EMMC Autism Program First Of Its Kind in the State to Bridge Gap between Primary Care and Community


(Bangor, Maine) - When a child is diagnosed with autism, the path to care can be a bewildering maze of educational and medical services. Now, parents have access to expert guidance through EMMC’s Husson Pediatrics. The practice offers an autism program that is like none other in Maine. 

 “We saw an opportunity to increase our role in caring for these patients by helping parents access the various community resources available to them and their children,” says Michael Ross, MD, lead pediatrician at EMMC’s Husson Pediatrics.

The program’s autism care manager, Rochelle Harriman, RN, guides parents toward agencies and programs that provide speech, social and occupational therapy, behavioral management, medications, and educational options tailored specifically for the child. She helps them identify what services are covered by insurance, how to apply for MaineCare, and how to find the correct forms to receive covered benefits.

“This liaison piece is huge,” says Danielle Goulette, a parent who took advantage of the autism program for her daughter who was diagnosed with Autism at two years old after late speech development. “Rochelle helped me register the pre-school and scheduled her therapy appointments on site, which is incredible,” continues Danielle.

Husson Pediatrics begins developmental surveillance in infancy, and specifically screens children for autism at 16-18 months of age. “Research shows that early intervention and detection creates far better outcomes for the child and the family,” says Rochelle. 

“The autism program at EMMC’s Husson Pediatrics is truly groundbreaking. They have transformed care for children with autism,” says Nancy Cronin, executive director, Maine Developmental Disabilities Council, the organization that funds the program. “This is about higher quality of care of kids,” says Nancy. “EMMC’s Husson Pediatrics is cutting edge. It is a true center of excellence.”