August 12, 2021

NECC to Expand and Continue Management of Top Autism Services and Graduate Training Program in the United Arab Emirates

Southborough, Mass. – September 8, 2020: The New England Center for Children® (NECC®), a global leader in education for children with autism, announced today an agreement with the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) to renew and extend NECC’s contract for management of the Mohammed bin Rashid Center for Special Education operated by The New England Center for Children, a school and research center for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Under terms of the 5-year extension, NECC will expand the school with the addition of up to 77 students, bringing the total to near 300.

Formerly known as NECC-Abu Dhabi, the Center’s name was changed to recognize the contributions of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, who has promoted acceptance and inclusion of people of determination within the UAE under his leadership. 

“We extend our utmost gratitude to Abu Dhabi’s wise leadership for their unwavering commitment to support the rich fabric of the UAE society and provide equitable education opportunities for students of determination. The expansion plan includes the development of teaching and therapy to provide opportunities for children and empower them to build independent lives,” stressed His Excellency, Amer Al Hammadi, Undersecretary of Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge, adding that the primary objective is to deliver world-class learning support, therapy and care to students of determination with autism amid increased demand for services.

 “We remain committed to our mission of enabling high-quality education and providing the best opportunities for all students and we thank the families for their enduring support and cooperation. With their feedback, suggestions and efforts, we are confident in providing the right opportunities for children and empowering them to build independent lives.”

“All of us at The New England Center for Children are honored and proud to continue our relationship with Abu Dhabi,” said Vincent Strully, Jr., Founder and CEO of NECC. “The success of the school is reflected in its continued growth, and we look forward to providing world-class ABA expertise and education services to children with autism, and training UAE nationals to do the same in Arabic.”

The partnership between Abu Dhabi and NECC began in 1997, when NECC was asked to provide a private consulting program in the region. Ten years later, in 2007, NECC-Abu Dhabi was established to replicate the comprehensive range of educational services, graduate training, and research available at NECC Southborough.

NECC has been cited by the U.S. Department of Education as a model for professional development for on-site graduate training programs. NECC’s professional training program has resulted in numerous UAE nationals developing advanced skills and expertise in effective autism treatment.

Today, the Mohammed bin Rashid Center for Special Education operated by The New England Center for Children provides a full spectrum of educational services based on the proven scientific principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA) for children with ASD ages three and older. These services include early assessment and intervention to achieve best possible outcomes; preschool programming; family support services; research to support clinical best practices in education and treatment; and international consulting services.

The Center is also active in the community, supporting the Special Olympics, UAE National Sports Day, community markets, and art shows. For more information on local activities, visit

Over the last decade, UAE leaders and the Abu Dhabi government have aimed to offer all children the best services possible, with emphasis on education, regardless of their status or condition. The Mohammed bin Rashid Center for Special Education operated by The New England Center for Children continues this practice by offering the world’s best education services to UAE National children affected by autism.

About Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK)

The Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) is the Education Sector regulator across the Emirate. It oversees and provides services throughout a learner’s journey from early education to university and beyond. It also champions inclusivity for People of Determination in the mainstream schooling system and by providing specialized schools.

Across Early Childhood and K-12, ADEK licenses and regulates nurseries and private schools in Abu Dhabi while also legislating, mandating and managing its own Charter Schools and 2 schools for People of Determination.

ADEK also annually provides distinguished Abu Dhabi students with full scholarships and support to study at the best universities around the world. In addition, the Department audits and enhances the delivery of Higher Education in Abu Dhabi, attracting Higher Education Institutions to open the required programs or schools that serve Abu Dhabi’s needs while championing a student and faculty-friendly ecosystem in the Emirate.

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 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 (, 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. Learn more at


Updated: 8/12/2022