“Newton? This place is just home. It’s the only place my

“Newton? This place is just home. It’s the only place my daughter could thrive and be understood. I love the amazing academics and individualized pacing that has gotten my developmentally delayed child far above grade level in every subject. But I’d like to focus on the social, behavioral and life-skills benefits uniquely offered by the Newton School. The standard curriculum includes unheard of teachings like organization skills, social skills, mindfulness, yoga, study skills, writing workshops — you name it — they cover it. And none of this is pull out, so it gets practiced across all the classrooms and without stigma. But what has changed our world even more is the approach to behavior and discipline. Even when your child has a bad day or a new behavior, there is a sense of camaraderie to find a solution. There is no underlying message to the child’s self-esteem of not being good enough or being a problem child. There’s no message to you that you’re not doing enough as a parent. There’s simply an idea of “how can we work together to help this child overcome this (new) problem.” And most of the solutions are positive, proactive ones that focus around achieving things, learning, and being responsible. They add to the child’s (and parent’s) toolbox. In our time at the school, I’ve seen these answers range from visual tracking of small parts of the target behavior (so the child is not overwhelmed and has more frequent success), to meeting hidden sensory needs, to teaching the missing skills that caused the problem, to granting additional responsibilities earned through meeting target behavior, to journaling as a way to calm/reflect/learn/communicate. Trust me, this is not the response you’d get anywhere else. My daughter and I have been on the receiving end of the average response enough times to know the damage it can cause and the miracle that is the family at the Newton School. ”

— Mother of a fourth grader