The New England Center for Children (NECC) is pleased to announce we have received a $22,000 grant from the DCU for Kids Foundation to support speech and language technology for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
More than 40% of the NECC student population is unable to communicate verbally. To gain maximum independence and progress, they use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), including specialized devices, to communicate.
NECC employs 12 speech and language specialists who work with students to teach strategies for expressing needs, feelings, and thoughts using AAC when spoken language is difficult. Students use technology in the classroom to communicate with teachers, friends, and family but also to work on skills.
In our vocational training program, they rely on technology to organize work tasks into simpler step-by-step instructions. At the same time, communication devices enable non-verbal students to say things like “How can I help you?”, “Have a nice day!” or “I can’t reach that.”
The grant from DCU for Kids will fund multiple communication devices, including QuickTalker Freestyle™ single switch communication devices for simple speech and commands, and the more sophisticated NOVA chat. New iPads will replace old and damaged devices, and OtterBox® cases will protect the new and existing equipment.
NECC’s goal is for all our students to become as independent as possible, and communication is critical toward achieving that goal. We are thankful for the support of DCU for Kids Foundation in helping our students reach their potential.
To support speech and language initiatives and other programs, individuals may make a gift to the NECC Annual Fund at www.necc.org/give.