Survey reports from Federal agencies suggest that 1 in 59 children in the US is diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD); the rates are ~1 in 34 in New Jersey (CDC). Given the high incidence of ASD in New Jersey and the autism research and treatment expertise available at Rutgers, a Center of Excellence in Autism Research at Rutgers is urgently needed. Rutgers has considerable strengths in basic, clinical and translational autism research, with over 50 principal investigators working to develop new autism treatments. Rutgers faculty and students also work closely with the autism community in NJ, providing educational intervention and support services through the Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center and the newly created Rutgers Center for Adult Autism Services and developing policy and performing public outreach through the Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities. The new Rutgers Center for Autism Research, Education and Services (RUCARES) will be responsible for coordinating and fostering basic and clinical research focused on diagnosing, treating and supporting patients with ASD. The goal is to develop a world-class autism research center engaged in cutting edge basic research to identify mechanisms and biomarkers, developing novel interventional behavioral therapies, creating new technologies and services to support both pediatric and adult ASD patient population. BHI has recruited a Director, Dr. Wayne Fisher, who will coordinate, nurture and grow current autism-related research and clinical activities at Rutgers.
BHI is also proud to announce the launch of CSH RUCARES, a collaborative effort with Children’s Specialized Hospital (CSH). Together CSH–RUCARES and RUCARES are the first centers of their kind in New Jersey dedicated to innovative research, education, and services. The programs focus on diagnosing, treating, and supporting children and adults with ASD. The collaboration provides the opportunity to partner on care and research for those with ASD with significantly challenging behaviors throughout their lifespan.
The Severe Behavior Program, a service line of CSH–RUCARES, will also be housed in the new building at 888 Easton Ave in Somerset, NJ. Led by Director Brian D. Greer, PhD, the Severe Behavior Program provides intensive and highly specialized services to children and adolescents with ASD and other developmental disabilities who display dangerous behavior such as aggression, self-injury, property destruction and pica and pose a significant risk to self, others or the environment and who cannot be safely managed or effectively treated in a less-intensive program. The CSH–RUCARES Severe Behavior Program works to improve the quality of life for children with severe behavior disorders and their families and offers services including evaluation, outpatient, half-day and full-treatment programs as well as parent training. Each child moves through the program based on their individual needs and all therapy sessions are overseen by a board-certified behavior analyst at the doctoral level (BCBA-D) or a psychologist with specialty training in applied behavior analysis. During therapy sessions, techniques are used to identify environmental variables that may be contributing to the behavior problem. In addition, a specialized therapeutic environment is used to allow for safe evaluation of dangerous behaviors.
For more information or to make an appointment with the CSH–RUCARES Severe Behavior Program, please call 888-244-5373 or visit rwjbh.org/cshrucares.
To determine if a child you know is appropriate for the CSH–RUCARES Severe Behavior Program, please visit the following links.