The New England Center for Children Announces Opening of the Dillon Arledge Student Center

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Center Features Art, Music, Library, Technology, Vocational Facilities and Student Store

Art Room in the Dillon Arledge Student Center

“NECC is delighted to open the Dillon Arledge Student Center, which will offer the best technology, educational and vocational resources to teach children with autism,” said Vincent Strully, Jr., CEO and Founder of The New England Center for Children.

The New England Center for Children® (NECC®), a global leader in education and research for children with autism, announced today the opening of its newly renovated Dillon Arledge Student Center. The 7,500 square foot space includes a new student store, library, and classrooms for art, music, and vocational studies.

“NECC is delighted to open the Dillon Arledge Student Center, which will offer the best technology, educational and vocational resources to teach children with autism,” said Vincent Strully, Jr., CEO and Founder of The New England Center for Children. “Hand-in-hand with superior facilities and tools is the outstanding teaching staff who work day in, day out to teach and empower our students with autism.”

The Dillon Arledge Student Center is named after NECC student Dillon Arledge, whose family was instrumental in funding the renovation of the space. The Arledge Student Center features innovative, interactive technology to teach and empower children with autism, including iPads, Microsoft tablets, and Promethean ActivPanels – interactive tablet boards that project curriculum and content. The music program offers the Ablenet® Skoog, an accessible musical option for students who cannot play instruments.

“At the Arledge Student Center, we will provide an accessible and meaningful arts education to students with autism,” said Cara Lechleiter, MS, BCBA, LABA, the Chorus Director and a Curriculum Specialist at NECC. “We hope to develop an enriched, fulfilling curriculum for our own students, as well as serve as a model for arts programs around the world.”

The student store contains iPad Pro cash registers, providing students with autism the opportunity to learn vocational skills including cash register operation, payment processing, stocking merchandise, bagging, customer communications and etiquette, practical math, and organizational skills. The Arledge Student Center also houses NECC’s Career Development Center, a classroom for exploring vocational strengths and interests, and for developing a variety of vocational skills.

Student response to the Dillon Arledge Student Center has been enthusiastic. “I think the new student center is pretty cool. I like how there’s video games there, and I actually really like how there’s a TV you can touch! I am excited to be 14 so I can get a job and make some money at the career room!” said Owen, a 13-year-old day student from Massachusetts with autism spectrum disorder who has attended NECC for the past year.

About The New England Center for Children

The New England Center for Children® (NECC®) is a world leader in education, research, and technology for children with autism. For more than 40 years, our community of teachers, researchers and clinicians have been transforming lives and offering hope to children with autism and their families. NECC’s award-winning services include home-based, day, and residential programs; public school partnerships and consulting; the John and Diane Kim Autism Institute; and the ACE® ABA Software System used by more than 4,620 students in 24 states and nine countries. NECC received the 2017 Award for International Dissemination of Behavior Analysis from the Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis (SABA). A 501c3 non-profit, The New England Center for Children is based in Southborough, MA, and also operates a center in Abu Dhabi, UAE. More information is available at http://www.necc.org.

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Michele Hart
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