schools, teachers, and parents create well-designed and personalized learning environments in which children’s growth and development can flourish.
Yeled v’Yalda’s SEIT program is designed to focus in on the school-readiness skills of preschool children, ages 3-5. Through our SEIT program, our highly-trained staff of professionals help children learn, and help teachers design and adjust teaching methods to meet each child’s individualized needs and goals. It is our belief that providing children with early opportunities to develop the skills they need in school will help to create a foundation for academic and learning success as they grow.
About SEIT-SEIT ABA Services
Our SEIT (Special Education Itinerant Teacher) program facilitates the academic integration and participation of preschoolers ages 3-5 with special needs, by directly addressing the skills necessary for them to learn successfully in a mainstream setting along with their typically-developing peers. SEITs (Special Education Itinerant Teachers) are licensed, certified professionals who provide academic support to students with special educational needs, in speech and language, social-emotional, behavioral, learning, motor, and focus/attentional realms.
Yeled v’Yalda’s SEIT services provide preschool students with individualized academic and developmental support in a variety of settings, including homes, daycares, and classrooms. These include direct services, such as hands-on teaching interventions which address individual skills, as well as indirect services, involving collaboration with parents, teachers, and other professionals regarding methods, approaches, and accommodations that will best serve the child’s needs and improve their overall learning experience.
SEIT services are intended to alter and transform a child’s educational experience through support and reinforcement. SEITs directly teach and review academic material; implement behavior management plans; collaborate with teachers to develop and adjust lesson plans to meet a child’s needs; work with other therapists and professionals to generalize a child’s progress across different settings; help students develop self-sufficiency skills, and provide guidance and assistance to parents and caregivers.
Children with a diagnosis of ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder), or those who present with more significant challenges and require more intensive supports, may benefit from the use of ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis). Yeled v’Yalda provides SEITs who are trained in and experienced with ABA therapy techniques.
SEITs work with preschoolers with special needs on a range of crucial skills which contribute to their ability to function effectively and learn successfully within the general education setting. SEIT services are provided on the basis of a CPSE (Committee on Preschool Special Education) evaluation, and SEIT service providers target the goals established in the child’s IEP (Individualized Education Plan). Providers address the age-appropriate developmental skills that preschoolers require to progress in the academic setting as successful students and learners.
Individualized Education Plan (IEP)
Yeled v’Yalda’s SEIT program places a strong emphasis on recognizing the strengths as well as the weaknesses of each child. Our SEITs recognize that effectively helping a child learn requires an awareness of the whole child, and mindfulness regarding all of their unique characteristics and abilities. Identifying and incorporating a child’s strengths into their learning plan allows teachers and SEITs to utilize abilities that a child already possesses in order to help address their specific needs and weaknesses. Each child’s IEP (Individualized Education Plan) is designed to include the child’s personal strengths, abilities, and interests. Yeled v’Yalda’s SEITs take these individual strengths into account in order to choose the most appropriate and effective activities, methods, and goals for every child. Identifying weaknesses as “emerging strengths” to be built upon, rather than “deficits” to be fixed, offers providers, teachers, and parents a new and healthy perspective with which to support and nurture the child.
Evaluations to determine eligibility for SEIT services based upon parent and teacher concerns can be requested by contacting Yeled v’Yalda’s Evaluation Department. Yeled v’Yalda guides parents through the process of arranging and conducting a multidisciplinary evaluation at the pre-school or in the home. Evaluation results are shared and reviewed with parents, and are presented by a Yeled v’Yalda representative to the NYC DOE CPSE (Department of Education Committee for Special Education). Yeled v’Yalda is committed to assisting and advising parents throughout the evaluation process, to ensure the best possible services and outcomes for their child, and to ensure that their child’s development is reinforced and supported. For additional details on the evaluation process, please refer to Yeled v’Yalda’s evaluation section.
Cognitive skills relate to how a child learns and processes information; the things they know, and how they are able to think about, remember, assess, and interpret these things. A child’s cognitive skills help them organize their knowledge and make generalizations about what they have learned. Cognitive skills are made up of many factors, such as language development, reasoning skills, problem-solving skills, and memory. SEITs help children build these skills by working on factors such as increasing focus to pay attention in class, increasing short- and long-term memory to retain information learned, improving reasoning abilities to think critically, and processing information to problem-solve effectively.
SEITs provide specialized instruction on an individual basis to assist preschoolers in acquiring the material being taught in their general education classroom. Services can be provided in the classroom or daycare, or in the home, depending upon the child’s specific needs as determined by the CPSE evaluation and documented on the child’s IEP. SEITs assist students in all of the subjects of the mainstream classroom curriculum, such as early math skills and reading readiness.
Social-Emotional development refers to how children think about themselves, and how they get along with others. In order to function successfully in a social setting, children must be able to feel comfortable and get along with their peers, by developing a range of age-appropriate social behaviors such as turn-taking, sharing, cooperating, and following rules. As a child develops socio-emotionally, they learn how to successfully process their own feelings and emotions, understand social cues, and interact easily and appropriately with others. SEITs help children in this realm of development by working on targets such as regulating their emotions, resolving conflicts, expressing their needs, and building awareness regarding the needs of others.
