Nursing Care | Rehabilitative Services | Social Services | Nutritonal Services | Psychological Services | Creative Art Therapies | Student Life Services | Community Relations | Strategies

Our Services

Ferncliff Manor’s Comprehensive Services

Adaptive and integrative learning is the cornerstone upon which our entire approach to education is built. The interdisciplinary team of specialists assigned to each student custom-tailors an individualized program to address that child’s unique needs, challenges and abilities.

Individualized Programs During Non-School Hours on Evenings, Weekends and Holidays!

The services provided at Ferncliff Manor include:

24 Hour Nursing Care


Lori L Fernandes
Director of Nursing Services

Telephone: (914)968-4854x227

At Ferncliff Manor we provide a wide variety of health care services for children and young adults with special needs.

The medically complex children in our care often require tracheostomy, gastrostomy, colostomy care, and respiratory care. Children diagnosed with disorders found on the spectrum of Pervasive Development Disorders such as Autism often have broader needs which require care that addresses communication challenges and often behavioral supports.

The Nursing staff work in conjunction with the Medical Director who serves as the Primary Care Physician to address all healthcare issues as they arise comprehensively and completely.

Nursing and Medical services include:

  • 24 hour Nursing Services
  • 24 on- call Physician Consultation
  • Physicians visits on-site
  • Routine and Emergency care
  • Medication Administration
  • Treatment Administration
  • Pharmacy consultation on-site
  • Coordination of care with the Interdisciplinary team including the child, family, dietician, rehabilitation department, student life department, School Psychologist and Teacher.
  • Coordination of on-site medical consultations such as Neurology, Psychiatry, Podiatry, Pediatric Care, and Ophthalmology and Phlebotomy as a satellite of Saint Joseph’s Hospital Clinic System.
  • Coordination of Dental Care with the Westchester Institute of Human Development clinic and on-site with the Mobil Dental Clinic.
  • Coordination of off-site medical consultations as needed for traditional specialty concerns such as Dermatology, Gastroenterology and Orthopedics.
  • Coordination of off-site consultations for non-traditional medical specialties on an individual basis, (such as nutritional and biomedical interventions, and integrative medicine).
  • We are also affiliated with several other excellent medical and rehabilitation centers within our immediate area. These facilities supplement our own on-site medical services, offering specialties in all areas of medicine that may be required by our students. We are therefore able to provide our children with comprehensive diagnostic services, a full-spectrum of highly specialized medical care and timely emergency medical services when needed.


Rehabilitative Services: Physical Therapy, Occupational therapy, Speech Therapy

Sharon Sobol
Director of Rehabilitation


The Rehabilitation Department at Ferncliff is comprised of Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Speech Therapy, and Movement/Mobility. Our goal is to maximize the capabilities of each of our students in these areas. Each student is given an extensive evaluation to assess their strengths and weaknesses in all of the above areas. An individualized program is then designed to meet the needs of each student. Long term and short term goals are set in conjunction with the school district in areas in which the student requires Rehabilitation services. The student is worked with either individually or in a small group, based on the service needed and the student’s capabilities.

The Physical Therapy Department concentrates on each child’s range of motion, strength, tone, endurance, gross motor function, and ability to navigate as independently as possible within their environment. Occupational Therapy focuses on sensory integration, graphomotor skills, ADL skills, pre-vocational skills, and upper extremity function.

The Speech Department helps the students to attain their most functional way of communicating, whether it be by speaking, using sign language, picture exchange, or alternative communication devices. Movement/mobility is a program that works on maximizing a student’s gross motor abilities and is an adjunct to the Physical Therapy program.

The Rehabilitation Department is staffed by a group of highly motivated therapists who work very hard at helping each student achieve their optimal capabilities!

Social Services

Social Work Services


The Social Work Department provides a variety of services to customers and families served by the School/Residence. Social Workers act as facilitators between Team Members, families, and other agencies involved in the customer care plan. The Social Worker adopts the role of advocate and assists in providing person centered planning. Department members are certified in and implement positive behavioral supports. We offer information on a range of subjects including transition planning, guardianship and entitlements.

Nutritional Services

Registered Dietician, contact Denise Addorisio

The Registered Dietician conducts nutritional assessments on all children and develops nutrition programs for each child as part of the child’s IPP. The dietician monitors the nutritional status of each child on an ongoing basis and documents all reviews in the charts. Additionally, consults and advises members of the interdisciplinary team regarding nutritional needs of the children. The dietician provides ongoing direction, supervision, staff development and evaluation of all dietary operations and staff.

