Subway Sleuths

Subway Sleuths

Subway Sleuths is an after-school program at the New York Transit Museum that uses a shared interest in trains among kids on the autism spectrum as a means to encourage peer-to-peer interaction and develop social skills and confidence through goal-oriented sessions. Using a strength-based approach, participants explore the Transit Museum’s decommissioned subway station home, solving transit mysteries, becoming transit experts and sharing that enthusiasm with others. By working in pairs as well as collaborating as a group, “Sleuths” practice different forms of social engagement. Each class is facilitated by a special education teacher and a speech-language pathologist, both trained in ASD support, and a Transit Museum educator.

In honor of the program’s recognition by the 2016 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards, the Board of Trustees of Friends of the New York Transit Museum has pledged to match donations to the program from November 15 through December 31, 2016 – up to $10,000! Your gift will help change the lives of dozens of kids with autism.

Support Subway Sleuths

How to Apply

Subway Sleuths group sizes are specifically left small so spaces are limited. All interested candidates are screened to make sure that the accepted children show similar social and communication profiles. Fall programs are $350 for 10 sessions and Spring programs are $450 for 12 sessions. Scholarships are available.

For 2nd and 3rd graders: Applications for the spring 2017 semester of Subway Sleuths are now open! Deadline is January 6th at 5PM. Apply Now >

For 4th and 5th graders: Applications for the fall 2017 semester of Subway Sleuths will be available next year.  For more information, please email us or join our mailing list.

Making Connections Through Transit

Sleuths Working Together to Build Wooden Train Tracks - Photo by Marc Hermann

“People with autism show a fascination with transport systems because they can readily be ‘systemised’, either as a mechanical system or as a timetable system. People with autism have a mind that loves to systemise, that is, to detect regular patterns in the environment…. Subway Sleuths thus provides a terrific opportunity to tap into a strong interest in autism to help them learn and socialise in an autism-friendly context.”
– Dr. Simon Baron-Cohen, Professor of Developmental Psychopathology, University of Cambridge and Director, Autism Research Centre

 

 

Since its creation five years ago, the Subway Sleuths program has welcomed almost 100 school children in grades 2 through 5. With each session, the number of Sleuths success stories grows.

 

 

1 in 68 children, and 1 in 42 boys, have Autism Spectrum Disorder, or “ASD.”
100% of Subway Sleuth parents reported that the program met or exceeded their expectations. 
48% of Subway Sleuths received scholarships for the program.
22% of Subway Sleuths return for a second semester.

Sleuth Spotlight

Zena Moore, Parent of Zechariah
“Subway Sleuths is a wonderful program for kids on the spectrum.  Because of this program my son has gained social skills which he would not otherwise have gained in school.  He is able to connect with his peers in and outside of school and is more confident in communicating with others. I strongly recommend this program to parents who are looking for alternative and affordable programs for a child on the spectrum.”
– Zena Moore, Subway Sleuth Parent 

 

 

Awards

Resources

The Transit Museum has developed resources to help visitors with autism and other developmental disabilities plan a successful visit to the Museum. These resources can be used by parents and educators and can serve as examples for other institutions hoping to improve their own accessibility. For more information, please email our Special Education and Access Coordinator.

Press

To request more information, images and video footage, or interviews with the Sleuths or program directors, please email the Transit Museum Press Office.

Supporters

Subway Sleuths was created with support from Autism Speaks and the Brooklyn Community Foundation. Ongoing support is provided by the FAR Fund, the Joseph LeRoy and Ann C. Warner Fund, the Meringoff Family Foundation, the Tiger Baron Foundation, and generous individual donors. Access programs at the New York Transit Museum are also supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

HONORED AT THE WHITE HOUSE

On November 15, First Lady Michelle Obama honored Subway Sleuths at the 2016 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards!

Access Programs

The Transit Museum is dedicated to celebrating the strengths of people with different abilities and making its extensive collection accessible to all.

Accessibility

The Transit Museum in Downtown Brooklyn and the Transit Museum Gallery Annex & Store at Grand Central terminal are wheelchair accessible.

Coming Up:

There are no upcoming events at this time.