The Department of Education highlights Northshore Education Federation’s Autism Awareness Month

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Beverly – April is Autism Awareness Month, and Massachusetts Educational Cooperation (MOEC) would like to recognize the Northshore Education Consortium (NEC) for its efforts in supporting students with autism.

National Autism Awareness Month raises awareness of autism and Asperger’s Syndrome during the month of April.

The Northshore Education Consortium is one of the largest providers of special education programs for children with emotional, behavioral and developmental disabilities in the North Shore. NEC has a mission to support member districts by providing high-quality, cost-effective school programs, counseling, professional development, support services, and resources. NEC aims to ensure that districts can provide successful educational experiences for all students, including those with complex or low-incidence special needs.

This year the NEC is adopting the Autism Society’s theme, “Celebrate Differences,” which encourages people to recognize the range of experiences within the autism community and emphasizes the need for equitable access to support services and resources.

“This month is an opportunity for us to celebrate what makes each of us unique and to engage in activities that practice inclusion,” said NEC Executive Director Fran Rosenberg.

To celebrate Autism Awareness Month, the Northshore Education Consortium’s Diversity Task Force has created tactile infinity tokens, available to students for sensory play. In addition, sensory bulletin boards as well as removable pieces were displayed on the first floor for students in wheelchairs.

An array of red lights were displayed around the perimeter of the school, as a celebration of autism acceptance.

“I would like to commend the Northshore Education Consortium for their exceptional work to support their students during Autism Awareness Month,” said Joanne Hally Sullivan, Executive Director of MOEC. “The support NEC provides to its students and their families is truly inspiring, not just during Autism Awareness Month but every day of the year.”

The Northshore Education Consortium offers a variety of programs throughout the year to support students with autism. NEC’s Kevin O’Grady School serves students ages 3 to 22 with moderate to severe special needs, including medical frailties, developmental disabilities, autism, and intellectual impairment.

In particular, the REACH and TARGET classrooms at the Kevin O’Grady School serve students who have a primary diagnosis of autism.

The NEC REACH program provides extensive services for children ages 6-13 who are on the autism spectrum or who have developmental or intellectual disabilities. Over the course of the program, students acquire the academic, communication, social/emotional, and self-help skills they need to reach their full potential with an emphasis on learning taught through systematic instruction.

The NEC TARGET program provides intensive services to adolescents and young adults, ages 14-22, who are on the autism spectrum or have intellectual disabilities. Over the course of the program, students focus on the academic, communication, social/emotional, self-help, pre-professional, vocational, and life skills needed for them to become active members of society.

“We are very fortunate to have such highly dedicated staff here at NEC who allow these programs to run smoothly and support students in their success every day,” said NEC Executive Director Fran Rosenberg.

To learn more about the Northshore Education Consortium, click here here.

About the Massachusetts Educational Cooperation Organization

MOEC Represents 24 Commonwealth education collaborations. The Ministry of Education and Culture (MOEC) serves as a voice for its members and works to develop a full appreciation and understanding of educational collaboration at the state, regional and local levels. The Department of Education and Culture is the Commonwealth’s primary advocate for cooperatives and the critical role they play in the Massachusetts educational system.