Teachers at PS 14 participate in special autism training ahead of new school year

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PELHAM BAY -

It's back to school for all New York City students today, and one school in the Bronx is helping teachers make sure their classrooms are inclusive for all students.

An autism training was held Wednesday at P.S. 14 in Pelham Bay.

“We really just want to ensure that our teachers are provided with the tools and the training to give each student that comes into this building the best education possible,” says Community School Director Carly Ayala.

The school has done other teacher training on subjects like bullying and emotional health, but this is the first autism session they've held.

The three-hour program is taught by a 40-year veteran of special education.

“I love being able to bring back some of my experiences and share it with them and I learn from them as much as they learn from me,” says program teacher Deborah Adams.

The close to three dozen participants, almost all the school's teachers, say the last time they were trained on the subject was when they got credentialed, some more than a decade ago.

“Having the class before you're in a classroom is one thing, but having training like this after we've already seen students with autism in the classroom is a huge difference,” says teacher Noelle Gold.

The program focuses ways to deal with the challenges that accompany autism from sensitivities to light, lack of social cues and atypical interests.

“It's great to know that I’m able to use these strategies in the classroom to help them,” says teacher Jaclyn Sokol.

Teachers also received a certificate after completing the course, telling News 12 they're ready for the school's close to 600 kindergarten through fifth grade students to be back at their desks.

“It’s exciting, every year it's different, and you look forward to it and we're always learning, just like the kids,” says teacher Christine Duffy.

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