The Autism Center at Hospital for Special Care (HSC) provides a variety of diagnostic, assessment, and therapy services for children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). The Center’s multidisciplinary approach includes psychology, developmental pediatrics, speech/language therapy, occupational therapy, and child and Adolescent psychiatry.

Diagnostic Services

To inquire about services at The Autism Center at HSC, please call: 860.612.6380
The Center is located at:
HSC's Research & Education Center
370 Osgood Avenue, New Britain, CT 06053
Please use the Corbin Avenue entrance.
There is ample free parking.

The goals of our center are to:

  • Understand the family’s concerns for their child
  • Determine if a child has Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Explore appropriate differential diagnoses in cases where Autism Spectrum Disorder is not an appropriate diagnosis
  • Assess and document current challenges associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other diagnosis provided during evaluation
  • Develop individualized recommendations for home, school and the community, taking into account evaluation results and the needs of the family
  • Provide ongoing monitoring of needs and coordination of care

Individualized Evaluation

An evaluation will be tailored to your child’s needs and may involve:

  • Psychiatric evaluation
  • Psychological evaluation
  • Developmental pediatrics evaluation

Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

The Autism Center provides comprehensive psychiatric care individually tailored to children and adolescents with Autism who also have comorbid psychiatric illness or severe behavioral problems. Following the Patient- Centered model, care is provided in close collaboration with other providers involved. Coordination of care is provided by our Care Coordinator. Services include:

  • Psychiatric evaluations
  • Psychotropic medication management

Psychological and Diagnostic Evaluations

A full range of psychological evaluations are provided at The Autism Center at HSC. From these evaluations, we can develop treatment plans and educational recommendations. Most evaluations include:

  • Cognitive testing
  • Autism symptoms assessment
  • Adaptive skills assessment
  • Rating scales by teacher and caregiver
  • In some cases, testing for attention and executive functioning

Developmental Pediatrics

Our developmental pediatrician provides developmental and diagnostic assessment that includes:

  • Detailed history and a thorough physical examination
  • The Childhood Autism Rating Scale to help with diagnosis and define a level of severity of ASD
  • A developmental assessment to assess the child’s skills and define a developmental level
  • Recommendations for treatment and educational services
  • Appropriate laboratory testing looking for etiology of ASD
  • Periodic follow-up visits to many necessary adjustments in the care or educational program

Individualized Treatments

The occupational therapist or speech/language pathologist (SLP) works closely with the family to meet the individual needs of the child and family, creating materials and providing strategies appropriate for the home and community environments. Family involvement is key to successful treatment. These services are offered in individual therapy sessions.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy services include evaluating and treating children who have needs in the areas of:

  • Attention to task and executive functioning
  • Fine and gross motor coordination
  • Oral aversion/feeding
  • Pre-vocational/vocational skills
  • Postural and proximal stability and strength
  • Self-help skills (bathing, dressing, grooming, etc.)
  • Sensory integration/Sensory Processing
  • Social skills
  • Visual motor skills

Speech & Language Therapy

These services are offered in either individual therapy sessions or in a group therapy session when a peer interaction is needed to progress. Speech and Language services include evaluating and treating children who have needs in the areas of:

  • Expressive, receptive, and pragmatic language
  • Social communication
  • Oral aversion
  • Feeding disorders
  • Apraxia or other articulation disorders
  • Augmentative and alternative communication evaluations

Psychotherapy and Counseling

Our psychologists and licensed marriage and family therapist offer a variety of treatment modalities for our patients with Autism and their families. These services may include:

  • Marriage and family therapy for parents, caregivers, and siblings of individuals with Autism
  • Individual psychotherapy grounded in the principles of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
  • Parent training grounded in the principles of Applied Behavioral Analysis.

Recognition

The Autism Outpatient Center at Hospital for Special Care has been named the nation’s first Patient-Centered Specialty Practice (PCSP) for Autism Spectrum Disorder. PCSP designation is determined by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), the most widely adopted medical home model in the country. NCQA recognized the Autism Center at HSC for its responsiveness to patients and medical colleagues, its cooperation and integration with other health care groups, and its dedication to continuous improvement.