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News from the Shriver Center

Keep up-to-date with our latest news and happenings.

UMass Medical School joins Autism Learning Health Network

The UMass Medical School Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center’s Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders (CANDO) clinic, in partnership with the Division of Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics, has joined the Autism Learning Health Network of Autism Speaks. The network convenes academic leaders in autism and other neurodevelopmental and intellectual disabilities nationwide to standardize and share clinical data collection and outcomes research to improve care for children and families affected by autism spectrum disorder.

Newly Launched MCPAP for ASD/ID Program

Continued access to mental health services and supports remains a vital care component for people throughout Massachusetts, both during this COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.  Accessing those services and supports is particularly important for youth and young adults with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or intellectual disabilities (ID), and those who care about them.

Team AIRC and the Flutie 5K Fundraiser

Since the emergence of COVID-19 early in 2020, many fundraising efforts have gone entirely virtual, due to the necessity of mask-wearing and implementation of strict social distancing guidelines.

One such event took place back in September, as the Doug Flutie Jr Foundation For Autism held a virtual 5K, committing that all funds raised by partner organizations would be contributed back to them.

ARICA 10th Anniversary Celebration

On August 12, 2020, a virtual celebration was held marking 10 years since the Massachusetts passage of An Act Relative to Insurance Coverage For Autism (ARICA). ARICA mandates that all insurance carriers in the state provide patient coverage for therapies and ABA services of anyone diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) grant awarded to Shriver Researcher

Congratulations to Shriver’s own David N. Kennedy, PhD on his recent grant award  from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). The grant is designed to develop an “ABCD-ReproNim Course” that provides training for reproducible analyses of the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study® data.  Reproducible data analysis, as applied to neuroimaging, has been a longtime professional research interest of Dr. Kennedy.   Dr. Kennedy  leads ReproNim: A Center for Reproducible Neuroimaging Computation, a National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) funded biomedical technology research center.   The Center’s mission mission is to improve the reproducibility of neuroimaging science and extend the value of our national investment in neuroimaging research, while making the process easier and more efficient for investigators.

David Kennedy

2nd Healthy Weight Research Network Symposium

The 2nd HWRN symposium will provide a forum for researchers, practitioners, policymakers, people with disabilities, family members, and other interested individuals to learn about current research in the field related to promoting healthy weight for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Join us in Boston for this free event on Friday April 5th.


Federal government selects Shriver Center project director as national expert for emergency planning toolkit presentation

Susan Wolf-Fordham of UMass Medical School’s Eunice K. Shriver Center will delve into her work as a pioneer for the inclusion of people with disabilities into emergency planning at an invite-only federal stakeholder meeting on emergency preparedness to be held in Washington, D.C. this week.

Autism Insurance Resource Center receives Flutie Foundation grant to help families and people with autism navigate insurance

Families who have questions or concerns about insurance coverage for autism treatments will continue to receive help from UMass Medical School’s Autism Insurance Resource Center (AIRC) due to a new grant from the Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism.

Doug Flutie

Sibling support initiative to aid families at Worcester Recovery Center

Having a brother or sister with a serious mental illness is stressful for other siblings in the family. Now an innovative support program is available for families of youth and young adults hospitalized in the inpatient adolescent psychiatry units at the Worcester Recovery Center and Hospital.

Emily Rubin

UMass Medical School to Support Autism Awareness and ‘Light It Up Blue’ on April 2

On April 2, when UMass Medical School illuminates its landmark building blue, it will be participating not only in the International Light It Up Blue Celebration to show solidarity with millions of people across the world living with autism, it will also be affirming its commitment to the many people and families in Central and Western, MA.


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