HeartShare Autism Services

HeartShare customizes programs to the needs of children and adults on the autism spectrum.

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex neurodevelopment disorder characterized by repetitive and characteristic patterns of behavior posing significant social, communication and behavioral challenges in daily life. Children and adults with autism often have problems with social, emotional and communication skills. They may avoid eye contact, prefer to be alone, not look at an object when another person points to it, have difficulty relating to and socializing with others, repeat actions over and over, have trouble adapting to a change in routine, or lose skills they once had.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 1 in 59 children are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. ASD occur in all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups, but is almost five times more likely to occur in boys than girls. Symptoms can range from very mild to very severe. ASD can begin before age 3 and last throughout a person’s life, although symptoms may improve over time.

Teacher reviewing an assignment with a student.

Since 1977, HeartShare has provided services and supports to children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including those on the autism spectrum. Throughout its 100 year history, HeartShare has strived to respond to the needs of the New York community, which is why the agency has developed programming responding to the growing number of individuals, now 1 in 68 children, diagnosed with autism.

All HeartShare Developmental Disabilities programs are equipped to assist children and adults with autism, but some programs are especially tailored to their needs, including special education pre-school classes, a school for children ages 5-21, adult day programs, group homes, overnight respite services, recreation programs and community habilitation services:

Education Services

Angels on the Bay Evaluation Center

162-30 Cross Bay Blvd.
Howard Beach, NY 11414
(718) 323-2877

Cuomo First Step Early Childhood Center

115-15 101st Avenue
Richmond Hill, NY 11419
(718) 441-5333

HeartShare First Step Early Childhood Center

1825 Bath Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11214
(718) 238-4637

Kiwanis First Step Early Childhood Center

82-12 151st Avenue
Howard Beach, NY 11414
(718) 848-0300

Russo First Step Early Childhood Center

118-01 101st Avenue
Richmond Hill NY 11419
(718) 805-7117

The HeartShare School

1825 Bath Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11214
(718) 621-1614

Residential Services

Caruana and Eaton Residences are two group homes co-located in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, for children ages 5-21 with autism. For more information, contact HeartShare’s Intake and Admissions Department at (718) 422-3227 or (718) 422-3270.

Calabrese Residence is a group home for adults with autism on Staten Island. For more information, contact HeartShare’s Intake and Admissions Department at (718) 422-3227 or (718) 422-3270.

Day Services

HeartShare’s PACT (Partnering with Autistic CiTizens) Day Habilitation Programs for those 21 and older with autism offer a small, customized learning environment encouraging increasing independence, including life skills training to community volunteerism.

Brooklyn PACT Day Habilitation Program

177 Livingston Street, 2nd Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11201
(718) 797-2020 x8051

Staten Island PACT Day Habilitation Program

1424 Richmond Avenue, 2nd Floor
Staten Island, NY 10314
(718) 698-2737

Respite Programs

SPA (Serving People with Autism) Overnight Respite Program is an overnight respite program located on Staten Island for those 7 years old and older with ASD for an up to a two-week stay. For more information, contact Joyce Levin at (718) 422-3268.

Developmental Disabilities Services

“Recent studies have shown that as many as 1 in 45 children may be diagnosed with autism. HeartShare continues to innovate to respond to this need.”