New England Center for Children

The New England Center for Children is a school for children with autism, located in Southborough, Massachusetts. They are a private, nonprofit autism education center dedicated to bringing out human potential and creating productive lives for children with autism. There mission is, “Providing state-of-the-art autism education and individualized treatment for children with autism spectrum disorder, pervasive developmental disorder (PDD), and Asperger’s Syndrome.”

The NECC is not just a school, but they are internationally recognized as a leader of autism research with nearly three decades of experience. Their research focuses on the basic learning processes of children with autism, teaching techniques for children with severe learning problems, managing challenging behavior, communication training strategies, early intervention practices, and the generalization and maintenance of treatment gains.

At the school, children are engaged in learning new behaviors and helped to change disruptive or harmful ones, by constant positive reinforcement. The curriculum at the NECC ranges from the most basic language and social skills to academics and vocational training. “We plug them into that wherever they’re at,” says Rebecca MacDonald, PhD, director of the preschool program, which includes kids aged 3 to 7.

MacDonald is studying what is called “joint attention,” an important early step in relating to others. If you were to turn and look at something, a typical child observing you would probably turn to look at it, too. A child with autism would not notice. “It’s one of the hallmarks of autism,” MacDonald tells WebMD. “They tend not to care what you are looking at or thinking.”

The NECC is dedicated to help children with autism and other developmental disabilities reach their full potential. The goal of their treatment research is to help chidren with autism increase their abilities to function and communicate successfully with as much independence as possible.

Entry Filed under: Treatment Types

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