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Educational Empowerment

Life-Changing Outcomes

The single-most critical factor in helping kids achieve “life-changing outcomes” is enabling them to access the power of education.  Whether they are newly diagnosed with autism, suffer from crippling anxiety, or have complex medical or intellectual challenges, getting an education is key to their long-term happiness and independence.  At its heart, the mission of FCS is to remove barriers and promote the ability of the children it serves to access education and, in turn, open for them a wealth of meaningful life options.  So, you might say we are in the business of Educational Empowerment.

Chista Lavin signing to student
Mary Reilly

Regardless of the different populations we serve at FCS, the common element is to prepare kids to be able to maximize the impact of education in their lives.  Intensive pre-school services such as those we provide in our Strive Centers for children with autism result in their entering the education system requiring less support and ready to learn.

Our Transitions Program provides students with severe anxiety often accompanied by school refusal, a unique combination of individualized learning and counseling that enables them to get a high school education, in turn opening doors to the pursuit of professional and vocational fulfillment.

Hearing and visually impaired students, usually struggling with other medical or behavioral conditions, receive a combination of intensive clinical and educational services at First Children School to help them become as independent as possible. 

We are very proud of our unique ability to serve students in their own schools in our School-based Program. 

In partnership with their schools and school districts we bring a wide range of individual, group and consultation services into the schools themselves, empowering kids to thrive within these most natural environments and to avail themselves of all the other services offered to them by their neighborhood schools.

Educational Empowerment takes many different forms but always in collaboration and partnership with the schools that refer students to us.  In some cases, schools entrust us to provide an entire program of therapeutic and educational services for those students who require this level of specialized attention.  In other cases, they partner with us to provide therapeutic services to help students maximize the impact of the educational services they offer all their students.   Finally, our clinic services use health insurance and Medicaid benefits to prepare children with autism and related conditions to enter school ready to learn.   

A mother and her young child read a book.

Educational Empowerment only works when there is a true partnership with key school personnel, from the Superintendent, Director of Special Services, Business Manager right on down to Principals and classroom Teachers.  Effective partnerships begin and end with effective communication.  FCS functions as part of the school team, always focused on the needs of the children we serve as our clients, but always cognizant of the immense responsibilities of our school and district partners to make education effective for all their students.  This is not idle chatter or feel-good pandering.  It’s as real as the paper that a child’s IEP or 509 Plan is written on – we must and do work in close cooperation with our school and district partners to meet our mutual obligations to every child we are given the privilege to serve.

There is, then, a unifying theme to what we do at FCS – Educational Empowerment.  As described above, this can encompass many different forms of intervention and service delivery but always at its heart is supporting children on their road to independence and happiness.  So, if you are trying to make sense of what all the various services are that we provide at FCS, think about it as Educational Empowerment – a mission to provide “life-changing outcomes to exceptional kids.”