Partnerships & Collaborations

Autism Consortium

The Autism Consortium is an innovative partnership among 15 Boston-area institutions who share a mutual goal to increase knowledge of Autism Spectrum Disorders. The Consortium’s mission is 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 in order to improve the care of children and families affected by autism and other neurological disorders. Autism Specialists at BMC are members of the Autism Consortium’s Family Support Network and meet monthly with other team members to engage in cross-collaborative efforts across institutions, networking and the development of specialized materials for families and clinicians. www.autismconsortium.org

Boston Public Schools

Specialists at BMC’s Autism Resource Program initiated a unique partnership for the 2012-2013 school year with ABA Directors from the Boston Public Schools to co-present behavior and resource trainings to parents and professionals. Classes are designed as three-part series focused on communication, behaviors and play skills and rotate through all school zones in Boston, so as to serve the entire district with geographic ease for families. Trainings are promoted to the community at large through outreach to the BPS Parent Advisory Council, community health centers throughout the city and across all AC clinical sites. Sessions are broadcast on the Boston Sped PAC’s multilingual website through a BPS created You Tube channel. http://bostonspedpac.org/?page_id=235

The Bridge Center

The Bridge Center is a fully-accessible 20+ acre campus located in Bridgewater, MA that offers Year-Round, Summer Camp, and Equine Assisted Programs designed for children, teens and adults with special needs. In collaboration with the Bridge Center, Autism Specialists have created and conduct a new program entitled “BRIDGES TO INDEPENDENCE – COLLEGE, CAREER & COMMUNITY.” This program serves teens and young adults with high functioning Aspergers, ADHD, and/or learning disabilities to practice skills for independent living, college success, career planning, as well as social skills for full community participation. www.thebridgectr.org

J.E. & Z.B. Butler Foundation / Carl & Ruth Shapiro Family Foundation Shapiro Task Force

This group involves the regular convening of professionals, service providers, and interested lay people who work with individuals with special needs with the broad purpose to work collaboratively to improve the lives of people with disabilities. Task Force members identify emerging and unmet needs, share best practices, learn from one another and build collaborative and interactive programs. This group meets periodically throughout the year. www.butlerfoundation.org

Massachusetts Act Early

Massachusetts Act Early is the state campaign for the national “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” program run by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD), in collaboration with the Association of University Centers on Disability (AUCD). Its aim is to educate parents and professionals about healthy childhood development, early warning signs of autism and other developmental disorders, the importance of routine developmental screening, and timely early intervention whenever there is a concern. The MA Act Early Program is comprised of three task forces and Autism Specialists from BMC meet quarterly with professional colleagues from across Massachusetts to further the group’s mission. http://www.maactearly.org/

TILL

TILL serves as the Autism Support Center for the Greater Boston metro region and offers programs and resources for individuals with ASD and their families such as monthly parent support groups, family fun days and a local lending library. The Autism Resource Program has partnered with TILL to offer a variety of parent trainings and establish parent support groups in communities where virtually no resources existed, such as those for non-English speaking Vietnamese, Chinese and Latino families. Autism Specialists work with TILL staff to participate in recreational opportunities in the city of Boston and to enlist and help train parent mentors. www.tillinc.org