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Independent Evaluations

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Jan Handelman, Ph.D.

Director Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center of Rutgers University

Ascent’s education program was evaluated during the 2000-2001 school year by Dr. Jan Handleman, Director of the Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center. Dr. Handleman’s report was based on his work of over 30 years in the field of autism. According to Dr. Handleman’s independent program review, Ascent is a “model program for the education of children with autism.” His evaluation, based on observation in classrooms, interviews with staff, as well as members of the board and local school districts, recognized the school’s clinical excellence and exemplary administrative operations, and described the program as a “...nurturing environment where sensitivity is given for the delicate relationship between the Board, the staff, the children, the families and the community”. Dr. Handleman also states in his review that “In relation to many similarly developing programs, Ascent displays a unique maturity. For example, exemplary educational practices are implemented within an environment that is supported by a very competent staff and highly responsive governing board. The accomplishments and hard work by the children also serve as testimony for the success of the program.”

Diane Zager, Ph.D.

Long Island University, CW Post Campus

“It has been a pleasure to serve on the Board of Trustees for the Ascent School and to watch first-hand as the school has grown and developed into a truly exemplary program for children with autism and their families. In my opinion, Ascent is amongst the finest educational programs serving this unique and very challenging group of children. The behavioral expertise of the staff, led by Dr. Nancy Shamow, is outstanding. Ascent has proven to be an excellent training site for graduate students in the C.W. Post Autism Program.”

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