Ross’ Story

Ross, a former student at SCO’s Westbrook Preparatory School, is a motivated and engaging young man who has Asperger syndrome. “I’m actually different from many people with Asperger’s in that I’m a very social guy,” says Ross. “On the other hand, sometimes I am unaware of other people’s feelings. I can be impulsive, and I do get overwhelmed. ”

Ross had difficulty adapting at his previous public school due to these challenges. However, Westbrook’s residential school setting gave Ross the opportunity to work on his social skills and develop strategies to help him avoid feeling overwhelmed.

One key element of life at Westbrook is the internship program. While students find comfort and build confidence living and learning with other teens who have similar challenges, they know that they need to prepare themselves to communicate and work well with all kinds of people. Ross’s first internship was at Sports Authority, and he held another at St. Brigid’s Elementary School Camp where he found talking with children about sports very rewarding.

His interest in sports led Ross to his next internship at WCWP 88.1 FM, the college radio station at CW Post. He ran the audio control sound board at sporting events, made guest appearances on a college sports talk show and researched sports information for use on air. He enjoyed his experience so much that he decided to study communications in college.

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Individual Residential Alternatives (IRA)

Individual Residential Alternatives (IRAs) are homes and apartments of 10 or fewer residents that focus on promoting independence and preparing adults with developmental disabilities to become productive members of their communities. These programs provide a nurturing environment in a home-like setting that allows each individual to achieve his or her potential. Individual Residential Alternatives are located in Brooklyn, Queens, and on Long Island.

Success Stories

Jewelle

Madonna Heights Residential School

"I'm not going to give up because I know they're not going to give up on me." Learn More

Ross’ Story

Westbrook Preparatory School

“I’m actually different from many people with Asperger’s in that I’m a very social guy” Learn More

368

participants in our Young Adult Workforce Program at Rikers Island completed our program to become licensed drivers to improve their employability

96%

of 12th graders in SCO's Family Foster Care program graduated high school, with 65% enrolled in post-secondary education