School Embraces Child, Family

Since 1974 children the Community Therapeutic Day School has embraced children with complex emotional and neurological difficulties and worked with their families to enhance their abilities. Located on the former homestead of John Parker, captain of the Lexington (MA) Minutemen
during the Revolutionary War, CTDS is small special education school for children 3-12 years old.

“Our kids have multiple diagnoses that interfere with their learning and prevent them from attending regular school programs,” says Nancy Fuller, co-founder and executive director. “They need complex medical, educational and therapeutic interventions, including occupational, speech and language therapies and psychotherapy.”

At CTDS the teacher, the parent and doctor collaborate in a “holding environment” to help children make positive changes and grow and develop their potential as individuals. Classes are small; five classrooms can house six to seven children each. Graduate interns from Boston University, Lesley, Tufts and other Boston area colleges assist the professional staff and provide individualized support.

“People who work here have a deep love of children and care about them,” said Nancy.

Daniel Reinstein, Ph.D, neuropsychologist at the school, notes that CTDS focuses on diagnostics evaluations, integration and treatment.

“It is not just the psychotherapist or the speech therapist treating the child. Every person who comes in contact with the student is acutely aware of his special needs,” he said. The school embraces the whole family and offers support groups for parents, siblings and grandparents to help families feel less isolated and more involved with their family member.

CTDS also provides integrated services to more than 200 students in other school systems and teaches families how to advocate for their child. The goal at CTDS is to transition children back into traditional schools whenever possible. Many students also move on to secondary special needs schools.

This story is part of H.A.L.O.’s ongoing effort to highlight services for children with varying degrees of neurological impairment. For more information about CTDS call (781) 861-7081 or visit www.communitytherapeuticdayschool.org