Starting Right Frequently Asked Questions

Who should attend Starting Right?
Starting Right is designed to serve children 18-36 months, and their families, whose parent, caregiver or physician has a concern regarding their communication and/or social skills. Children attend the program with a parent or caregiver.
What sessions are available?
Starting Right is a year round program with rolling admissions.  Morning classes are 2 days a week (8:30am-12:00pm). All sessions include bi-monthly hour long individual sessions on Fridays.
How many children participate in the classroom?
There are 6-8 children enrolled in each class.  There are 2 teachers present in the classroom.   Nova Southeastern University practicum graduate students also play a vital role in our classroom as they are building their own professional skills in this field.
What does a typical day look like?
Our day begins with a variety of fine motor tasks, including puzzles, drawing, blocks etc.,  at the group table.  The children then transition to a greeting circle time where they are able to greet their friends and participate in music activities.   During center time rotations, children and parents partake in a variety of pre-school activities including art, direct instruction, sensory play, books and blocks, and independent work. Midway through the class children participate in a shared snack time which encourages language and social development.   The day ends with story time. 
What skills are targeted in Starting Right?
 Children's goals are individualized depending on current skill level.   Common goals include increasing receptive and expressive communication skills, following directions, participating in a group activity and learning to follow a classroom routine. 
How does Starting Right help me work with my child?
Parents participate in classroom activities with their child with guidance from the  Starting Right team.  Coaching, modeling and direct feedback are incorporated into the program to improve parent-child interactions.
How does the Starting Right Program help train future professionals?
The Starting Right team consists of  practicum students from Nova Southeastern University's School of Humanities and Social Sciences, the Center for Psychological Studies, and programs in applied behavior analysis.  Practicum students, interns and post-doctoral residents participate in the daily routine of the Starting Right program on a regular basis. 
 Is there space available?
Children leave the Starting Right program when they are 3 years old to attend preschool programs based on their individual needs. Accordingly, openings occur on a regular basis. Please contact Heather O'Brien at 954-262-7117 to check availability.
What evaluations will my child receive?
A skills assessment will be completed to determine individualized classroom goals.  As part of an ongoing research project, you will have the opportunity to have your child assessed at no charge. If you choose not to participate in the research project, you can contact the Unicorn Children's Foundation Clinic at the Mailman Segal Center (954) 262-7129 or to schedule a full evaluation and to receive their fee schedule.
Does my child have to have a specific diagnosis to attend Starting Right?
There is no diagnostic requirement for enrollment in Starting Right.  If you have a concern about your child's communication and/or social skills, please call to discuss your child and to schedule a tour of the program.
How do I register for Starting Right?
For more information, or to register, contact Heather O'Brien, M.S., BCBA, at or (954) 262-7117.
What other programs and services does Nova Southeastern University have for individuals with autism, and their families
For more information about the Autism Institute at Nova Southeastern University's Mailman Segal Center for Human Development, please visit contact Susan Kabot Ed.D., CCC-SLP, Executive Director of Autism Institute at or (954) 262-7129.