Early Childhood Services
The brain grows quickly between zero and three years of age. Early intervention is critical for children with special needs. Woodfords operates three preschools in Waterville, Topsham and Westbrook where children with autism, PDD and similar developmental disabilities learn skills to help them function successfully in home, school and community.
The curriculum and methods are based on the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). Intensive instruction is provided in cognitive skills, communication, play/leisure skills, pre-academics, self-help skills, social skills and behavior management strategies.
Instruction is in a typical preschool setting, where children play and learn with other children. Frequent field trips to libraries, museums and parks provide additional opportunities for learning. Many of the preschool programs offer inclusion classrooms, where children with special needs learn alongside typically-developing peers.
Most children attend preschool for five days a week for either full or half-day based on the type of referral and the recommendation of the Early Childhood Services team.
Eligibility & Referrals
The preschool program is designed for children 2 to 5 years old. Children with special needs typically receive a referral from Child Development Services (CDS), a pediatrician or other provider. Typically-developing children do not need a referral and can enroll directly through Woodfords Family Services.