Bill Asshole/Ahearn-second in command at NECC really comes across as intelligent doesn't he? (sarcasm fully intended). Think they feel threatened by the biomed crowd or what? Nothing is scarier to them than well educated parents. Their brainwashing tactics just may not work!


This is so great for this boy and his wonderfully dedicated family. The parents were very smart not to be sucked into the moronic mentality that is NECC and Strully and strive for much better intervention for their son. God knows where their child would be under Strully's attitude of anti biomed and shove them full of more vaccines.

robotic kids

What a disturbing place. Does NECC even look at the function of the behavior before throwing the kid in the windowless closet? For a school that claims to use strict data based procedures (which is their reasoning for refusing biomedical intervention there) these clueless wonders should know that there is NO data to support the use of exclusionary time out.

Thursday, August 30, 2007
August 2007 Opinion and Commentary
Isolation: It's not punishment; it's "removal for reinforcement"

Commentary by Jennifer Searcy
August 2007

From the Boston Globe:

School expands on mission to aid autistic children

When a particular student acts up, Amy Giles sometimes places the girl in a tiny, windowless room and closes the door. Then Giles stands outside the closet-like chamber, waiting patiently until the child settles down.

If it were another child, it might seem cruel. But Giles, a Westborough resident, is probably that student's best chance for a quality education. Giles teaches at the New England Center for Children on Route 9 in Southborough, a school that is at the forefront of educating children with autism, a neurological disorder that dramatically inhibits the way a child learns.

"We don't want to be the biggest program for autism," said Judy Cunniff Serio, director of administration. "We want to be the best."

So when Giles sends her student into that tiny room, it isn't punishment. It's a treatment called "removal for reinforcement" for a girl with autism who exploded because it was time to move from one lesson to the next. Without the serenity of the room, Giles's student might never regain the focus she needs to continue a day of learning.

"She has a little difficulty with transitions," Giles said, not without compassion.

Click link for full article: http://www.boston.com/news/education/k_12/articles/2007/08/09/school_expands_on_mission_to_aid_autistic_children/

There are a few upsetting things about this article. First is that this school seems to think it's ok to place children with autism in isolation rooms, because after all, they're autistic. They can't be expected to be treated with the same dignity and understanding as "neurotypical" or even other nondisabled children, because they're "autistic" (sarcasm fully intended).

For the record, "autistics" aren't the problem; it's individuals who don't know how to communicate with them that's a problem - either unintentionally or deliberately - and that's understanding that a child with autism may react with aggression when met with aggression. It's because the people who worked with this little girl refuse to learn how to speak "her language" [credit to Amanda Baggs, a "nonverbal" adult with autism] that this little girl is punished for behaviors directly related to her disorder, which, by the way, is illegal.

Next, how is "isolation" therapeutic in this incidence? The little girl in question has been identified as having difficulty with transitions, as do many idividuals with autism. As a person with autism, she also has difficulty communicating in a way that "neurotypicals" understand, and so uses "behaviors" to communicate. If they know she has "a little trouble with transitions" and communicates the feeling of discomfort, unreadiness, or unpreparedness by "acting out," why aren't they using that knowledge to develop a "functional behavior assessment" to determine what "positive behavioral interventions" and techniques could be used to ease her into transitions, such as the use of a timer or countdowns, frequent verbal reminders, a pictorial schedule which she personally can use (PECS, etc.) or other techniques that are proven to be effective in addressing transition issues, and provide her with alternatives to communicating her needs, such as how to say she isn't ready to "transition," or maybe she just needs more time to process what was asked of her, rather than adult, teacher-enforced isolation, which research does not prove to be as effective as positive behavioral interventions, interventions which are to be used in accordance with IDEA law?

Using isolation is not going to address two of her core deficits: a problem with changes in routine and communication. How is she ever going to be a productive member of society if she's not given the "tools" or "skills" to become better adapted to change? No, let's just treat her like a common criminal and lock her up in this tiny room until SHE calms down.

Putting her in this room may only be reinforcing the very behaviors they wish to "extinguish." Maybe she's come to associate transitions with isolation, and so communicates her fears the only way she knows how, by exhibiting "behaviors" relating to the natural "fight or flight" instinct, or maybe she's communicating by exhibiting "behaviors" to "explain" that she's not appropriately prepared for a change in routine at that time, but maybe would be with appropriate preparation; instead, they "treat" her "behaviors," her attempts at "communication," with isolation. They've said it themselves, "removal for reinforcement." They are using isolation to "reinforce" negative behaviors instead of "reinforcing" and "rewarding" positive behaviors. This child is destined for failure under this plan.

