Matt Kuzdral Named Region 1 Related Services Provider of the Year

We are thrilled to announce that Matt Kuzdral, the Ho-Ho-Kus school Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA), has been named the Region 1 Related Services Provider of the Year by ASAH. (This is the umbrella association for schools and agencies serving students with special needs.)

Matt Kuzdral, Ho-Ho-Kus school Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA)
Matt Kuzdral, Ho-Ho-Kus school Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA)

He was competing with other professionals across North Jersey and now goes onto vie for a state title later this year!

We are not surprised by Kuzdral’s win. He is an incredibly strong advocate for our students. For students with special needs, the road to independence is often blocked by challenging and sometimes severe maladaptive behaviors. These behaviors may be their only mode of communication, making it extremely difficult for them to advocate for themselves in a positive manner. He offers compassion and kindness to break down barriers to communication, leading to more positive behaviors.

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Parent Workshop Feb. 3 on Behavioral Supports in the Home and Community

On Thursday, Feb. 3, at 7 p.m., join our Ho-Ho-Kus school Board Certified Behavioral Analyst (BCBA) Matthew Kuzdral for a parent workshop on how to use behavioral supports at home and in the community with your child with special needs. 

All parents are welcome to attend, whether or not your child is enrolled at an ECLC of New Jersey school. Our workshops are aimed at supporting all parents and educating them on best practices; the latest technology; and tips and techniques to help their child reach their full potential. 

Register by sending an e-mail to receive the Zoom link:

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Remote School Schedule Update—Jan. 3–7

Out of an abundance of caution, our Chatham and Ho-Ho-Kus schools will be converting to remote sessions for the first week after the holiday break, from Jan. 3–7.

Schools will conduct a morning and an  afternoon session. The morning session will run from 9 a.m.–12 p.m. After a one-hour lunch break, the afternoon session will take place from at 1 p.m.–2:30 p.m.  Students must log in to avoid an absence.

Even though school will be conducted remotely for the week, families must continue to report any positive COVID test results or close contacts to the school nurse.

We expect to return to in-person instruction on January 10, with a final decision to be confirmed next week.

We wish our students and their families a safe and healthy New Year!

The Gift of an Extra Year

This holiday season, the Cabrales family of Elizabeth is counting their blessings because of a choice offered to Daniel, 21.

Daniel is diagnosed with autism and for the past 12 years has attended ECLC of New Jersey’s school in Chatham for students with special needs. Last June, Daniel was on track to graduate, after reaching age 21. But under a new state law, he was allowed to stay in school for an extra year.

student Daniel Cabrales
Daniel Cabrales walked in the June graduation ceremony, but he was able to return to school for another year to make up for lost learning during 2020.

“It was definitely the best choice for him,” said his older sister, Geovanna. “He wants to be in school for the rest of his life. That’s what he knows and that’s where he’s comfortable with his friends.”

The bipartisan state law signed by Gov. Murphy in June allowed students with special needs an extension on their education because of the disruptions to learning and work-place training that occurred in 2020.

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Therapy Dogs Return to Chatham School!

In another sign of “normalcy,” therapy dogs returned to the Chatham school on Nov. 29 for the first time since the pandemic started, almost two years ago!

Three pups and their owners from Creature Comfort Pet Therapy, based in Madison, spent several hours roaming the hallways, and popping into classrooms, to spend time with students.

The youngsters couldn’t wait to pet and cuddle with the dogs, who are especially trained to gently interact with people. Students visited on the floor or allowed smaller dogs to sit in their laps for a few minutes.

Therapy Dogs Return to Chatham School!

The dogs were like magnets, excitedly greeted by students and staff alike, who seemed just as happy as the students to see their furry friends.

There’s more to the dog’s visit than just a fun time. The positive impact of pet therapy as a stress-reliever is well-established. This nonprofit provides teams of dogs and their owners who visit hospitals, schools, libraries, mental health facilities, special-needs schools and senior centers.

Judging by the smiles and laughter filling the classrooms, clearly our students and staff can’t wait for them to return!