New Britain, Conn. (WNTH) – April is Autism Acceptance Month, and according to the CDC, nearly one in every 36 children will be diagnosed on the autism spectrum. CT Style Host Natasha Lubczenko recently met with autism experts from the Hospital for Special Care (HSC) in New Britain: Lynn Ricci, President and CEO, and Dr. Hassan Minhas, Chief of Autism Services, who came to discuss the therapeutic programs and services they have available at the hospital.

Dr. Minhas explains what autism is, saying, “Autism is a neurodevelopmental condition which affects a variety of different domains. So, it impacts an individual’s way of interacting with the world and it impacts socialization, and it impacts the individual’s interests.“ “Autism is not really a condition that impacts one child. It’s a condition that impacts not only the family, and back to school, but society in general.” He adds, “And so when we talk about the prevalence of autism,…is one in 36, we have to really consider the huge impact it’s having on society.”

Lynn Ricci tells our viewers about the resources at Hospital for Special Care.  She says, “We really offer a wide continuum of services, everything from diagnosis to treatment, and an inpatient autism unit for the most severely impacted children and their families. We offer a partial hospital program, and we offer really, just a safety net of resources to support, … not only the children who are affected, but their families, and to work with the community to best serve them.”

Watch this interview and learn more about the services, training and support available through the Autism Services Program at HSC. Our guests answer the following questions:

  • Why is training and education about autism so important for family members and caregivers?
  • Are your autism-related programs strictly outpatient?
  • What are some early signs that parents can look for indicating that their child might be
    on the spectrum?
  • Why do you feel that it’s important for society to become educated about the
    signs of possible autism?
  • Why is it so important to identify and diagnose autism symptoms early, when
    a child is very young?
  • You say that acceptance of autism so very important for individuals and for society.
    Why is that?
  • How can parents get involved in the programs offered at HSC?
  • Do families have to be from Connecticut to use your services, or to ask questions
    about a diagnosis?

To learn more about the Autism Center at the Hospital for Special Care, visit their website at or call 860-612-6386 to schedule a visit or refer a patient.

Upcoming Event: April is Autism Acceptance Month.  HFSC will join patients and families, advocates, caregivers and policy makers at the State Capitol on Friday, April 28, 2023, to raise awareness of resources and issues of concern to the autism community at an event organized by the Commission on Women, Children, Seniors, Equity and Opportunity.

Hospital for Special Care (HFSC) is the fourth largest, free-standing long-term acute care hospital in the U.S. and one of only two in the nation serving adults and children. HFSC is recognized for advanced care and rehabilitation in pulmonary care, acquired brain injury, medically-complex pediatrics, neuromuscular disorders including ALS, spinal cord injury, comprehensive heart failure and comprehensive inpatient, partial hospital and outpatient treatment for children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder. The National Committee for Quality Assurance has designated HFSC as a patient-centered specialty practice for autism.