Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Centre for autistic children opens in Abu Dhabi

The New England Centre for Children (Necc) Abu Dhabi will cater for 108 children when it becomes fully operational.

ABU DHABI // A centre that will eventually cater for 108 pupils with autism has opened.

The New England Centre for Children (Necc) Abu Dhabi, which is based on a US model, opened its doors in Mohammed bin Zayed City late last month, with the official launch on Tuesday.

It has 42 pupils aged between 3 and 9. Another 20 children are being taught separately in inclusion and transition programmes. Each group of six pupils is looked after by seven teachers, a mix of expatriate and local staff.

Autism is a developmental disability that affects how a person relates to other people. It also affects how they make sense of the world.

Abu Dhabi Education Council (Adec), says there are there are 1,466 children up to the age of 14 living in the capital who could benefit from this sort of centre.

It consists of two buildings: one for residential pupils and one for educational purposes. The second includes, a gym, a pool and a library.

Having started work in the UAE in 2005, originally in collaboration with the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company, or Seha, Necc then linked up with Adec in 2010 while awaiting the centre's completion.

As well as offering much-needed services to children with autism, and assisting their families, Necc aims to help as many of the children as it can to eventually join a mainstream school, said Dr Mugheer Al Khaili, director general of Adec.

"In this part of the world, they did not used to merge them in the schools," Dr Al Khaili added. "This year, we have merged 70. To give them the opportunity to learn, it's our duty."

Learning also extends beyond school hours, with families receiving help on a weekly and monthly basis.

"When a child enrols here, it's not just the child, it's the whole family that enrols," said Dr Daniel Gould, chief clinical officer for Necc Abu Dhabi.


Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Lionel Richie performed many of his hits from the 1970s and 1980s at the Dubai Media City Amphitheatre. Jaime Puebla / The National

Lionel Richie dishes out the hits to Dubai crowd

At his Dubai concert on Thursday, Richie greeted the audience with “Yalla habibi” – a statement of intent as his energy rarely let up.

Tyrese reunited with Fazza

Tyrese today posted on his social media accounts (Twitter, Instagram and Facebook) his pleasure at being reunited with the Crown Prince of Dubai Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

 Falconry is an activity where they demonstrate how falcons catch prey while flying at a speed of almost 360 kilometres per hour. Mona Al-Marzooqi / The National

In pictures: Adventure in the desert at Abu Dhabi's Qasr Al Sarab

Mohammad Ashfaq, an adventure guide at the Qasr Al Sarab resort, Abu Dhabi, showcases a day in his working life.

 Above, the private pool of Ocean Heights' five-bedroom penthouse flat. Courtesy Christie’s International Real Estate

In pictures: Penthouse flat is height of Dubai luxury living

A five-bedroom penthouse in Ocean Heights in Dubai Marina is on sale for Dh25 million and comes with a private pool and an unparalleled view of Dubai.

Video: Local reactions to a national fishing ban

A federal fishing ban has been imposed by the UAE federal government, but local authorities are taking diiferent approaches to implementing the ban. Two fishermen tell two very different sides of the story. Produced by Paul O'Driscoll

 An Egyptian Orthodox Christian priest give communion during the Palm Sunday service inCairo, Egypt. Mohamed El-Shahed / AFP

Region in focus - April 18, 2014

The best images of the last seven days from around the Gulf and across the Middle East.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National