Inner Lights Program

Bonnie&BettyThe Inner Lights program is a specialized residential treatment program providing services to children requiring special care. The program is housed on the Msgr. John T. Fagan campus, in the “Bonnie and Betty House”, which is a cottage named for Bonnie Walters and Betty Martin, who died in the tragic crash of TWA Flight 800. There are two wings, the arms of “Aunt Bonnie” and “Grandma Betty”, symbolically embracing the children who reside there.

The cottage was designed to offer a home like environment providing maximum visual supervision while extending maximum privacy for residents.  The living quarters offer a safe and secure place to develop life skills and enable youth to exercise an unusual degree of autonomy.

The Inner Lights Program provides hope to these children by offering direction, love and attention so they can soar to new heights.


The population consists of children between the ages of 9 and 18 at age at admission who:

  • Have Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Have Tourett’s Disorder
  • Are neurologically impaired
  • Have severe behavioral disorders
  • Have severe learning disabilities
  • Have mental retardation with a minimum IQ of 50 or the functional equivalent

Typical Diagnosis may include but not limited to:

  • Pervasive Developmental Disorder
  • Mild Mental Retardation
  • Borderline Intelligence
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Expressive Language Disorder
  • Post-traumatic Disorder
  • Psychotic Disorder
  • Major Depression
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Asperger’s Syndrome
  • Learning Disorder.

Little Flower ensures that program staff are available to address the full range of medical, clinical, and developmental needs presented by youth with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) and MR/DD (Mental Retardation and Development Disabilities).  Medical, Psychiatric, and Clinical staff offices are located in the same building as the Inner Lights Program, thus providing immediate access to these services.  The staff to child ratio for the Bonnie and Betty House is 1:3.

Social workers have at least a MSW or equivalent in child and adolescent development and are experienced with the practice and concepts of residential treatment and permanency planning.


  • Medicaid case management
  • Residential services in Family Care Homes
  • Individualized Residential Alternatives
  • Intermediate Care Facilities for youth upon reaching 21

Staff are trained in Therapeutic Crisis Intervention and utilize these techniques to manage the environment in a way that potential acting out behavior is quickly identified, de-escalated and resolved.

Educational Components:

  • All mandated Parts of the 100 and 200 components of the NYC Commissioner’s Regulations
  • NYS Alternate Assessments — eligible students will be assessed using the NYS Adjusted Grade Level indicators
  • All other students will be assessed using the NYS Learning Standards and Core Curriculum
  • A Life Skills Program is available to eligible students to work on pre-vocational and daily living skills

The residents of this specialized program receive individualized treatment based on principles of ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) and other incentive based treatment modalities. Therapeutic Crisis Intervention is also utilized to ensure a safe environment for all residents.

After School Program:

An extensive after school program is available and offers yoga, sports, arts/music, and computer access.