Research conducted at NECC covers a wide range of topics, including reinforcement, stereotypic behavior, discrimination learning, stimulus equivalence, choice and preference, social skills, symbol-based communication, treatment integrity, early intervention, and much more.

For parents, an autism diagnosis is the beginning of a long journey with their child, one in which support, guidance, and education are key. Although autism is a lifelong developmental disability, only a tiny percentage of autism funding supports research on improvement of daily living and vocational skills, academics, and behavior management.

NECC’s team of researchers at the John and Diane Kim Autism Institute focus on autism research to support children and families managing autism now. We continually advance the most effective, evidence-based methods for teaching children with autism.

We also share research findings with colleagues around the world through conference presentations and publications in peer-reviewed journals.

Under the guidance of Dr. Bill Ahearn, NECC Director of Research, our research focuses on learning processes of children with autism, teaching methods for children with severe learning problems, managing challenging behavior, communication training strategies, early intervention practices, and the generalization and maintenance of treatment gains.

Many of our research projects are conducted in controlled settings, while other studies take place within the classroom, the residences, or at worksites. And, while much of NECC’s research is conducted independently, we also work closely with some of the most prominent researchers and clinicians in our field.

Our primary purpose for conducting research at NECC is to ensure that we are providing students and teachers with the best practices available to maximize student independence.