Articulating a Strength-Based Agenda of Advocacy for Young Immigrant Children and Families

What would it mean to view young immigrant children and their families through lenses of strength, courage, promise, and possibility, instead of deficit, need, risk, and remediation? What if we, as educators, administrators, curriculum developers, policymakers, researchers, and activists, conducted our work on behalf of and with immigrant children and families with creativity, curiosity, and […]

Unmasking the Linguistic Policing of Black and Brown Children in Today’s Schools: A Call to Action

Make no mistake: Black and Brown students are “stopped and frisked” relentlessly in schools for their linguistic and cultural identities.1 It is not hyperbole to assert that they are under linguistic surveillance. Many well-intentioned teachers in today’s schools enact pedagogies that dishonor Black and Brown students’ heritage languages, and I attribute this to an unflagging […]

City is Trying to Build a Seamless System for Autistic Kids

Back in the early 2000s, autistic children age 5-21 in New York City and elsewhere who were capable of grade level academic work were educated almost exclusively in segregated classrooms with other autistic children. Neighborhood public schools did not accept them – local schools didn’t have the resources, knowledge, training or expertise to meet these […]

The Most Important Three-Word Phrase

The following is the text from a speech delivered by NYU Professor Kristie Patten Koenig at the Doctoral Convocation Speech for NYU Steinhardt, May 11, 2017 First, on behalf of the faculty I would like to congratulate each of you for your accomplishments that we mark today. We celebrate your achievements, we welcome and thank your […]

Engaging the Power of Interests

NYC Subways Bearded dragons King Tut Shrubbery 18th century architecture Power lines Ukuleles Zip codes Just a few of the topics I now know a great deal about thanks to individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).  This tendency towards unique, focused areas of interest is one of the hallmarks of individuals on the autism spectrum; […]

Collateral Youth: The Impact of Anti-Immigrant Policy on Children

There are approximately 5.3 million children and youth in the United States with at least one undocumented parent. Election day was a disaster for these children – over 4 million of whom are U.S. citizens. Many millions of young Americans were up until late that night, sobbing as they expressed to their parents their worries about […]

What was the idea behind the ASD Nest Program, and what are its key elements?

Before the advent of the ASD Nest program parents of autistic children in New York City had two choices: a District 75 school for children with severe disabilities, where basic curriculum took a back seat to therapeutic services; or a neighborhood school where teachers didn’t understand how to teach their children or children on the […]