Enable provides wide range of services to those with special needs across CNY

Children in Enable's newly renovated inclusive preschool program enjoy a sunny day on the playground.

Children in Enable's newly renovated inclusive preschool program enjoy a sunny day on the playground.

— A broad array of services

That array of services has been growing since Enable was founded in 1948 as the United Cerebral Palsy and Handicapped Children's Association of Syracuse Inc. (UCP) by Lionel Grossman, whose daughter Faith had cerebral palsy. Over the last six and a half decades, the program has expanded to include off-site housing, early intervention programs, an integrated preschool and more. The agency is now located at 1603 Court Street in a LEED-certified building, where it moved in 2006. The preschool program just moved to the building a few weeks ago.

“Their building was being sold, so they moved over here,” Tytler said, “so we’ve been doing some renovating to accommodate them.”

The agency has moved its clinical services — physical and occupational therapy for all ages — to the opposite side of the building to make room for its universal pre-K program, which it contracts with the Syracuse City School District to provide. It also provides an integrated preschool program and an Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) preschool classroom for children with autism.

“[ABA is] meeting every day about every child and talking about the behaviors that we want to change,” said Phil Grajko, director of education services. ‘We develop a behavior plan. When a staff member takes a child into that discrete trial room, they have that plan right there and they’re working on that behavior. When they come back in the classroom, in the mainstream of things, I guess, we observe. The staff observes to see if that behavior is showing up. If not, we keep going back until it does.”

The preschool is also taking over the space that once housed Enable’s therapy pool. Thanks to a $15,000 grant from the Jim and Juli Boeheim Foundation, the space will be converted into a gym for the preschool.

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