Our broader aims are to improve access to care, improve the hospital experiences, build on promising practices, and improve care coordination.

Autism New Jersey’s Advancing Healthcare Initiative seeks to be a collective voice that merges the expertise and needs of individuals with autism and their families, healthcare providers, and behavior analytic providers to successfully advocate for and help implement empirically validated, effective, socially valid, and sustainable improvements that will directly impact the health and quality of life of individuals with autism.

To these ends, our initial priorities include:

Increase Timeliness of Diagnostic Evaluations by Qualified Healthcare Providers
  • Convene leading developmental pediatricians from across the state to discuss needs, barriers, and potential solutions
  • Convene invested pediatricians from across the state to discuss needs, barriers and potential ways the specialty can support timely diagnoses
  • Synthesize all information from both groups to support implementation of improved care coordination resulting in more timely diagnoses while maintaining fidelity to the diagnostic process and criteria
Improve Emergency Room Experiences for Individuals with ASD and Severe Challenging Behavior
  • Meet with leaders of hospitals and emergency departments across the state to learn more about needs, barriers, and promising practices
  • Partner with hospitals and emergency departments to support implementation of autism-friendly practices as well as safer crisis response interventions
Advance Autism-Friendly Best Practices
  • Host a group of healthcare providers of various disciplines and behavior analysts from across the state to network and share resources and promising practices
  • In collaboration with this networking group, develop a list of actionable autism-friendly best practices in healthcare and recommendations for implementation
  • Create a healthcare hub for providers and patients with information, examples of compassionate and high-quality healthcare, and empirically-based trainings and resources
Broaden and Elevate the Conversation about Healthcare Needs and Solutions
  • Survey families on healthcare experiences
  • Continue to meet with healthcare leaders to deepen connections and increase their awareness of the autism community’s needs
  • Plan for a statewide Healthcare Advisory Council to drive change at systemic level

For More Information

Lauren Frederick, M.A., BCBA, Clinical Director, lfrederick@autismnj.org
Suzanne Buchanan, Psy.D., BCBA-D, Executive Director, sbuchanan@autismnj.org