- The Early Years
The Early Years
The LADDERS program was born out of a philosophy that developmentally disabled persons deserve to be viewed as individuals, each with his or her personal patterns of talents and challenges. Each person merits the opportunity to be carefully evaluated and to receive the quantity and quality of services necessary to allow that individual to reach his or her maximum potential for independence and personal growth, regardless of economic, social and ethnic background. In achieving these goals, LADDERS sought to enlist the expertise of highly trained professionals with outstanding skills in their respective fields and brought those professionals together to work as team in assessing the needs of each person, recommending and providing appropriate interventions, assisting families to seek and obtain needed services, and providing ongoing support and advocacy.
In 1981, Dr. Bauman was hired, by Youville Hospital in Cambridge, to supervise the outpatient pediatric unit. In persuading the hospital administration to develop a full scale out-patient clinic that would see a child with any type of neurological condition, she expanded the patient population beyond the existing client base of children with cerebral palsy. At that time, the seed of the eventual LADDERS clinic was born.
In January 1997, LADDERS joined the Pediatric Service of the Massachusetts General Hospital. This affiliation with MGH benefits and enhances LADDERS in that the program moves to a non-profit environment allowing for philanthropic support, the program becomes part of an academic medical center where teaching the next generation of caregivers and researchers is possible, the program partnered with an internationally recognized institution so the professionals working with the program could easily interact and collaborate with other medical specialists.
Autism/PDD is now considered a treatable condition and many children can have and deserve a much brighter future than has been believed in the past. Their ultimate outcomes, however, depend heavily on providing early intensive interventions through therapists with a depth of expertise in their field.
The mission of the Lurie Center remains the same as when the first families walked through the LADDERS clinic: to treat individuals and support their families across the lifespan by providing services at the Lexington clinic or through referral to other resources. As a multidisciplinary clinic, the goal of the Lurie Center is to provide services designed for each individual in hopes of finding that brighter future.
Neurobiology of Autism
by Dr. Margaret L. Bauman (Editor), Thomas L. Kemper
In The Neurobiology of Autism Margaret Bauman and Thomas Kemper bring together leading investigators from the field of autism to discuss advances in scientific research that point to a neurobiological basis for autism and to examine the clinical implications of the research.