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NYU Metro Center’s ASD Nest Support Project fosters Pathways for Neurodivergent and Autistic NYC DOE Students to amplify their Voices


The ASD Nest Support Project at NYU Metro Center partners with public schools to establish inclusive cultures and advance the development and implementation of educational practices for autistic learners. Whether supporting autistic K-12 students in six-nine (69) NYC Department of Education Schools, or developing more than three hundred seventy (370) fully inclusive Nest classrooms, the impact of the ASD Nest Support Project can undoubtedly be observed in the training, professional development, and on-site consultation for teachers, therapists, and administrators, and workshops and resources for parents with children with autism spectrum disorders. 

The ASD Nest Support Project at NYU Metro Center broadens that impact through partnership with Hear Your Song (HYS), Incorporated, a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization that empowers children and teens with serious illnesses and complex health needs to make their voices heard through collaborative songwriting. A year ago, the ASD Nest Support Project helped pilot the HYS program in two schools, as Hear Your Song organizers attempted to bring their program into the classroom. Prior to the pilot program with the ASD Nest Support Project, HYS had primarily operated in hospitals, providing children experiencing serious illness and complex health needs the opportunity to make their voices heard. 

Throughout the pilot program, the ASD Nest Support Project at NYU Metro Center, provided essential training for facilitators to prepare them to collaborate with neurodivergent individuals. Members of the ASD Nest Support Project shared responsive practices and assembled a programmatic structure for autistic learners with Hear Your Song facilitators, so that autistic students would be able to engage this incredible collaborative opportunity, along with other NYC DOE students. 

As a result of last year’s pilot program with the ASD Nest Support Project, the Hear Your Song program has now expanded to include recruiting and training volunteers to facilitate songwriting with both elementary and secondary school students. Each HYS participant collaborates with a volunteer guide to write their own son on a topic of interest. Songs written this year have had a wide range of topics, including a celebration of pasta, a beloved cat, and a passion for football, to name but a few.

During the 2021-2022 school year, the ASD Nest Support Project at NYU Metro Center served more than 1,700 autistic students in NYC DOE classrooms. This year, the ASD Nest Support Project looks forward to continuing to partner with Hear Your Song, as together, they empower autistic students to create and produce their own unique songs, as they find their own voice in the process.

We invite you to delve into one of ASD Nest Support Project’s latest collaborations with Hear You Song and the students from Bronx Delta Elementary:

Check out a video of Sahil sharing his song with his class. Watch video here:

To learn more about Hear Your Song and how to partner with them, visit their website, here.