Autism Programs

Springfield, MA

CHD Autism programs that meet the needs of individuals on the autism spectrum, their families and their communities.

CHD currently operates several programs designed to serve individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their families.  While each of the programs is funded through different mechanisms, they all share the tenants of community inclusion, comprehensive supports and individualized programming for participants in the programs.  Programs serve individuals from infancy through adulthood with any level of functioning.  All programs value data collection and data driven decision making as a core component of the program.   This allows for maximum progress monitoring and tracking of individual growth.  Programs target a variety of skills areas including: social skills, daily living skills, executive functioning, communication, positive behavior support, recreational skills and community membership.

For more information about specific programs serving individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder click on the link below:

Early Intervention (Ages 0-3)
CHD’s Early Intervention program works with infants and children from birth to 3 years of age who have or are at risk for developmental delays. A CHD team can assess your child’s abilities and, if indicated, will develop an individualized plan to promote development of play, movement, social behavior, communication, and self-care skills. We work with children and their families in their environment – no need to come to the office.  Early Intervention serves many children who have or are at risk for Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Disability Resources (All Ages)
Disability Resources provides barrier-free recreational and competitive opportunities for individuals with physical disabilities, Developmental Disabilities or visual impairments. Through a variety of activities, from adaptive sports, recreational outings to social gatherings and educational events, Disability Resources seeks to enhance the self-confidence, interactive skills and physical abilities of our program participants.
Autism Coaching Program (Ages 16+)

What is Coaching for Individuals on the Autism Spectrum?
Coaching is an individualized 1:1 service between a person on the autism spectrum and a qualified professional coach who has extensive knowledge about individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

What Does Coaching Look Like?
Coaching allows for the development of a supportive, nonjudgmental relationship with the goal of promoting independence and real involvement in community life and the world of work by overcoming the barriers the individual is facing.  The coach doesn’t need to be an expert in all aspects of life but must be able to share the “hidden social rules and constructs” with the individual while focusing on the here and now, with an eye to the future.  Coaching does not replace the need for additional services such as therapy, psychopharmacology or other hard traditional services; coaching works in concert with other services.

What Skills will a Coach Typically Work on?
Each coaching relationship differs based on the needs and specific goals of the individual. However, there may be particular focus on:

  • Support and practice of executive functions in daily life and on the job,
  • Acquisition of both hard and soft skills to support employment,
  • Development of systems by the individual with the assistance of the coach to support independent living and participate in community life
  • Development and maintenance of relationships
  • Development of self-awareness to build on personal strengths and minimize personal challenges.


How do I find out more?

To find out more about Coaching for people on the autism spectrum at CHD contact:

Shane Brooks, CHD’s Vice President, Intellectual and Disability Services