Exciting things are happening at The Mohammed bin Rashid Center for Special Education operated by The New England Center for Children (MRC-NECC) this fall. Not only did MRC-NECC begin a new academic year this week, but the center welcomed a new group of Early Year students into the program. The Early Years program is an expansion of MRC-NECC’s current services and will continue to add students throughout September and October, for a total of 32 new students.
“This is a very exciting time for us here at MRC-NECC, and we couldn’t be more eager to expand our programming,” shared Pam Olsen, PhD, BCBA, executive director of MRC-NECC. “We are delighted that we can welcome more children with autism in the Abu Dhabi emirate who are in need of NECC’s award-winning services.”
The ages of the students in the new Early Years program range from 2.8 years to 7.6 years, with the average age of 4.8 years old. In addition to the Early Years program, MRC-NECC currently serves students in preschool classrooms (aged 6-9 years old), its secondary school classrooms (10 to 14 years old), and its independent living skills/vocational education classrooms (15+ years old). The center also operates several integration classrooms, in which students in inclusive educational settings are taught by MRC-NECC therapists in a host school.
With the addition of the new Early Years students, MRC-NECC will boast a roster of 262 students, its highest ever (the previous high was 230 students in December 2022).
NECC has been working with children with autism in Abu Dhabi for more than 20 years. MRC-NECC was established as NECC-Abu Dhabi in 2007 before becoming MRC-NECC in 2018. NECC has also been providing consulting services to children and adults in countries in and around the Gulf Cooperative Council (GCC) for the last 15 years. NECC’s Global Consulting has served more than 300 students through its consultative services and its work in clinics in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Qatar. NECC recently expanded its services in the GCC with the opening of the Allied Health Clinic in Dubai, a pediatric specialty clinic that provides one-on-one or group occupational therapy and speech and language therapy across a variety of diagnoses and severity levels.