Boston Children's Hospital Launches Comprehensive Autism Awareness Initiative

April 11, 2017

The Autism Spectrum Center at Boston Children's will celebrate autism awareness month with a number of activities to raise awareness and to promote our Autism Friendly Hospital Initiative. This institution wide effort is aimed to ensure a positive experience for children, families and staff through training, preparation and support during visits and procedures. The initiative includes multiple projects, many led by former and current LEDBP and LEND fellows.


  • The Staff Training project, led by Jenny Lucarelli, MD*^ and Laura Weissman, MD**, provides customized training to clinical and support staff throughout the hospital to educate them about the unique needs of children with ASD and strategies to promote effective behavioral management.
  • The Electronic Media workgroup, led by Carol Wilkinson, MD, PhD* and Peter Davis MD, and ASC staff Katherine Blakeslee, MPA^, work to provide information and resources to families through our website, electronic newsletter content and social media presence.
  • April Levin, MD, and Nicole Baumer, MD, MEd^ are leading a research study to pilot test a parent report outcome measure, the ASD-PROM®, administered to parents through our Tri-Vox© system, a secure electronic interface that allows parents to report on their child's developmental and behavioral functioning.
  • ASC staff Alexandra Morrison, Matthew Snell, LICSW, BCBA and Kristin Diezel, MS, CCLS, are piloting use of a behavioral coping plan, "Precautions B", within the electronic medical record to customize care for children and families with special behavioral needs.
  • The ASC is partnering with Child Life to expand our "My Hospital Stories" social scripts to better prepare children and their families for hospital visits and procedures and to provide "Spectrum Kits" with coping materials for use in all clinical and procedural areas throughout the hospital.
  • The ASC is partnering with Boston Children's SimPeds program to develop a patient simulation that allows children with ASD and their families to practice prior to undergoing EEG.
  • The Autism Community Lecture Series, chaired by Jennifer Aites, MD**^ plans a series of evening talks for parents and providers on a variety of topics related to autism spectrum disorder. All talks are archived on our website. On April 26, 2017, they will present "Understanding the Diagnostic Evaluation for ASD".


April Autism Awareness Month Events

Thursday, April 6th Boston Children's Hospital will Wear Blue for Autism! All hospital staff are encouraged to wear blue. The ASD will have a resource table with fun activities and information about the Autism Spectrum Center, upcoming events and opportunities to participate in research.

Thursday April 13th the Child Life Story Hour at 11:00 am in the Patient Entertainment Center will feature Katherine Trier, MD* reading a story about autism.

Wednesday April 26th  - Understanding the Diagnostic Evaluation for ASD.  6pm - 8pm at the Folkman Auditorium in the Enders Building at Boston Children's Hospital. This FREE event is open to the both parents and professionals.

The Boston Children's Hospital Autism Spectrum Center (ASC) is a multi-departmental collaboration dedicated to ensuring access to the highest quality medical care for children with ASD and their families.

*Current LEDBP Fellows
**LEDBP Fellowship Graduates
^LEND Fellowship Graduates