Special Education


RCN is a recognized leader in early intervention and preschool special education, thanks to our nurturing, comprehensive program, provided in an integrated setting.  Our history of providing developmentally appropriate practices in a natural child centered enviroment serves as the foundation for each child’s success.  Home-based services are also available for both early intervention and preschool special education, speech and occupational therapy.


Integrated Preschool Classes

Our integrated classrooms provide a social, play-based setting for children with and without disabilities to join together in both structured and unstructured learning activities. Our experienced early-childhood and special education staff create a predictable routine for children, incorporating activities that foster social-emotional, adaptive, motor and pre-academic skills. Therapists participate in the classroom to provide treatment in the areas of fine motor, gross motor, sensory and speech and language skills. Individual and group therapy sessions are also provided in dedicated therapy rooms when “pull-out” services are determined to be the most effective.

Related Services

Occupational therapy, speech and language, and special education itinerant services are available to be provided in children’s homes and childcare settings. Our experienced staff members work closely with parents and other team members to ensure that each child achieves the objectives that have been set for them.


We provide Early Intervention core evaluations, preschool Mutli-Disciplinary Evaluations and supplemental evaluations in speech, occupational therapy, physical therapy, music and vision. Preschool evaluations are most often provided at our child-centered facility at 941 South Avenue allowing for observation within a natural learning environment. Off-site evaluations for younger students and in special situations can be arranged.


Individualized programming is available for children on the Autism Spectrum using a developmental and relationship based approach to interaction and progress monitoring tools based on SCERTS concepts of Barry Prizant. The classroom team, along with our Autism specialist assesses each child’s development in key developmental areas and creates an individual program that builds on his or her unique strengths.

Integrated Teams

The RCN model incorporates 157 years of experience providing high quality early childhood education to the children of Greater Rochester. Our general education staff members bring a wealth of knowledge and passion to our programs. The special education teachers, therapists, and other professionals join them in providing a warm, nurturing and effective place for all children to grow.

Referral Sources

For referral information for children birth through three years, contact Monroe County at 585-753-5437.

For children ages three through five, contact your local school district for a referral to RCN’s special education services.

Early Intervention

Our certified therapists and teachers provide early intervention to infants and toddlers using the natural environments model, always keeping family priorities first and foremost. Social work and vision services, along with speech, OT and special education services are available in homes and childcare settings throughout Monroe County. Our own full day early care and education program welcomes children who receive EI services.

Bailey GastonFive-year-old Layla has attended RCN for two years. “Layla is one of our students with great visual skills – but significant autism challenges – She has taken a great interest in a Yoga book. She looks at each image and then puts her body in the pose shown in the book. She has several friends who follow her example making the pose. This little girl will often avoid interaction with her peers, but with this Yoga activity, she really enjoys her peers’ involvement in her play.”

This is an extraordinary step for both the student with autism and her typically-developing peers. She is the leader and uses her visual strengths to support, guide and build special lasting relationship with her peers.


*Check out typical developmental milestones here: