Introduction

Hospital for Special Care has always been known by its commitment to one particular concept in its Mission:

We will anticipate and be responsive to changing needs of our communities and a changing healthcare environment by creating an innovative, fiscally sound, cost effective system of care.

In keeping with the hospital's history, we at Hospital for Special Care (HSC) have been examining the ongoing healthcare needs of a growing segment of our community, namely persons with Autism Spectrum Disorders. In Connecticut, over 5,000 children under the age of 21 have been identified as exhibiting this disorder. That is about 1 in 100 children, and 1 in 70 are boys. Unfortunately, it seems the prevalence rate is growing.

HSC has observed that though there are many agencies and groups providing specific services, there is little coordination between health care and other components, such as education, vocation and family support. 

The Autism Center at Hospital for Special Care

The Autism Center at HSC provides a variety of diagnostic, assessment and consulting services for children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).

Diagnostic Services

The Center provides a full diagnostic evaluation including the following components:

  • Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics, which includes a family history, individual medical history, observation and developmental rating scales
  • Psychology, which includes Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS), observation (both at the Center and potentially at home or school), and interviews with family, caregivers and the individual
  • Behavior Analysis, performed by a Certified Applied Behavioral Analyst, including such components as repetitive patterns of behavior, joint attention, eye contact, and many other symptom identifications

Psychological and Academic Evaluations

A full range of psychological and academic evaluations are provided at the Center. These evaluations, if desired, resulting development of treatment plans, and training of caregivers, may be requested by either parents or school systems.

  • Cognitive Testing, including but not limited to WISC-IV, Stanford-Binet, Leiter International Performance Test
  • Targeted assessment of academic skills using standardized tools, curriculum-based measures and benchmark measures
  • Psychological evaluation

Occupational, Speech and Language, and Physical Therapies

The Center will provide a full range of assessment and therapy options in the areas of occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech and language therapy. These services will be available as part of overall diagnostic and assessment protocols, or on an a la carte basis when requested by a parent, school system or physician. These services will be provided in the Center which provides a more supportive and less distracting environment than larger therapy venues.

Who May Be Served

Patients must be at least two years of age, and not over 21 years of age. Prior to the first interview, all medical and educational histories should be provided for review.

Behavioral and Educational Planning and Consulting

The Center staff will be available to assist in the development of educational and behavioral plans, as well as the training of caregivers, teachers or others involved in the life of the child. These services may be contracted by either the parents or the school system.

Transition planning is most effective if everyone involved with the child is working from the same plan and presents a structured and consistent environment within which the child may thrive. Thus, planning for a new school environment, or even daycare program should include both the new caregivers and the parents.

The types of diagnostic tests and the behavioral plans will depend to a great degree on the child's age, nature of his or her problems, and the environments in which he or she lives. HSC, in all its initiatives, strives to design and provide customized and person-centered supports. The values and choices of the individual child and family form, where applicable, the basis for all planning. 

For further information about services at The Autism Center at HSC, please call our direct number: 860.612.6381