Established in 1975, the Children’s Unit for Treatment and Evaluation (CUTE) provides intensive educational services to children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders, as well as related behavioral/emotional disorders on a full day, 12-month basis. CUTE functions with the dual status of a private, State Education Department certified school (NYS Legislature-1977) and a University program. The Unit accepts children, ages 1-11 years, into programs for their specific age group.
Children accepted to the Unit also have a variety of diagnostic classifications. These diagnostic categories are descriptive of the type of problem manifested by the child rather than selection criteria. Special emphasis is placed upon early intervention for autism and related disorders. These classifications include:
The intent of the Unit is to help children participate to their potential in the school system and in the special education services in their community. The Unit accomplishes this goal by remediating skill deficits that are affecting a child’s participation and by placing emphasis on communication, socialization and self-regulation to promote independence. CUTE is a short term, intensive program that lasts approximately two years on average.
Services provided by the Unit are evidence-based. Methodologically sound peer reviewed, published research determines the services we provide. We place emphasis on an individual evaluation of each child's assets and deficits, past history, family goals, current functioning, the specific parameters of the child's learning pattern, and an analysis of maintaining factors of current behavior patterns. Goals are broken down into small units, with each unit taught at the child's own pace to achieve final goals within the context of a structured and supportive environment.
The Children’s Unit for Treatment and Evaluation (CUTE) offers a full-day, year-round educational program for children with autism spectrum disorders and related behavioral/emotional disorders.
Intensive, prioritized focused services geared toward addressing deficits manifested in:
Services offered through CUTE are based on current research. Children are assessed daily, and this information is used to evaluate the implementation of a child's individualized intervention program and modify it as necessary. Individualized child goals are directed by professionals with extensive backgrounds in the treatment of children with autism and severe developmental delays including:
These same staff members routinely work with each child to obtain first-hand experience with the child and his/her learning need so as to maximize their professional impact. A comprehensive, focused curriculum strategy is used in which strengths, deficits, and maladaptive areas are identified through extensive assessment. This approach permits the effective utilization of the Unit’s extensive resources and ensures the transition of the child to an appropriate placement as rapidly as possible. In addition to the large core of professionals and teacher assistants, undergraduate and doctoral clinical psychology graduate students assist in the implementation of daily programs and assessments with the children.
Parent Education is an integral part of the CUTE program. As active participants in the educational process, parents can significantly help prepare their child to function as independently as possible. The Parent Education program is designed to teach parents:
Workshops and trainings on topics related to issues encountered by parents of children with autism spectrum disorders are also offered. Recent topics include sleep issues, feeding problems, toilet training, stress management, and improving communication skills in the home.
CUTE is located within the Institute for Child Development (ICD) on the Binghamton University campus in Binghamton, New York.