About Us

Our Mission

Boston Medical Center’s Autism Resource Program assists and empowers those affected by ASDs through direct patient support, provider education and community based trainings in a culturally competent manner by offering high quality and comprehensive care to all, regardless of status or ability to pay.

Background

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BMC, a private, not-for-profit, academic medical center located in Boston’s South End, was formed through the 1996 merger of Boston City Hospital, Boston Specialty and Rehabilitation Hospital and Boston University Medical Center Hospital. Since 2003, clinicians have provided evaluations and ongoing care for children of all ages when there is a pediatrician concern about autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and related conditions. Autism Specialists at BMC are trained professionals who work alongside Developmental and Behavioral clinicians to provide both exceptional medical care without exception and develop innovative, culturally competent approaches and methodologies to best support BMC’s patient population.

The diagnosis of an ASD presents a uniquely complex set of challenges for families and the clinicians responsible for their care. There is no identified single cause, no known cure, nor any one prescribed treatment that can predict optimal outcomes for all children. Families affected by ASD confront a variety of barriers toward getting needed services for their children. This includes systemic barriers, such as obtaining diagnostic appointments and securing treatment in a resource-limited economy. Many families seen at BMC are low-income, immigrant families who have the additional challenge of facing cultural, linguistic, educational, or other social barriers. To address this challenge, The Autism Resource Program assists and empowers those affected by ASDs through direct patient support, provider education and community based trainings in a culturally competent manner by offering high quality and comprehensive care to all, regardless of status or ability to pay.

Our Staff

Shari King, M.A.

Shari King, M.A. is the Program Manager of the Autism Support Program in BMC’s Developmental Pediatrics Division and the Family Support Network for the Autism Consortium. The Autism Consortium is an innovative partnership among 15 Boston-area institutions who share a mutual goal to catalyze advances in understanding, diagnosis and treatment of autism by engaging, supporting and fostering collaboration among a community of clinicians, researchers, donors and families. Shari has nearly fifteen years working to promote the resiliency of children and families by providing psychosocial support and developing innovative programming for individuals coping with difficult transitions and loss. Her team of resource specialists has curated a wealth of dynamic resource information on autism services, including a Parent Information Packet (translated into multiple languages), an online Resource Directory, a Transition to Adulthood Manual and an E Newsletter. At BMC, Shari has worked intensely with collaborative community partners to strengthen and empower the city’s most marginalized families, most especially those representing cultural, religious and ethnic minorities.

Lauren Bartolotti, M.A.

Lauren Bartolotti, M.A. a recent graduate of Tufts University, joined the Autism Resource Program in February of 2013. Lauren has several years of experience working with young children in an integrated school setting where she assisted families in navigating and accessing education and therapeutic services. Lauren also spent time working with low-income and diverse populations under the Children’s Behavioral Health Initiative as an in-home family therapist where she worked with many families in navigating their child’s autism diagnosis. Lauren has robust clinical experience completing two intensive internships at the Jimmy Fund Fund clinic at Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Women and Infants Hospital in Providence, RI.

Interns

Danielle Feerst – Tufts University

Katherine Sennott – Boston University

Clinical Team

Marilyn Augustyn, M.D.
Stephanie Blenner, M.D.
L. Kari Hironaka, M.D.
Robert Keder, M.D.
Jenny Radesky, M.D.
Arathi Reddy, D.O.
Jodi Santosuosso, N.P.
Jayna Schumacher, M.D.
Laura Sices, M.D., M.S.
Hemaluck Suwatanapongched, M.D.

Family Advisory Board

The BMC Autism Program owes a debt of gratitude to our many families who strive daily to meet their children’s many needs. BMC is proud of the contributions made by members of our Family Advisory Board, all of whom commit their time to help to inform our work and promote the cause to improve services for children and families affected by ASD.

Current Family Advisory Board Members include:

Nichole Barros
Isabel Correia
Collette Jackson
Romeo Lopez
Nancy Moita