I'm tired of children and adults with autism being blamed for their "behaviors." Those "behaviors" are their way of communicating with us. Are they always appropriate? NO. Can we always figure out what they're trying to communicate? NO. Can we give them tools and skills and other methods to communicate more effectively? YES!!! But we "neurotypicals" who work with children with autism also need to take ownership of OUR OWN ACTIONS and yes, even OUR INABILITY to understand what they're trying to say, THEN we will see change for the better. It's time to stop "passing the buck" for OUR inadequacies and blaming individuals with autism.

Sorry, but if this school wants to be the "best," they need to try harder and stop punishing kids with autism by putting them into seclusion. Sounds like they're doing a lot of things right, but they also have a ways to go.
Posted by FamiliesAgainstRestraintandSeclusion at 10:57 PM
Labels: Commentaries and Opinions


The only way to describe NECC is to think of very rote ABA from the 1970's. Although ABA has evolved quite a bit, it seems NECC's version has not. One constant complaint you hear is that skills are taught in a very rote way with no generalization of language producing very rote children with a bunch of rote responses.

Vinnie Strully knows how to market the place by constantly enlarging his center, building pools, etc. but let's just say he is a business man who forbids parents (and the foolish ones fall for his crap) to involve their children in anything biomedical. Looking at this article, Strully is sounding more and more threatened by biomedical as the years go by. So pathetic.



I checked out the video clips of the kids - a 30th anniversary celebration. The kids are like robots. Bio-med kids don't present like this. By not giving these kids the treatment they deserve by way of supplementation and detox, they are deluding themselves (parents included). Its pitiable and a very sorry state of affairs. All that potential thrown down the drain.

They are only kidding themselves, its not about temporary acceptance, its about getting these kids to a better state of being by treating them biomedically.

Who is Vin Strully

Vincent is an OLD school behaviorist who founded his first NECC at a former state mental facility.


As Chief Executive Officer and Founder of The New England Center for Children (NECC), Vincent Strully, Jr. directs all aspects of clinical and financial administration, program development, fundraising, facility design, and strategic planning.

Mr. Strully has 38 years of experience working with children with autism and related disorders. He grew up in Fair Lawn, New Jersey and is a graduate of Newark Academy (1965) and Hamilton College (1969).

Mr. Strully began his career in 1970 as a residential child care counselor for children with behavior disorders at Vanderheyden Hall in Troy, New York. In 1972, he became one of the six founding teachers for the autism unit at Spaulding Youth Center in Tilton, New Hampshire.

In 1975, Mr. Strully and colleagues established the first NECC school with $40,000 in start-up funds at the Taunton State Hospital. The second NECC school was founded in Framingham, Massachusetts in 1980. The two schools merged in 1987.

NECC is an internationally recognized leader in autism intervention, research and professional development. In addition to NECC’s national awards (2000, 2005), the center achieved a $450,000 challenge grant from The Kresge Foundation to complete a five million dollar Capital Campaign (2007).

In 2005, Mr. Strully received the Alumni Achievement Award from his high school alma mater, Newark Academy. This award is presented to a graduate who has distinguished himself in his field of endeavor, whether in the professions, public life, the business world, or the arts. In 2007, Mr. Strully was named Ernst & Young’s Social Entrepreneur of the Year for New England .


Kelli Ann Davis

"The Institute of Medicine has concluded that there is no link between vaccines and autism after examining the results of 19 major studies."

Oops. Strike Verstraeten.

One down. 18 to go.

Hope and A**holes

"But the frustration was unbelievable," she said. "To see him get better and then take a dive - and try and figure out what was wrong...We were constantly doing blood tests to see what he needed. Each time he got worse, it was not as worse as the last time. Then Zack got better."

This part is so true. I am waiting for this last sentence to ring true for my son.

Strully sounds like an ass. Just because medical professionals and shrinks say there's no cure, it must be right!!! What kind of stupid logic is that?


Mr. Strully appears to be more interested in getting DATA from ASD children than teaching them. I believe NECC is the school where parents have to sign paperwork that they will not do the GFCF diet or other interventions outside of the ABA the school provides. Therefore, if Johnny goes on the GFCF diet and stops biting his fingers bloody or banging his head into the wall Mr. Strully won't have pure data to report and PUBLISH. When do the children come first, Mr. Strully?

Can you imagine an oncologist making you sign paperwork you will NOT take radiation, only chemo, or vice versa? Or a cardiac surgeon forcing patients to vow to eat pizza and ice cream and fettucini alfredo everyday so as not to interfere with his data on a heart med?

Mr. Strully, is this a school or a clinicial trial?


Tanner's Dad

But Vincent Strully Jr., chief executive officer and founder of The New England Center for Children in Southborough, said he has not seen any credible evidence that there is a cure for autism.

"To my knowledge, I don't know of any qualified medical or psychological professional who said there is a cure," said Strully. "It's widely accepted there is no cure. While anything is possible, you have to see real evidence in public journals."

This statement after David Kirby's Article about the CDC... Really makes me realize how far we have to go. Their proof has to come from within. Talk about zombies!

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