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From Special Ed to School Targeting Autism

Because autism can be so debilitating to children, parents are often urged to seek out programs that go beyond the special education resources available in public schools. Ideally, such programs use treatment procedures and methods with a documented history of effectiveness---programs that have been well researched and shown to significantly help autistic children. Yet just what sort of intervention will in fact help an autistic child is often hard to say in advance.

In any case, and despite such caveats, many parents desire to place their autistic children in private schools specifically dedicated to helping children with that disability. These schools provide strong therapeutic interventions, tailored for children with autism. However, these schools are expensive; the tuition can easily be as high as $75,000 per year.

The tuition for these private schools may sometimes be paid, at least in part, by local school districts. Typically, in order for a school district to cover the expense of a private school, parents are required to prove to the school district that no available public school can meet their child's needs.


The Autism Spectrum Center at Boston Children’s has a breadth and depth matched by few other medical centers. By bringing together a wide range of specialists, we can customize care to each child’s and family’s particular needs. Our providers have expertise in developmental behavioral pediatrics, child neurology, neurodevelopmental disabilities, psychology, psychiatry, speech and language and genetics. The Autism Language Program in the Center for Communication Enhancement is a specialized program for children with ASD and offers the latest technological innovations.

Our team provides diagnostic services, in-depth assessments, close follow-up and ongoing support, seeking to match your child with the behavioral therapies and teaching approaches that best fit her needs. As your child grows up, we may make new recommendations for therapy, while keeping an eye out for any related medical concerns.

Our clinicians work in Boston at the Longwood campus and the Boston Children’s satellite locations. Our dedicated resource specialists can help you connect with services in your local community.

We also maintain a very active ASD research and innovation program. As new discoveries are made, we work to translate what we learn into new, effective methods for diagnosis and treatment. We’ve also pioneered many apps to help children communicate and learn.