With the Director of Support Services, the dietician establishes dietary standards, Policies and Procedures and communicates them to all staff and monitors their observance. The Dietician also works closely with medical and nursing departments in response to changing nutritional needs of children and modifications of diets. Formulating regular menus and menus of special diets, including lists of supplements, and substitute meals taking into account likes, dislikes, allergies and aversions for each resident is also part of the responsibility of what is delivered at Ferncliff. The dietician also provides staff development and for other departments as needed is part of the responsibility of the dietician.

Psychological Services

School Psychologist

The Psychology Department works with all interdisciplinary teams to determine, implement and monitor the effectiveness of behavior management or intervention plans for students or residents. The psychologist runs team meetings and behavior intervention meetings in order to assess effectiveness of goals and interventions. Counseling sessions are conducted according to services on individual IEP/IPP. The psychologist also works on conducting evaluations, entailing adaptive/cognitive testing and interpretation, classroom observations, teacher/staff interviewing to establish individual needs. The psychologist collaborates with psychiatric, medical and educational services to assure effective communication resulting in a successful program for each individual. Informal evaluations are conducted with prospective students or residents. The psychologist also acts as a Crisis Intervention Team Leader and provides direct intervention as needed. Fostering staff in creating an effective environment for each individuals needs is the main goal.


Creative Arts Therapies

Ferncliff Manor believes in the use of Creative Arts Therapies which includes providing music therapy, art therapy and drama therapy as a means for engaging each child in a therapeutic environment.


Student Life Services

Student Life & Recreation

Djenane Cordova
Director of Residential Services

Telephone: (914)968-4854x250

At Ferncliff Manor our children exhibit a wide range of functioning levels, skills and abilities, with moderate to profound learning, communication and behavior disorders. In many cases the individual child requires total personal care.

We provide a safe, nurturing environment with 24 hour support where these special children feel at home and continue to grow. Positive behavior supports are integrated into the residential care under the guidance of the school psychologist.

We utilize input from the multidisciplinary team to assist each child to achieve their maximum potential by promoting the generalization of skills from the education to the residential setting. Trained and experienced supervisors are always available to provide on-going support and assistance to the Life Skills Assistants providing direct care.

In addition, to personal care services, recreation and leisure services are provided after school and on weekends. These services include both on-site and community based activities.

A wide variety of activities are offered on grounds including an adaptive playground with a basketball court and adaptive swings, therapeutic massage, music, art and water play activities.

Children visit the surrounding communities regularly for activities such as walking, swimming, dance class, music therapy, shopping, bowling, holiday festivities, museum experiences and even college football games. These trips reflect the interests and choices of the children, staff and their families.

Community Relations & Development

Erin Anderson
Community Relations Department
Telephone: (914)968-4854x254


Community Relations and Development is a commitment Ferncliff Manor embraces to foster good will and collaboration within the community. Each employee serves as an ambassador to the community. We strive to work together within the community at large and to seek the expertise of those who are able to assist in making the lives of our children better.

Fundraising is a commitment we are making in the role of Development to help enhance the lives of the individuals with developmental disabilities who require additional supports after school and on the weekends while seeking to support the operation of the organization that is not funded under normal circumstances.

A Combination of Professional Expertise, Teamwork, Concentrated Effort, and Nurturing Care is the Key to Success with Each Child



Basic Life Skills Curriculum based upon the New York State Learning Standards and Alternate Performance Indicators for Students with Severe Disabilities is concerned with the acquisition of those abilities, skills, and understandings that lead to greater independence, social competence and academic and vocational proficiencies.

Five primary life skill areas are the focus and they include:

  • Communication Skills
  • Skills in Activities of Daily Living
  • Motor/Mobility/Movement Skills
  • Social/Leisure/Community Living Skills
  • Academic and Vocational Skills

In designing individualized programs, we incorporate both experience and research-based intervention and teaching strategies that compliment the unique learning styles and individual profiles of each student including but not limited to ABA, Floor Time, Applied Verbal Behavior, Pecs, and Sensory Integration. These adaptive strategies are also designed to accommodate to each child’s special characteristics, such as sensory deficits, motor impairments, social, emotional and behavioral challenges.

Our students also participate in a variety of off-site recreational programs and utilize resources that provide them with a sense of community belonging.

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