Residential Programs for Children on the Autism Spectrum

NECC has three residential programs that serve over 120 students ages 3 to 22, from across the United States and several foreign countries. All residential programs operate 365 days per year. For the majority of the year students in the residential programs also attend school on Saturday.

While at school, students participate in the full scope of the NECC curriculum of academic, social, communication, and vocational skills as well as physical education. In addition, many students are instructed in the more traditional academic areas of math, reading, science and social studies. All students have the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks, specifically its learning strands and standards, incorporated into each Individualized Education Plan. The behavioral, data-based program relies on positive reinforcement techniques and all treatments are designed to meet the individual needs of each child. A consultative model is used for providing specialty services of speech and language, and occupational and physical therapies.

While in their residences, students are focused on independent living skills, leisure interests, recreation and community activities as well as practicing skills learned at school. Our teachers work with the students both in school and at the residence, further emphasizing consistency, the feeling of safety and ultimately contributing to the success of the instruction. All students in NECC's residential programs participate in our comprehensive health care program.

Unique to NECC, teachers work both in the school and in the residences, further emphasizing consistency and the feeling of safety. This focus of generalization of skills across environments ultimately contributes to the success of the instruction. Programs taught in the residence are designed to complement the instruction received at the school and incorporate services available in the local community

Residential Program

Gabby at the ZooDesigned for students who have not been successful in their local school systems and require a 24-hour structured environment to make educational progress, the Residential Program students learn in a 1:2 or 1:3 teacher-to-student ratio.

Intermediate Residential Program

For students who require additional 1:1 staffing opportunities, the Intermediate Residential Program provides additional 1:1 staffing and increased clinical and educational supervision. Through the application of a highly specialized educational and behavior management program, students develop the skills and appropriate behaviors that enable them to live, attend school and work with much less support.

Severe Residential Program

Student SwingingThe Severe Residential Program is designed for students with self-injury and other severe challenging behaviors. Some students live in a specially designed four-apartment home in a residential neighborhood close to the Southborough campus. Instruction is primarily given in a 1:1 staff-to-student ratio.

The ultimate goal of this intensive instruction is to decrease the student's dangerous and severe behaviors and increase his/her capacity to function and communicate independently. In this way, the student can be prepared to move on to less restrictive settings and enjoy an improved quality of life.
Our priority is to assess all functions of the child's behaviors and develop treatment plans to increase their abilities to interact successfully with the people in their environment, so that resorting to dangerous behaviors is unnecessary. This plan stresses the development of functional communication skills, identifying and establishing preferred activities and reinforcers and teaching the child to become competent in many self-care, leisure and daily living skills so that they experience repeated success.