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How to refer to the Autism Spectrum Center (ASC)

Referring patients to the Autism Spectrum Center is convenient and streamlined: you or your patient can simply call our dedicated line, 617-355-7493, to begin the intake process.

Our intake team will provide an overview of the intake process and collect general patient information. Before scheduling an appointment, the patient’s caregiver will receive an intake packet to complete and will be asked to provide specific documentation, including:

  • copies of any recent testing (e.g., cognitive/psychological testing; speech, occupational or physical therapy evaluations)
  • records of any early intervention services or IEP/504 plans
  • past medical and diagnostic assessments

This information will assist our team in scheduling the most appropriate and first available appointment in our center. This could be with a single physician, nurse practitioner or a team of providers, depending on the child’s needs and insurance issues. Please note that this information needs to be returned to us before we can schedule the appointment.

Our providers see patients in Boston and at our satellite locations in Waltham, Weymouth, Lexington and Peabody. Parent/caregiver preference will be taken into account. We are committed to providing the first available appointment, so while we honor long-standing referral relationships, we will let families know when there is an earlier appointment available.

Currently, many local centers diagnosing children with Autism Spectrum Disorder have closed their waitlists or are no longer accepting new patients. This has ultimately increased the number of referrals Boston Children’s Hospital Autism Spectrum Center has received in recent months; resulting in increased wait times for patients to be evaluated.

At this time, we have decided, we will continue to accept new referrals. However, please understand our priority will be to evaluate our youngest patients and we will as a result prioritize scheduling children under 3 years of age. Wait lists will be determined by age and urgency of need for an evaluation. We appreciate your understanding.

How to enroll your patient in an autism research study

Families can sign up to be notified of enrolling studies on an ongoing basis by visiting our Research Participant Registry. (Note: Families should specify “autism” or “ASD” in the field asking for “any other information we might need to know.”) You or your patients can also contact our Recruitment Associate at 857-218-3011, or email brainworks@childrens.harvard.edu.

Online toolkit for primary care providers

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies and toddlers be screened for autism at their regular checkups, since early detection and treatment lead to better outcomes. The American Academy of Pediatrics has created an online tool kit to assist primary care providers in screening children for developmental disorders, including ASD. It does not promote a specific tool, but rather compares them and provides links and guidance on how to implement screening in clinical practice. Read more: