The New England Center for Children Celebrates 45th Anniversary

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NECC - A History of Innovation, a Future of Continued Growth

The New England Center for Children Celebrates 45th Anniversary

"When we founded NECC 45 years ago, our vision was a world where autism is not a barrier to happiness, growth and independence,” said Vincent Strully, founder and CEO of NECC. “From humble beginnings, NECC has grown into the pre-eminent institution for autism education, research and training.”

The New England Center for Children® (NECC®), a global leader in education and research for children with autism, announced today its 45th anniversary and the kick-off of a year celebrating the breadth and depth of its impact. Founded in 1975, NECC has served more than 13,500 children with autism and their families.

“When we founded NECC 45 years ago, our vision was a world where autism is not a barrier to happiness, growth and independence,” said Vincent Strully, Founder and CEO of The New England Center for Children. “From humble beginnings, NECC has grown into the pre-eminent institution for autism education, research and training. We have created a global network of educators, researchers and innovative technology that transforms the lives of children with autism.”

Throughout NECC’s long history, their community of teachers, parents and researchers have worked with each child with extraordinary focus and sophistication to foster his or her independence and maximize skills. All teaching is based on the proven scientific principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), which identifies how children learn and what motivates their behavior.

“The New England Center for Children provides the highest caliber of services in the nation to children with autism,” said Michael Dukakis, NECC Board Member and former Governor of Massachusetts. “NECC’s standards are high because their challenge is monumental. They are committed to excellence in everything they do – because those living with autism deserve nothing less.”

In 1975, Governor Dukakis provided a $30,000 state grant to NECC. From this seed has grown an international leader in autism education where the lives of children from 18 months to 22 years of age are improved through education, research and technology.

Celebrating the Past, Preparing for the Future

To celebrate the 45th anniversary, NECC announced the annual Children of Promise gala, which last year raised a record $1 million for the Center, will be held virtually on Nov. 20. The COVID-19 pandemic will force the signature fundraising event to be live broadcast in 2020. The funds will support NECC’s comprehensive autism education programs, teacher professional development, research, instructional technology, and vocational programming.

“The New England Center for Children is a special place whose mission of autism education and research is critically important,” said John Kim, NECC Board Chair, former President of New York Life, and lead donor for the John and Diane Kim Autism Institute. “From day one, 45 years ago, to today, the builders and keepers of NECC remain the teachers and staff whose work dramatically impacts and improves the lives of thousands of children. From small steps to giant leaps, NECC marches forward to empower people living with autism.”

NECC’s focus on education, technology, and ABA research drives their success in helping transform the lives of children with autism and their families. NECC research is conducted at the school and the results form a continuous feedback of best practice curriculum refinement. The research is also integrated into the Autism Curriculum Encyclopedia, or ACE® ABA Software System, a cloud-based teaching system that includes more than 2,185 customizable lesson plans. The ACE ABA Software System is currently used by more than 7,555 students and teachers across the United States and in 19 countries.

Critical to NECC’s success is the staff, nearly 1,300 highly committed and compassionate professionals. These include 184 Board Certified Behavior Analysts, 305 master’s level educators, and 19 Ph.Ds. Since 1987, more than 1,550 employees have completed a master’s degree onsite at NECC, at no charge, with partner colleges Western New England University and Simmons University. NECC staff have published 286 studies and given more than 2,440 research presentations at professional conferences around the world.

About The New England Center for Children

The New England Center for Children® (NECC®) is an award-winning autism education center and research institute. Our diverse community of teachers, researchers, and clinicians have transformed the lives of thousands of children with autism worldwide through education, research, and technology. The Center provides comprehensive services to maximize independence: home-based, day, and residential programs, partner classrooms in public school systems, consulting services, the ACE® ABA Software System (http://www.acenecc.org), teacher professional development, and research on educational best practices.

NECC is committed to staff professional development, partnering with local colleges to provide on-site graduate training and degrees at little to no cost to the NECC teacher. The result is a growing pool of exceptional teachers trained in best-in-class methodologies, whether they continue their careers at NECC or move on to public schools or private agencies. The New England Center for Children is based in Southborough, MA, and operates a center in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Learn more at http://www.necc.org.

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Jeff Arnold
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