The goal of the Community Therapeutic Day School since its beginning in 1974 has been to provide a consistent, gentle, and supportive environment for young children with neurological and emotional disabilities. Because of physical and emotional disorders, most of these children have experienced a disruption in the natural course of developing attachments and a sense of self. They have missed stages in their social, emotional, physical, intellectual, and linguistic development, and these developmental gaps have profoundly effected the way in which they view the world. Unable to function successfully in daily life, their attempts have met repeated failure. Consequently some children withdraw, some act aggressively, and some behave in ways that seem strange or bizarre. The school's task is to help bridge these gaps, so that the children can grow and function at their highest potential.
CTDS embraces families and their children, creating a "holding environment" that supports each child's physical, social, emotional, cognitive, linguistic, and educational growth. A "holding environment" creates a milieu which facilitates integration and the process of development. This notion was conceived by British psychoanalyst and pediatrician Dr. Donald Winnicott.
We believe that emotional growth takes place through relationships that connect a child with the inner world, the family, and the community. Using a psychotherapeutic orientation, we help children to understand the connection between their emotions and their behavior and to come to terms with their strengths and their disabilities. Through the development of a trusting relationship with teachers, we provide a safe environment for children to experience their feelings: joy, rage, anger, pleasure and to understand confusion about their emotional and physical world. We also support and work with families to help them learn to engage their child in meaningful relationships.
Excerpted from the preschool's website