Preschool – Ages 2 1/2 to 5 Yrs

Jackson Developmental Center has two sites, offering a variety of center-based classes which service children with a wide range of developmental needs.

Types of Classes

Jackson understands that children develop at a different pace, and require varied levels of support.  Some children may benefit from a highly structured setting with individualized attention and an intense visual program in order to learn.  Others benefit from being in a setting similar to a general education setting while receiving additional support.  It is our goal to give each child the support required in the Least Restrictive Setting, slowly advancing them towards independence.

  • TEACCH Classes – Classes of 8 and 10 children
  • Self Contained Classes – Full / Half Day – Classes of 12 children
  • Integrated Classes – Full Day and Half Day
  • General Education Classes / UPK

SEIT Services and Related Services available to support children in general education classes who may require specific additional support.

Related Services Available for Children

Jackson provides the following services for children, as per his/her IEP mandate:  Related service staff and teachers work together as a team to best meet the needs of each individual child.

Speech and Language

Children who have difficulty understanding when they are spoken to, communicating and speaking, being part of a conversation, or demonstrate as excessively picky eaters – these are just some of the children who can benefit from Speech and Language Therapy.

At JDC/JCS licensed Speech and Language Pathologists/Therapists support these children helping them to improve their expressive language skills such as increasing vocabulary and ability to express wants and needs, and receptive language (understanding) skills such as following directions and answering questions. Therapy may also address articulation, phonology, pragmatics, oral motor, feeding, disorders of swallowing, fluency and voice. Speech and Language Therapy is provided in our fully-equipped Speech Suite.

Our Speech Therapists integrate a variety of techniques and programs including:

  • PROMPT (Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets)
  • SOS Feeding Groups
  • Alternate Communication Systems/Augmentative Communication Devices
  • PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System)
  • Aided Language Stimulation
  • Chewlery for oral seekers
  • Hanen and Direct Floor Time

Occupational Therapy

Children who have difficulty coloring, cutting, doing puzzles, using small connecting toys, and buttoning their clothes, as well as, difficulty with attention, impulsivity and sensitivity to touch and movement – these are just some of the children who can benefit from Occupational Therapy.  In fact, often children who appear to have behavioral issues, in reality require support in the area of sensory processing.

At JDC/JCS licensed Occupational Therapists support these children; helping them with fine motor, visual perceptual skills, and sensory processing (including attention and impulsivity).

Occupational Therapy is provided in our state of the art Sensory Gym and in a quiet suite with minimal distractions.

Our OTs integrate a variety of techniques and programs including:

  • Handwriting Without Tears
  • Sensory Diets
  • Therapressure Brushing – Classroom and Home Programs
  • Weighted/Proprioceptive Vests
  • Therapeutic Listening

Physical Therapy

Children who trip and fall, have weak muscles, have coordination and balance difficulties (add -poor posture?) or get tired easily- these are just some of the children who can benefit from Physical Therapy.

At JDC/JCS licensed Physical Therapists support these children; helping them learn to function safely and efficiently in their environment and participate fully in gross motor activities in school. Our well-equipped physical therapy gym is a safe and fun place where children enjoy therapeutic play activities that strengthen their skills.

Our PTs use a variety of techniques and strategies, including

  • Specialized equipment in our state of the art motor gym
  • Neurodevelopmental Techniques
  • Therapeutic Exercise
  • Kinesiotaping
  • Yoga

Play Therapy / Counseling

Children who have a hard time interacting or playing with their peers, demonstrate extreme aggressive or passive behaviors, frustrate easily, have significant difficulty with limits or changes in routines – these are just some of the children who can benefit from Play Therapy/Counseling.

At JDC/JCS licensed Social Workers and School Psychologists support these children helping  them learn about themselves and the people around them through meaningful play, so that they can function appropriately in their environment. Play Therapy is provided in our quiet, nurturing, fully stocked play therapy room in the child’s dominant language.

Our Social Workers and School Psychologists integrate a variety of techniques and programs including:

  • Emotionally Responsive Practice
  • Social Skills Training
  • Conflict Resolution Training


Programs and Curriculums Used in the Classrooms

In each of our classrooms, the development of cognitive, social and language skills are facilitated through naturalistic activities and opportunities for exploration and play.  Children are exposed to a variety of developmentally appropriate materials and experiences that meet NYS Educational Standards as they work towards meeting their educational and IEP goals.  Child-directed tasks are facilitated by the teachers to promote independent discovery, problem solving skills and the ability to make choices.  It is our aim to provide children with the love and desire to learn and the confidence necessary to try new tasks, both integral preparations for their future of learning ahead of them.

The Creative Curriculum® for Preschool is implemented in each classroom, as teachers employ a variety of child-directed and teacher-directed activities around themes that are meaningful to the children.  Activities are exciting and appropriate for young children, encouraging creativity and learning in the core areas of literacy, math, science and social studies.

TEACH  Methodology (Treatment and Education of Autistic and related Communication-Handicapped Children) Teacch is a highly structured, visually based program for children who are language and attention delayed and is used to increase independence through the use of individual schedules and work stations.

 Emotionally Responsive Practice  Staff is committed to helping children create a strong social and emotional foundation.  They are in tune with children’s social /emotional needs and incorporate activities to help children understand and work through their feelings in the classroom on a daily basis. 

Bilingual Program /  ESL (English as Second Language)  – Jackson accommodates children of all languages. (ex: Bengali, Greek, Urdu, Hebrew, Spanish, Russian…) We offer classes in English, Bilingual Spanish, and Alternate Interim Placement.  Our bilingual program is highly acclaimed, as children are provided with instruction and support in their dominant language while becoming increasingly familiar with English.

Enrichment and Trips

Art Enrichment

Our Art Enrichment program is lead by licensed Art Therapists who introduce children to a wide variety of art media.  Children learn to enjoy the process rather than the product and discover the use of art to understand and express their experiences and emotions.

 Music Enrichment

Our Music Enrichment program is lead by music professionals from the Brooklyn-Queens Conservatory of Music. During Music, children are exposed to a wide range of instruments as they are given the opportunity to explore different instruments in a variety of ways.  Music enrichment fosters creative expression while providing children with the opportunity to work towards their goals.    

Trips and Curricular Enhancements:  Our children participate in a variety of educational trips which allow children to explore nature, animals and science.  In addition, short community trips are often organized relating to classroom activities and themes.  The children are provided with in-house interactive experiences featuring a variety of guest performances as well participate in creating their very own school show.

How are families involved in their child’s education?

Jackson Developmental Center upholds an open door policy, where families are always welcome at any time.  Teachers and related service providers maintain ongoing communication with parents regarding their child’s progress and/or any issues or concerns relating to his/her development.  In return,Jackson encourages families to do the same, informing teachers of progress noted (so we can join in applause!) or to relay any issues/changes in the child’s routine.

Family Education Workshops are offered frequently on a variety of current topics in child development.  Help parents help children In addition, Jackson offers an 8 part series Nutrition Workshop where participants can receive certification accredited by Cornell University.

Our social work department works closely with parents and offers Parent Consultation whenever any specific issues and questions relating to their child arises. Changes which occur in children’s lives (such as a new baby, family members moving in/out of the house) can have a deep impact on a child and can affect his/her behavior.   Social workers are available to offer strategies and insight to help families help their child address his/her feelings and adapt to the situation.