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Autism Friendly Initiative

Autism Friendly Initiative Logo


1 in 59 children are diagnosed with autism.
Baio J, Wiggins L, Christensen D, et al.
Prevalence and Characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorder
Among Children Aged 8 Years — Autism and Developmental
Disabilities Monitoring Network, 11 Sites, United States, 2014.
MMWR Surveillance Summaries. 2018;67(6):1-23.

The Autism Friendly Initiative at Boston Medical Center aims to improve the hospital experience for patients with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Patients with ASD have various sensory and communication needs, which can make the fast-paced and often over-stimulating hospital environment particularly challenging. To address the needs of patients with ASD, we strive to make the hospital environment more autism friendly, educate clinicians and staff, and provide resources to patients.  We believe these efforts will lead to better hospital experiences, and ideally, better outcomes, for patients with ASD.

Ongoing Projects (slideshow of photos)

PLAN parents at a training

Caregivers from the Autism Program's Parent Leadership in Autism Network (PLAN) presented an "Autism 101" training to third year medical students at the BU School of Medicine. To learn more about trainings, click here.

Sensory Toolbox

Sensory Toolboxes are now being piloted in several departments at Boston Medical Center. To learn more about the toolbox, click here.

Autism Support Checklist

The Autism Support Checklist (ASC) collects information from individuals and caregivers about patients’ communication and sensory needs, triggers, and calming strategies. To learn more about the ASC or to complete one, click here.

Health Care Social Stories App

The BMC Health Care Social Stories App is a set of social stories about various tasks done during a doctor’s or dentist’s appointment. To learn more about the app, click here.