ASD Horizon Program

The Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) Horizon program is a specialized and intensive intervention program serving students with autism who experience a moderate degree of challenge with social, behavioral, and communication development. 

Students applying to the ASD Horizon program must submit the application for evaluation to the ASD Horizon Office. 

About Our Program

The ASD Horizon program is a partnership between the Department of Education (DOE) and New York University’s (NYU) ASD Support Project. In collaboration with the Horizon Office and an ASD coach, classroom staff and related service personnel work together to strengthen students’ academic skills as well as to provide individualized and targeted interventions designed to maximize each student’s level of social and behavioral functioning. For more details, please refer to the Division of Specialized Instruction and Student Support ASD Family Resource Guide.

Currently, P.S. 133 has seven Horizon classrooms (one per grade level, plus an additional “bridge” for fourth- and fifth-graders) in the upper elementary. Approximately 65% (56 students) of our student population participates in this program.

Enrollment Criteria

We base services on the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and adjust to meet the needs of each student in the program. Students who apply to the ASD Horizon program must meet the following criteria:

Classification
Eligible for an educational disability classification of Autism

Achievement
Academic skills on or near grade level

  • Students benefit from instruction based on the principles of ABA and can work independently with some support.
  • Students participate in standard assessments, including New York State (NYS) math and English language arts (ELA) exams.
  • We provide accommodations as written on the student’s IEP.

Language/Communication
Students may have mild to moderate language difficulties such as difficulty expressing themselves or understanding what others say. They may also have difficulty with social language.

  • Students entering kindergarten must be able to speak at least two to three words in a meaningful sentence.
  • Older students must be able to string words together to express needs and wants, but may need support to communicate effectively in social situations.

Social Functioning
Students may have mild to moderate delays in their ability to play and interact with other students. Or, students may participate in social activities but often prefer to engage in activities by themselves.

Behavior
We cannot accept students who are physically aggressive, engage in self-injurious behaviors, or who show “escape behaviors” such as running away from staff or exiting the classroom or school building.

ASD Horizon Program Features

The ASD Horizon program provides students on the autism spectrum with support and specialized instructional materials designed to help our teachers and students make the most of their classroom experience.

Class Structure
Each Special Self-Contained (SC) classroom serves a maximum of eight students with autism and is taught by one special education teacher and one classroom paraprofessional. We encourage opportunities for inclusion with general education students as per each student’s Individualized Educational Plan (IEP).

Curriculum and Instruction
ASD classes follow the New York State Next Generation Learning Standards and the same curriculum used in all DOE schools. In addition, ASD Horizon teachers receive specialized training and learn strategies for teaching students with autism. This program utilizes Rethink Ed Platform Solutions, a digital platform that combines the power of technology and research to deliver innovative, scalable, and evidence-based tools and resources to support the academic and social-emotional development of our ASD Horizon students.

As appropriate, we provide related services in the traditional classroom setting to maximize opportunities for learning alongside their neurotypical peers for academic subjects and social groups.

Social-Emotional Supports
Related service providers work together with classroom teachers using Rethink lessons to address students’ communication and socialization challenges.

Contact Information

Sharon Goodman
Assistant Principal
Special Education Coordinator

Kate Dolan-Cheney, MA, CCC-SLP
Director of ASD Programs
New York City Department of Education
Division of Specialized Instruction and Student Support

Kirsy Jacobo
IEP Teacher