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World-class facilities, services for children with special needs

posted on 19/06/2007: 535 views

The Health Authority -Abu Dhabi (HAAD) yesterday a long-term agreement with the New England Centre for Children (NECC), under the terms of which the National Award Winning Massachusetts based institute will establish a comprehensive education programme and other much needed services for children affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and their families.

The signing ceremony took place at the Sea Palace in Abu Dhabi, in the presence of General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council.

Later this year, NECC will start operating the first of eight initially planned classrooms where each child will receive full-time 1:1 attention and instruction based on prior systematic behaviour analysis in order to maximize its learning opportunities.

Over the next two years NECC will add the full spectrum of services that it provides in the USA including early assessment and intervention to achieve best possible outcomes, pre-school programming, residential services for severe cases, family support services, professional training and development, and a research centre to support clinical best practices in education and treatment.

Initially the program will be fully staffed with professionals from NECC's US facilities, but over time it is expected that it will be possible to train and qualify a substantial number of nationals, so that a proportion of the services can be provided in Arabic.

After the signing, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan met with affected children, their parents, and supervisors attending the ceremony who thanked him for his tremendous personal engagement on their behalf.

After the moving encounters Sheikh Mohammed commented: "These children and their families deserve the best and most professional attention we can provide for them, and thanks to this agreement this will soon be available here at home in Abu Dhabi. This is a major step towards implementing the vision of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, to establish world-class facilities and services for all children with special needs within our country."

The ceremony was attended by the NECC leadership team and the US Ambassador. The two signatories were Dr. Ahmed Mubarak Al Mazrouei, Chairman and CEO of the Health Authority - Abu Dhabi and Member of the Executive Council, and Vincent Strully, Jr., Chief Executive Officer and Founder of the New England Centre for Children.

Strully stated that "for over 30 years The New England Centre for Children has provided state-of-the-art education and individualized treatment for children with autism and related disabilities with maximum care and respect, dedicated to promoting their independence.

We look forward to working with children, parents and teachers in Abu Dhabi and transferring as much of our knowledge and experience as possible to help affected children here bring out all their human potential." Dr. Ahmed Mubarak Al Mazrouei emphasized that "this partnership is of great importance for the people of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

The Health Authority is bringing another world-class partner to the Emirate to improve the lives of the community in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi." (Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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