Language & Communication Skills
The healthy development of language and communication skills is important because it is the basis upon which a multitude of other skills are formed. Comprehending and using language effectively allows a child to think creatively, learn effectively, and interact successfully with others. To acquire and use functional language skills, children must learn the “form” of language (sounds, sound combinations, and sentence formation); semantics, or the “function” of language (the meanings of words and sentences); and pragmatics, or the “use” of language (how language is applied to share information and communicate successfully with others). SEITs address an array of classroom communication goals which include skills such as asking a variety of question types, comprehending simple and complex directions, and increasing receptive and expressive vocabulary.
Physical Functioning Skills
The development of skills in the physical domain is often divided into two categories– fine motor and gross motor. Gross motor skills involve the larger muscles throughout the torso, arms, and legs, and allow for activities such as walking, throwing, and running, as well as body awareness, strength, and balance. Fine motor skills involve the small muscle movements required to use the fingers, hands, and wrists, and coordinating them with eye movement. Fine motor skills involve abilities such as picking up, reaching, grasping, and releasing, and affect a child’s ability to function in a classroom in many ways, with regard to academic skills (holding a pencil, using scissors); daily living skills (opening and closing buttons, using a fork and spoon); and play skills (building with blocks, manipulating Lego).
Adaptive skills are also known as “life skills,” and refer to the practical daily abilities that a child requires in order to function effectively and independently throughout their day. This includes a range of skills which provide them with the ability to take care of their physical needs within their environment, such as toileting, washing, or dressing. It also refers to the ability to “adapt” to their surroundings, by developing an awareness of the larger environment, assuming responsibility for their own actions, interacting successfully with others, and avoiding basic dangers.
The establishment of healthy play skills is a crucial part of child development. Children learn and progress in a range of other important areas through the realm of play. Children use play to explore ideas and feelings, plan and solve problems, socialize and cooperate with peers, learn language and communication skills, and develop independence and self-esteem. Yeled v’Yalda’s SEITs are trained and knowledgeable in the range of developmental needs of preschool children, and regularly incorporate play as a significant learning tool.
Accommodations & Modifications
In addition to “direct” services provided to children on a one-to-one basis, SEITs also provide “indirect” services. These are services that involve assisting teachers and parents in making adjustments to the learning environment or to teaching methods in ways that will allow the child to participate more easily and readily in a general education setting. Accommodations include things such as allowing the child periodic breaks during the lesson, providing extended time on tasks, or giving the child time to compose their answers when speaking in class. Modifications may include things like adjusting homework assignments to meet the child’s needs, or altering the difficulty level of the academic materials used.
Parent Involvement & Participation
Yeled v’Yalda’s SEIT program places a strong emphasis on keeping parents informed, knowledgeable, and involved in their child’s educational progress and development. Our SEITs recognize that parental involvement can positively affect children’s grades and behavior and increase their motivation to participate and learn. Parents can participate in their children’s education by assisting their children with lessons and assignments, keeping in contact with classroom teachers and SEITs, and attending school meetings and events.
ABOUT SEIT-ABA SERVICES
Children with a diagnosis of ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder), or those who present with more significant challenges and require more intensive supports, may benefit from the use of ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis). ABA is an evidence-based therapy built upon the study of learning and its impact on behavior. It is designed to meet the unique needs of individuals with a diagnosis of ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder), and is geared toward building crucial skills in areas such as language and communication, social/emotional growth, behavioral and academic learning, and overall independence. Yeled v’Yalda provides SEITs who are trained in and experienced with ABA therapy techniques.
To receive SEIT services, a child must be evaluated by the CPSE (Committee on Preschool Special Education), and classified on their IEP (Individualized Education Plan) as a student with a disability, with a mandate for SEIT services.
HOW TO APPLY
At Yeled v’Yalda, we do our absolute best to provide the support necessary to guide parents and children through the process of getting started. To begin, please send an e-mail to our intake coordinator (see sidebar) with the following information:
- First and last name of parent/caregiver;
- First and last name of child being referred;
- Child’s date of birth;
- Name of school child is attending;
- Does the child currently have an IEP from the Board of Education;
- Parent/teacher concerns;
- Parent/caregiver contact information (phone# and email), and preferred method of contact;
- Other Yeled v’Yalda services currently being received;
- Referral source (ie, friend, newspaper ad, family member, Yeled v’Yalda employee).
SEIT services are often provided in the general education classroom setting in order to assist your child in attending to and acquiring the lessons presented by the teacher. Services can also be provided separately to teach or review specific areas within the classroom material. In addition, SEITs can provide services in the home, or in daycare settings, based upon the individual needs of the child and family as determined on the child’s IEP.
SEITs work with preschool students on a range of subjects and skills, depending upon the specific needs and goals which are described in their IEP. For example, if your child has difficulty following directions, the SEIT might provide support by breaking down the teacher’s directions into smaller steps, and guiding them through each step. If a child is struggling to acquire a particular math- or reading- readiness skill, the SEIT can provide individualized instruction to review that specific skill.
The main goal of SEIT services is to provide the extra individualized attention necessary to make sure your child is supported in achieving their academic and social goals, while acquiring the skills they need to successfully function independently in an academic setting.
The amount of time a SEIT spends with your child depends upon what is written in your child’s IEP. This is determined by the CPSE, based upon the results of your child’s evaluation. For example, if the IEP allows for 5 hours of SEIT services per week, those hours will be divided over the course of four to five days each week.
SEIT providers are trained in early childhood education, hold advanced degrees and certifications in special education, and are licensed by the State Education Department.