Boston Medical Center's Autism Clinic Activities

April 17, 2012

Website Link


Everyday Behaviors Parent Trainings

The DBP Autism Clinic at Boston Medical Center/Boston University School of Medicine has conducted a variety of trainings in the community to target our underserved, minority populations and the greater urban community. We developed an innovative parent training series entitled "Everyday Behavior Problems and Solutions," a skill-building focused class designed to provide families with specific tools and strategies for assisting their children with autism. Classes are led by Autism Specialists from the DBP clinic, all trained professionals with extensive experience in providing support and education in the field of ASDs. All programming is offered free-of-charge and trainings are held at local libraries, health centers and community spaces that are geographically accessible for targeted groups. Childcare coverage is provided on site and interpreters are utilized whenever necessary. These measures are designed to overcome the many barriers our families face and facilitate opportunities for children to reach their maximum potential. To date, more than twenty workshops for English and multi-lingual families have been held, serving over 250 families.


Teen Talk

The DBP Autism Clinic also developed a new program in 2012 entitled "Teen Talk" which serves adolescents between ages 13-22 and their caregivers. This program serves a dual function; teens are brought together to develop social skills and friendships, and parents attend a simultaneous information/support group around adult transition topics. Guest speakers from adult agencies provide resources to families, including but not limited to housing, vocational opportunities, IEP and goal development, college planning and the development of independent living skills. Classes are being held in Watertown across eight sessions and group leadership is shared between Autism Specialists and one DBP fellow from Boston Medical Center in conjunction with Boston's Autism Support Center, TILL, and Family Support Network members at Boston Medical Center and the Lurie Family Autism Center. Data is being collected using self/parent reports to measure teen success with increasing skills and developing greater self-esteem across group sessions.


Formation of Five Boston "Neighborhood Groups"

The DBP Autism Clinic has been instrumental in helping to launch several parent support groups for underserved minority populations across the city of Boston. This includes establishing groups in communities where virtually no resources existed, such as those for non-English speaking Vietnamese, Chinese and Latino families as well as aiding the expansion of a Dorchester group that had previously served only a small fraction of families. These efforts are part of a systematic model to create "Neighborhood Groups" that was developed by DBP Autism Specialists in 2011, along with Boston's Autism Support Center, TILL. The model includes several key steps, including but not limited to: parent participation in Autism Clinic classes, recruitment and training of "parent leaders," solicitation of ongoing community resources (e.g. space to meet, childcare coverage etc) and planning for group's self-sustainment. This past year, five "Neighborhood Groups" have been established through these efforts that now serve approximately 100 families, with plans underway for the formation of several more.