“ I have to let you know...Ken and I thought we would be leaving Ferncliff in such an emotional mess but everyone there made us feel so comfortable in the choice that we made. We were emotional but both Ken and I said the same thing that you guys went beyond our expectations in explaining every detail and wanting to know what Matty expects when he gets up and when he comes home from school just to try to keep his routine somewhat the same. It made us feel so much better. “
- Ken and Dianna Bianco
I just wanted to take this time to let you know what an amazing staff you have. I had the opportunity to observe C. yesterday who as I am sure you know is in Mrs. Laub’s classroom. Thank you very much for letting your staff take the time to give me a tour and sit in on a few lessons. I was truly impressed with your school and your dedicated teachers. You can see that your staff, Dawn Graham, Beth Laub and Tina really LOVE what they do. There is no way in the world that they could put that type of dedication into what they do if they did not.
There is a tremendous amount of 1:1 work within the classroom. C. adores his teacher and the teachers aid. He did not make eye contact with myself but was hugging and kissing the teachers aid. They are very compassionate and kind people. They recognize his wants and needs and definitely know exactly what he wants. They actually know all the children’s wants and needs and make sure they receive them and are happy as well as educated. The staff is extremely patient not only with C. but with every child within the classroom. His teacher’s aide, Tina is like a second mother to him.
It is not often that you find this kind of loving and caring environment in addition to a setting that focuses on each individuals academic needs.
Again I thank you very much for opening up your school and giving me the chance to meet with your wonderful staff. I look forward to meeting you in one of my future visits.
- Taryn Haviland, M.S.Ed
Westchester Institute for Human Development
My name is Coletta Savage. I have a 19 year old daughter, who is a residential student at S.A.I.L. at Ferncliff Manor. Cherille has been diagnosed with Autism, Impulse-Control Disorder, Oppositional-Defiant Disorder; and, Moderate Mental Retardation. My involvement with Ferncliff Manor has been an absolute "Godsend."
As parents of children living on the Autism Spectrum, we know how hard it is to get through from one day to the next; every little bit of progress our child makes is a "small miracle." Ferncliff Manor is continuing to make "small Miracles" happen for my daughter every day. Previously to me enrolling her into S.A.I.L at Ferncliff Manor, I had never considered residential placement. I always thought that, as long as I had my health and strength, I could take care of her by myself (with the help of her three older siblings).
However, that was not the case. I realized that it was selfish of me to rely on my older children for help, because they had their own lives to discover. So, after having Cherille overpower me at home (it was just me and her in the house), and being transferred to the best high school in the county for develop-mentally challenged children to no avail; I knew that some changes had to be made. It was the most heart wrenching decision I've ever had to make, but now I realize that it was for the best.
The staff at Ferncliff Manor has opened up a whole new world for my daughter. Her time is more structured now, and she takes pride in doing things for herself (i.e, making her bed, folding her clothes, keeping her closet neat), that I used to have to struggle to get her to do. Also, her social worked is getting her involved with a vocational training program, for after she leaves the school at 21. I can see the joy on her face, when I visit her. When you go up to a School and everyone has good things to say about your child, well, that means a lot.
Cherille is also a Type 2 Diabetic; but with the great dietary staff along with yoga and the other wonderful activities Ferncliff provides, my daughter's diabetes is in remission. As a matter of fact, she's lost so much weight in the three years that she's been there; that she now looks like the young lady I always knew she could be. She is more self-confident, she has friends; it's such a remarkable
All in all, Ferncliff Manor is not just a school; it's a place where "little flowers bloom, everyday."
- Coletta Savage
I am a parent of a severely autistic child in residential treatment at the School for Adaptive and Integrative Learning at Ferncliff Manor in Yonkers, New York. We have been extremely fortunate to find such a wonderful placement for our child so close to home. The staff truly understands and appreciates our son's complex needs. For the first time in his life, Eric is thriving both physically and emotionally. He has not only been making progress in many areas, but has also been able to continue to visit home frequently and remain in contact with our family. This was very important to us as parents, and Eric as well. Eric's life has been enriched by the many activities and social interactions at Ferncliff, as well as field trips in the community. This was a very difficult decision for us, but the best one we've ever made.
- Sharon Ypsilanti
As parents and sister of an Autistic child that would always need 24 hour supervision and assistance, we as a family finally came to the very difficult decision that residential placement would be needed. After being on a waiting list for almost 3 years in a facility upstate, we heard about Ferncliff Manor. My husband and I on our first visit were very impressed with the courteous and caring staff. It was very visible how much the staff enjoyed their jobs and interactions with the children. Though the facility is a little old, I think it only adds to the charm and coziness of the atmosphere. The closeness to where we live was another plus, as we can be there in 15 minutes, allowing easy visits and more chances to bring our son home for short periods.
Jay was admitted to S.A.I.L.at Ferncliff in April 2009. He immediately came out of his diaper and into "big boy" underwear, and was toilet trained in about a week. Something we weren’t able to accomplish in 16 years. He is healthy and thriving and has lost some very much needed weight. Most important is how well he has adjusted. He shares a room with other boys, acknowledges the other children and has great interaction with the staff who are helping him become as independent as possible. He enjoys family visits but is ready for us to leave when the visit is over so he can go back to his friends and activities. He is able to experience much more then we were able to give him at home, due to 2 working parents and a sister who is now in college.
The decision to place any handicapped child is very hard to do, and I wish it didn’t have to happen to anyone, but for our son it was the best decision we could have made for him. He needed so much more than we could provide for him. Ferncliff Manor has been a blessing for us. They made the transition easy for us, even through all my tears in the beginning. Everyone was caring and understanding, and have continued to be, making it a very nice environment for our son and for us when we visit.
Jay is soon to be 18 years old and will only stay at Ferncliff until he is 21. I know he will be a better child/man thanks to them, and make the transition into an adult setting much easier and will open up more possibilities for him.
- Sharon Keesler
If S.A.I.L at Ferncliff Manor was ever asked to submit success stories they would have to include my son Ewane. All of our family members agree that while the decision to seek out a residential school for Ewane was one of the hardest decisions we could make for him; it turned out to one of the best.
At my first interview, I was given a tour and I saw how happy the children appeared and how attentive the staff members were. I had been on another interview at a school that had accepted Ewane. The place was so perfect and so beautiful I just couldn't believe that children actually lived there. When I was invited to Ferncliff, I forgot about that place because I wanted Ewane to be in a place that was like "a home away from home". I was thrilled when Ewane was invited to attend.
Ewane's attention span has increased; he appears less anxious and more focused than before. He responds positively with his direct care workers, and other staff members and our family believe that they genuinely care for Ewane and his well being. We are around a lot and we always feel that we are welcome there.
The transformation between the Ewane I left at Ferncliff Manor and the Ewane I see now is remarkable.
We still have some hurdles to cross but I am confident that it will be smooth sailing from here on.
- Teresa Pinckney
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