Direct Patient Care & Support


Psychosocial Support and Resource Assistance

For families seen at Boston Medical Center, specialists are available at the time of diagnosis to offer psychosocial support and assistance to families. This includes aiding with navigating educational and therapeutic options and facilitating linkages to community support agencies.

Behavioral and Educational Programming Support

Autism Specialists work with families by phone and in clinic sessions to provide behavioral consultation and coaching utilizing empirically-based intervention strategies. Common topics addressed include: dealing with challenging behaviors (e.g. picky eating, tantrums, activity transitions), increasing independent living skills (e.g. dressing, toileting and general hygiene) and implementing augmentative communication strategies, visual schedules and other support aids and behavior contracts. Specialists help to review the appropriateness of a child’s educational placement and programming by working with school personnel, making home/school observations and accompanying families at educational team meetings when appropriate.

Provider Education

Autism Specialists conduct monthly trainings with Developmental Behavioral Pediatric clinicians to educate them further about navigating the systems, resources and supports for families affected by ASD. They also present a didactic training for pediatric residents on topics such as communicating with families and evidence-based intervention strategies to treat ASD. They provide outreach and training for hospital clinicians/departments where minimal resources for ASD patients exist to allow for more effective handling of challenging behaviors during routine medical visits.

Community-Based Outreach

The Autism Resource Program conducts outreach initiatives for parents and professionals in Boston’s most underserved and resource-deprived communities, including the South End, Roxbury, Dorchester, and East Boston. These hands-on skill building classes have been adapted for teachers, medical professionals and families affected by autism. Past course topics include both basic and advanced general behavior classes, toilet training, picky eating, play and social skills development, Several programs have been presented that target the emerging adolescent populations, including “birds and the bees” sexual education workshops for parents and “Teen Talk,” a friendship and social skills development and processing group for teenagers.