June 6, 2024

Diego Coyle Diez, MS, BCBA, LABA, a residential coordinator for The New England Center for Children’s (NECC) Salem End Road (SER) residential team, came to NECC from his native Ireland four years ago. He was nominated by multiple colleagues because he “goes above and beyond for both staff and students! He is always asking for ways he can help and improve the residence. He has made SER truly feel like a home, and we are so lucky to have him on our team!” Another stated that “Diego’s commitment to the students and consumers and his ability to quickly adapt … He is also an excellent demonstration of leading by example and consistently makes himself a resource to other staff members.”

How long have you worked for NECC?

I have been at NECC for four years. I previously served as a level 2 teacher, a back-up core shift manager (CSM) and CSM, and in a clinical role.

What is your favorite part of your job?

My favorite part is witnessing the little moments with the students and being able to see their progress and happiness.

Why did you choose a career in helping children with autism?

I knew that I have always wanted to help people, and I was fortunate enough to discover my vocation when I took a class in applied behavior analysis (ABA).


While I was in Ireland, I learned that NECC is considered the gold standard in the autism field, which inspired me to come here and learn how to be a better clinician.

Have you taken advantage of any of the graduate programs or teacher training at NECC? If so, how has it affected your teaching style?

Yes, I am currently enrolled in the Western New England PhD program, which has significantly enhanced my clinical knowledge and ability to help students succeed.

You recently presented at ABAI. What was that experience like, and what did it mean to you as a researcher?

Attending professional conferences like ABAI with my peers is an incredible privilege. Presenting my research there was a humbling and rewarding experience. It’s extremely motivating when people outside of my immediate work/education circle show interest in the research I am doing. It only inspires me to learn more and do more for all the individuals I work with! Conferences like this overall emphasize to me the importance of doing research and collaboration because it shows me the lasting impact of the work that is being done. In other words, as B.F. Skinner has said, “Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten.” I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the field and learn from such incredible educators at WNE.

What is something about you that your colleagues might be surprised to learn?

I crochet!

Who is someone you look up to?

I look up to my PhD supervisor, Chata Dickson, who has taught me so much about being a better clinician, teacher, and person.

What is your life philosophy or motto you like to live by?

Prioritize students above all, against every challenge, every time.