Autism Spectrum Center | Resources

Boston Children’s Hospital offers many resources to support your child’s autism care. Learn more on our resources pages:

  • Boston Children’s Hospital resources: We have a number of resources including our family support and education team, My Hospital Stories, behavioral support plans, and lecture series. Also, sign up for our informational email newsletter.
  • New England and national resources: View a list of helpful local and national resources that support patients and families with autism.
  • Family education and support: Check out our helpful guides and resources on educational services, common transitions, parent self-care, insurance, bullying, and sibling support.
  • Transition to adulthood: Find information about employment, education, social/independent living, guardianship, financial planning, transportation, and health care.

Quick tips for parents and families

Challenges are part of parenting any child. If your child has ASD, you may find yourself facing some especially tough challenges. Here is some advice that many families find helpful:

  • Maintain a consistent routine, both at home and at school.
  • Talk to your child’s teachers and therapists to learn how you can reinforce at home the strategies they are using during the day.
  • It’s perfectly OK to take breaks from therapy-related activities and allow your child free time.
  • Let your child pick what she wants to do when possible.
  • Talk with your provider if you need help getting support for you or your child, including counseling, behavioral services, respite, information about special needs recreation, and mentoring.

Mealtime tips

  • Establish a structured mealtime, offering meals and snacks at around the same time each day.
  • Serve at least one food you know your child likes.
  • Keep mealtime calm, and limit distractions.
  • Join your child during meals.
  • Allow your child to feed himself if he can.

Sleep tips

  • Follow a predictable, structured nighttime routine.
  • Create a quiet mood at bedtime by lowering the lights, limiting screen time, and doing calming activities.

Tips for outings and special events

  • Prepare your child beforehand so he knows what to expect. It may help to:
    • use pictures
    • use Boston Children’s “My Hospital Stories” resources
    • explain, to the best of your knowledge, what will happen
    • role play at home what’s going to happen
  • Create a schedule for the outing and build in structured activities that your child enjoys.
  • Try to keep your expectations reasonable. It may help to keep the outing short.
  • Do your best to stay calm if something unexpected happens. Children can usually pick up on a parent’s anxiety.