Abu Dhabi: With the aim of providing education and job employment opportunities to as many children as possible, the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) has decided to take charge of mentally or physically challenged students across the emirate of Abu Dhabi, starting from January 1, 2010.

The ADEC signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA) to hand over responsibility of the New England Centre for Children — Abu Dhabi (NECC).

The NECC Abu Dhabi was established in 2007, to provide an individually tailored educational curriculum for students, under the directives of General Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

ADEC will be offering students and their families in the centre early assessment and intervention programmes, pre-school programming, residential services for severe cases, family support services, professional training and development, and a research programme to support clinical practices in education and treatment for children with autism across the UAE.

"We have noticed ADEC's special education department is closely aligned to those at the NECC and feel confident that this hand-over will best serve the long-term objectives of both organisations," commented Saif Al Qubaisi, managing director of SEHA.

There are currently 36 students from three to nine years of age enrolled at the Abu Dhabi NECC facility.