PACES Program


The PACES Program at the American School for the Deaf addresses the special needs of deaf and hard of hearing children and youth whose emotional or behavioral challenges prevent them from being served in more traditional programs. The first program of its kind in the United States, PACES offers effective, comprehensive, individualized programming delivered by experienced, knowledgeable staff. This unique program applies Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) to Residential Treatment, which enhances the efforts to reduce physical restraints and seclusions. Located on the school's expansive campus, PACES serves students between the ages of 6 and 21.  

The PACES Program is approved by the Connecticut State Department of Education, the New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Tennessee, Delaware and Rhode Island Departments of Education, as an approved Special Education School and licensed by the CT Department of Children and Families.

An Integrated Approach

PACES is designed to address all areas of a student's life. Our integrated approach reinforces individualized program interventions which are a part of each student's Treatment Plan. Areas of focus include:

Individual Treatment/Behavior Intervention Plan - Individual, structured behavior management programs, developed to meet each student's unique needs
Family Services
- Inclusion into services offered by ASD's Family Education Services Department; collaborative treatment planning meetings; on-campus family meetings to discuss family dynamics and behavior programming in the home; regular phone, videophone and e-mail contact with clinicians.
Transition Services
– Early planning for the successful transition to a less restrictive program, or, community integration after program completion.
Special Services– On-campus psychiatric consultation, medication monitoring and treatment;  occupational and physical therapy consultation and services if a part of the student’s IEP; audiology, Speech and Communication services also available if a part of the student’s IEP.

Supervision – A high staff to student ratio, and all school-day areas monitored by digital closed circuit TV.


The PACES academic program is provided by a staff of certified Teachers of the Deaf, who are also trained in crisis prevention and intervention skills. Small class size allows for more individualized attention, differentiated instruction, as well as, behavioral support.  The educational program offers standard course options in English, Mathematics, Social Studies, Science and the domains of Technology, Physical Education and Health Education.  Additional classes and training in Employability Skill and in electives are also offered.  These courses cover content that meets the requirements of the students’ placing districts as per their Individual Educational Plans, therefore, meeting town credit and graduation requirements. 

Vocational/Technical – The Vocational courses provide 6th through 12th grade students with hands-on, academically-supported, transition focused, real-world vocational and technical training, on-site assessment, job training, work experience and job placement services.

Related Services- Access to ASD’s comprehensive services in the areas of speech and audiology, psychological and educational testing and evaluation, medical and health related services, occupational and physical therapy and interpreting assistance for non-English or families sing American Sign Language.

Therapeutic Services

Clinical Services are provided by full-time, licensed and/or certified Clinicians, social workers and school psychologists, using a variety of effective, evidence-based interventions and therapeutic approaches. PACES also has on-campus psychiatric services providing treatment, medication monitoring and consultation.

Extracurricular Activities

Sports, including basketball, softball, soccer, cheerleading and volleyball;

Community integration and exposure to multiple cultural, civic and leisure activities;

On-campus indoor swimming pool and fitness center;


A variety of student club opportunities including the Martin Luther King Club, Drama Club, Scouting Jr. CT Association of the Deaf, Dance Club, French Exchange Club and recreational sports activities.

Student Life/Residential Life Experience

Residential counselors emphasize the development of independent living skills, problem solving skills, appropriate use of leisure time, and socially appropriate behaviors. Collaboration between the residential and educational programs allows teachers, residential staff and Clinicians to closely follow student progress and provide a structured and consistent learning environment. Students in the seven-day program participate in an activity-based, behaviorally managed weekend program staffed by residential counselors and a weekend administrator. The program focuses on life skills, effective use of leisure time, and communication development. Community events and services in the Hartford metropolitan area are utilized.

Family Education Program

The ASD Family Education Services Program provides multiple opportunities for families to engage in their child’s life. 

Activities include Family Sign Language instruction, Family Learning Weekend, Parent Open House, Curriculum Night, 12 week Treatment Plan reviews, the availability of on-campus housing for visits to their children, and Clinical  and psychiatric consultation through in-person meetings, phone, email and videophone contact. 


Admission Considerations

Students served by the PACES Program have histories of challenging behaviors in school, home, and the community. Behaviors may include:

Axis I or II diagnosis of mental illness (DSM-V)
Pervasive Development Disorders
Oppositional Defiant and Conduct Disorders
Obsessive/Perseverative Behaviors
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Reactive Attachment Disorder

Children demonstrating an active risk of suicide or who are at significant risk to harm themselves or others, documented sexual offenders or fire setters, or, those in need of full-time psychiatric care, are generally not considered for admission to PACES.   

For more information, contact:

Karen Wilson, LPC, NCC

Cindy A. Paluch
Director of Admissions/Family Education Services/Student Management
860.570.2335 (Voice)
860.899.1603 (Videophone)

History of ASD

The first school for the deaf in the United States, ASD has a rich history.

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Support the School

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Tiger Sports

Program featuring competitive teams in seven sports and membership in the Eastern Schools for the Deaf Athletic Association.

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Sign Language Classes

ASD offers community sign classes three times a year for adults, youth, and babies.

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