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Frequently Asked Questions


How was The Quad Manhattan formed?

The Quad Manhattan was formed in response to a glaring, unmet need in children’s educational and recreational settings. The schools and centers that exist now are appropriate EITHER for children who struggle with moderate to severe disability OR who don’t struggle at all. But there was no place for a child who was quite bright, but who needed just that extra support and scaffolding that The Quad provides. We literally Googled gifted children with special needs one day 2 years ago and had an “aha moment” when the term “twice exceptional” (2E) came up.


When developing the clubs and classes, what did The Quad Manhattan consider and who was involved in the development?

The Quad Manhattan is based on the work of amazing educators and therapists who pioneered the 2E educational movement that began 30 years ago. Our advisory board consists of experts in all areas of pediatrics, psychology, education, speech and occupational therapy and psychiatry. We are committed to best-practice, evidence-based approaches to inform all we do at The Quad. Finally, and most importantly, we have sought and continue to seek feedback and suggestions from parents of 2E children, 2E kids grown up, and our current students!


What do you mean by strength-based emphasis? How do you also work on challenges?

What we see first and foremost are our students' vast strengths and believe that their intense creativity and gifts can change the world one day. We teach children to respect themselves and others; quirks and all. The Quad Manhattan encourages children to recognize that behind their challenges are qualities that confer enormous strength. Seeking out increasingly challenging tasks is seen as desirable and a goal in its own right.  Thus we build resiliency, a quality that is generalizable to any situation they may encounter when they leave our doors.  


Does my child need to be gifted or have special needs to attend?

While our programs are designed for kids who are high potential/cognitively gifted children, there are no specific academic or IQ requirements that would make a child appropriate for our programs. The unique gifts and talents of each child are nurtured and it is through these strengths that we build skills in areas of weakness.  Our program is inclusive, thus we like to say that The Quad Manhattan is a place for Twice Exceptional Children and those who love them!  We offer a reduced fee structure for typically developing children that assures we meet our mission of inclusion.   


How do I know if my child is considered 2E?

Most parents will immediately recognize that the term 2E seems to fit their child. Most often, they have been puzzled by their gifts and talents on one hand, and real challenges on the other while feeling that no setting or label has felt right. Many times, our kids have been identified by what they are struggling with: a difficulty with writing, for example. Too often, parents are left choosing between keeping their children in settings that will challenge their enormous potential (rigorous independent school settings, for example) or moving them to places where they can receive appropriate support, but where their gifts and talents seem to languish.


How do I know if my child will fit in?

There are no two children who are the same, and we do not have a specific mold we expect our kids to fit into. The Quad Manhattan is an open inclusive environment designed to foster respect for strengths and differences. We pride ourselves on how well we individualize attention: rather than expect a kid to fit us, we fit ourselves truly to kids.


How will my child benefit from The Quad Manhattan Clubs?

Whatever Club or special subject our kids are involved with, you can be sure we are working to support their emotional growth and social well-being. We provide high level, collaborative projects in the areas they are passionate about and use this creative engagement to meet our psychosocial goals. The best part is that it all happens without them knowing it, while they are busy having fun.


What experience do the teachers have?

Each classroom has a Core Quad Manhattan Teacher an experienced educator who has undergone extensive training in our model and participates in weekly team meetings. The core teachers are coupled with either specialists (i.e.: real filmmakers) and/or assistants, receiving training and supervision on an ongoing basis. Our curriculum and practices are informed by best practices in the fields of education, psychology, occupational, and speech and language therapy. Our directors and consultants are responsible for formal methods of quality assurance to uphold rigor. Parental feedback is strictly employed to make sure we are meeting our goals.


What supports do you provide for non-verbal children?

Our facility is American with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant. We work with families to incorporate augmentative equipment if necessary. Most of our children have mild language struggles, mostly in processing speed and pragmatics.  The classes assume this level of functioning.


Is there any child for whom The Quad Manhattan would NOT be appropriate?

Our sophisticated classes assume mild or mild to moderate degrees of challenge. Children who need 1:1 support to participate are likely to not benefit from The Quad’s programs. Additionally, The Quad Manhattan is not appropriate for children who are persistently physically or verbally aggressive.


Do you provide scholarships or grant funding?

The Quad was created to be a model of social entrepreneurship.  As social entrepreneurs, achieving our Social Bottom Line is our greatest business goal. Choosing this organizational structure has allowed us to learn from business models that promote efficiency and productivity. Most importantly, this structure allows us to focus our time and energy on our programs and families. We provide financial assistance when possible based on overall enrollment.


How many kids are in each class?

There is a minimum of 3 to 4 children in each class and a maximum of 6 to 8. There are always 2 teachers per group. Directors, consultants and assistants will participate as needed with any group of children. We have a robust academic internship program with top students in their chosen fields (psychology, pre-med, education, special education, occupational and speech therapy, neuroscience, technology, and the arts and sciences). The interns are rigorously trained and supervised and contribute an individual semester-long project on an area related to twice exceptional children. Dyads and triads of kids based on needs or specific interests are available upon request.


How does The Quad Manhattan supervise off-site outings?

All aspects of The Quad are finely structured, orchestrated, and supervised, including our outings. We also create pockets of opportunity for parents to participate in classes and outings, thus providing chances for carryover of our language and approach to the home and other settings outside of The Quad Manhattan.




The "Social Thinking" approach: “Think Social” is a best practices curriculum developed by Michele Garcia Winner, and widely adopted for pragmatic language support. This curriculum informs the language and social supports we employ at The Quad Manhattan.


Collaborative Problem Solving: CPS is a form of conflict resolution developed by Drs. Stuart Ablon and Ross Greene and implemented in many educational and therapeutic settings. Our staff undergoes training in the CPS approach and our core curriculum is informed by CPS, so that we can teach our children problem solving skills.


Lev Vygotsky/Tools of The Mind: Tools Of The Mind is an evidence-based early childhood curriculum designed specifically to embed executive functioning and self regulation skill development into all activities.  While designed for an academic classroom, we have adapted the framework and techniques for use in our out-of-school classes and camp.


Cognitive Behavioral Therapy:  CBT is a best-practices, evidence-based form of psychotherapy that informs The Quad Manhattan’s approach to teaching our children to cope with any anxiety that comes up during programming. For example, many of our children are perfectionists and shy away from trying new things. At The Quad Manhattan, we supportively teach children how to gradually face their fears, and thus free themselves of them.

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