Academics

The PACES Program

ASD's PACES Residential Treatment Program addresses the unique needs of deaf and hard of hearing children and youth whose emotional and (or) behavioral challenges prevent them from being served in more traditional settings. Established in 1982, and the first program of its kind in the United States, PACES offers effective, comprehensive, individualized programming, delivered by experienced, knowledgeable staff. Located on the school's expansive campus, PACES serves students between the ages of 6 and 22.

Healing Comes First

Research has shown that children cannot learn when their brains are in pain. When a child first arrives to ASD, treatment is the top priority. ASD’s PACES Program encompasses the critical supports unique to children and youth who benefit from a therapeutic environment. Our trauma-informed, positive reinforcement approach has changed lives.
 
Qualified mental health professionals, including clinicians, social workers, psychologists, and a child psychiatrist, create the healing treatment environment for children and youth in PACES. Individual Treatment Plans (ITPs) are developed to address the specific needs of each student, using an interdisciplinary approach that includes families, clinical and medical staff, and other community-based service providers. Every student’s individualized treatment approach focuses on the Antecedents, Behaviors and Consequences which contribute to their emotional and behavioral challenges. The treatment process includes a variety of therapeutic supports and interventions, including individual and group therapy, mindfulness activities, therapeutic yoga, art and music therapy, and animal-assisted therapy. Collaborative treatment planning meetings happen every 12 weeks.
 
If included in a student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP), available support services include:
 
  • Psychological and educational testing and evaluation,
  • Medical and health related services (provided in a state-of-the-art Student Health Center),
  • Occupational and physical therapy consultation and treatment,
  • Audiology, speech and communication services,
  • Cochlear Implant, hearing aid, and assistive technology services

Family Matters

The PACES Program knows that supporting parents and caregivers is an integral part of supporting students. To this end, PACES hosts many family-focused activities and events:
 
  • On-campus family meetings and therapeutic resources to address family dynamics and provide and share ideas related to behavioral assistance in the home;
  • Regular phone, videophone and e-mail contact with clinicians, educators, related service providers, residential administrators, and nursing staff.
  • Assistance with transition planning to include the referral, and/or connection, to programs that will enhance the student’s community integration opportunities after program completion.
"Our family discovered PACES after a fretful search for an appropriate facility for our eight year old son, Harry. Born with multiple medical and behavioral issues in addition to deafness, Harry had already been through several programs. Desperate to find the right facility and support community, especially one where communication for the deaf was paramount, we were recommended to the PACES Program by a clinician. We have all heard the saying, “It Takes a Village,” and ASD and PACES IS the Village we were looking for! They truly understand the need for a very comprehensive and integrated program for students like Harry. The unilateral care and concern, and genuine love of your child by this extraordinary team, is something rare and yet it exists in this program."
 
"Words cannot express my gratitude for the care and patience you gave to my daughter, Tiffany. The PACES staff members are among the finest individuals I have ever met. It was hard for me to let Tiffany go, but they made it easier. ASD and its residential program is more than I thought possible. Tiffany’s deafness is compounded with cognitive delays and emotional issues; she was able to live without me on a daily basis...and thrive as a result of the staff and faculty in the PACES Program."

PACES Academic

In PACES, students are provided with the appropriate academic opportunities to meet the needs of their unique learning styles. Staff prepare students for successful futures, whether entering college or pursuing vocational careers.
 
The ASD campus is culturally and linguistically accessible. Utilizing an American Sign Language/English Bilingual approach, students are provided with a dual language foundation in both American Sign Language and written and spoken English. This approach integrates American Sign Language, speech, auditory training, reading, writing, and the use of assistive learning devices.
 
Our Connecticut State-certified teachers, residential counselors and support staff are trained in Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS), an educational framework that focuses not just on academics, but also social, emotional and behavioral support. Class sizes remain small, allowing teachers to provide individualized instruction. As students prepare to graduate, PACES is committed to ensuring a successful transition from ASD back to their home communities.
 
For many students, PACES offers a new beginning, allowing them to grow, develop, and communicate in ways that were not possible in other learning environments. By supporting our students socially, emotionally, behaviorally, and academically, we help them improve their communication skills, minimize their frustrations and uncover the talents that allow them to thrive.

PACES Autism

PACES recently expanded services to support hearing, non-verbal students on the autism spectrum by offering a sensory-accessible environment to learn and thrive. The PACES therapeutic foundation is based on a Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) framework.
    • Student with teacher

PACES Life Skills

ASD's PACES program aims to prepare our students for success in life. Our Life Skills classes teach our students how to live independently, successfully. Residential Counselors collaborate with clinical and education staff to create a supportive environment where students are trained on menu setting, cooking, budgeting, homemaking, accessing public transportation, and job-readiness, to name a few.

PACES Alumni Stories

PACES Alumna Glendy Scaletta-Rocco’s educational journey at ASD embraces many aspects of our school’s credo; “you have what it takes – to think, question, decide, dream, achieve”. She was supported by a loving staff who guided her success and allowed her the confidence to transition to the outside world. Glendy is now thriving in college and ultimately hopes to help other deaf or hard of hearing individuals who struggle with mental health in the criminal system. She dreams of becoming a Peer Mentor for others who experience mental health challenges.
 
Glendy is studying at LaGuardia Community College in Queens, a school that has specialized services for deaf students beginning their college studies. Her goal is to attain her Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice and Forensic Psychology. She is currently in the process of earning her Associates Degree in Psychology and then would like to gain work experience as a peer specialist in a mental health setting. Then she will continue her studies towards her BA in criminal justice so she can continue working with deaf and hard of hearing individuals who suffer from mental health issues and may be trapped in the criminal system. “We need more people in this field who actually have true life experience being deaf,” she said. Her desire to help others stems from her own experience at ASD. “ASD was my second family; I have so many good memories, especially when life was challenging for me.”

PACES Transition

PACES students receive transition services from the Transition Hub (T-Hub). The T-Hub provides a variety of services from a total immersion program including functional academics, self-advocacy training and work experience opportunities, to support services including transition assessments, on and off-campus employment experiences, and inclusion in self-advocacy and self-determination activities.
    • Girl with dog

PACES Supervision

PACES provides extensive staff support for each student. All school-day and residential areas are monitored by digital, closed circuit TV as well as interior and exterior surveillance cameras. Staff are certified in Psychological Physical Management Training (PMT), and reinforced to use non-physical de-escalation techniques, and positive interventions within the PBIS framework.
 
PACES is recognized by the Connecticut State Department of Education and State Education Resource Center as a PBIS Model Demonstration Program. PACES is approved as a special education provider by the Connecticut State Department of Education, and also the New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Tennessee, Delaware, and Rhode Island Departments of Education; licensed by the Connecticut Department of Children and Families; accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), Conference of Educational Administrators of Schools and Programs for the Deaf (CEASD) and Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE).
Who is this for? 

Deaf and hard of hearing children and youth with behavioral and emotional challenges who benefit from a language-accessible, therapeutic learning environment.
 
Ages
6-22
 
Grades
K-12
 
Language & Communication
Bilingual (American Sign Language and English)
 
Average Class Size
6
 
Schedule/Boarding Options
  • Commuter-day
  • 5-day residential
  • 7-day residential

Program Highlights
  • Barrier-free language-accessible environment.
  • Trauma-informed, positive reinforcement approach.
  • Healing treatment environment staffed by qualified mental health professionals, including clinicians, social workers, psychologists, and child psychiatrist.
  • Individual Treatment Plans (ITPs) developed for each student tailored to their specific needs.
  • 1:1 support staff available (as appropriate).
  • State-of-the-art technology in all classrooms and common areas (including cutting edge hearing assistive technology for our students with hearing aids and Cochlear Implants).
  • 1:1 devices (i.e. Chromebooks) available for all students.
  • Pre-vocational program (available for Middle and High School students).
  • Recognized as a PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports) Model Demonstration Program.
  • Specialized multi-sensory room and sensory gym available for students to calm themselves and regain focus with the guidance of certified Occupational Therapists.
  • School counselors on-staff who are experts in trauma-informed care, including yoga, mindfulness and meditation therapy.
  • Expressive art therapy, music therapy and pet therapy programs.
 
For more information, please contact:
 
Photo of Paula Morabito
Paula Morabito
Assistant Executive Director
Video Phone: 860-899-1082
Phone: 860-570-1881
 
Photo of Jenilee Terry
Jenilee Terry
Admissions Officer
Video Phone: 860.578.4774
Phone: 860.570.2335
 

The American School for the Deaf serves deaf and hard of hearing individuals from birth through adulthood with a variety of programs and services.