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Key task force: Evidence ‘insufficient’ to recommend universal autism screening

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Sparking strong reaction from doctors and child development experts, an influential task force says there’s “insufficient evidence” to argue definitely that the benefits of screening all young children for autism outweigh the harms. Continue Reading →

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Hospital for Special Care opening state’s first autism inpatient unit

The Hospital for Special Care announced plans to open an eight-bed inpatient unit next month for young people with autism spectrum disorders as well as aggression, self-injury or severely impaired functioning – something hospital officials and advocates say will be an alternative to children being sent to out-of-state facilities, treatment progams that don’t meet their needs, or getting stuck in an emergency room while waiting for services. Continue Reading →

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To explain living with autism, stories of kindness and challenges

This is a photo of Lynn Ricci and her son, Lincoln.

Lynn Ricci is grateful for the grocery store clerks who answer her 18-year-old son’s many questions. She and others wrote about the kindness they encounter and challenges they face for a website aimed at helping families affected by autism, and at helping others understand what it’s like to have a child with a disability. Continue Reading →

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New autism program only underscores extreme need

The years of work that went into the Hospital for Special Care’s plan to open an autism center gave officials there a sense of the need for services. But the demand hit home the morning after a local newspaper detailed the New Britain hospital’s plans. “We got a phone call by 9 o’clock from a dad,” said Lynn Ricci, the hospital’s senior vice president for administration. “People are really desperate for some help with this.” It was hard, Ricci said, to not be able to tell the man his child could be seen the next day, but the program isn’t expected to open until later this winter. Continue Reading →

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