June 30, 2021

NECC Researchers Present Developments and Findings from Research Projects

Southborough, Mass. – June 30, 2021– The New England Center for Children® (NECC®), a global leader in education and research for children with autism, hosted its first NECC Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Research Symposium on June 17 and 22, 2021. This event brought together NECC’s various research groups to share recent developments in their research projects over the last year. Organized by NECC’s Research Department, the symposium included presentations from six NECC current or former graduate students from both Massachusetts and Abu Dhabi, UAE on a variety of research topics from increasing compliance of nasal swab procedures to assessing and treating stereotypy in infants at risk for autism spectrum disorder.

“With the disruption to the usual conference schedule brought upon by the COVID-19 pandemic, we thought it was important for our researchers to still have the opportunity to share their research projects,” said Bill Ahearn, PhD, BCBA-D Director of Research about the genesis of the event. “We were very pleased by the response and excited by the ongoing projects being conducted by our researchers here at NECC.”

Dr. Bill Ahearn speaking at NECC ABA on Thursday, June 17, 2021

The event was a unique opportunity for NECC’s researchers. While disseminating research has long been a focus of NECC, “NECC-ABA” marked the first time that NECC hosted an event on this scale geared specifically at sharing findings within the NECC research community. The event was attended by more than 40 staff members in-person, while more than 50 others joined via zoom simulcast. The event was also recorded for those who could not attend to view the presentations.

Research at NECC

The legacy of research at NECC began in 1985, when Paul Touchette, Rebecca MacDonald, and Susan Langer had their article, “A scatter plot for identifying stimulus control of problem behavior”, published in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis. Since then, NECC researchers have been published more than 300 times in peer-reviewed journals and publications and research breakthroughs have also been shared globally. To date, NECC researchers have presented more than 2,500 times across 23 countries. Currently, there are dozens of ongoing research projects being conducted by the research team and graduate students enrolled in NECC’s graduate partnership program with Western New England University.

“Research is an integral part of our work,” said Dr. Ahearn, who has led NECC’s research efforts since 2000. “It informs our curriculum and allows us to constantly reevaluate how we are helping our students learn both here at NECC and around the world through the Autism Curriculum Encyclopedia (ACE®) ABA Software System.”

Learn more about research at NECC, here.

About The New England Center for Children

The New England Center for Children® (NECC®) is a private, nonprofit center providing evidence-based treatment and services for children with autism. Programs include in-home ABA therapy for infants and toddlers, a full-service day school for children age 4-22, and a safe, structured residential program that seamlessly integrates with the day school. NECC also oversees special education classrooms in public schools throughout New England and consults with families around the world. The technology division has patented its curriculum – the Autism Curriculum Encyclopedia (ACE®) ABA Software System – which is used by more than 8,000 learners worldwide. 

NECC is committed to diversity and 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, and operates a center in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Learn more at www.necc.org.