If you have a child with autism, we know it can feel overwhelming, even scary. At HMEA’s Autism Resource Central, we offer a variety of resources that can help you on your journey. We’ll guide you towards the interventions and therapy your child needs… and make sure you have some fun along the way.
IEP Clinics (by appointment)
If you have a child who’s eligible for DDS services, they’ll also be eligible for our IEP clinics, which take place at our Worcester location. You’ll meet with a trained Special Education Advocate for an hour to review their child’s IEP and receive assistance and guidance on special education law procedures to request a change in plans. By the end of the clinic, you’ll leave with a written plan of action.
Sensory Clinics (by appointment)
During our Sensory Clinics, you’ll have the opportunity to consult with a licensed Pediatric OTR/L provider, who will work with your child for four half-hour sessions. A Sensory Profile Assessment will be done which will identify any sensory specific needs your child may or may not have. You’ll be given resources including websites, DIY sensory equipment, and sensory play activities. At the conclusion of the sessions, you’ll also be given an individual “sensory diet” for your child. Please contact us for an appointment time.
Family Fun Days
We offer a variety of monthly Family Fun Activities to give families an opportunity to meet with others and enjoy leisure activities in a supportive environment. Swim parties, bowling parties, holiday parties, visits to zoos and museums are some of the activities we have sponsored in the past. Activities are offered at a reduced cost.
Camp Havvago (for children aged 7-16)
Anyone who has ever been to a summer camp knows it’s a place where unforgettable memories are made. That’s why, in collaboration with Camp Starfish, we offer a short residential camp experience every July. Camp Havvago is specifically for children aged 7-16 with ASD.
Each Camper is assigned a 1:1 aide to assist in participating in a full range of camp activities, including swimming, boating, games, sports, sing-a-longs, campfires, and more. We’re pleased to offer Camp Havvago to families registered with the Center at a significantly reduced cost. Check the registration page to see what Camp Havvago’s all about!
Vacation Family Fun Days
During school vacations in December, February and April, we offer events to help fill the unstructured days that vacations create. These activities are open to children with ASD and siblings accompanied by a parent. Events are located in the communities across the region and are offered at a nominal cost.
We believe that cost shouldn’t be a barrier to providing autistic children with access to the treatments and activities in need. For families in need, HMEA’s Autism Resource Central can provide a limited number of hardship grants to cover the costs of activities. Please contact Kris Carigilia for more information.
DDS Autism Waiver Program
The Autism Waiver Program is provided by the Autism Division of the Department of Developmental Services (DDS). This program provides one-to-one interventions to help children with autism who exhibit severe behavior, social and communication problems through a service called Expanded Habilitation, Education (intensive in-home services and supports). This service occurs in the child’s home or other natural settings under the supervision of trained clinical staff and is available for a total of three years. The waiver is only available for children under 9 years old. Click here to find out more.